The film industry is bigger than it has ever been. From blockbuster superhero movies to artsy indie films, it’s never been easier to start making movies. However, something that’s actually gotten a lot more complicated is marketing movies. There are so many avenues to advertise one’s film that it can get overwhelming.
Thankfully, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) enable any business to make themselves known in the online space. For the film industry, it has been particularly effective in reaching audiences that they couldn’t have reached before.
The evolution of film marketing
Before the digital age dawned, promoting a film was primarily a localized and analog endeavor. Studios relied on traditional advertising channels such as newspapers, billboards, radio, and television to create buzz and attract audiences. While these methods were effective to some extent, they lacked the global reach and precision that online marketing offers today. Independent filmmakers in particular had difficulty getting their work noticed.
The internet brought about a paradigm shift in how films are marketed. Filmmakers and studios realized the immense potential of reaching a global audience with a few clicks. Websites and online platforms became crucial marketing tools. Here’s how online marketing has reshaped the film industry:
Online marketing significantly reduced the cost of promotion. Traditional advertising often requires massive budgets for print and TV ads. In contrast, online platforms allowed filmmakers to reach a wider audience with a fraction of the budget. Seller financing options benefit greatly from this cost-effectiveness.
The internet transcends geographical boundaries. Films that once struggled to find international audiences now had a platform to reach viewers worldwide. This global reach was a game-changer for filmmakers aiming to maximize their film’s exposure.
Online marketing enables precise targeting of specific demographics. Through tools like Google Ads and social media advertising, filmmakers could tailor their promotions to reach the most relevant audience. This increased the chances of success by connecting with viewers genuinely interested in their films.
Engaging with Fans
Social media allows filmmakers to engage directly with their fans. They could share behind-the-scenes content, conduct Q&A sessions, and build a loyal community of followers eagerly anticipating their next project.
Social media is the star of modern film marketing. Just one look at the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon is proof of this. The millions upon millions of fans hyping up the two wildly different movies led to their incredible box office success. Utilizing social media to generate rapid word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to promote your movie.
Filmmakers could receive real-time feedback from their audience through comments and reactions on social media posts. This feedback loop was invaluable for fine-tuning marketing strategies and understanding audience preferences.
Utilizing SEO and SEM for online film marketing
Here’s how to use the power of SEO and SEM to enhance your film promotion skills.
Provide Quality Content
Quality content is the bedrock of successful marketing in the film industry. After all, no amount of marketing will cover a mediocre product or service. For filmmakers, this can include creating behind-the-scenes videos, interviews with the cast and crew, blog posts about the film’s themes or production process, and sharing exclusive sneak peeks.
Optimize your Site
Optimizing your film’s website is essential for both SEO and user experience. A well-organized and visually appealing website enhances the user experience, making it easier for visitors to find information about your film, watch trailers, and purchase tickets or access streaming options. Remember, convenience is king when it comes to entertainment.
Keyword research is the foundation of effective SEO. It involves identifying the most relevant and high-traffic keywords related to your film and its target audience. If you made a horror movie, focus on the main monster and major names attached to the project. For example, if it’s a spooky ghost movie, then example keywords would be “supernatural” and “haunt”.
Localized SEO is crucial for promoting films that have specific geographic release plans or are tied to regional events or preferences. For indie films, this is particularly important, because that’s where the majority of your audiences will be coming from for theatrical screenings. Make sure to provide local showtimes and theaters for these showings.
Expanding the reach of your film to international markets requires an international SEO strategy. For films uploaded to streaming platforms, this is very important. Moreover, understanding the unique nuances and preferences of international audiences can help you tailor your marketing messages effectively, ensuring that your film resonates with viewers worldwide.
PPC (Pay-Per-Click Advertising)
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a highly targeted approach to film marketing. It allows you to create ads that appear in search engine results and on various online platforms. In the film industry, PPC can be particularly useful for promoting trailers, ticket sales, and streaming options. It provides a cost-effective way to drive traffic to your website and increase awareness about your film.
Tracking and Analytics
Everything from website traffic to user behavior needs to be accounted for. This is what enables you to find your audience and hone in your marketing efforts to them. Contrary to popular belief, film marketing isn’t just about broad appeal. It’s about finding that dedicated fanbase that will come back for more of your projects. Make sure you’re ISO 27001 certified before handling these vast amounts of data.
Finding success in the film industry isn’t easy. It arguably remains just as difficult to be seen a century ago as it does now. However, what people back then didn’t have is the plethora of online tools that you do. Following the fundamentals of SEO and SEM in this article puts you on the right path to promoting your dream project.
Chatty is a freelance writer from Manila. She finds joy in inspiring and educating others through writing. That’s why aside from her job as a language evaluator for local and international students, she spends her leisure time writing about various topics such as lifestyle, technology, and business.