You’ve gone through hell to complete your film. Kudos to you! Whether it’s a short or a feature film, now is the time to think about promotion.
The traditional route would involve taking your film on the festival circuit. You may be discouraged to find that your film is one among thousands, now that it seems like everyone with a digital camera is making movies. Your film may have an important message that can change the world, but unless you know how to market it, no one will see your film. Even Star Wars would have been a sleeper without effective promotion.
When I started out as a filmmaker, I quickly realized that I would need to develop ancillary skills, so I formed my media company iTiger Media and started contracting myself out. Soon I was building websites and marketing films for major studios. I learned a lot about what it takes to get your film out there and I want to share some techniques that will help you.
Nothing is worse than bringing your film to life only to see it go nowhere as no one sees it. Not only should your film garner thousands of views, but it should be the springboard that launches your filmmaking career. Because filmmaking is expensive and time consuming, it’s important to get it right! Your goal should be to find an audience while attracting the attention of major Hollywood players! These are some of the powerful techniques I have developed to get your film seen! For more techniques subscribe to my YouTube Channel http://www.ronkarmstrong.com.
- Before writing your script, consider the subjects currently trending on social media. Utilizing trending topics-which have a built-in audience-can attact lots of views. Again, take your queue from these topics only if they make sense in the context of your story. Don’t choose trending topics just to get views; use themes that resonate with you and help to fuel your artistic vision.
- Create a killer website. Your film website should align with the themes of your film and engage your audience. For example, for my short film “War is a Bitch,” we created a war game to attract views and keep people engaged. Don’t rely on a basic website composed of just a video player.
- Create memes with the film website URL superimposed on them. Interesting film stills turned into viral memes could gain you a large following.
- Splinter your artwork. Once you’ve created a movie poster for your film, splinter it by creating individual posters for each main character. Additionally, add intriguing captions to give viewers more insight into the characters and their backstories, which will create more interest in the film.
- Utilize social media. Create pages on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and invite influential figures people to like and follow the film. Be sure to include a link back to your website for additional information on your film.
- Become a member of several relevant Facebook groups and periodically send your poster, artwork and trailer out to those groups. Schedule your social media posts strategically so you don’t become annoying and lose viewers. Being a regular contributor to these groups will help you remain credible while generating publicity.
- Purchase Facebook ads to promote your film. These ads are inexpensive and can be targeted to specific individuals and demographic groups, bringing enormous attention to your film.
- Create a press release at each production milestone and distribute it to news outlets. Many major media outlets will not run your press releases, but the key is to keep releasing them. It’s also important to tell the story of the film’s origins and its significance to your life. Everyone loves inspirational stories and movie audiences are no exception.
- Upload your film to popular videos sites like YouTube and Vimeo. YouTube is the leader, but don’t discount the other video sites. Be sure to include URLs to your film website and all social media sites. Try posting short clips of the best scenes on Instagram, as they will gain interest and have more potential to go viral.
- Create 5×7 postcards and business cards and hand them out at every opportunity. Present an interesting, thematic business card to everyone you meet and take the opportunity to introduce yourself and your film. Active networking is crucial for generating publicity and forming industry relationships.
Bonus Tip: Put your film’s URL and tagline in your email signature. You send thousands of emails each year and each one is an advertising opportunity. Imagine that every person who receives and email from you also clicks the URL and learns about your film?
These are just some of my powerful techniques to promote your film. As a master marketer, I have studied and tested all types of techniques, from NLP selling skills to subliminal/hypnotic techniques. These techniques all work, but it’s important to find the right technique for your film. Lack of attention to marketing during the writing process cripples many filmmakers. Build your audience during the film’s inception to ensure a successful launch. Good luck!