It's important for any production company, from the world's largest to first time filmmakers, to understand that whilst marketing is not your main role, you play a crucial part in the success of your movies launch.
Make a plan in pre-production to gather assets which will help with the marketing later. The more cast and crew interviews, making of videos, still shots and snapshots you gather the better. Here is a little bit more on the Optimum 12 month release strategy.
Test marketing themes and audience assumptions early: Don't hand a movie over to a distribution partner and expect them to know who your audience is for your movie.
As early as you can; test both the audience and messaging. As the less polite amongst us say; "assumptions are the mother of all..." mess-ups. The devil is in the detail and breaking down the audience will help you find gold this way. It will also help distributors rule out costly mistakes later in the heat of the release campaign.
Try 20/30 tests at $10 each to test how the movie performs with groups you think might be relevant. The goal should be how low can you get the cost per engagement and share the results with your distribution partners.
As an example of audience demographic test if you think the audience is both men and women 18-30 do 4 ads, Male 18-24 Female 18-24 etc and assess the cost per engagement for each of the audiences.
Now try the shoulder groups (30+) and see what the cost is. Trial different sub-sets of the best performing groups also.
Long term set up
Aside from the campaign by campaign approach to marketing movies, we need to ensure we are set up to maximize engagement and data capture.
Creating a great website goes a long way to building organic traffic and a database of fans. The usheru home for film solution will save you time in building a smart web platform with all your showtimes and streaming data automatically baked in. If you go it alone, however, it is really important to use your movie assets gathered to help you with SEO so fans organically find your website.
Building a fanbase: producers often think, why would a fan wanted to engage with my company? Simply put, they love what you do or they love your movie content and want to find out more. Make it simple for them to engage at any stage of the release cycle. Here are some practical tips to build your fanbase but it's important to remember movies are entertaining so approach audience building with a fun mindset and it is always easier!