Making a kick-ass game is step 1 to getting known, but the internet is a very LOUD place, and it's hard for people to find you. World of Goo is a good example of something getting known simply for being innovative. Winning IGF is tons of low-cost/low-effort publicity, and a check for 20 grand makes marketing easier.
But very few people are going to win IGF. Far less publicity goes to the runners-up.
The Wolfire team had a decent blog entry about how to keep interest in a game through development so you already have some interest by release time: http://blog.wolfire.com/2008/12/6-tips-for-game-devs-from-the-gaming-sdforum/
You don't have to be terribly business savvy; sometimes it can even be a turn-off. You just have to bring as much creativity to your publicity as you do to your game.