Years ago, if you attended any film festival and you’d probably hear a bunch of filmmakers rattling on about how you need to build an audience for your films. And while this sort of talk was trendy, I now think it’s a crock of crap.
You don’t need to build your own audience. But you do have to identify a niche audience for your film, figure out where these people congregate both online and offline and then get your film in front of them.
In other words, filmmaking is a lot more fun when people actually watch your movies. And it is even more fun when you’re able to make money from your work. Being able to understand, find and target a niche audience for your film lets you do just that.
How To Find A Niche Audience For Your Film
Major studios have the resources and film funding to churn out a bunch of movies, each one targeting a different segment of the population. And even though most indie filmmakers don’t have millions to spend on marketing, learning how to target a niche audience is still essential.
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 one simple marketing element: Your Unique Selling Proposition, or USP.
Here are three simple questions to ask yourself to help with this:
- What’s your movie about?
- In a sea of similar movies, what makes your film “unique?”
- Does your movie already have an audience?
At first glance, it is easy to answer “yes” to those two questions. Most filmmakers will say: “my movie appeals to everyone!” But that’s not an useful answer. Not everyone on earth has an interest in every film. And the reality is that certain people simply prefer one genre over another.
Here are a 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 focusing on “purple pinecones” you may need to focus on “pinecones.” Make sense?
Assuming you find websites, forums and publications, you’re in good shape. 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.
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, being able to find the niche audience for your film can lead to much better results for your film 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.