One problem I hear a lot is “I don’t have anything to post” or “I’m afraid I’ll run out of things to post”. You’ll never truly run out of things to say unless you’ve stopped development and stopped thinking about the game, but the fear is there nonetheless for many newer devs.
Today I want to give an example of how I take 1 piece of content (in this case, a quick drawing) and reuse it over several social media platforms.
Asterism releases ✨tomorrow✨ on Steam/itchio! Fight shadow monsters and save the Zodiac.— Crystal Game Works @ Asterism out now! ✨ (@CrystalGameWork) July 21, 2021
Wishlist it to be notified when it releases: https://t.co/nZrpPNIgWh#visualnovel #gamedev pic.twitter.com/BuYccyezds
The piece of content is quite simple- it’s a drawing of the main character from my visual novel, Asterism, as a countdown to its release.
I drew this myself, so I have the original files for it. If you’re not the artist, don’t worry, all you’ll need for the majority of this are the 1st and 2nd pieces. Please also make sure you have permission from the original artist, as some artists are very particular on what you do with their art.
The second piece
Our main piece of content is the drawing itself, but what else can we do it with? If we want, we can lead up to it by posting the sketch.
The sketch is the 2nd piece of our content. Sketches aren’t “unprofessional”, and even if they were, remember that we’re not “pros”, we’re indies! We’re small indie studios making small indie games we’re passionate about. Use that to your advantage.
We’ll be using these 2 pieces of content, the finished drawing (piece 1) and the sketch (piece 2), to our advantage. People like seeing the progression of things- where they started and how they ended up. Sketches are a great way of showing this off.
The third piece
Now we’re going to need a bit of technical skills. If you don’t have a photo editor/art software downloaded, find a free one such as FireAlpaca, Krita, or Medibang. We won’t be doing any drawing, but we do need access to layers and an eraser.
One trend on art social media is showing the progression from sketch to finished drawing. Guess what we’ll be doing?
Here’s how you make a video like this:
- Open up the finished drawing and sketch in a drawing software
- Have the sketch be on a layer on top of the finished drawing
- Get an eraser at a decent size ready
- Grab your phone and hold it up to your computer / tablet screen
- Start recording yourself erasing away the sketch (make sure the video is less than 30 seconds)
This will take a few tries to get right at first, but the more you do it the better you’ll get at it! You can also try screen recording on your laptop, but you’ll have to transfer the file to your phone for Instagram.
Now, what can we do with this piece? Depending on what social media you have, you can reuse it on all of them!
For Twitter I posted this video in our Fleets, a feature that will definitely not date this article as it’s being removed in 2 weeks… Regardless, you can post this video on Twitter as a regular tweet or as a reply to the original tweet.
As you saw above, I posted this process video on Tiktok with a handful of art tags and a simple caption. Uploading to TikTok means the video has to be under a minute long, but you can upload via phone or PC. You have more limited options on PC but it is an option.
To summarize Tiktok:
- Must be under 1 min
- Can be uploaded from phone and PC
Instagram’s latest feature is called Instagram Reels. What are they? They’re Tiktoks. Yeah, that’s about it.
Instagram still has their older feature, IGTV (Instagram TV), for videos longer than a minute, but Reels are meant to compete with Tiktok so they’re for videos shorter than 30 seconds.
Unlike with their other video formats, Reels allow for video editing before uploading. You can also record the video in Instagram Reels and save the video to your phone before uploading it and it won’t have a watermark (as of July 2021). This is really nice if you want to add effects or text but don’t want to do it multiple times.
You want to upload this video to Reels because it’s their newest feature and social media algorithms highly favor users who use their new features. Reels also have an easier way of organic discovery (as of now), so this is the way to go, especially for an “off the cuff” video.
To summarize Reels:
- Must be under 30 seconds
- Can only be uploaded via phone
- Have greater organic discoverability than the other Instagram video formats
The fourth piece
By now we have 3 pieces of content that we can repost on various platforms. What else can we do with the piece?
If you (or the artist) were thinking ahead, you might have recorded a timelapse of the process! In different art software you can toggle an option to record timelapses as you work. This means the software will record your brush strokes and save it as a video file. Alternatively, you can record this with a screen recorder as you go along.
This requires some extra preparation though, so you have to plan ahead for this piece.
The fifth piece
If this is a bigger piece of artwork (such as a key art), then you’ll probably want some more leadup to posting it. In this case you can post a cropped image of it, like so.
I hope by now you’ve seen how we can take 1 piece of content an reuse it across multiple sites in different ways. With this 1 art piece, we can create:
- Tweet with the finished art
- Tweet with the sketch
- Tweet / Fleet with the art process
- Tweet / Fleet with the art timelapse
- Tweet of a preview of the finished art
- Instagram post with the finished art
- Instagram post with the sketch
- Reel with the art process
- Reel / IGTV with the art timelapse
- Instagram post of a preview of the finished art
- Tiktok with the art process
- Tiktok with the art timelapse
…And that’s just Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok.
We can use this mentality for other parts of a project, not just the artwork. Take a quote from the game- you can throw this on a cute background with a fancy font for an image post and throw it on a mockup screenshot. Bam, with 1 line of dialogue you’ve got at least 2 posts.
Social media and the internet is a very visual place- don’t be afraid to come up with creative ways to show off your progress.
Another month, another article. Asterism recently released (like, 2 days ago) and now I’m finally taking a breather. I think a key part of marketing (especially in our digital world) is creativity- thinking of new ways to delight potential customers. How can you convey to them, in an interesting and eye catching way, that your project is worth their time? It’s a question we should ask ourselves every day. Don’t be afraid to try new things!