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Independent Film Marketing Part 1

Doing the marketing campaign for an independent film stays more or less by the general rules of marketing for a small business.

The traditional ways of bringing films into the market are fading fast, and it’s time to reinvent film marketing, and therefore the marketing strategy. Besides, as an independent filmmaker, you must stop defining your film’s success by trying to compete with the multimillion-dollar movies distributed from worldwide studios.

In fact, this model is far more straightforward to follow as you will be aiming to cultivate your niche specific audience as opposed to the masses. It will be labour intensive work, but not necessarily expensive. You will need to develop tools so that those interested in films can communicate with each other and so that they can spread the word easily. There are various methods on the Internet to facilitate shareability at all times, not closing it off or being insular in any aspect.

In the beginning, there are some vital questions that need to be asked to find the answers to these queries.


1)  Who is my target audience?

2)  What am I doing to make my audience aware of my work?

3)  What have I provided to the audience that engages them or inspires them to pay attention and then take action?

4)  How am I acquiring direct connections with my audience? This means email addresses, ZIP codes, Facebook links, Twitter followers, Instagram or other Tools that allow you to communicate with the audience directly.

5)  What are my plans for monetising this audience connected to me directly? What amazing, non-commodity product can I offer to these fans who have gone on the journey with me?”

As you see above this starts by identifying what kind of group you appeal to or want to appeal to, actively seeking them out and forging those deep connections.

Try to answer these questions:

– What are the characteristics of your audience?

– What are they interested in?

– Where do they congregate?

– What is their gender, age, occupation, income level, geographical area?

Look for elements that bind this audience together into a cohesive group. Often you will find the answers give you a broad audience with very general characteristics. Try segmenting them into subgroups, identifying mini audiences within your main one. Each of these mini audiences will respond to a different theme within your core message.

When you have identified your target audience, maybe even managed to distinguish the primary target audience, secondary target audience, etc. What are you doing to inform them about your project? To use the old cliché “awareness is the part everyone gets”. Bringing the news of your film into the hearts and minds of its potential audience is a way to success.

What are the tools that you have to raise awareness amongst your audience? The most obvious and also the most effective is the Internet, you need to create a buzz on the Internet.

Although essential, the buzz is only the first step. When making an independent film, the money is not available to buy awareness as the large studios do. An independent production cannot afford to take this route. Speaking of awareness, you have to be aware that building your audience will take lots of time and lots of work but the idea behind it is simple. You want to keep that audience loyal to you and your work so that you do not have to start all over again when a new project comes out.

In the new model of marketing, you will have to build and foster a community around your film/brand. Enabling community members to profit in what you have sourced, to be affiliated and to create networks of their own.

Once you created the buzz, you will need a platform where you can meet with your audience, and they can meet each other. You need a website.


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