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Marketing Channels for Board Games and Card Game

Marketing board games can be a challenge, but there are various channels you can use to reach your target audience and generate sales. In general, these channels can be divided into three:

  • Online
  • Offline
  • Crowdfunding

Online Channels

1. Your Own Store:

Selling through your own website provides more control over how you present your game to potential customers, and you also get valuable customer information every time someone purchases from your store. However, customers might be hesitant to purchase from a new website they’re unfamiliar with. It’s important to build trust by ensuring your website is secure and user-friendly. Consider offering promotions and discounts to first-time customers to incentivize purchases.

2. Platforms such as Amazon, Etsy, eBay:

Amazon and other platforms are established online marketplaces that many customers trust, making it easier to reach a wider audience. However, these platforms promote a wide variety of games, so it can be harder to stand out. Additionally, advertising on these platforms can become expensive and may not always generate a profitable return on investment. Despite these challenges, it’s still worth listing your games on these platforms, as they can help you reach customers who may not have found your game otherwise.

Offline Channels

1.Trade Shows and Conventions:

Attending trade shows and conventions can be a great way to generate buzz around your game and meet potential customers face-to-face. These events attract a wide range of attendees, including dedicated board game enthusiasts, casual gamers, and industry professionals. PAX, Essen, GAMA, and other large conventions are great places to showcase your game, but there are also many smaller, regional events that can be just as effective. At trade shows, consider offering demos or samples of your game, and make sure to have eye-catching displays and marketing materials.

2.Small Game, Toy, and Hobby Shops:

To sell your game through small retailers, you’ll need to find a distribution or fulfillment center that works with these shops. Distribution centers such as Bridge Distribution and Fulfillment can help with this, but keep in mind that turnover from these channels can be low, especially for lesser-known games. Building brand awareness and generating buzz around your game through other channels, like social media or trade shows, can help drive sales through small retailers.

3.Through Major Retailers and Shopping Chains:

Selling through major retailers like Target or Walmart can be difficult, as they typically only carry products that have already proven successful in the market. However, some retailers offer accelerator programs that provide resources and mentorship to new businesses. For example, Target’s Shape the Future of Retail accelerator program helps startups develop and refine their products for the retail market. Keep in mind that acceptance into these programs is competitive, so it’s important to have a track record and a solid business plan before applying.

By utilizing a combination of online and offline marketing channels, you can maximize your game’s visibility and reach a wider audience. It’s important to tailor your marketing strategy to your game’s unique features and target audience, and to regularly analyze and adapt your approach based on feedback and sales data.

 

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and others have become a popular way for independent creators to launch their board games. It can be an effective way to get your game in front of a large audience, generate buzz, and get early adopters to pre-order your game. The crowdfunding platform allows you to pitch your game idea to the public and get people to pledge funds to support the project.

However, crowdfunding is not for everyone and not for every game.

First – You need to ask yourself if your target audience has a proven track record of backing projects on crowdfunding pages or do they like to buy the games and get them immediately after.

Second – it takes a lot of work to build a successful crowdfunding campaign, and there are no guarantees that you will be funded. You will need to invest time and money into creating a high-quality pitch video, designing the campaign page, and building a community around your game before you even start selling.

Therefore, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of crowdfunding and carefully consider whether it is the right choice for your game.

 

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– Hersh (Founder of HeroTime)


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