There are several very useful internet marketing tools available that are
either completely free to use, or offer their services for a low indie-friendly
cost. I’ve included a selection of the most popular and well-respected tools
below; these can really help to build an effective marketing campaign.
Buffer helps you spread the word about your indie game across multiple
social media accounts at once. Quickly schedule content from anywhere on
the web, collaborate with team members and analyze detailed statistics on
how your posts perform. Write a series of posts at one time and choose
which social profiles to send them to, and then Buffer will spread them out throughout the day or week so that you don’t have to be at a computer all
the time in order to have a social media presence.
In addition, Buffer shortens your links for you, and is able to provide more
analytics than if you just post to Twitter or Facebook directly. As an
example, Buffer can tell you exactly how many people clicked on each of
Real-time social media search and analysis. Enter a search term, and Social
Mention will return results based on the social media buzz for that term.
This could be your game title, genre, studio name and so on.
You can monitor various channel types, including blogs, microblogs,
bookmarks, images, videos or questions. You can then sort the results via
time, date and source.
IceRocket allows you to search Blogs, Twitter and Facebook all from one
page. Type a term into the search box, select the channel you want to search
and then check the results. You can then filter the results by links, text or
hashtags. IceRocket also displays an average posts-per-day count.
CrowdBooster is a thoroughly comprehensive, yet simple-to-use tool that
will allow you to visually see how well your posts, tweets and so on are
performing. It allows you to track the growth of your audience and see the
benefits of long-term engagement or the effectiveness of a one-time social
Check the number of retweets, replies, impressions, likes, comments and
many more metrics, all customizable by date range, all in real-time so you
can quickly adapt to your audience’s reaction.
Do you want to find out who is your biggest fan? How about your most
enthusiastic retweeter? Do you know who they are? Use Crowdbooster to
find your biggest social advocates and show them how much you love them,
You can also schedule as many tweets and Facebook posts as you’d like, all
at the most optimal time as calculated by Crowdbooster to maximize rea.
CrowdBooster isn’t free, but the good news is that most indies will only
need the basic plan, which covers 1 user, 1 Twitter user and 1 Facebook pageand up to 50,000 fans + followers. This ‘Bronze’ plan is just $9 per month, so nice and affordable.
A free online tool that will analyse your site, social media presence and
overall online influence. Your site is rated with a score out of 100, along with
a checklist of actionable items to do to improve this. The areas covered
include lead generation, SEO, social media and blogging.
A great tool to help you produce marketable blog content. Inbound Writer
provides valuable feedback to make your posts more appealing to internet
users based on various criteria and search results. This rather clever bit of
software performs various tasks such as:
▶ Generating ideas on what to write about
▶ Predicting performance of your written content before you make the
investment to write it
▶ Improving content quality in a consistent and scalable way
▶ Measuring results connecting content quality to traffic and engagement
It will also give you feedback on:
▶ The size of your audience for a given topic
▶ Who else is publishing content on that topic (your competition)
▶ The most productive terms you can use for that topic
HootSuite is apparently the leading social media dashboard to manage and
measure your social networks. Essentially this will allow you to manage
your various social marketing activities from one program. I have used
HootSuite a little, but I was surprised that it didn’t include notification
tracking for major social networks such as reddit, so that reduced its appeal
▶ Manage multiple social networks
▶ Schedule social messages and activities
▶ Analytics tools and customizable reports that will give you a complete andcomprehensive picture of your participation in social spaces
▶ Track statistics such as the number of followers, lists, mentions and more
You can use Google Analytics to track how people find your site and which
websites refer them. Thus you can quickly build up a profile of your most
successful marketing methods. You can then take things a step further and
analyse how visitors interact with your pages.
Google Analytics offers a lot of depth and can really help you to monitor
how successfully your marketing campaign is progressing.
The Klout Score is a 1–100 number showing how influential you are in the
world of social media. In determining the user score, Klout measures the size of a user’s social media network and correlates the content created to
measure how other users interact with that content.
Be warned—Klout can become an obsession, especially if you get beyond a
score of 50 and start receiving Klout Perks. Rumor has it that if you get a
Klout score above 90, you never need to buy anything ever again!
Klout offers a way to gauge how effective your social media efforts are, and
identifies the most influential people in your network.
Online surveys can be a great way to gather user feedback, and
SurveyMonkey is one of the best. It offers a free plan, which includes the
▶ 10 questions per survey
▶ 100 responses per survey
▶ Web-based survey tool
▶ Collect data via weblink, email, Facebook or embed on your site or blog