Making an independent film or a short film is not an easy task. the input needed from a few people is usually huge for the production process to be successful. writing, directing, lighting, filming, all jobs can be done by one person. a less prominent task is film promotion. For any film, promotion is essential to its reception; without it, your masterpiece may not even be seen in the first place. In this article, we will cover the importance of movie promotion and how to promote a movie.
Getting film promotion right is imperative for the success of a film. This shouldn’t be an aspect of filmmaking that is overlooked but rather focused on as a crucial factor. Hitting the nail on the head can generate success beyond what you originally imagined. Likewise, missing the opportunity can set your movie up for failure.
We will discuss some film promotion techniques after reviewing the importance of film marketing for any production. Following these steps should set you up for a generally successful promotion of your new release.
Make sure you stay until the end so you don’t miss any tips and tricks!
why promote your film?
Having a great film on your hands isn’t enough to make it a success. You have to convince people of this first before they will watch it. Long before a film release, you need to start marketing and set it up for a good receival.
If people haven’t heard high expectations or seen a tantalizing trailer, no one will see your movie. especially for an independent or niche film, you have a very specific target audience. you need to promote your film to these people as much as possible before the release date.
Are actors paid to promote movies?
Before we dig in, do actors get paid to promote a movie? Well, it depends on their contract.
In some contracts, it is established that an actor will not receive additional compensation for promotions. any trailer or featured advertisement may be freely used by the production company. however, if this is not stipulated in the contract, the production company will have to pay compensation for any promotions that include the actor.
Alternatively, the actor’s studio could pay the production company for the promotion. the promotion not only benefits the film but also the actor. If the production company wasn’t planning on featuring the actor in any promotions, the actor’s studio may pay them to do so.
10 ways to promote a movie
Now that we’ve established the importance of movie promotion, it’s time to learn about the best ways to promote a movie! let’s get into it.
1. make a trailer
This is the most common and obvious means to promote a film. No matter what other techniques you employ, trailers are probably the most powerful tool to gain eager watchers.
Nothing will grab people’s attention quite like a trailer. being a filmmaker, you should be an expert in this. Nobody will be able to condense some attractive scenes into a trailer that shows the potential of your movie like you. a sneak preview of what’s to come will be worth more than most other means of preparing a movie for release.
upload your trailer to youtube and vimeo and show the world how amazing your movie will be. You can then find sites geared towards independent productions, for example, and then upload your trailer there, making it available to a more relevant audience.
To learn more about movie trailers, check out our guide on how to make a movie trailer for beginners.
2. make a blog
Blogs can be the perfect place to promote your movie. If you share some related content such as the process behind making the movie or the inspiration for the movie, you’re bound to grab some extra attention.
Being able to show yourself as a respectable movie producer through this will increase your movie’s chances of success. people interested in film may find your blog and then want to see the final product when it is released.
In addition, blogs can serve as a place to create a portfolio. If you have past successes, you can share content related to these past jobs on your blog. Seeing that you’ve been successful in the past, people are more likely to expect good things from your new release. if a movie of yours made it to the box office, you want as many people as possible to know about it.
3. make a website
Setting up a website for your film might sound strange, but stay with us.
If you’re working on an independent project, viewers are likely to be interested in the process and inspirations for the film. Instead of being made by a big production company, the film is more personal and created through passion. A website is a perfect place for dedicated followers to stay in touch with updates and news.
Making announcements and news about your film will make people feel like you’re a professional filmmaker working on a cohesive project. Of course this is true, but you have to convince the public of this. providing new content will keep the audience engaged throughout the rest of the production process.
4. social networks
Undoubtedly social media will have some part to play in any new movie promotion.
facebook, instagram and twitter are the usual platforms for social networks. When used correctly, they can be powerful tools and should be used to better promote your film to a wide audience.
Post all about your upcoming film and connect with people who seem interested in similar areas. make the most of hashtags and the target audience searching for tags. Take a look at the trending related tags and use them to increase the reach of your posts. This is a less targeted means of promotion, but it is perfect for reaching a larger audience.
stories are a good tool to promote a movie on instagram. you can provide regular updates without posting too much and not cluttering people’s feeds too much.
5. set up a crowdfunder
If you’re making an independent or indie movie, you’ve likely considered using a crowdfunding campaign. This is a great way to gain investment to finance production. However, this also serves a digital marketing purpose.
A crowdfunding campaign is another way to capture the attention of the public long before a movie is released. To get funding, you’ll need to showcase your project to convince people that it’s worth investing in. not only will anyone who invests want to see the film once it is released, but the campaign will also grab the attention of others. anyone who invests will also do their bit to help promote your film.
6. have your film presented at a festival
For any smaller production, you want to look at getting your film into a film festival. For indie movies especially, this is generally essential for the success of the film. This provides many more opportunities than just gaining a potential audience.
Film festivals bring together a multitude of professionals from the film industry. they will be able to see the potential of your film and consider investing or helping the production. simply having your film discussed at the festival will have a positive impact.
Also, you could receive a review or an award at the festival. Reviews are a great way to show that your film is a critical success, which is very important today compared to the film industry 20 years ago. awards obviously have a big impact on your film. achieving this public and professional recognition will greatly boost the reach of your film.
7. collect email addresses
You will be able to do this if you have a website for your film like we previously mentioned. Gather the emails of your website’s visitors through the use of a call to action form, or an RSS feed. You can then evaluate the type of people who sign up and use this to target your audience.
Send promotional emails with movie announcements and when the release date will be. keeping these interested people up to date will keep their attention on your film.
8. make a preview
We’ve already discussed making a trailer, but teasers can be just as useful.
Showing a sneak peek gives the audience a little taste of what’s to come. not enough to know what the movie is about, but enough to get a feel for the style of the movie. this little glimpse not only engages interested audiences, it makes them want to see more. we don’t want a little idea, we want a complete look at the movie. the public will be left waiting for the trailer to get more details.
9. organize an event
Running an event to promote your film can be more impactful than other methods. If people attend an event about your film they are likely to remember it and what to see the final work after having a look at the people and process involved. They have an incentive to seek the film out when it is released.
Instead of just doing an online promotion, you’re making an effort to engage the audience and show your dedication as a filmmaker.
10. make people talk
Getting people to discuss your film is a powerful marketing technique. People can often not trust trailers or reviews and have second thoughts about a film. We all know an amazing trailer doesn’t mean the film is going to blow us away. Having someone they trust to talk about your film will reassure them it is not a false statement to increase profit.
If people start talking positively about your film, it’s more likely that a wider audience will take an interest.
3 important tips to promote your film
Before you go off to promote your new film, take a look at our promoting tips first.
target your specific audience
Your trailers will be available to a wide audience that may not even like the genre of your movie. Targeting people who you know have interests in related movies is the best way to get a positive response.
social networks are the best way to find your target audience. Hashtags will allow you to see who is posting and talking about relevant content. Check out projects similar to yours and connect with the people who followed and supported them. Join conversations about the genre of the movie you’re making. Put your name and your upcoming movie in every niche area of the internet that is related to your production.
get good press
If you get good press, the public will trust that your film is a success. press releases, interviews, reviews, etc. are equally good methods to do so.
Get your film featured on any blog you find, contact people to ask them to interview you about the production process. target as many different ways as possible to get positive press. Any chance that press is on TV or radio will showcase your next project to a large audience.
contact other producers
For smaller independent producers, it’s welcome to see others succeed. working on these personal projects is a beautiful side of the film industry that little filmmakers have a great passion for. ask for their advice!
see what promotion techniques they used, ask what went wrong. Take any advice they are willing to give you. there is nothing more useful than experience. if you don’t have much, try to get the opinion of others who do.
that was our film promotion guide
That was our film promotion guide!
The promotion of a film is as important as any stage in the production process. a small initial audience and a lack of attention could render all your efforts useless. You need to make sure your hard work doesn’t go to waste and prepare your movie for the best release possible.
There is always more to do with promotion. When you think you’ve done all you can, think again and evaluate your film marketing strategy. There is no such thing as excessive promotion. the more people know about your movie before the release date, the better!
Have you ever promoted your own movie? If so, we’d love to hear about promoting your movie in the comments section below! Also, be sure to share this article on social media with your fellow filmmakers and tag us @musicgateway!
While you’re here, why not read some of our other articles on the film industry? Our guides on how to network in the film industry, the pre-production checklist for filmmakers, and how to storyboard a film in 4 easy steps are perfect sources of useful information.
Are you a filmmaker?
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