Hey guys! Here are some resources and hot tips we shared in this podcast ALL about marketing. If you like the resources we talk about, feel free to grab our whole resource list for everything from screenwriting to distribution!
Marketing prior to crowdfunding:
- Have a six month lead time, at least. This means start marketing strategically at least six months before you need the money!
- People are more generous in the spring, and right after pay date (1st and 15th of the month)
- Casting first vs. Crowdfunding first: Your actors want to get paid, but you can’t attract an audience without actors, but you can’t attract actors without money… #catch22. You have to decide based on the resources YOU have
- Consider starting a Youtube channel. The difference between a large youtube following and a large Twitter base: Youtubers are engaged
- Ideally, you would start your indie film funding by already having a youtube audience in place.
- My number one favorite screenwriting book next to Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field is Automatic Pilot: Writing A TV Pilot Has Never Been So Easy!. Bill Taub, the author, has a class on how writers can build a web series to build their platform.
You don’t necessarily have to reach a small market, but you should try reach a specific one.Click to tweet
Finding your audience:
- Trying to reach an audience with two segments? Find the common thread your audience wants.
- Our unique challenge: people who are interested in representation (young progressives), and people who are interested in supporting marriage (older, traditional people)
- We believe the traditional “progressive” vs “traditionalist” marketing lines are blurred within the representation movement because people that seek that common thread of nonviolence have more in common than many marketers realize (eg, the devout forty-year old Black Baptist woman who’s voted Democrat all her life believes in long-term marriages, but also cares about representation)
- “All marketing is stereotyping.” Break out of the stereotype, and market to a particular individual who may be otherwised untapped.
Be your audience.
- Our advantage: we are those people! Bill Taub says “Make the movie you want to see.”If you make the movie just because you think it’s going to sell, you’re not going to understand what your audience actually wants, and it’s not going to sell.
- And if you can’t be your audience, listen to your audience (Case in point: How can Hollywood claim Black leads won’t sell in superhero movies, despite crazy evidence to the contrary like the popularity of Luke Cage and #blackpanthersolit? It’s because they aren’t LISTENING. Follow your target fans and find out what they want by listening.)
Cater to a niche audience, especially for your first film, and choose an audience you’re part of.
- As a developing indie filmmaker, you probably don’t want to try to make a “Four Quadrant” Film (Not Five)
- A big mistake that many filmmakers make is trying to get everyone to like them. It’s impossible. And if everyone DOES like you, maybe you’re not doing everything right.
- You don’t want people to just like your movie, you want them to be moved by it.
- “You don’t necessarily have to reach a small market, but you should try reach a specific one.” ~Sam
Twitter Scheduling tools
- Hootsuite—preferred by Jen: good for keeping track of different feeds/ hashtags (#blackgirlmagic, #blackwomendidthat), multiple social media accounts, AND scheduling far out into the future. #power
- Buffer—preferred by Sam. If you’re design minded, you’ll probably prefer Buffer too. It’s excellent for media/card tweets, but it only lets you schedule ten tweets at a time. It integrates with more tools, such as Twitshot. Twitshot allows you to pull images from the links you post (FB does this automatically, but Twitter doesn’t, and images get more play on Twitter).
Twitter Automation Tools
- The importance of not automating everything: it drives engagement down, which is bad marketing.
- Our caveat: People hate automatic DMs! That’s why automate scheduling only, NO AUTO-DMS.
- We use StatusBrew to welcome people and give them our free resource page. Our emphasis is on giving instead of taking. Automation shouldn’t be to take things from people!
- Dlvr.it: our little robot that takes our representation-friendly and indiefilm-related RSS feed and tweets it. If you’re good at finding good RSS feeds via Pocket, Google Alerts, etc you can feed those into your Dlvr.it. We love our little robot and think her selection is usually good, but she must be supervised, and she cannot control all the things! She loves Moana way too much.
- Speaking of AI and automation, Jen made a cool story about an evil AI, called Brain Worms and White Whales that you can listen to online for free. Our AI isn’t evil, though.
- Roundteam.co is another auto-tweeter that Rts things from Twitter lists you’ve set up. Jen uses this to RT our @affair_movie account into her normal account, @petr3pan.
Social media platform-specific benefits for indiefilm
- Twitter: You get access to stars and networking that you don’t have on Facebook. Twitter is where people are talking about indiefilm—those conversations are harder to have on Facebook. There are also a lot of creators there. Everyone is on Facebook, but they’re on FB for their personal lives, not for my film. Twitter people want to know about my film—they’re there for news and movements.
- Instagram: powerful because doesn’t try to control/organize what users see the way Facebook and Twitter do: you just see everything posted by the people you follow!
Twitter Tools and Tips to Improve Your Engagement
- Blog2Social WordPress Plugin: Allows you to take your blog post and in one simple page create customized posts for it to go out at the same time to all your different social media. A lot easier than signing in to each account every time you make a thing. The Pro version can also schedule when your blog posts are shared based on the optimal time frame for each platform! Improves clickthroughs back to your site across all platforms.
- Statusbrew, as already mentioned, can send a welcome tweet. We mostly use it to power-follow users we think will like our stuff. Sam can filter through Twitter users with more detailed options and statistics than in Twitter’s native user interface. When picking users to follow, she considers:
- Whether or not the user is regularly online (They won’t followback if not)
- A high vs. Low follow ratio
- A high follow ratio means they follow more users than follow them—this person is likely to follow you back!
- A low follow ratio means they follow less users than follow them—this person is less likely to follow you back, but if they do, they are more likely to be able to see your tweets!
- Our Indiefilm Twitter List: You can use this to look up, follow, and followback indiefilm creators to network with
- Our post on twitter chats for filmmakers
- Every tweet should have two hashtags in it (and one mention if possible)
- Also: You should follow MartianKat and @lindaburnett777 for funzies.
Good analytics tools
- Twitter Analytics—Really good for telling you what audiences you’re reaching.
- Followerwonk—Really good for telling you what times you should tweet. CEO has cool facial hair and knows all about SEO. Sam met him at Content Marketing World, and Jen is all “whoa, we use his products, that’s crazy!”
- Subscribe to Buffer’s blog/e-mail and read the data-driven studies they put out!
Other WordPress Plugins
- Yoast SEO Plugin: Tells you how to improve your SEO and readability as you create blog posts
- Pop-up Ally vs. Bloom: Both collect e-mails. Pop-up Ally is more coder-friendly, and more easily configurable to exit-intent. Bloom is more friendly to the person who doesn’t code, and includes cool options like Fly-ins. Bloom is prettier, but not free.
- Exit-intent: a pop-up that activates ONLY when the user is about to leave the page
- Fly-ins: a pop-up that pops up to the side of the content so as not to interrupt the user experience
- Both styles of pop-ups are good, but exit-intent have higher conversion rates.
- Divi WordPress Theme: Not technically a plugin, but Sam loves this theme because it allows her to design our page in very pretty ways!
And finally, again, if you liked the resources we offered, there are more where that came from: THE BOOKLET gives you everything we know!
Jen and Sam are making a movie. Movies are expensive, so we put in a couple amazon associate links for the books we recommended. If you buy them, you’ll donate a little bit to I’m Having an Affair With My Wife!