Making an independent movie or a short is no small task. The input needed from a few people is generally huge for the production process to be successful. Writing, directing, lighting, shooting, all matter of jobs can be undertaken by just one person. One less prominent task is film promotion. For any film, promotion is essential for its reception, without it, your masterpiece might never even be watched 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 going over 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 to stick around until the end to make sure you don’t miss any tips or tricks!
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 good expectations or seen an enticing trailer, nobody will watch your film. Especially for a niche or indie film, you have a very specific target audience. You need to promote your movie to these people as much as possible ahead of the release date.
Before we dig in, do actors get paid to promote a movie? Well, it depends on their contract.
In some contracts, it states an actor will get no extra compensation for promotions. Any trailer or featuring advertisement can be used freely by the production company. If this is not stated in the contract, however, the production company will have to pay compensation for any promotion including the actor.
Alternatively, the actor’s studio might pay the production company for the promotion themselves. The promotion not only benefits the film but the actor too. If the production company did not plan on featuring the actor in any promotion, the actor’s studio may pay them to do so.
Now that we have established the importance of film promotion, it’s time to get into the best ways to promote a movie! Let’s get into it.
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 be able to grab people’s attention like a trailer will. Being a filmmaker, you should be an expert at this. Nobody will be able to condense a few engaging scenes into a trailer that showcases the potential of your movie like you can. A sneak peek at what’s to come will be worth more than most other means of setting a film up for release.
Upload your trailer to YouTube and Vimeo and give the world an insight into how amazing your film is going to be. You can then find sites targeting indie productions for example and then have your trailer uploaded there, making it available to a more relevant audience.
For more information on movie trailers, check out our guide on How To Make A Movie Trailer For Beginners.
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 showcase yourself as a respectable movie producer through this will increase the chances of the success of your film. People with an interest in filmmaking might come across your blog and then want to see the final product when it’s released.
Additionally, blogs can serve as a place to build a portfolio. If you have any past successes, you can share some related content about these past works on your blog. Seeing you have previous success, people are all the more likely to expect good things from your new release. If a film of yours made it into the box office, you want as many people to know as possible.
Setting up a website for your film might sound strange, but stay with us.
If you’re working on an independent project, watchers are likely to have some interest in the process and inspirations for the film. Instead of being made by a huge production company, the film is more personal and is created through passion. A website is a perfect place for dedicated followers to stay in touch with updates and news.
Making announcements and providing news about your film will leave people feeling you are a professional filmmaker who is working on a coherent project. Of course, this is true, but you need to convince audiences of this. Providing new content will keep audiences interested throughout the remainder of the production process.
Undoubtedly social media will have some part to play in any new movie promotion.
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the usual platforms for social networking. When used correctly, they can be powerful tools and should be used to best promote your film to a wide audience.
Post all about your upcoming film and connect with people who appear interested in similar areas. Make the best use of hashtags and target audiences who are searching the tags. Have a look at what related tags are trending and use them to boost the reach of your posts. This is a less targeted means of promotion but is perfect for reaching out to a wider audience.
Stories are a good tool for how to promote a movie on Instagram. You can give regular updates without posting too much and overfilling people’s feeds.
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 grab audiences’ attention long before a film’s release. To gain funding, you will have to showcase your project to convince people it’s worth investing in. Not only will anybody investing want to watch the film upon release, but the campaign will grab others’ attention too. Anyone who invests will also do their bit to help promote your film.
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 film industry professionals. They will be able to see the potential of your film and consider investing or aiding production. Simply having your film discussed at the festival will have a positive impact.
Furthermore, you could receive a review or award at the festival. Reviews are a great way to prove your film is critically successful which is currently very important compared to the film industry 20 years ago. Awards obviously have a huge impact on your film. Getting this public and professional recognition will boost the scope of your film massively.
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 announcements for the film and when the release date will be. Keeping these interested people updated will keep their attention on your film.
We’ve already discussed making a trailer, but teasers can be just as useful.
Making a teaser gives audiences a small insight into what’s to come. Not enough where they know what the film is about, but just enough to get a feel for the style of the film. This small peek not only attracts interested audiences but makes them want to see more. We don’t want a small insight, we want a comprehensive look into the film. Audiences will then stay around to wait for the trailer to get more details.
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 making an online promotion, you are making the effort to involve audiences and showcase your dedication as a filmmaker.
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 to talk positively about your film, wider audiences are all the more likely to take an interest.
Before you go off to promote your new film, take a look at our promoting tips first.
Your trailers will be available to a wide audience who potentially don’t even like the genre of your film. Targeting people you know have interests in related films is the best way to get a positive response.
Social media is the best way to find your target audience. Hashtags will let you see who is posting and talking about relevant content. Look at projects similar to yours and connect with the people who followed and supported them. Join conversations about the genre of film you are making. Get your name and upcoming movie into every niche area of the internet that is related to your production.
If you get good press, audiences will trust your film is a success. Press releases, interviews, reviews, etc are all equally good methods to do this.
Get your film featured on any blog you find, contact people asking for them to interview you about the production process. Target as many different ways to gain positive press as possible. Any chance of that press being on TV or radio will showcase your upcoming project to a huge audience.
For smaller, independent producers, seeing others succeed is welcomed. Working on these personal projects is a beautiful side of the film industry that small filmmakers have a huge passion for. Ask for their advice!
See what promotional techniques they used, ask what went wrong for them. Get any advice they are willing to give it. There is nothing more useful than experience. If you don’t have much, try to get the input of others who do.
That was our film promotion guide!
A movie’s promotion is as important as any stage within the production process. A small initial audience and lack of attention could render all your efforts worthless. You need to ensure your hard work doesn’t go to waste and set your film up for the best possible release.
There is always more to be done with promotion. When you think you’ve done everything you can, think again and evaluate your film marketing strategy. There is no such thing as over-promoting. The more people who hear about your film before the release date, the better!
Have you ever promoted your own movie? If so, we’d love to hear about your film promotion in the comment section below! Also, be sure to share this article across your socials with your fellow filmmakers and tag us @musicgateway!
Whilst you’re here, why not read up on some of our other film industry articles? Our guides on How To Network In The Film Industry, Pre-Production Checklist For Filmmakers, and How To Make A Storyboard For Film In 4 Easy Steps are all perfect sources of useful information.
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