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.
Make Your Own Online Movie Marketing Machine
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 via digital platforms: More and more people are watching movies on internet platforms like iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Prime 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.
But did you know it is also possible to carve out and keep your digital distribution rights and enter the marketplace yourself? And the best part, you can get your movies seen and selling without signing a crazy distribution deal.
2. The internet offers a simple way to find your audience. 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.
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
3. 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.
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.
If 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. Go here: How To Sell Your Movie