Social media marketing has proven an effective technique for film studios, independent filmmakers, and television networks in recent years, allowing companies to lower advertising costs while still reaching the masses. Print and television advertisements have long been the standard in film promotion, but the industry is now turning to social media as a compelling marketing alternative.
1. Understanding your Audience
Attracting the younger demographic is key, and what better way to reach target audiences than through wildly popular sites such as Twitter and Facebook? Video sharing, comments and fan pages are the new essential tools to attracting potential customers and getting the word out about upcoming releases. Ever notice the Facebook and Twitter icons splayed across screens during previews at the movie theater? Mobile editions of social media sites offer easy access anywhere, anytime, allowing audiences to connect online and promote films directly from their theater seat, even as the preview is screening.
Trailers and other video media allow viewers a free slice of the movie pie and afford filmmakers the opportunity to entice potential audience members. Sharing videos amongst friends and followers promotes audience participation, and allows viewers to feel like they are part of the marketing process as they connect with other fans. The focus is shifting from standard online, print, and TV advertising to building an interactive fan community, a less invasive and more fan-friendly approach to marketing. Studios also depend on social media to help boost DVD sales, posting old trailers and stills from past releases online to reignite consumer interest.
2. The Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing allows companies to reach broad audiences, including the sought-after 18-49 demographic. Independent filmmakers can also benefit from this new strategy as online promotion allows for a low cost alternative to traditional advertising methods, direct interface with fans, and customization of image and content.
Companies must adapt marketing techniques to a rapidly evolving market, and studios need to develop campaigns that will engage fans and attract new customers. Using social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr to promote upcoming releases has gained traction and achieved huge success for recent films, including Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games and Paramount’s Paranormal Activity. Although these films had widely disparate budgets, both movies achieved success by campaigning via social media sites, offering a perfect example of how major studio productions and independent, low-budget projects alike can benefit from the positive effects of social media marketing.
Studios are also using social media as a tool to promote live events such as screening competitions and free ticket contests. The idea of early, exclusive access to a film is appealing to fans and can spark interest among a broader audience, particularly if the event is shared across the social media landscape. Everyone likes the sense of exclusivity associated with seeing something before anyone else, and offering special engagements is the perfect way to draw interest in a film prior to its official release.
In this digital age, our minds are barraged with information as we constantly search for the next best thing. Fresh and unique approaches to digital marketing are key, and Supercool Creative offers the ideal venue for filmmakers to develop an effective marketing strategy.
3. A Diverse, Persistent Approach
Companies and individuals need to be persistent in their advertising efforts, posting frequently and coming up with new slants for old information. Filmmakers and production companies must ensure that they hold the potential audience member’s attention by developing creative campaigns and fostering an interactive, social community for fans. Posting trailers online for upcoming releases and sharing across social media platforms can create buzz for a film and allow for the fan community to contribute via commentary.
For filmmakers, directly interacting with fans creates appeal for the audience and offers an ideal opportunity to engage the viewer. Production companies and filmmakers should be participating actively in the promotion of an upcoming or past project and make use of the community social media offers. Social networking can prove helpful in promoting projects and creating contacts in an industry that is all about ‘who you know’!