6 Things you can do to Promote your Independent Film Successfully

Getting your film noticed from pre-production to post-production is a key element you need to pay attention to, as it will help the public to already know your movie once it is distributed.

It is important to take into account the marketing of your movie at all times so that it follows each step of the production as it progresses, since it is a stage of your project as important as the others, but that is usually and easily left out.

Know your audience

When working on any marketing campaign, it is crucial to know which group of people our project is aimed to so we can promote it favorably. To do this, we must segment our audience based on our future consumers and define which niche we desire to reach.

There are some rare cases when films have become successful in spite of not having a targeted niche, but we do not recommend trying to market your film to reach “everyone”.

A great way to start off is by asking yourself “what makes my project different from any other film?”, “why is my film worth watching over hundreds of competing similar works?”. You need to be able to answer these questions honestly, otherwise, your film may be condemned to failure.

Once this exercise is done, you will not only know who your potential audience is, but you will know as well who your competition is and discover new business opportunities. Take your time to understand your audience and their needs, and use that to your advantage to make your film reach as many people as possible related to it.

Don’t underestimate social media

Social media is an invaluable way of finding your audience and build hype for your upcoming film. Take advantage of ​Twitter​, ​Instagram​, ​Facebook​, ​YouTube and ​Vimeo​, and the great social media promotion tools they have to offer.

Don’t be afraid and get creative with hashtags, as they will assist you to drive shares and followers to your page and content. Even uploading short clips to Instagram and Youtube can help you spread the word about your upcoming release.

When speaking about filmmaking, people usually want to know about the making of it, the bloopers, behind the scenes and exclusive content. Giving more of an insight into the process behind it will help your audience become more invested in your film project.

The best part: they are free to use!

Create an engaging trailer

Making a good movie trailer is a crucial aspect of your marketing. It is the main and most effective existing means to promote your film.

YouTube and ​Vimeo are the perfect go-to platforms to upload your teasers and trailers at the beginning. It is not only very easy to do but you can also drive traffic to your website and/or social media by link them with your project accounts.

You can also approach other websites and submit your film trailers and movies to be posted, such as Rate My Movie Trailer ​and Film Ratings​, where you can additionally post relevant information about your projects, and connect with other professionals in the indie filmmaking industry.

So use this excellent tool to present the general plot of your film to the audience; select some of the most attractive scenes from it, so that people get a first idea of the story and the main characters of the film, for the purpose of getting people interested in it.

Crowdfund your project

Nowadays it is possible for almost any project to be entirely funded by online donations. The film industry has not lagged far behind and is finding crowdfunding to be a new channel to raise money as well as a useful marketing tactic and a great way to get potential audiences to become familiar with film projects early.

The internet offers many safe sites for film finance that provide the means to conduct the user’s crowdfunding campaign, like ​Kickstarter​, ​Indiegogo​, and ​Seed&Spark​. Some crowdfunding websites might have better resources for you to reach the audience that you’re trying to reach, with a convincing pitch that converts interest into support, and some are dedicated film fundraising websites; some let you keep the funds you raise even if you don’t reach your funding goal and some don’t.

Take into account these features and think of the most important for your independent film project. Just remember to never underestimate the power of crowdfunding, no matter how small your market segment is.

Don’t be intimidated!

Submit to film festivals

Getting together to watch movies is a full of excitement occasion by itself, but it can also mean a perfect way to lay the ground for a new business deal for you and your project.

Generally, a good part of those attending a film festival are not the ones who watch movies but the ones who make the movies.

So films at these kind of events are not only seen by the general public: critics, journalists, managers, agents, distributors, coordinators from other festivals, people with a lot of funding at their disposal and film enthusiasts also attend film festivals.

This means not only that you can further your career with a business deal, but that your film also has the chance to get a -favorable- review written or that a Q&A or panel discussion could happen, which would help you get noticed as an influencer if you are a ​ ble to explain your film’s news value.

The goal of getting your independent film into a festival is pretty much to put you on the map in a tangible, real way and take things to the next level. There are various types of film festivals as some may be regional, others are entirely online, some simply offer a screening, others offer prestige and exposure and some even offer prizes with cash or in-kind awards.

Do your research and make a decision depending on what your goals are and what your movie needs. Many memorable movies are born at festivals, so think of this option as the ultimate marketing tool to promote your movie.

Don’t give up

Make all the other efforts worthwhile! Dedicating the same amount of time and commitment to the advertising campaign as to producing the film is necessary to create a good hype that draws your audience to be part of your project and improves engagement.

Whether you have a huge budget or you’re making movies with cell phones, keep it fun and stay positive. Remember that feeling making movies brings to you and keep filming!