There is art in creating a movie, and there is art in promoting it. These two creative processes go hand-in-hand. A good movie needs a good promotional strategy, and a good promotional strategy needs a good movie to advertise.
If you’re an independent filmmaker or an integral part of a large studio, you need to create some sort of cinematic buzz around your movie. This is something that movie marketers always try to perfect, but there’s still no one-off approach to doing it. Movie promotion will always vary in approach from time to time, especially with the ever-changing trends in consumer interests.
With your target audience’s interests in mind, how could you craft an effective buildup for an upcoming movie? It might be true that there is no definitive strategy for every movie promotion, but there are steps you can take to create a buzz around your film. Continue reading below to find out.
The Testing Stages
In marketing, there’s a strategy called A/B Testing, which refers to testing variations of a marketing campaign to different audiences. This is an effective way of identifying how to “sell” your USP (Unique Selling Point) to your niche audience. And since you’re splitting variations of your marketing campaign, you might even find it reasonable to expand into another consumer base, which would diversify your reach.
This marketing tactic is also present in the film industry, so it goes without saying that movie promotion goes through a number of trial-and-error phases. Before launching a full promotional campaign, a movie studio or a film marketing agency will test bits and pieces of it in an effort to optimize the whole campaign. By monitoring each variation’s performance, you’ll then know which works and does not work for your audience.
But once you find a sticking point that works, you can take your movie marketing campaign to a new level.
Timing is Everything
Lang Leav, a popular writer in contemporary times, once said, “You can create something that is pure genius, but you have to get your timing right.” In movie promotion or in any content marketing, timing is a journey in itself. In this day and age, relevance is a priority, and a perfectly timed strategy will get you there.
The Toy Story movie franchise, which became relevant in the mid to late 90s, waited 10 years to release another sequel. They pounced on this sticking point by releasing a trailer that focused on one of the main characters’ transitions from childhood to adolescence. Whether that’s by design or not, it did take the audience on a nostalgic ride that further built up anticipation around the movie.
In the shorter-term picture, you have to consider seasonal trends, and you can’t make the audience wait too long. If you have a Christmas movie in your hands, you can launch a promotional campaign 2-3 months before the month of December. Anything longer than that might kill the initial hype that you already built up.
Use a Variety of Marketing Channels
Creating a multi-channel marketing campaign is a trending strategy in the movie space. You have big-name movie studios like Walt Disney Studios and Marvel Studios that promote their work on different platforms.
Marvel, in particular, has always been good at multi-channel marketing. They continue putting up content in comic strips and comic books because it’s a good way to maintain relevance and curiosity in their upcoming movies. Along with comic strips, Marvel also invests in merchandise, toys, limited TV shows, and video games.
Building hype and controversy around your movie is not just about releasing trailers or interviews with the film’s main characters. Using a variety of marketing channels will help you reach a more niche audience and other consumer base as well.
Promoting a movie is always dependent on the nature of your content. Identifying your selling point is only a prerequisite; the real work begins when you start analyzing how you can pique your target audience’s interest around that selling point.
In movie promotion, your expertise in marketing content creation should go hand-in-hand with timing and consistency. If you get this right, you’ll have a customer-centric promotion strategy that will create an effective cinematic buzz around your movie.