How To Find Your Movie Target Audience

As a film producer, your ultimate goal is to tell engaging and entertaining stories and get paid for your work.

But before you can do that, you need to find the movie’s target audience.

This is easier said than done, as many filmmakers believe everyone is their audience.

But this isn’t the case.

While no specific type of person enjoys all films, many are drawn to particular genres. For example, a horror film will likely attract a different audience than a comedy. Same with action movies or thrillers.

The first thing you need to do is figure out the genre of your movie.

Finding Your Movie Target Audience

If you’re writing your movie, now is the best time to think about who will want to watch it.

Finding Your Movie Target Audience
Finding Your Movie Target Audience

What kind of movie are you making? Is it a scary movie, a love story, or maybe something funny?

Different types of movies attract different kinds of people.

Knowing who you’re writing for can help you add the right elements to your story.

For example, if you’re writing a scary movie, the audience will expect to be scared. And you’ll need to add all the suspense and thrills your audience will love.

Completed Movies: Who’s Your Audience?

If you’ve finished making your movie, you’re probably excited to show it to people.

But before you do that, you must consider who those people are.

Knowing your audience can help you decide how to talk about your movie.

Ask yourself:

  • What do they like to do for fun?
  • Where do they live?
  • Are they mostly men or women?
  • How old are they?
  • Did they go to college?

Knowing these things can help you figure out how to talk to your audience in a way that makes them want to see your movie.

If you get stuck, you can always research the local newsstand for magazines that cater to your audience.

Any magazines in print in a digital world exist because people are interested in the topic.

These magazines can give you a lot of clues about what your audience likes and who they are.

You can even call the magazine to get more details.

Since magazines make money with subscribers and advertisers, this information will be available.

This info will help you get a clear picture of the two or three types of people who will most likely want to watch your movie.

Video: How To Find Your Movie Target Audience

Top Marketing Channels for Movies

Once you know who will watch your movie, you can figure out ways to talk about it so your audience will understand.

If you find out that people who will like your movie read certain magazines, you can put ads in those magazines.

You can use social media to get the word out with ads, posts, or comments if they’re online often.

The idea is to go where the people who will like your movie are already spending time. This helps more people learn about your movie.

If you don’t know this stuff, you’re just hoping things will work out.

And hope is not a good movie business plan.

Attracting Film Distribution

Knowing your movie’s target audience is a big help when attracting a movie distributor.

If you know your movie targets a certain audience, you can find a distributor who also targets that audience. This makes your movie a better fit for them, and they’ll be more likely to want to work with you.

For example, if your movie is a horror film, you can look for distributors who specialize in horror.

They’ll already know how to reach the people who want to watch your movie, which makes their job easier and your movie more likely to succeed.

With solid research on your movie’s target audience, you’re in a much better position to negotiate a favorable film distribution deal.

Movie Marketing Plan

Once you agree to a distribution deal, all of this research will also help you work better with your distributor to market your movie.

Since you already know who your audience is, what they like, and where they spend their time, you can share this valuable information with your distributor.

This makes it easier to pick the right places to advertise and promote your movie.

In other words, the research you did to understand your audience isn’t just useful for getting a distribution deal; it’s also great for making sure your movie actually gets watched once it’s out there.

So, having a good understanding of your target audience can help you not just attract a distributor but also make your movie a success after it’s released.

Movie Target Audience Success

While defining the target audience for your film is not the most exciting part of the filmmaking process, this research can go a long way in helping you secure a favorable distribution deal and successfully market your movie.

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Take the time to understand your target audience, and use that knowledge to make informed decisions throughout the filmmaking and distribution process.

And if your movie does not attract a fantastic distribution deal, then this research will go a long way toward helping you execute your film marketing and distribution plan. And check out Tom Malloy’s movie distribution course.

TL;DR – Key Takeaways

Understanding your movie’s target audience is crucial for both the writing stage and for marketing a completed film. Researching demographics can help you tailor your marketing messages and channels.

Creating audience avatars can further refine your marketing strategies. This information is also valuable when negotiating film distribution deals. Additional resources, like specialized courses, can deepen your understanding of movie distribution.

Movie Target Audience Jargon

Here’s a glossary of movie marketing and distribution terms:

Target Audience: The specific group of people most likely to be interested in watching your movie, often defined by factors like age, gender, and interests.

Genre: The category or type of film you are making, such as horror, comedy, or action, which often dictates the target audience.

Completed Movies: Films that have finished the production and post-production stages and are ready for distribution and marketing.

Marketing Channels: The platforms or mediums used to promote your movie, such as social media, magazines, or advertisements.

Film Distributor: A company or individual responsible for getting your movie into theaters or onto streaming platforms.

Distribution Deal: An agreement between the filmmaker and distributor outlining the terms for distributing the film.

Movie Marketing Plan: A strategic outline detailing how you will promote your movie, often developed in collaboration with your distributor.

Demographics: Statistical data relating to the target audience, such as age, gender, education level, and location.

Movie Business Plan: A comprehensive plan that includes both the creative aspects of filmmaking and the business strategies for marketing and distribution.

Audience Avatar: A detailed profile representing a segment of your target audience, used to refine marketing strategies.

Advertising: The act of promoting your movie through paid channels like magazine ads or online banners.

Promotion: Activities aimed at bringing your movie to the attention of your target audience, which can include both paid advertising and organic methods like social media posts.

Research: The process of gathering information about your target audience, often through surveys, studies, or examining existing data.

Negotiation: The act of discussing and agreeing on the terms of a distribution deal, often influenced by how well you understand your target audience.

Success: In this context, it refers to achieving a favorable distribution deal and effectively marketing your movie to ensure it gets watched.


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Frequent Questions

How Do I Identify the Target Audience for My Movie?

Research trends related to your target audience, such as the type of movies they watch, their interests, and demographics like age range and primary gender.

Why Is Knowing My Movie’s Genre Important for Finding the Target Audience?

The genre of your movie is your first clue in identifying your target audience, as different genres attract different types of viewers.

What Questions Should I Ask to Research My Movie’s Target Audience?

Consider questions like: What are their interests? Where do they live? What is their age range? Is there a primary gender? What’s the level of education?

How Can I Use Demographics to Market My Movie?

Use demographic information to tailor messages and visuals that resonate with your target audience, and to identify the best marketing channels for your budget.

What Are Audience Avatars and How Do I Create Them?

Audience avatars are ideal profiles of your target audience, created using demographic information. They help you tailor messages and visuals that resonate with your audience.

How Can Knowing My Target Audience Help in Film Distribution?

Knowing your target audience can help you negotiate a favorable film distribution deal, as distributors are more likely to be interested if your film appeals to a specific, engaged audience.

What Is the Role of Marketing Channels in Movie Promotion?

Marketing channels are platforms where your target audience spends time. Tailoring your marketing channels based on your research can maximize your budget’s effectiveness.

How Can I Research My Target Audience If I’m Still Writing My Movie?

If you’re in the initial stages of writing, understanding who you’re writing for can help shape your story and its elements to resonate with that audience.

What Should I Do If I Have a Finished Movie?

If you have a completed film, use your research on the target audience to tailor your marketing messages and find the most effective channels for promotion.

How Can Magazines Help Me Understand My Movie’s Target Audience?

Magazines catering to your audience can provide valuable demographic information, as they make money with subscribers and advertisers interested in the topic.

What Are the Benefits of Creating Audience Avatars?

Creating audience avatars helps you create a marketing and distribution plan that speaks directly to your target audience.

How Can I Use My Target Audience to Negotiate a Distribution Deal?

Armed with research on your target audience, you can negotiate a more favorable film distribution deal, showing that your film appeals to a specific, engaged audience.

What Is a Favorable Film Distribution Deal?

A favorable film distribution deal is one where the distributor takes interest in your film because it appeals to a specific, engaged audience, making it more marketable.

How Do I Execute a Film Marketing and Distribution Plan?

Use the audience avatars and demographic information you’ve gathered to guide your marketing efforts, ensuring that every message and visual resonates with your target audience.

Are There Any Courses That Can Help Me Understand Movie Distribution?

Yes, for example, Tom Malloy’s movie distribution course can provide valuable insights into navigating the complex landscape of film distribution.

Pop Quiz

Here’s a 5-question multiple-choice pop quiz based on finding your movie target audience:

  1. What is one of the first steps in identifying your movie’s target audience?
    • A) Writing a compelling script
    • B) Analyzing the movie’s budget
    • C) Figuring out the movie’s genre
    • D) Choosing the movie’s release date
  2. What is the ultimate goal of researching your movie’s target audience?
    • A) To secure financing for the film
    • B) To create a compelling script
    • C) To make the movie a success after its release
    • D) To determine the movie’s genre
  3. Why is it important to know your audience’s demographics when marketing your movie?
    • A) To decide the movie’s budget
    • B) To tailor marketing messages and channels
    • C) To choose the movie’s genre
    • D) To negotiate film distribution deals
  4. What can researching local newsstand magazines provide insights into?
    • A) The latest movie trends
    • B) Potential movie distributors
    • C) Audience interests and demographics
    • D) Upcoming film releases
  5. How can understanding your movie’s target audience help with film distribution?
    • A) It determines the movie’s budget
    • B) It attracts more investors
    • C) It makes it easier to pick the right places to advertise
    • D) It guarantees a distribution deal


  1. C) Figuring out the movie’s genre
  2. C) To make the movie a success after its release
  3. B) To tailor marketing messages and channels
  4. C) Audience interests and demographics
  5. C) It makes it easier to pick the right places to advertise

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ARTICLE BY Jason Brubaker

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