The internet has had a major impact on the film industry over the last decade. Initially, there was a concern that the internet would threaten the entire film business as online piracy sites saw annual box office ticket sales decline massively and consistently each year since 2002. Source – www.the-numbers.com/market However, as a whole the film industry today is booming. Overall, gross revenue in the last ten years has doubled with the help of, rather than despite, the internet.
How has the internet helped?
Film studios and film makers have had to adapt to take advantage of the internet and the power of social media. In an interesting twist of fate, what used to be the enemy has transformed itself into the film marketer’s best friend as an inventive way to minimize the overall costs for distribution and marketing.
The Power of Social Media
Films are a social topic which means that social media networks are a fantastic platform for your campaign.
People love to share their opinions on films with their friends so social media platforms are the perfect place to encourage discussion. By creating word-of-mouth marketing on social media you can create a buzz around your film.
In this blog post I want to reveal how you can use social media to promote your films and create loyal, connected and active fans. Whether you’re a budding film maker or a larger studio with a budget you can use these tips to promote your movie online. These tips can also be used across genres and styles as long as you take care to understand your film’s specific audience.
1. Use multiple networks and don’t forget to integrate
Use different social platforms to make up a multi-channel strategy. I would most recommend Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Youtube. Make sure that you share content across all platforms and give them equal attention as your fans will always have their own preference. Use these tips to integrate your social networks:
- Integrate social networks by linking through from each platform. Always have buttons and mention your other platforms. An easy way of doing this is to create a Twitter tab on your Facebook page.
- Link to your website as well as relevant blogs, forums and reviews regularly.
- Encourage actors to be active on social media.
2. Be Interactive and use exclusive content
Once you have a base across each of your chosen social platforms make sure that you are interacting with your fans all of the time! Create meaningful discussions with these tips:
- Ask questions. Create polls and ask people for their opinion. Let your fans know that you value their comments.
- Post photos. Offer “exclusive” behind the scenes footage, crew photos and sneak previews to whet the appetite of your fans!
- Use different media. Post videos of interviews with actors and directors. Podcasts are great too. Why not take advantage of Instagram video and Vine?
- Run competitions. Give your fans the opportunity to meet the film’s stars, attend the premiere/launch or have an exclusive pre-screening. You could also ask your brand partners to be involved and offer a prize.
3. Create meaningful partnerships
One of the biggest tricks of the digital marketing industry is to join forces with others to form powerful partnerships. By doing this you will be able to reach a larger audience and with clever partnership choices you could access thousands of like-minded individuals who could become part of your film’s fan base. Involve your partners with your social media campaigns by following these steps:
- Create a partnership brand list. Make a list of all the brands that you feel would be a great fit for your film. Section your list into different categories such as products, restaurants, clothing, holiday destinations, gadgets and more. Think big! Make sure you include your ideal brands on the list. One thing that we must never forget in the world of marketing: if you don’t try, you won’t get!
- Let your brands know what they can expect from you. Firstly, you can offer them the association with your fantastic film. What else can you offer them? Free tickets to see the film or an exclusive ticket to the premiere? Brands want to look after their fans and so do you. What can you offer their existing fan base?
- Let them know what you’d like in return. If the fit is right, you can expect them to mention you across their brands social networking channels. They might also be able to host a banner or write a blog post or feature you in their newsletter. Again, think big – I recently went to a talk by the CEO for the mobile app Yplan on how he created a buzz around his product. Early on, in his marketing campaign he decided he would ask Stephen Fry to mention the App on Twitter. It took a little bit of hounding and a lot of luck but it paid off with a Tweet to over five million followers to kick start the publicity.
4. Ask your fans for content
A fantastic way to create active social campaigns is to encourage fans to create content themselves. This can be done in many different ways. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Create a Fan Art Gallery. Highly stylistic or fantastical films often inspire beautiful art work. You can ask your fans to create artwork and post the best pieces. This can also be a great idea for a competition.
- Offer your fans opportunities in return for content. Why not offer your film fans the opportunity to blog about your film, interview an actor or review a launch event? Target good writers with an active blog presence. Read my post on Blogger Outreach for more tips on this.
- Interview your fans. Offer your fans the opportunity to take the limelight. A recent example comes from the film Olympus who used Vine to film six second fan reviews following their exclusive advanced screenings.
- Film an event. Create an event for your film. How about a group interview with the director? Or a glamorous launch party where people dress as their favourite characters?
Promoting a documentary? Create an event to raise awareness around your film’s subject. A fantastic example of this comes from the documentary Ping Pong which ran an initiative to encourage elderly people to keep active by running table tennis events all over the UK.
5. Make a creative App for online, mobile and iPad
- Make a quiz. Test your fans’ knowledge to win prizes or view exclusive content have a peek at these guys.Get a developer on board to make an amazingly creative app for your film. These can be used to create interactive games and competitions. You can really think outside the box for this and it can also be a great way to earn revenue or collect data. Here are a few creative ideas:
- Unlock exclusive content. Watch trailers, download games or buy merchandise.
- Become a character! Take webcam photos and share them with friends or make decisions as your character.
These are just a few tips on how to create a kick-ass social media marketing strategy for your film. For more inspiration check out these innovative social media campaigns.