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Video Game Marketing

Indie Game Marketing from the author of the Game Marketing book, The Indie Developer's Guide to Selling Games. Video Game Marketing made simple... or at least as simple as I can make it.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Who's Your User?

On the web a topic I really dont hear much chatter about is "who" is visiting your site. Not, specifically, in the individual sense, but the general demographic layout of a site.

For instance, which is better, to have 50% US traffic and 100,000 visitors or have 25% US traffic and 200,000 visitors?

Both have the same NUMBER of US visitors, and the second group has more traffic... and that should make them better, right? The answer: Maybe.

People reading this may have a diverse set of site types. A high bandwidth, low/no ad site may simply not CONVERT high enough to make the use of bandwidth worth crappy traffic, meaning foreign traffic actually costs you money to have. A high ad, low bandwidth site, on the otherhand, suffers from something different. Did you know that US % can influence your overall ad revenue? That's right, some ads dont run on sites where the overall US % is too low, meaning your eCPM drops because your demographics aren't up to snuff. Similarly special ad deals are always easier to negotiate when you can claim high US %. Special treatment can make a site with half the traffic earn more than twice as much... though honestly twice as much is pushing the limit I believe (but still, a pretty big boost).

Oh but it gets more complex boys and girls! Not only does that matter, but targetting matters too. What kinds of games are you posting? I'm becoming more and more convinced that targetting gender and (if possible) age are further keys to success on the web.

In the example where you are selling a product or retaining users its the same but slightly different stories. Lets use dress up games as an example, targetting young females. If you place DUGs on a general game site you end up with an item that interests some, and your site by mixing together content may appeal to everyone. On the otherhand if you ONLY target girls you'll lose half your traffic (the boys).

HOWEVER because your site is so full of RELEVANCE the return rate of the 50% may be so much higher that you actually grow faster than a mixed site. The cherry on top? By targetting demographically you ALSO are better able to SELL them games and/or sell targetted advertising (IE: Hasbro would be more likely to want a My Little Pony ad on a girl site than a mixed site; or some girly downloadable games would have a much higher conversion rate).

So could you WIN by targetting niches rather than the cookie cutter model of white lable one-stop game shops all carrying the same ecclectic mix? Could you win by trying to retain only USA users?

Beats me :) There are examples on both sides of the fence on this one, but I just wanted to bring the theory up that more traffic volume is not neccessarily more valuable. A counter intuitive theory that makes the internet go round.

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