Now that the “E3” season is over (or is it now officially known as “Summer of Games”?? Rebranding does take time - just ask Facebook/Meta…), we can all take a bit of a rest and try to remember what was actually shown. Cause I don’t know about you, but it felt like there were A LOT of games on parade. Like, a lot. And maybe it’s my age, but it is getting a lot harder to keep track of everything that was showcased. Perhaps we’ve reached the point of gaming oversaturation a long time ago. And maybe we’re also reaching the showcase oversaturation point too (there were like what, eight showcases doing the rounds? Maybe even more, all in a span of a week). Or, the final perhaps, these showcases should just spread themselves over the year and not clump up so much. There are other months than just June.
Reddit. It's cool.
Anyway, I know that you’re here not so much for the rants, but for the tips. If I’m wrong, let me know. So, Reddit AMA’s. In short, they’re cool. I’ve done a few of them in my life, more than a dozen for sure. And here’s what I’ve picked up over the years that might help you out with your AMA session. As you might be aware, there is a bit of a hoo-haa happening on Reddit, with subs going on strike, but just like Twitter users vs Elon Musk shenanigans of some time ago, it looks like we’ve entered the “it’s business as unusual” stage. So I’m treating this post as if it is all back to normal.
Some stats of a recent AMA I did on a 1.8 million platform-specific subreddit.
Let's go with them tips, shall we?
Tip 1: Choose your subreddit wisely
Sure, everyone wants to go on the big sub. I know, r/AMA is huge (that’s if it comes back after the protest), but have you seen how many AMAs happen there on a daily basis? You’re competing with scientists, musicians, strippers, authors, you name it! So why should your game be the centre of attention? Mind you, if it works, it can work really well…
I’m someone that believes that you should go where your audience is. Sometimes it’s better to go to a small sub that fits your “niche” as opposed to going on a big sub like r/Games and have crickets invade your thread. If you have clout, a big brand/name, then go to the bigger subreddits. If you’re a bit on the smaller side, perhaps going to a more catered, genre-specific audience is the way to go. Also, there are many subreddits dedicated to individual platforms/consoles. Depending on your release schedule, sticking to one platform could be the plan.
Tip 2: Promote your AMA on other subreddits and your own channels
There’s nothing worse than an AMA that has no questions asked. It sucks. It sucks your morale, you start questioning your marketing skills, and the devs start to think “oh my god, my game is a dud as no one is interested in it”. To help you avoid that feeling, promote your AMA on your socials and on Steam. Direct people to your thread. Get your audience involved. The rest will soon follow. AMA’s also take some time to start, so don’t worry if you don’t get many questions in the first 20 minutes. Give it some time.
Tip 3: Be at a time when your audience is there
General rule, be at a time when both EU and US are awake. The higher the number of visitors, the higher number of questions. Life is sometimes as simple as that.
Tip 4: Pick a good moment in your marketing calendar for your AMA
In short, either a day before, on launch is the way to go - that’s if you have the manpower. If you’re confident with reviews and that the game ain’t buggy, do it the day after. If you’re worried about those reviews, do it a day before. I once did an AMA a week before release and I felt that by the time we came out our “AMA effect” was long gone. The same goes the other way. Wait too long with the AMA and you won’t be the hot topic anymore and no one will want to host or join your AMA. There is a small window of relevancy.
Tip 5: Embrace the negative comments. Own them!
Some marketers are worried that during an AMA someone might ask negative questions. So what? To me, that is an opportunity to set the record straight and to make those that like you fall deeper in love with who you are (you can’t please everyone, remember that). When I did The Sinking City AMA, the question “Why did you go exclusive on Epic you greedy $*@%!?!” came up. Instead of ignoring or giving them a PR-filtered cookie-cutter answer, we said the truth. Our answer got a lot of positive comments, people understood and defended the choice, and it even got picked up by the gaming press itself. Always aim to turn a threat into an opportunity. It’s possible. Not always, but there are moments when it can be done.
Tip 6: Be genuine and have fun
People can tell when you’re honest and when you’re saying things to look like you’re honest. You see, Reddit is a community that hates marketers and salespeople. If they smell one out, you’re screwed. So be genuine with your responses, talk like a human, and you’ll be alright!
This is not Reddit's preferred attitude. Don't be a stock photo marketer.
I hope that these tips were of some use. Let me know if they were. I’m genuinely curious. And if you have any other tips yourself, please share them.
Until next time,
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