How filmmakers have leveraged digital trends to market their films

Like it or not, audiences, in general, are spending more and more of their time engaging with content on social media sites. Given this fact, using social media to market one’s film isn’t much of a choice anymore – it’s a necessity. The digital world can be vast, confusing and chaotic – we’ve narrowed down some tips with which your film can make a name for itself in the digital space, along with a few films that have aced the social media game for you to get inspired by!

  • Pick the right platform
    After researching where your target audience spends most of their time, narrow down on the platform of your choice. Usually, one of the big three, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram does the trick. You could also use a combination of two or all three for a wider reach. Instagram is a great fit for sharing photos and short clips from your film, while Twitter works great for witty one-liners that you want associated with your film. Facebook, on the other hand, works great for driving and creating discussions around your film.
  • Engage with your audience
    Figure out what you want your film to stand for and look for other accounts with a similar ideology. Reconnaissance is an absolute must! Figure out how these accounts are engaging with their audience and set a digital marketing strategy in place for your film. It is of paramount importance to deliver engaging content to your users while being consistent with your posting along with using the right mix of hashtags.

Certain films have driven very successful social media campaigns and are prominent names in the digital space. Here are just three of our favourites :

 

1) The Hunger Games
This series of books set in a dystopian future was a smash hit and so were the movies that followed. The social media campaign that followed was nothing short of a storm. Users were directed to Facebook and Twitter where they could register themselves to be citizens as part of the fictional world that The Hunger Games is set in. You could also share your profile pictures across sites and interact with other fans. The Hunger Games Advanced Screening Program on Twitter also allowed users to tweet special hashtags to unlock cities to show the movie before its release. Their Instagram too was carefully curated. From sharing designs from the show, promotional interviews and tailoring movie scenes to fit appropriate national and international days to behind the scenes shots, it wasn’t long before the page drummed up a massive following.

 

2) Deadpool
Everybody’s favourite foul-mouthed hero has a social media presence that is just as loveable. An overwhelming use was made of promo clips with Deadpool in them, often addressing the audience directly, with his classic crass humour. Deadpool also associated with anti-cancer organizations and cranked out PSA-style videos about breast and testicular cancer, which fit perfectly with the character- a mercenary with cancer and a twisted sense of humour. This was a win-win situation in every way since they also got a very important message across that encouraged people to share the videos extensively. Ryan Reynolds himself promoted the movie across multiple platforms with original content that couldn’t be found anywhere else. The marketing team also created extra hype by targeting as many special days and holidays as they could. International markets were a focal point of the digital marketing strategy with content being tailored to specifically appeal to audiences from these cities.

 

3) Paranormal Activity
Although the film originally had a very limited release in the United States, their social media presence created tremendous hype. In a genius move, the filmmakers only put out trailers that showed reactions by audiences. Clips of the actual film weren’t released. Needless to say, this had people talking. Through the movie’s website, the makers asked audiences to demand that the film be screened in their city. Fans were informed that if a million clicks were received for their city, the film would be screened there. This was a strategy that worked on every count. Through Twitter, they even allowed fans to tweet their screams!

 

Sources:
https://locowise.com/blog/how-deadpool-harnessed-social-media-to-create-a-record-breaking-smash
https://www.lightsfilmschool.com/blog/a-quick-guide-to-social-media-marketing-for-filmmakers-afm
https://www.ignitesocialmedia.com/social-media-examples/hunger-games-social-media-marketing/
https://locowise.com/blog/5-superb-examples-of-social-media-campaigns-for-blockbuster-movies

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