In movie marketing, there is the phrase, “Everybody is nobody, and niches make riches.” And while not every movie is guaranteed success, focusing on a niche when choosing a movie topic is a straightforward way to approach the market.
Niche filmmaking is simply making a movie that appeals to a small, specialized audience. These types of films focus on more obscure topics or genres, such as horror or science fiction, that doesn’t usually receive much attention from mainstream audiences.
For example, let’s say you were making a horror movie. Horror is a vast genre. But a subset of the horror genre is zombie movies. So in this example, making a zombie movie for a zombie-loving audience would be your filmmaking niche.
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Attract Niche Audience
Years ago, if you attended any film festival, you’d probably hear a bunch of filmmakers rattling on about how you need to build your own audience for your films. And while this sort of talk was trendy, it was easier said than done.
Major studios have the resources and film funding to churn out a bunch of movies, each targeting a different population segment. Most indie filmmakers (and independent film distributors) lack the millions to spend on marketing. So this is where niching down is essential.
You don’t need to build your audience. But you do have to identify a niche audience for your film. Then you need to figure out where these people congregate online and offline and find ways to get your movie in front of them.
- Who Is Your Target Audience?
- How Large Is Your Target Audience?
- How Will You Reach Your Audience?
So how do you inexpensively find and engage a niche audience for your film? To begin with, you’ll want to take a few minutes to figure out your unique selling proposition or USP. You’ll need to consider your film’s story, themes, genre, and visual style to do this.
Unique Selling Proposition
Most filmmakers will say: “my movie appeals to everyone!” But that’s not a helpful answer. Not everyone on earth has an interest in every film. And the reality is that certain people prefer one genre over another.
- What’s your movie about?
- In a sea of similar movies, what makes your film “unique?”
- Does your movie already have an audience?
Here are two ideas to help you see if your film has a niche audience.
- Is there a print magazine devoted to the subject matter featured in your film?
- Will a google search turn up large amounts of media on the subject matter?
If you have difficulty finding built-in audiences for your subject, you may have to broaden your search. For example, instead of “purple pinecones,” you may need to focus on “pinecones.” Make sense?
Promote To Attract
Once you know your niche, you can create promotional materials, including a movie website. A movie website will allow you to get the word out to your target audience. You can also use social media platforms to build an online community around your movie.
Having early promotional goals and a strategy for reaching your niche audience is essential. You should create email campaigns, craft press releases, look for influencers to collaborate with, and find other ways to help spread the word about your movie.
Finding websites, forums, and publications that appeal to your audience is also a good idea. Make a list of these publications. Then reach out to the editors and community managers and build a relationship. When your film is ready, these people will help you spread word of mouth.
Word of Mouth
Additionally, consider creating videos for social media sites like YouTube and TikTok that showcase elements of your movie or its production process. Doing this will help you promote your movie to a broader audience and give potential viewers a taste of what the film is about.
Knowing your niche audience lets you craft a targeted marketing message. And depending on your stage of production, this will help you generate crowdfunding income, test your concept, and eventually use targeted promotions to reach your ideal viewers.
In short, finding the niche audience for your film can lead to much better results for your movie and your filmmaking future. Don’t ignore it. And if you like this sort of filmmaking stuff, make sure you check out this filmmaker guide.