Indie Film Website For Your Filmmaking

If you’re like most filmmakers, you have a website for your movie. And odds are good you are trying to fit too much into it. So the first thing you need to do is remove all the distracting crap. Whenever I mention this at a talk, invariably someone asks me how to determine what’s distracting? It depends on your website objective.

When building a movie website, most filmmakers have two objectives:

  1. Stage 1 – Raise awareness for your movie.
  2. Stage 2Sell your movie directly.

If you’re still in Stage 1, chances are good you have press kits, actor bios, reviews of your movie, anecdotes from production and about a gazillion other items, including behind the scenes photo galleries. But once you finish the festival circuit, you may choose to enter Stage 2 and start funneling web traffic towards your DVDs and VOD in various marketplaces.

To do this, I suggest you install Google analytics and monitor your traffic. Here is an example from the first feature I worked on:

 

If you look closely, you’ll notice that many visitors ended up visiting pages that did not lead to a sale. This is like keeping money on the table. So to counter the confusion, I suggest simply removing the pages altogether.

When promoting your movie, the goal is to remove all the extra crap and keep what matters.

The end result is a very simple website that “funnels” people to your desired destination.

When visitors click on “Buy NOW” they are redirected to the point of sale.

Marketing a movie is initially a creative art – but unlike other arts,  the beauty of movie marketing is, with the right tracking tools, you can test and retest your ideas to determine effectiveness.

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Marketing A Movie

refine your target audience

Image via Wikipedia

Filmmakers aren’t like normal business people. Marketing a movie is not considered part of the normal day-to-day process. But in other industries, marketing is just an aspect of business.

This makes a lot of sense. In the old days, your success as filmmaker depended on your ability to create an unproven product. And if your product (or in this case, your movie) did well with audiences, it was picked up, marketed and sold. These days, there are less deals. That means filmmakers must take on the responsibility of marketing a movie. And if  this is something you would rather leave to a third-party, then you’re living in the stone ages.

  1. When marketing a movie, the first thing you need to think about is your target audience. WHO cares about your movie? If you don’t have an understanding of your target audience, then nothing else matters.
  2. If you KNOW your target audience (in this case, YOUR people) then your next step in marketing a movie revolves around uncovering all the places your people shop. What magazines do they read? Where do they hang out online?
  3. Then figure out where they watch movies. Do they prefer netflix to iTunes? Or will they shop at Amazon? Obviously part of marketing a movie is getting your title into the appropriate marketplace. (Try distribber)
  4. Once your movie is in the appropriate marketplace, then circle back to step number two and target the appropriate publications, websites and forums. Not all of this will cost money. Some will.
  5. After that, figure out how to build a relationship with your audience.

If you don’t have any idea how to get started, I created an easy to follow guide on marketing a movie. In it, I talk about all this stuff in much greater detail. Click here to find out more   >>

Also, you might say: “Hey, I haven’t even made my first feature. Why should I care about marketing a movie now?” The reason you should care is because – If you don’t know who is going to buy your movie – then you won’t have any idea how much money your movie could potentially return. And if you can’t figure out a reasonably project ROI, then good luck raising money.

Just sayin’