On average, games require 6,000 wishlists to appear on Steam’s “Popular Upcoming” list. A spotlight on the homepage can significantly increase wishlist numbers, demo downloads, and sales, but how can you reach this 6,000 wishlist target? Before considering any paid opportunities, there are a few preliminary steps to boost your Steam page’s numbers.
Before anything else, review your Steam page and optimize its content for peak visibility. If your page’s impressions and wishlist conversions are low, then it’s time for a change. Optimizing your Steam page doesn’t mean an overhaul; instead, focus on minor details and track whether they increase traffic effectively. If your page has gameplay images, consider replacing them with gifs to draw attention. This will encourage visitors to learn more through your game’s description and showcase your gameplay graphics more robustly.
Similarly, design a few different capsule images and rotate through them bi-weekly; this will entice players who may have seen your game before but didn’t resonate with the previous capsule image. Beyond graphic designs, your language should appropriately reflect your game’s tone. Don’t take a formal approach; keep your style lighthearted and endearing if your game is a cozy farming sim. Use line breaks to create tension and sharp imagery for a horror title. Allow players to experience your game through your Steam page and entice them to purchase! If you’re looking for a fresh set of eyes on your page, we’re happy to help.
Although they don’t boast the highest conversion rates, hosting giveaways significantly increases traction on your Steam page and wishlist numbers. Opting for a giveaway is a safe bet if you’re in a pinch to hit 6,000 before your upcoming release. Hosting a giveaway on your Twitter or Discord grants you control over submissions and the selection process while increasing your Discord or Twitter community. Prizes don’t have to break the bank. These may include exclusive wallpapers or avatars inspired by your game, an early access build, a defining role on Discord, or a stream with the developers. If you want something bigger, tech gadgets (televisions, gaming consoles, etc.) and Steam gift cards make popular prizes. To win, players must follow your socials, like/retweet content, wishlist your game, and refer a friend. For a more hands-off approach, sites like Vast.gg will host giveaways created on their platform; Vast.gg has a significant following, so receiving entries is a guarantee. Just sit back and watch the wishlists roll in!
To pitch your game for coverage, all journalists require a press kit with screenshots, banners, trailers, and other available materials ready for publication. Preparing a press kit is valuable for several reasons; beyond its requirement by journalists, it also prepares content for your social media and marketing materials for other outlets that choose to pick up your game. It’s an opportunity to showcase your game’s artwork, catchy title, or gripping trailer and drive traffic to your Steam page for further information. Digital press kits have become the standard; however, consider the benefit of physical press kits. If you’re planning an influencer campaign or would like the attention of a large media outlet, sending a physical press kit differentiates you from the hundreds of emails they receive daily. A physical package includes custom merchandise, keys, and small props that can be featured on stream or as a desk accessory. Physical press kits are a pricier option. However, if you’re looking for the notice of high-profile streamers and journalists to encourage traffic to your Steam page, they are a worthwhile investment.
Throughout the year, Steam frequently hosts sales for currently published games and spotlights newly released demos. Steam Next Fest, occurring three times a year, boasts the opportunity to highlight your game and drive wishlist numbers. During Steam Next Fest, a game demo must be available, and your Steam page should be updated with the latest graphics and gameplay details. Streams are also encouraged during Steam Next Fest, so setting aside time to stream–or pre-recording gameplay to put on loop that week–will get more eyes on your game. When selecting one of the three dates to participate in, select the Steam Next Fest closest to your game’s release; recent wishlists are more likely to convert to sales! To garner attention for your demo during Next Fest, draft and distribute a press release announcing your participation; many outlets spotlight their favorite games during the festival, and a press release is a great way to draw attention. They can be challenging to draft with little experience–and difficult to distribute without the proper contacts and software–so let us know when you need your next press release!
Generating wishlists cannot be reduced to a science, and there are no guarantees these approaches will work best for you. However, investing time into your Steam page, staying consistent on social media, and pushing the message out about your release are positive business practices. Send us a message for a more tailored approach to increasing interest in your game, and we’ll find what’s right for you!