Film Marketing 101: How to Build an Audience for Your Film

Sean Mannion[1] is the founder or 4MileCircus[2] a Brooklyn-based production and production services company. Among their services they offer consulting on digital marketing and social media for artists and filmmakers. The following strategies for digital marketing are based on training they’ve provided clients and the current strategy he’s employing for the four wall tour of his feature film, Meme. [3]

You’ve finished your film! Congratulations! Now you need to get people to watch it! That’s where marketing come in. Despite what you may want to believe, just because you built it doesn’t mean they’ll come. You’re going to have to tell people about it. Luckily we live in this marvelous digital age and we don’t have to resort to driving to independent video stores and selling our tapes to them out of the backs of our Buicks (but how fun does that sound?).

The first reality you need to face about marketing your film is that it’s best to start early. Ideally, film marketing starts before you start shooting and continues throughout the process. If you’re an independent filmmaker, one of your major audiences is other independent filmmakers. Transparency throughout your process is going to be your friend when it comes to your film marketing strategies. Whether you’re starting your film or you just wrapped post, get started with the basics we cover here.

We are taking a broad look at film marketing strategies here. We will address branding and defining your audience; making a website; how to approach social media, press; video hosting; paid advertising; film festivals; and even leveraging real world interactions.  

Branding and Audience for Your Film

Before we dive into specifics, take a minute to consider branding. Your film’s branding may evolve as you learn more about your audience and what they respond to, but to get started you need to get a sense of how you want to present it and what elements you want to foreground.

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