Saturday 4 June 2016

Publishing Advice #4: How to Promote Your Project on BoardGameGeek

Do you like strangers walking from door to door, visiting your house and trying to sell you a shampoo and other stuff? Imagine now having ten visits every day and how would you feel about it?

It's the same with BGG. Just try to think how those people feel? Remember - BoardGameGeek is a community, not a market! It's not there to sell your game and make you famous. No one is gonna glorify you just because you created and published a board game. It doesn't works that way.

Before you start thinking about any advert campaign on BGG first be involved, contribute to the community and help others. Try to understand BGG community and be part of it. After a time when your face will be recognised as a buddy and helper, your advert campaign will have a different appearance. People from the community more likely will support projects of someone they know, than a stranger's. Simple as it is!

Now when you are an active member of the forum, you can think about introducing your game to the community and advertising it.

Have you ever had an idea how to promote your project on BoardGameGeek effectively? Even better is to ask a question: how it's gonna affect my KickStarter campaign?

James Mathe collected data-sets from 12 different KickStarter publishers, 23 campaigns. He broke down of all data and presented in a graph. It indicates that most referrals were coming from mailing lists (47,9%), then in second place with 22,7% referrals from BGG, that's quite a significant number. All data-sets are available in James Mathe's article Myth Busters - Kickstarter referrer page.

The question is: how I can get the best from BoardGameGeek?
I did some research to put everything together in one place:

1. Add your game to BGG database
Be sure the game has a complete game entry in the BGG database. Add your complete, ready board game. Don't add your game if you are going to do a lot of changes. Your game should be played, tested and have some of the final artwork done.

2. Send your game to active BGG reviewer
Reviews are a validation of your project. James Mathe explained to me: “people will rarely buy a KS game these days without some 3rd party REVIEW of it posted.”

When a reviewers site, blog or podcast is popular among BGG users, and he or she is an active member of the forum more likely will give you some extra boost. Make sure that at least one review will be published just before you launch your KickStarter campaign, then one on the beginning of your KickStarter campaign and one in the middle time.

3. Write about your game on BGG forums

a. Crowdfunding: Kickstarter » Forums » General
Link to your Kickstarter campaign

b. Crowdfunding Announcements thread
Announce your game in this thread and be sure you follow the rules here! Only announce your game once on this forum! It's not a place for updating, commenting or discussing your project!
- add a link to your Kickstarter campaign
- add the best possible photos, artwork from the game
- add a short description

c. BoardGameGeek » Forums » Gaming Related » Press Releases
Link to your Kickstarter campaign

4. Buy a Banner Advertising
This one is the most important! Can be very effective, if made properly. Should easily pay back. I won't write an extended article about it because there is a excellent article about advertising on BGG from John Wrot.

Remember about changing the advert every 7-10 days and change the advert in last 48 hours, last hours, when funded etc.

5. Publisher-Sponsored Contest

Sponsored Contest on BGG is very popular. Chad Krizan explained that in a contest there is few thousand contest participant, that tends to vault the game up the Hotness due to all of the page activity generated. He said: “Being in the top 5 or so of the Hotness will boost views of the BGG listing by 10,000-15,000 views while it is up there, which combos very nicely with the Kickstarter widget, since any visit to the BGG listing will see you’re currently in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign.”

The contest can be linked with your Kickstarter campaign as well. It's important to set up right contest requirements which will make people visit your Kickstarter campaign.

It's worth pointing out that every participant will get the contests badge which attracts a lot of people - the badge collectors!

It's worth joining few contests to have a feeling how they work! You can find the Sponsored Contest here:
BoardGameGeek » Forums » BoardGameGeek Related » Sponsored Promotions