Five Tips For Marketing Your Movie (Before You Make It)

If you’re like most filmmakers, you’re not thinking about marketing your movie. This is probably because you don’t yet have a movie. So why would you think about marketing your movie before you make it?

But that thinking is lazy and wrong.

You are creating a product. Your product is your movie. And unless you understand how you will reach your audience and sell your movie, you are in a sense basing your movie business on hope. And hope is NEVER a solid business strategy.

I should know. Every week I talk with dozens of filmmakers about their movie. And over and over I hear the same thing:

“My movie is done. Now I need to do some marketing.”

And here is the problem with that statement – If you wait until your movie is done to “do some marketing,” you’re way too late.  And I’m serious here. Since you’re not a movie studio, you don’t have a gazillion dollars to spend on a global advertising campaign.

The time to think about marketing your movie is now.

But before we get into the mechanics of HOW you’ll market your movie, it’s important that you understand a few things.

  1. Marketing is not magic.
  2. Marketing is not some sort of audience engagement lever that you pull.
  3. Marketing is a conversation, centered on a remarkable, emotional story.

You see, the only reason people BUY your movie is because the value of your offer far outweighs the gazillion other things your audience could do with their money and their time.

What does your audience find valuable? Entrainment? Escape? Information? Something artistic?

It could be one of those things or all of those things.

Marketing your movie begins with first figuring out what’s in it for your audience.  And this is where most filmmakers go wrong. Most filmmakers are simply in the “buy my movie” mentality.

The reason why people do not buy your movie is because you are either presenting an offer to the wrong audience, or your offer fails to present the enough amount of value.

marketing your movie

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Marketing your movie is a conversation!

The next time you go to a social gathering, pay special attention to the stories people share with you. Then after the party, write down the stuff you remember. Why do you remember it?

I bet it’s because the story was interesting and made you FEEL something. And FEELING is VALUE. People buy based on emotions. They want to FEEL like they are getting something that transforms their mood and mindset, if only for a little…

Pay special attention to why you remember certain people and stories. My guess is the storyteller presented his or her tale with such dramatic delivery that you were entertained.

And even if you forgot most details, I bet you’d still try to spread the story by sharing it with friends hours and days afterwards.

And if the story is really, really good, you’ll share the same story decades from now.

Five Tips Marketing Your Movie (VIDEO)

A good example of marketing is sharing an urban legend. These stories enter into our narrative, not because they are true – but because they are remarkable and fun to share.

In the following Film Courage video, I talk about the 5 Do’s and Don’ts For Marketing Your Movie.

Marketing your movie begins with a hook. Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. What is your unique selling proposition?
  2. What makes your movie memorable?
  3. Why should we care?

Marketing is not about throwing advertisements on billboards or shouting at the masses through media.

Marketing your movie means finding ways to make your audience part of the narrative. It means finding ways to make sharing your message valuable and fun. If you’d like to find out more about how to market and sell your movie, go here.


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ARTICLE BY Jason Brubaker

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