As a filmmaker your success depends on your ability to stand up and proclaim “I have a movie idea!” The trick is figuring out which of your many movie ideas actually have a chance of flickering across the big screen. And beyond imagination, which of your many movie ideas have the best chance for success?
As a serious entrepreneurial filmmaker you may have heard a lot of different advice when it comes to making movies. In fact most filmmakers will tell you it’s better to take action and do something rather than doing nothing. And while I agree with this sentiment, in a world flooded with cheaply produced backyard indies, I urge you take a few moments to consider your chances for making money.
Choose Your Movie Based on Demand
Before you turn your movie idea into a movie, I recommend that you consider your niche audience and create a marketing plan for reaching them.
What is Niche Movie Marketing?
Niche movie marketing is simply taking the time to evaluate how your movie ideas will relate to a very targeted audience. For example, the horror genre is very broad. It includes slasher flicks, stalker flicks, gore flicks, zombies, vampires, psychos and killer aliens. But using this example, your goal is to find a niche within the genre. Killer Clowns would be an even tighter niche. And Killer Clowns From Outer Space would be even tighter.
In the same regard, finding your movie marketing niche is not solely defined by the genre. For example, you might choose instead to market your movie to a particular demographic, such as college students. And in doing this, you may opt to focus all efforts on college publications and hosting screenings on campus.
You might even break it down further. Maybe you will choose to create an Amish Teen Horror movie and focus your marketing towards the Amish communities of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Idaho. In this context, your movie marketing niche would revolve around geography. By the way, I do not recommend creating an Amish Teen Horror, as the Amish are not a culture who watch movies.
So what is the major benefit for finding your movie marketing niche?
Movie Niche Internet Traffic
Many movie marketers have found out that trying to market to everybody is cost prohibitive. It is far easier to find your niche and concentrate all efforts to spreading word of mouth and encouraging audience engagement. In the years to come independent filmmakers will become increasingly dependent on internet traffic to drive movie sales.
If your movie website does not “speak” your visitor, then they will bounce off your movie website and never come back. It is significantly easier to sell your movie to someone who already loves the types of movies you’re selling. For example, a teen love story is not going to appeal to the same audience as the Killer Clown movie.
When you choose a movie idea that already has an established niche audience, it is much easier to optimize your movie website to not only attract your intended visitor, but convert these folks into paying movie watchers. These people come to your website because they are searching for your type of movie. And the cool part? Utilizing several internet traffic estimators, modern moviemakers can find out how many people are searching for movies within a particular genre.
Building Community Around Your Filmmaking
With the emergence of non-discriminatory movie distribution, you must remember that YOU are responsible for building your audience. The amount of people who know you and like you and buy your movies will determine your success.
If you don’t mind the idea of becoming “that guy,” creating several movies marketed to a well defined target audience makes it much easier to develop a following of people who enthusiastically devour your movies. And once established, having a following provides you with the opportunity to really get to know your audience. Which makes it much easier to say: “I have a movie idea.”
If you liked this article, you’ll love the independent producer’s guide to Movie Distribution.