If you don't have money for marketing but have some time to build and execute a marketing plan, you can foster a winning marketing campaign where you know your audience, their interests, fears and desires.
If you have identified these audience groups and know how to reach out to them, they can help you build that initial audience. The options are endless but for ideas, here are some examples of movies and the associated interest groups targeted;
A movie for older audiences – reach out to active retirement groups. Another partner reached out to schools and launched a 'Bring your grandparent' to the film school initiative.
Nationality focused films – reach out to national associations for the diaspora in international territories. They are always looking for events to bring the community together. Also try reach out to the embassy and young professional associations for that diaspora.
Specific interest groups – whatever the content whether the movie is about pianists, drama groups or yoga; do grass roots reach-outs to those special interest groups. These are easy to find on Facebook, Linkedin and other social media sites. Also try reach out to potential influencers also.
Professional interests – if the movie is about a profession; reach out to the professional associations.
Key things when you reach out;
Be thankful and transparent - their time is limited and they may get a lot of requests. Explain why this might be of interest and be thankful in advance.
Make sure you say thanks for any help - take the time to do a quick follow up to share your appreciation. It goes a long way to them sharing your movie to their wider circles.
Share data on the impact they have had - if someone shares your link to their group, if you can feedback their support resulted in 1,000 showtime searches, it will make them feel their efforts are impactful and your movie is a good fit for their audience group (make sure you sent an individually tracked promotional link).
Ask them do they want you to create a promotional email/post to make their job easier
Invite any super connectors to your premiere's etc.