The future of advertising is on the Internet. This is not up for debate. Over the last decade, the Web has revolutionized the way in which the public chooses what products to consume, especially in regards to the film industry. Recent productions, from Juno to Snakes on a Plane, have found an audience thanks in large part to popular Internet campaigns. It is clear that in today’s world, a strong web presence is absolutely essential to any film’s success.
So, at this point, filmmakers should be asking themselves, “What are the best ways to market my work on the Web?” Well, while there’s not a single laundry list of steps to follow towards success, several proven methods can be highlighted. Here are a few of the most tried and true…
1. Make a plan – The campaigns that succeed are the ones that are highly organized. Remember that the marketing process evolves as hype builds, so make sure to keep up with your own success. Offer regular updates on your website. And, if you don’t think you can keep up, seek help!
2. Socialize – The internet is a powerful social weapon. Interact with your audience on a level they’re familiar with, and they’ll be more receptive to your product. The options to achieve this goal are endless: Learn how to create and manage a successful blog, set up your own Myspace page, create a Facebook group, or hell, just start your own podcast!
3. Seek Allies- The internet can be a lonely place, so, try to make some friends in high places. Link to Alpha Bloggers to increase your traffic, research already established sites that help market and sell films (Some good ones are Digimart, Working Films, Create Space, and Indie GoGo) or, if your film supports a relevant cause, seek out a partnership with a nonprofit (a good list of nonprofits can be found here.)
4. Discover Web Tools – the Web is full of little widgets created to help spruce up your presence. Use Twitter to keep your audience constantly up to date, Technorati and Del.icio.us to track what others are saying about your film, and Stumble Upon and MyBlogLog to increase traffic and hone in on your demographic.
5. Stream, Stream, Stream! – One of the best ways to get people interested in your film is to actually show them part of it! Think about setting up a page on a popular streaming video site such as Youtube or Dailymotion. Once you’re registered, upload content such as trailers and clips. For a list of great streaming sites, see Raindance’s Top 10 Websites To Watch Movies On.
6. Set up a mailing list – A mailing list is a great way to keep people up to date and personally invested in your project. And don’t underestimate the allure of Free Stuff. Offer promotional contests and ticket giveaways, and an audience will naturally follow.
7. Don’t Forget the Real World – In today’s web dominated world, it is easy for marketers to overlook good old fashioned networking. But, if you want your film to reach its maximum audience, you’ve got to get out there! Attend film festivals, conventions, and local events.
Article written by Dan Schoenbrun and originally appeared in Raindance.com. Dan Schoenbrun is currently an intern at Raindance. He is studying abroad through Boston University’s London Internship Program, where he has learned many hard truths about his own shortcomings and those of the Western world.