Like building a house, a good strategy will be built on strong foundations, a long term view of the future and the ability to deal with temperature changes.
The same is true for a promotional movie marketing company. We need to invest in strong foundations where movies form the walls and the marketing campaigns the insulation. Festivals might be the keys; theatrical release, the doors and the various release windows are...well...the windows. Before this analogy walks out the door, think of the roof as the great team who know how to open the doors, windows and hopefully doesn't collapse under trying conditions.
1. The foundation: the promotional platform
The promotional platform should be a movie company's foundation. Movies, team members, marketing campaigns come and go yet your digital home will outlast them all.
To get set up for long term success, you must invest in a long term promotional platform where each movie release campaign gets built upon these strong foundations. You want the success of your last movie release to enhance your next and unless you have the right set up, this is hard to do.
By the right set up, we mean having one promotional platform where you send all your traffic for every release and for any interaction with your company. When you feed a website more traffic, search engines rank it higher and therefore more people will organically find your website.
Don't build a shed (standalone site) for each movie release and expect it to withstand blustery conditions. Build a new room on to the house and change the interiors for each movie brand.
2. Bring all your movie content together
Having a great promotional platform is great for many reasons but most important is the long-term benefits of bringing all your content under one roof.
If you showcase all your movies on one platform with Coming Soon, In Theaters and Home Entertainment options, you will create more opportunities for fans to find your website organically and engage with your wider content. They may come in to find where to watch one movie at home and find a theatrical release they are dying to see also. This type of cross-selling brings great economies of scale.
It also brings SEO economies of scale as your traffic from one movie campaign benefits the next release.
3. Encourage audience engagement
It might sound obvious, but a movie release is a cultural event and such events bring hype. The usheru team believe capturing this movie hype is nearly as valuable as the box office sales.
If you can capture the hype and cultivate it, it can be reused. In layman's terms, if you have a release that is yet to hit theaters but there is interest bubbling away; create 'a marketing event' to grow your fanbase who you can promote future movies also to.
A marketing event might be a competition, quiz, game, survey, which draws in traffic and entices fans to participate and leave an email for the thrill of winning a prize.
If you capture 100,000 emails over 10 releases, you can start to reach audiences cost-effectively for future releases. Put some budget towards a great money can't buy prize and you can hit 10X the audience size.
4. Build a smart CRM (customer relationship management) system
Assume you are motoring with campaigns, great marketing events and the traffic is flowing in; we recommend using a scalable CRM system to build detailed fan profiles. (usheru have this built in automatically and can also connect to most major CRM provides through API integrations)
In the set up of marketing campaigns or with your CRM set up in general, think of what types of information might be valuable to store when growing the database. For example;
Movie they engaged with (and associated genres, country of origin etc)
Cities/countries they are in
Cinema/VOD preference data
What other movies of yours have they seen
Favourite cinema venues
When setting up a competition, think of capturing such information slowly over time to help understand your audience preferences. This data can be invaluable later if you have an event in a certain city for a particular genre and you can segment such an audience.
You can then make the segment feel special with a personalized invite to the event.
As best practice, always be clear how you segment them as it helps build trust. e.g. "we are reaching out as we know you liked some of our previous romcom releases in New York".
5. Action and reflection: better analytics and reporting
The movie industry operates at breakneck speed when a new movie comes to the market. Few industries have to contend with national and global releases on one day with distributional, promotional and other activities taking up huge time in advance and a new movie coming say 2 weeks later. It can be like a washing machine.
To break the cycle of wash, rinse, repeat we need to build analytics capabilities to analyze performance across the various aspects of the release cycle in real time.
We need to identify and cut out waste (in marketing, advertising etc) and bring learnings to future campaigns. We believe it is vital to give your marketing agency partners access to campaign data in real time and empower them to make real time changes in terms of ad buying.
You need to review every campaign after the release, identify the waste and score the performance. Over 10-20 releases with this type of action and reflection, you will see great efficiency gains.
It goes without saying though, you need to have a great promotional platform at the foundation to enable such measurement.
If you want to discuss getting your house in order; let us know at any stage.