If you are working to bring your title to Steam, or have already released on Steam, we've got a few suggestion and best practices to help you think and ask the right questions about marketing. Much of this information is taken from Dev Days.
All the Dev Days talks can be found here
The following suggestions are to help you think about marketing and business decisions when shipping on Steam. These are not a set of instructions that you have to do to be successful and not a substitute for making a great game.
- Treat your project as a unique marketing problem - A marketing plan for one title may not necessarily translate to another. Rather than looking for how you can shoe-horn your title into a prepackaged marketing strategy, think about how you can experiment with different aspects of marketing and measure their effect early. This will help you determine the best approach for your title.
- Start marketing early - Do small things to start. If this is your first title, chances are this is your first attempt at marketing a product. If you are like most people, your first attempt will not be very good, so get some practice. It takes work to learn to speak meaningfully about your title in a way that is compelling to your audience. Be prepared to fail a lot—practice in small increments.
- Add features and tools that make sense for your game and your customers – There are many features that are available for you to use on Steamworks, but it may not be valuable for you to implement all of them to your game. Figure out what features are valuable for your goals and your customers.
- Launch day is the starting line not the finish line – It's very likely that the game you launch on launch day is not the best it can be. If you're serious about making a great product, you want to continue patching and updating your game. It's also very likely that there will be unexpected issues at launch, you want to make sure you and your team are available to fix any unexpected issues at launch.
- Pay attention to release time – It’s important to remember that you are competing with other titles for people's money and time. If you’re a new title, you may want to avoid launching near highly anticipated games and near large events such as GDC, PAX, or E3. It’s useful to use the Steam Coming Soon list to see what is planning to launch around your game.
- Building a story in your patch notes will be beneficial – Patch notes are great to share with your existing community, but they don’t tell a story. You want to make sure that if someone that’s brand new to the game reads your patch notes, they understand why this update is great.
- Buying your game should not be complex – Having a complex offer on your store does not equal value. You want to sell your game in a way that is easy for customers to understand.