Welcome to the MatcherinoBlog, this post is part of our “LevelUp Series”, where we help you get the most out of your events.
Today we’re going to talk about an extremely important part of running a tournament, promoting!
There is an old rule in salesman world. “If you’re not talking about it, you’re not selling it!” Keep that in mind when you are running your event. You can have the best teams, the best rewards and the biggest venue in the world but nobody will get involved unless they know about it. Although you are not directly selling an item you’re selling your event and yourself as a tournament organizer to people. You’re asking people to donate their time and/or money to your cause, so you gotta make it exciting!
Promoting is a tricky beast but with our help, you will have more success.
First things first, make sure you have time to promote. A quick pop up tournament is fine here and there but chances are you want your events to be as successful as they can be. Giving yourself as much time as possible is crucial to a good campaign. A month window to set up and promote your event is perfect. This will give people time to plan to compete in the tournament and you time to spread the word.
There are numerous ways to promote, here are our favorites.
As I’m sure you are aware, fans of games create communities. Forums are the traditional method but, with Reddit and Discord being popular options,there are a whole lot more communities than before.
If you have a tournament you can bet there will be tons of players who want to join but don’t know about it. By spreading the word about your tournament you’re helping giving them an avenue to compete in and growing your community of players!
Finding these communities is easy, a bit of google fu or a reddit search will guide you in the right direction. Make sure you do some recon before you start communicating with the community, although many communities flourish and have tons of great people, some die and become abandoned. You don’t want to spin your wheels by yelling into the void.
Be careful though, when you approach any of these places you want to come correct. Read the rules of the forum/subreddit/discord server before you run around promoting your event. Every place has it’s rules and you want to abide by them. Most of the time messaging a mod is your best bet when you want to promote.
Message a mod and tell them who you are, what event you’re running and what you are looking to do. The best way to approach that message is that you want more players in your tournament. Make sure you are exact in how much it will cost for a player to play. Ask the mod if it is ok to promote your event on their main forum/reddit/discord chat and if not, respect their decision. A simple “Hey I understand, thanks for taking the time to talk to me” will go along a lot better rather than you defying them and promoting your event anyhow.
If you need help, here is an example of a good message to the mods, just remove the parenthesis and plug in the appropriate information.
My name is (your name) and I’m running a (insert game name) tournament on (date and time). I wanted to ask if it was ok to promote my event on your (Forum/subreddit/ discord). Here is a link to our event where you can find out more information (provide link to your Matcherino page) . The entry fee per person/team is (entry fee) and we are expecting a prize pool of (amount of your expected prize pool). We would love to have players from your community join us!
If you have any questions feel free to ask and thank you for your time,
It is important to note that coming to a forum/subreddit/discord server shouldn’t look like you’re asking for a handout. Having a prize pool that grows way past your goal is a good thing but that shouldn’t be the only thing you are concerned with. Having an event that is well put together that people enjoy participating in is more important. You are there to spread the word about your event, invite players and get to know fellow tournament organizers.Going into the discussion asking for donations doesn’t look good and will push people away from you as a tournament organizer.
Social media is an excellent way to promote your event, it’s free and it can reach hundreds if not thousands of eyeballs.
For our examples today, we’ll use Twitter.
Twitter has a massive user base that has many powerful tools for you to utilize.Connecting to your community, players and fellow organizers is easy, all you need is a solid tweet.
Tweeting for fun is easy, tweeting to promote is vastly different. Getting your point across in 140 characters (soon to be 280?)or less while generating buzz for your event can prove difficult.The best way to look at it is to create a tweet that people WANT to interact with. Think of it like a party, the more energy it has the more people will want to be a part of it!
Here is a good example on a tweet that got a good response.
By using the buzz that people already have about Daigo’s (awesome) book we were able to generate attention for this King of Fighters tournament. We aso threw in a fun emoji to add a little flair to the tweet. Over 53,000 people saw this tweet and brought some good attention to the tournament we wanted to promote. Again, we use excitement and energy to our advantage and this tweet was successful!
We mentioned earlier about the tools that twitter has for you, so let’s dive into that.
The infamous hashtag, subject of many jokes and a comedy sketch or two. Don’t sleep on using hashtags in your tweets, they can turn an average tweet into one that grabs the attention of someone and gets them involved with your (awesome) event.
Here is how hashtags work.
Think of the hashtag as a flag for others to see,it makes it easier for people to search for a certain topic easier. If someone is looking for Street Fighter on Twitter, they may stumble upon your event and check it out. Hashtags also trigger certain accounts to auto retweet or follow whichever account used that hashtag. The more retweets, the more eyeballs that will see it.
There are also “official” hashtags so use them if they’re available! Publishers definitely have them set up for a reason and you can be sure that using them will help you bring attention to your event.
The human eyeball is attracted to movement so adding an animated .gif helps catch attention and it can add a nice twist to your tweet. You have a .gif button for a reason, use it to your advantage! It is also important to note that animated .gifs do not use any of your character limit, so it makes planning your tweet out a bit easier.
Animated .Gif Pro Tip- Animated .Gifs are an excellent way to convey the emotion behind your tweet. Words on a screen are hard to convey the right emotion you are going for so an animated .gif truly can set the right tone for your tweet.
Have your community help
Alerting your community of your event page is an important step in having a good event. Make sure to tag them in the post using the @ function on twitter so they see the tweet. Don’t be afraid to reply to the tweet and tagging more people, spread the word. Your community wants growth as much as you do and they will help in any way they can.
Here is an example of how tagging your community can help spread the word and get more eyeballs on the event.
At the time of this writing, 42 retweets and hundreds of eyeballs have found out about this event. Tagging community was a great idea since it alerted them and they helped spread the word by retweeting.
In short, twitter can be an immensely powerful tool if used right. Use it to promote your event, showcase rewards you have on the page, and keep the audience updated on bracket standings.
A night where you stream some of your community members scrimmaging can be a lot of fun! Players get to test the waters against each other and you can generate excitement for the event you’re hosting. Typically having it two weeks before your event works best.That way people can plan ahead to watch or participate in your tournament.
During the stream use our custom overlay so people can see how the prize pool is doing. Have your casters talk about the prize pool during downtime between matches so the online audience knows about it and wants to get involved. Showcase what rewards you have on your page, your stretch goals, etc and always give a shout out to people who donate.People love hearing their name and by thanking them you can generate excitement.
Where is the custom overlay?
Check out the “Widgets” tab under “Admin” on your page to find them. Use them in your favorite streaming software at your leisure. We suggest toying with them before your stream so you know exactly how to work them.
Networking, social media and streaming are just three ways you can get the word out about your next event.There are many other ways to promote your event, these examples are not comprehensive so don’t be afraid to experiment and get creative with your ideas.We hope this post helped you promote your next event, next week we’re going to discuss ticketing, so stay tuned!