Self Distributing Your Film

Posted on April 27, 2013

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Jason Brubaker has been helping independent filmmakers take control of selling their films. With the advent of numerous VOD and online platforms, you can now reasonably earn a living without the use of sales agents or traditional distributors.

Consider the resources available to you at any given time. This should be your guide in terms of the movie you should make.

Here are some things to consider in your marketing strategy:

1) WHAT IS THE UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION OF YOUR FILM?

How does it compare with similar films in terms of budget and genre? Sharpen your hook. Is there a star attached or accolades that will attract attention? Is the concept strong enough to engage audiences?

2) TARGET YOUR AUDIENCE

Is there a market for your film? Perform a google search on your topic to see how many blogs, clubs, meet ups, chat rooms etc. Make a list of all the relevant websites in a spreadsheet. Find out who maintains the content of each site and contact them. They may forward details of your film to their contact list. Gradually you can harvest email addresses to promote your film to a targeted audience.

You can also target film appreciation groups based on your genre e.g slasher, sci-fi, horror etc.

3) VIDEO ON DEMAND

The main ones currently are: Distribber, hulu, AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, itunes and Direct TV. No doubt, more platforms will emerge. You can also set up a Createspace account to get distribution through Amazon.

4) MOVIE SALES FUNNEL

This is a sales expression which means targeting prospective buyers through various leads and “funneling” them to a conversion (sale). Sales leads can be generated through blogs, email lists and social media followers. Generate positive word of mouth. Monitor page views and various viewer statistics through google analytics.

Tweak and test your web pages. See where viewers leave or buy.

Use a third party email delivery service such as audiencelist.com, constant contact or mail chimp. This will tell you click through rates, proportion of emails successfully delivered and read, along with other statistics. These services will also allow people to opt in, opt out and forward emails.

5) REFINE TRAILER

Promote your trailer everywhere. This is the primary sales tool of your film. The ideal length is 30 to 90 seconds. Post it on You Tube. Ensure all links go back to your website.

6) INCREASE TARGETED WEB TRAFFIC

Consider sponsored links. cross promotion, online and offline newsletters, blogs, press releases with services such as pr.com, twitter, facebook and pinterest.

Monitor visitor data such as length of visit, returning visits, keywords, trends and links to your website.

7) BUILD A FOLLOWING FOR LIFE

Source your audience as early as possible during your pre-production awareness phase, leverage your audience by inviting them to share your links.

You can also use crowd funding such as indiegogo and kickstarter to test your concept, source your initial audience and raise money.

When defining your audience consider who they are, how large they are, how they will be sourced and how they will be targeted.

Then you can plan your marketing strategy based on how many VOD units need to be sold to break even.

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