You’re finally done with the post-production of your film and it’s time for your indie film premiere. Time to rejoice and take a looooong break! You deserve it. Sorry to burst your bubble, but you still have to do some film marketing. The best time to market your film is during production, the next best time to market your film is yesterday. Here are some of the things you have to prepare before your indie film premiere:
1. Prepare your merch
Print those tees and have those custom buttons made weeks before the opening of your film. Not only will merch help market your film better, they also give you extra income. There’s no better place to sell your movie merch than right outside the cinema. There’s no better time to sell your merch than during screenings. More fitting if you’re releasing in theaters and screening in smaller venues than in festivals.
This is pretty much your business card. Do not go to a film festival if you’re not equipped with good-looking postcards of your film. Make sure you put a short synopsis at the back and other important information like the duration, formats, website and contact information.
3. Facebook Event
It’s a must nowadays if you want to be seen in social media. Facebook event is also a good place to find out an estimate of the number of people who are willing to watch your film. Plus, it’s a good way to get access to these people. Just click their profiles and you’ll find out what they’re like and how to market better.
4. Contest for tickets.
Throw some contests to get more people talking. You can also give away some merch if you can afford some. This will increase your movie’s visibility. However, you have to be extra careful that it won’t get tacky. Your contests should be tastefully done and should definitely be not annoying.
5. Pre-sell tickets at discounted rates.
Cheaper tickets would convince the ones who are interested and mildly interested to make a purchase.
6. Invite influencers to watch your movie.
This will hopefully give you good reviews. Invite them to watch your movie so they’ll share how awesome it is. Maybe it’s great if you have a few friends who have good followers, but that’s simply not enough. Target on 100 or more influencers and bloggers. Of course, you might have to pay some of them but if you have friends who are willing to Tweet about your film, then that’s a big help for your promotion already.
According to Getfluence, the film industry has begun to fully engage with influencer marketing and is therefore wooing relevant bloggers. For example, before the release of a movie, it is recommended to invite them at least to the preview. A blogger is basically an enthusiast, so it’s easy to find proposals and partnerships: to get coverage during filming, offer a YouTuber an interview with an actor or invite them to an event.
These are just the basics but they’re still overwhelming. If you have more money to spare, it’s a good idea to hire a PR and marketing person for your film. If you don’t want to spend another dime, then designate the tasks to your crew, friends, and family. It might seem like a very tedious job, and it is, but it’s something you have to do. Film, like any art, has to be consumed in order for it to be sustainable. That’s why aside from talent, good marketing skills is a must!
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD/vinyl and merch company in LA.