The Filmmaking Stuff 12 Week MovieMaker Marketing Plan consists of movie marketing activities that you can implement in your current filmmaking project. The goal of this strategy is provide you with simple, cost effective ways to build buzz and create community around your title, so you can sell your movie.
Week 1 – Define Your Movie’s Target Audience
Every week at least one filmmaker emails me with something like this: “I made a movie and we just won best picture at a regional festival you never heard of! Since my movie appeals to every man, woman and child on the planet, I want to sell it for a million dollars? How do I make this happen?”
Can you understand why this sentiment is seriously flawed? While I appreciate the ambition and think all filmmakers need to think big and hope for the best, the reality is this: distribution dictates profit. And if your movie does not have enough juice to get a an awesome distribution deal, your returns will be limited by your own marketing and distribution efforts.
The truth is, most film distribution deals suck. And without a marketing budget to reach a global audience, you must focus on finding your niche audience. One of the first places to find your audience is the local newsstand. If there are print magazines devoted to your movie subject, then those subscribers are part of your target audience. In addition to print, you will want to explore the Internet for online publications.
Open up a spreadsheet and add these publications to your list. Your goal is to create a database of the top fifty publications geared towards your niche audience.
Make a list of 5 ideal movie fan categories for your title
Once you create your list of print publications catering to your niche, your next step is to understand your audience. To do this, reach out to the top ten publications on your list and ask them to forward information about their subscriber demographics. Since magazine revenue is based on understanding their subscribers, most established publications will have this info readily available.
From there, you will want to study this info and get to know your audience. Who are these people? Are they primarily men? Women? Teenagers? Do they have jobs? Are they business owners or unemployed? What is the average income? Are they college educated? Do they live in the city or on the farm? From this information, create audience profiles for five ideal types of movie fans that you want to target within your niche.
Figure out why these fans should watch your movie.
In addition to getting inside the head of your audience, your next task is to figure out why these people enjoy your genre. Why would they want to watch your movie? What makes your movie unique from the other, competing movies in existence? How will your movie to appeal to viewing needs of your audience?
Filmmaking Stuff Action Steps
1. Who is your primary target audience?
Ex: Mid-west, male college kids who love zombie movies.
2. What makes your movie different from competing movies?
Ex: Our movie is about zombies that attack ninjas.
3. Why should your audience spend two hours watching your movie?
Ex: Fangoria says: Funniest zombie movie since Shaun of the Dead!
Taking time to understand your audience will enable you to create an image of your ideal audience member. This information will then be utilized when you create and refine your marketing message.
If you have a movie you’re looking to sell, you may also want to check out How To Sell Your Movie.