Smarthouse knows filmmakers are constantly having to shift their plans during this time of social distancing and uncertainty, and we feel you. With people at home and searching for entertainment, now is a great time to consider releasing your film online — or to remind those potential viewers about a film that’s already streaming.
“Use pull quotes in text when you can…”
Even without a marketing budget, consistent posting of compelling content to your social media channels can effectively build engagement and followers. Essentially, the more you put into it; the more you’ll get out of it. Content can be used to build your brand and encourage viewers to watch your film.
Not sure where to start? Here are 5 tips for creating clickable content:
1. Use LOTS of video clips
Video is still the top-engaged content across all social channels, but you have to make sure those vids will grab social browsers’ short attention spans. Create a version of your trailer under 60 seconds (even consider a 30-second teaser). Also dig into any behind-the-scenes footage you have, and scenes from your movie that can be clipped down to 15-30 seconds. An engaged cast & crew can be a source for more videos: interviews, fave moments from the film, what they loved about being on set, etc. It’s also important if you have dialog to add captions to your video! For accessibility reasons, and for those social scrollers who don’t have the sound up or headphones on.
2. Have a strong CTA (call-to-action)
What’s your goal with this content? Do you want people to sign up for your newsletter, buy a ticket to an online film festival screening, or rent or purchase your streaming film? Be direct in what you want with an action statement and a link. A simple, “Watch on [streaming platform] now” works great.
3. Provide context for your content
Even if it’s short, you need some kind of caption on the post to set up what people are about to see. Are you showing a clip from the film? Give a little bit of backstory around that clip. Or if it’s your trailer or BTS footage, introduce it as such.
4. Use pull quotes in text when you can
If you’ve gotten some good critical coverage or have amassed great user feedback, pull a 1-2 sentence quote from those reviews that sums up the positive vibes. People are more inclined to watch something that others have enjoyed, and review quotes work really well to drive people to click that link!
5. Add relevant hashtags to your content
Each channel has different ways they use hashtags. They’re extremely useful on Instagram and LinkedIn for searches, and they can be of use on Twitter too. Do some research and find out what the most-used hashtags are on each channel, and use them — but ONLY when they are relevant to your film! There’s nothing worse than seeing someone throw popular hashtags onto their posts that don’t have anything to with the content of the film (i.e. throwing #coronavirus or #covid19 onto a video clip from your rom-com).
Related to that last tip above, it’s most important to READ THE ROOM when you’re posting content. Be authentic, know who you’re trying to reach, and be sensitive to topical social issues while posting.
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Smarthouse Creative is a marketing agency for independent filmmakers. Whether you’re looking for an overall marketing strategy that marries advertising, social media, and publicity, or just a stand-alone digital ad, social media, or PR plan for your indie film, we can help.