Marketing Tips For FilmmakersLarge film studios start marketing their projects before filming begins.  In fact, many studios will consult the marketing department before committing to a project.  In contrast, it’s common for independent filmmakers to neglect marketing and distribution efforts until the project is complete.  This article will tell you why you should be marketing your film before you are done shooting and how to lay the groundwork for an effective marketing campaign.

Hopefully you have already identified the audience for your project.  Now you can consider how to get them to actually see your film. Starting your marketing effort as early as possible is important for several reasons.  First, it can take time to get momentum going, especially in the online community. Secondly, you will already have your cast available on set, so it will be easier to create promotional and marketing materials.  Finally, your potential audience can give you valuable feedback and participate in the funding and promotion of your project.  If you have a pre-existing fan base before your project is released, you will be more likely to sign with a distributor.

When developing your marketing strategy, think deeply about your project.  What is its unique selling point?  What is the point of view?  Successful directors have a particular style that is easy to recognize.  Identify what makes your films unique.

Think about your potential audience.  It is important to understand what attracts them to your project.  Who are they and how will you reach them?  How will you build community around your brand?  You can take advantage of organizations and social networks to promote your project.

The marketplace is crowded, so you will need to find a way to stand out.  Try to create a unique, high quality experience that will bring your viewers back again and again.  Convince them that they absolutely need to experience your film.  Time is a valuable commodity, so make the experience worthwhile.

People ultimately make purchasing decisions based on emotions.  Consider how you can fulfill your audience’s needs and desires.  Perhaps they want to support a cause or make a statement.  Maybe they want to support you as a filmmaker.  They might want to see your film because it will make them appear hip or because everyone is doing it.  It’s important to understand what motivates your audience.

These first steps will help you create a successful marketing plan: know your audience, know yourself, and find your unique selling point.  After you have done that, you can begin to build your base and communicate with your audience.  Once you understand these concepts, you can begin to develop a more comprehensive marketing and distribution plan as filming progresses.