Odds are good your movie website sucks.
I know this because I have worked in indie movie marketing and distribution for years. And I can tell you that most filmmakers screw up their movie website. . .
So today we are going to fix that. But first, a little context. . .
By now you know that indie filmmaking as we once knew it is dead.
Sure. There are a lot of old hat yahoos touting foreign pre-sales and DVD distribution. But those “gurus” are faddy-duddies. They are still talking old school. Movie distribution is shifting away from theatrical and DVD into the new world of video on demand.
This means that your audience will most likely discover your movie through one of the many internet based platforms, including iTunes, Amazon, Hulu and more. And guess what?
Even if you don’t like the idea, YOU are responsible for sending targeted traffic to your movie website. (The distributor is not responsible for this – Sorry.)
Does Your Movie Website Suck?
If you already have a movie website, then you need to ask yourself some tough questions.
Here are 5 movie website tips to help you avoid common movie website blunders:
1. Nobody cares about cast and crew bios – unless you are trying to get people to BUY NOW. If that’s the case, you can rest assured people won’t BUY NOW. They will spend all their time reading about your cast and crew… And after they read about your actors, they will exit your site.
2. You have a bunch of reviews on your site with links to the review sites. You can now send your prospective paying audience to another website… Where they can not only read your reviews, but they can also read the reviews of other, competing movies and BUY THERE. Awesome!
3. You decided that paying for a 3rd party email service is not worth the cost. So you decide to forgo all list building efforts. Because, after all – your list is your business. And without a list, you have no business. But somehow the $19 dollars a month for your Audience List is still too expensive (Aweber pays me to promote. But there are others, like Mail Chimp and Constant Contact and Vertical Response.)
4. Google Analytics is too complicated. So you decided not to include it or track visitor data. As a result, you think people are coming to your site. But you aren’t sure where they come from, what pages they visit and most importantly – you have no clue which pages your visitors exit from.
5. Instead of paying to have your site optimized for SEO, you decided instead to have your kid cousin create the site. It looks awesome, by the way. Full of all sorts of stuff that increases load time and confuses search engines. Nice work!
Obviously, I am taking on a satirical tone. But it’s for your own good. Working with several filmmaker clients, I see a lot of websites that look awesome. But they do nothing to entice someone to click the BUY NOW button.
Work With A Great Hosting Company
If you have a movie website, having great hosting is essential. Over the years, I have utilized www.MovieSiteHost.com for most of my websites. (This is my Bluehost affiliate link – they pay me to promote.) Any time I had any concern, the folks at Bluehost were quick to answer my calls, and I reached a live person.
Anyway – I write this for two reasons:
- Make sure you back up your site.
- And make sure you use a good hosting company for your movie web site.
Hope this helps you avoid the same mistakes I made. Working with a great hosting company is essential. Doing so can help you avoid movie website madness. Especially when your movie business depends on someone clicking your BUY NOW button.
Speaking of the BUY NOW button, every serious filmmaker should check out The Indie Producer’s Guide To Modern Movie Distribution. It costs less than a dinner and a movie, but it provides over a half-decade of movie marketing information. To find out more about film distribution guide, click here.