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Social Media Marketing Strategy for Independent Filmmakers


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A beginner's guide to help independent filmmakers and other content creators begin to find, engage, and sell to their online audience.

Published in: Marketing, Technology, Business

Social Media Marketing Strategy for Independent Filmmakers

  1. 1. Social Media Marketing Strategy for Independent Filmmakers J. Brad Wilke Smarthouse Creative Co-founder & Principal
  2. 2. What We’re Up Against Feature films submitted to Sundance 2015: 4,105 Theatrical releases in 2015: 680 DVD/VOD releases: 1550+ Market size (theatrical): $11,000,000,000+ Market size (home): $20,000,000,000+ Avg. studio marketing budget (per film): $30,000,000 Avg. indie marketing budget: ~ shoestring and tape
  3. 3. Core Strategies Audience engagement Social marketing Digital content management Pre-distribution / Post-distribution mindsets
  4. 4. Workflow Overview Core Strategies Filmmaking Team Social Marketing Lead Digital Content Producer
  5. 5. Audience Engagement • Facebook (broad reach social channel) • Twitter (real-time social channel) o Manage via Tweetdeck / smartphone • Snapchat (real-time social channel) • Instagram (photo feed) o Manage via smartphone • Website (base of operations) • YouTube (ancillary content)
  6. 6. Social Marketing Expand your audience & sell your film • Facebook ads and promoted posts • Promoted tweets • Instagram ads via Facebook Ads Manager • Promote your trailer on YouTube • Links always point to conversion page • Google AdWords
  7. 7. Digital Content Management Track and manage files in the cloud: • Squarespace for film website • Dropbox for static file management o Images, video clips, documents, schedules, etc. • Google Drive for co-created / shared docs
  8. 8. Pre-distribution / Post-distribution Marketing Mindsets • Pre-Distribution: o Focus on experimentation o Interact and engage with individuals o Build fanbase city by city o Find your “true fans” (key influencers) • Post-Distribution o Hone your message and platforms o Interact and engage with groups o Maintain and deepen fanbase o Empower your “true fans”
  9. 9. General Tactics - Behind-the-scenes videos (one/week) - Filmmaker Tumblr (multiple/week) - Character backstory (via video, blog, etc.) - Immersive story experience (web elements reflect and expand on film universe) - Sync content calendar to film festival run - Pre-distribution and post-distribution content - Live streams of film festival Q&As, etc. - Twitter Q&A / Reddit AMAs
  10. 10. Success Metrics - Social shares and interactions -  Engagement rate = interactions / total platform audience - Festival attendance -  Ticket sales and attendance - Theatrical ticket sales - VOD rentals/downloads - DVD rentals/sales
  11. 11. Final Notes • Establish social platform presence today • Engage and interact with your audience • Share relevant content • Support your fellow indies • Experiment with new platforms and tools • Empower your “true fans” • Have a plan, but be ready for anything