Press kits are an essential part of your indie game’s marketing mix.
From our previous guides, you should know what they include, and how to make one – yet we still see indie devs and big publishers alike making the same mistakes with their preferred solutions.
At best, this hurts your content-creator campaigns, and at worst, affects your long-term game discoverability. So obviously, we couldn’t stay quiet.
After reviewing hundreds of press kits from across the spectrum, these are the biggest and most common mistakes.
Props to Skyreach Studio for showing up here!
Press & content creators have a lot on their plate. Not every single person likely to cover or play your game is going to receive your carefully curated outreach campaign email.
So what happens? They Google:
‘your game name’ press kit. If they don’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll take some screenshots from Steam, or worse, take some out-of-date assets from Google Images. (Or even… Bing. *shudder*)
As a result, you either suddenly lose control of how your game/brand is presented, or they skip your game entirely because they couldn’t find a decent logo with transparency.
If you show up on Google, not only do you keep your brand in check, but you can maximise the opportunity and direct interested visitors to your mailing list or similar long-term offerings.
As a bonus: if your press kit is web-based, you can set the OpenGraph or social-sharing thumbnails, which can dramatically increase shareability and clicks through social media and private messages!
You want an easy to find, instant, one-click download.
Press & content creators want to download assets at the touch of a button. They don’t necessarily want to trawl through a Google Drive or Dropbox to find the right graphics. And they really don’t want to wait while a giant 2GB ZIP file generates on the fly.
Your press kit should have a direct, raw download link for its assets, and it should start straight away, not sit on a “generating” spinner for anything more than a moment.
Any friction on the user is bad friction, and could lead them to bouncing away!
The above is fairly organised, but it's not always like this...
Layout and structure is everything.
Similar to the above point, journos and creators want to find the screenshots, trailers, factsheet or flavour texts straight away. You need to make their job as easy as possible.
If it’s hard to find the right language version, or mobile-sized assets, or whatever else, they may churn away or just pull assets from Google or your store page.
There’s no standard file/folder structure for a press kit in cloud drives – but do your best – and separate by language at the top-level!
Hex codes for the people!
Streamers, and especially YouTubers, will need to create thumbnails for their videos of your game.
Make this as easy as possible by providing templates, font names and hexcode color palettes. Even link to the fonts if they’re freely available online. Include custom font files directly if you make them yourself or you have a distribution licence. (Do check first!)
This will go a long way to tailoring the creators brand to your brand, and therefore, becoming more recognizable and memory in both their audience and your target audience.
Some tools/services allow easy re-importing of assets from Steam.
During a game’s development lifecycle, its visual fidelity, logos, environments, pieces of key art, or other aspects, can change. This is especially relevant with Early Access titles, like Gang Beasts above.
Without regular health checks, press kits and their assets can get out of date, so it’s important to keep things fresh.
Do this for each marketing beat, and you’ll always show off your latest and greatest work.
If your game and store page have been translated into multiple languages, it’s a no-brainer that your press kit should be localized too.
Think about your game’s demographic on a global scale, and how many press and creators you will potentially be excluding by not doing so. If you want maximum visibility, there’s really no excuse!
Aside: if you’re releasing your game in Canada, then French store-page localization is actually a legal requirement!
Now that you know the most common mistakes… that’s great! But how can you avoid making them yourself?
The key is to use the right tools — and we built 😸 Press Kitty to solve all of the above!
And all of the above is built for indies, by indies – and is available completely for free!