Make Your Own Online Movie Marketing Machine

When I first got into filmmaking there was no talk of online movie marketing. After making a movie, every filmmaker I knew focused on one thing –  Landing a film distribution deal and then moving on to the next project.

“We are going to sell our movie, and use that money to make our next movie.”

Back then many filmmakers also learned a hard lesson. Just because you made a decent indie, doesn’t mean that a distribution deal was guaranteed.

If you failed to land a distribution deal… You failed.

Fast forward to today. We have so many options for getting movies to market, that the mere idea of landing a traditional distribution deal has fundamentally changed.

What does it even mean to have your movie “picked up?”

Unless your distributor has access to foreign territories, the odds of getting a minimal guarantee are limited. And even if you do garner an MG, the amount will be less than you anticipated.

Add the fact digital platforms are easily accessible, and you may find that instead of an upfront cash advance, many film distributors will simply grab the rights for your movie and throw it into the platforms to see what sticks.

“My distributor is going to put my movie on iTunes and said he may be able to get me special placement.”

That’s great.

But what else?

What is the plan for online marketing after the special placement ends?

“Ummmm… I think we will put the movie on Amazon?”

Here’s the thing. Getting your movie into popular marketplaces it not the problem! The real challenge is letting people know that your movie is available and getting them to buy now.

This means you need an online movie marketing strategy.


Online Movie Marketing Is Essential

You need to start thinking about your online movie marketing strategy today.

The reason for this is simple. The world is changing. Audience viewing habits are evolving. The ways in which peopled watch movies is no longer limited to movie theaters or renting a video from a video store.

In fact, if you think in terms of viewing habits, you’ll realize the following:

1. People watch stuff online: We know that more and more people are watching movies on internet platforms like iTunes, Hulu, Amazon and a bunch of other platforms as well. We also know that most sales agents and traditional distributors are working to grab your rights so they can manage your digital distribution.

It is also now possible to carve out and keep your digital distribution rights, enter the marketplace yourself – And get your movies seen and selling without signing a crazy distribution deal!

2. You can sell your movie in the popular online platforms: While getting on these platforms is essential, it will not guarantee your movie will get seen. Think about it, there are millions of other movies competing for the same eyeballs.

Your online movie marketing plan needs to focus on driving targeted visitors to your point of sale.

3. The internet offers a simple way to find your audience. A lot of people (from all over the world) search the internet for movies. Here are examples I pulled from the free Google Keyword tool:

— Zombie Movies – Roughly 40,500
— Romantic Comedies – Roughly 60,500
— Action Movies – Roughly 90,500
— Horror Movies – 201,000
— Documentaries – 110,000

4. Make it easy for people to find your movie. If we know people are searching for these search terms, what are you doing to make sure that your movie comes up in the search results? One aspect of online movie marking is making sure you optimize your website for search results.

This is called search engine optimization. There are both on-page methods and off-page methods.

5. Optimize your movie website for maxim sales. Once your movie does come up in the search results, what are you doing to make sure that your site “funnels” people to the various marketplaces like iTunes, Hulu, Amazon and (the others…)

In online movie marketing, we call this a conversion funnel. And optimizing your funnel to maximize sales needs to be the primary objective of your movie website.

Sell Your Movie System

sell your movieIf you’re interested, I put together a system specifically designed to put you in charge of your own distribution, so you can get your movie seen and selling around the world.

The system is based on my years working in video on demand distribution. And it will provide you with real online movie marketing tips from the trenches. If that sort of resource would help you, go here: How To Sell Your Movie

Movie Distribution

When I put on talks about internet movie distribution, I am often asked if filmmakers should still consider finding a traditional theatrical or DVD distribution deal. My answer to that question is simple: If you have an offer and you’re happy, it’s a deal.

The problem is, most traditional movie distribution offers suck.

And the bigger problem is, most filmmakers don’t find this out until long after the festivals are over, the money has been spent and the movie is in the can, collecting dust. This is usually the time when people call me for a consultation.

During the call we discuss various movie marketing strategies, both online and offline. Our firm is interested in finding movies that have a definable hook and an established target audience. A good client is someone who has crunched numbers and has realistic expectations on how much money the movie can potentially recoup and how long this will take…

Many first time feature filmmakers believe (rightly so) that they have the most amazing movie on earth – and they cannot understand why nobody has “bought it.” While I cannot speak for prospective acquisitions executives, I can tell you two things that I see a lot with independent movies:

  1. The movie has niche audience potential, but does not clearly communicate to the appropriate audience.
  2. The movie does not have a clearly definable niche audience, which means the movie targets everybody.

Out of both of these scenarios, the easier one is the niche. Depending on how you pronounce the word, niche rhymes with rich. And I firmly believe that niches will make you riches. But most filmmakers fail to think this way. But targeting everybody is the same as targeting nobody (think about it) and YOU don’t have enough money to target everybody.

The other point is this, many filmmakers believe that marketing is magic. It is not… I mean, when marketing strategies work out, it’s time to open the champagne and brag about how awesome you are. But if marketing was a sure thing, movies would never flop.

My company bills $600 per hour for movie marketing consulting. Depending where you are with your own marketing and sales strategy, you may wanna forgo consulting and just grab a copy of my movie distribution guide. To add extra value to the package, I have now added a half-hour phone call BONUS.

You can find out more about the movie distribution guide here: