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5 Steps to Marketing your Indie Game on YouTube in 2022

Updated: Jul 25, 2022

Want to turn your indie game into sales and revenue? YouTube marketing has proven one of the most effective strategies. Today we present the top 5 tips that most independent game creators don't know!

With YouTube ranked as the second largest search engine behind Google, it provides independent game developers with an opportunity to market their video games and get them discovered.

Gaming content is one of the most popular categories on YouTube. Indie game devs are using the platform to market their upcoming game releases in a devlog style. With the right YouTube strategy, you can have a dedicated audience willing to support your pc game release.

5 key steps to marketing your indie game on YouTube:

  1. Research

  2. YouTube Advertising

  3. Influencer Marketing

  4. Search engine optimisation - title and description

  5. Thumbnail


1. Research

Research and case studying is essential for all forms of marketing. Conducting case studies on channels with similar content that target the same audience will allow you to identify the rights and wrongs within your niche. When analysing other channels, observe their thumbnails and titles. Are they consistent? How often are they uploading? Research will help you understand why videos and channels succeed and why others don’t.

2. YouTube Advertising

By paying for YouTube advertising, your videos will be promoted which will significantly boost your game’s visibility. It is important to ensure you are targeting correctly when making an ad campaign by ensuring you completely understand your audience’s age, demographic, and interests. This allows your videos to be viewed by the right people.

When setting up a campaign, make sure you keep your target specific to your niche. Specificity is better than being broad. You also don’t want to target non-English-speaking countries if your game and channel is only in English.

3. Influencer Marketing

Consider reaching out to influencers to promote your game on their channels. Find a popular gaming influencer in your niche to potentially promote your game. If your game’s audience is similar to the influencer’s, you will definitely get extra sales on your game.

This can also include channels that specialise in video game reviews. These creators need content to make, so if you're giving them a free copy of your game odds are they'd be happy to cover it in a future video. Just ensure you do your research of who to contact, and if possible reach out to their email.

4. Search Engine Optimisation - title and description

It is important to know your keywords. Include these keywords in the title and short description. The key to writing titles is to grab your audience’s attention without using inaccurate clickbait headlines. Clickbaits may bring in initial viewers, but it also may negatively affect your video in the algorithm. This is because it can lower the retention rate of your videos which ultimately affects the potential reach of your channel.

Let's look at an example of a YouTube channel that does SEO correctly.

AIA is a game design channel that markets their games by documenting their game design journey. All three videos above have utilised keywords in the title and description. In the description, they use keywords such as 'indie devlog', 'Unity' and 'RPG'. All three of these are commonly searched entries in the search engine. Sometimes it is good to experiment with keywords in the title! By adding '|' in the title, the creator can add more keywords. For example, 'Adding FLIGHT to my DREAM video game | Unity RPG Devlog 2'

Do not go overboard with this! Make sure the title reads clearly and doesn't leave the viewer with a bad impression.

Ensure that you’re building the right title, tags, and descriptions, including the phrase you’re trying to rank for. Descriptions are fundamental for YouTube to determine what your video is about and calculate its rating. Make sure to add descriptions to all your videos. This way, they will appear in the Google search results. Do keyword research, then choose the most relevant keywords and use them in the text. Include your primary keyword in the first 25 words. General keywords for an indie game developer include: Indie game, game dev, devlog and indie game dev.

5. Thumbnail

Just like the title, the thumbnail is one of the first things the viewer is drawn to before clicking on a video. It is important that your thumbnail is a custom picked image as opposed to a random screenshot of your video picked through YouTube. This is because YouTube’s videos with custom thumbnails perform much better than those without.

Having a good thumbnail will overall increase your click-thru rate (CTR). This will result in YouTube recommending your content to more users.

Let's have a look at two separate thumbnails and have a think of which you'd click on.

The left thumbnail has over 1,000,000 views whereas the right has just over 200. What are the differences? The left image is clean. Easy to read. Clear focal point. The unity logo and text lets us know its about indie games. The right image uses red text with red background. It's hard to read the text, the viewer doesn't know where to look. Overall, the key takeaway is simple is better, just create a thumbnail which represents the video. Use clear text, clear images and have a specific vocal point!

Final Thoughts

Overall, the main point is YouTube has an undeniable influence in turning your indie game into a success. The platform offers a variety of content in both YouTube and its Shorts. With just one viral video, your game can sell thousands of copies.


For more marketing tips in the gaming industry, stay updated with Voyager Studio blogs.


AIA. (2022). AIA - YouTube Channel.

Cnbc. (2022). How Google’s YouTube Became an Internet Video Giant.

Hootsuite. (2022). How the YouTube Algorithm Works.

Laurent, S. (2022). Optimize SEO YouTube.

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