Once you have your project live on Chill, you might be wondering, “what next?” To help you get started with marketing your project, we put together some of the best marketing tips that we’ve seen driving real sales for independent filmmakers and artists on Chill.
1) Reach Out to Press
If you are not working with a professional PR team, don’t be afraid to seek out relevant blogs and online media outlets to request coverage. Find the right person at the outlet based on what they have previously written about.
A short pitch is more effective than a copy/pasted press release, so don’t stress over it. If you can’t find their direct contact information, you can also tweet them (but be polite and don’t spam them!).
2) Access your Inner Circle
Reach out individually to your closest circle of friends, family and supporters. Who are the people you can always count on to support you, and who would be open to sharing your project with their friends or followers? The first email list you build will likely start with this group.
3) Tap into your Influencers
Influencers are the people who have a large fan base or social following. Who are the biggest “influencers” that are either a part of the film or have a vested interest in it? Maybe it’s someone in your inner circle who might be interested in supporting your project. Reach out to them and make it easy for them to help promote it.
4) Get in the Inbox
Do you have an existing email list for this project or any of your previous creative endeavors? Is there an alumni message board you are a part of or a newsletter that you regularly contribute to? Email is one of the most direct ways to reach your future customers.
When sending emails to your list make sure to keep the copy you write short and snappy (nobody wants to read your press release) and ideally include a great image from your project.
Pro Tip: In your email, include links to share your project on Twitter with tools like clicktotweet.com. For sharing to Facebook add your Chill url to the end of this “https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=”.
For example if your url was https://chill.com/camp, you would add it to the url above like this: https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=https://chill.com/camp
When your fans click on this new link it will automatically give the option to share that page on Facebook. If you need to make your links smaller you can go to http://bitly.com/ to shorten them.
5) Polish your Social Skills
We all know social media is important, but it is easy to fall into the trap of treating your feed as an ad platform. To be effective in social, you need to be authentic, entertaining and gracious. Not every post needs to be a plug to buy your movie— you can also share a cool related photo or article that your fans might enjoy.
We like to follow the rule that for every three posts, only one should be directly promotional (asking your followers to buy your movie or like your page etc). The more interesting, funny, useful, or emotionally engaging your content is, the more people will see it.
Pro Tip: Focus on the outlets where you have your biggest aggregation of fans or where new fans are likely to hang out. You do not need to be on every social network. If you have the bandwidth and the support to do it, then great, but you will set yourself up for greater success if you choose 2-3 networks you can be consistently active on.
Maybe you start out on more of them and then narrow it down to the ones that get the most interaction. Some good networks to experiment with are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, Instagram and Pinterest.
6) Annotate on YouTube
Putting your trailer on YouTube is a vital part to your film’s promotional strategy. It also puts you into Google Search and lets more people discover or easily find your movie.
Pro Tip: You can now annotate directly to your Chill project page within any video you put up on YouTube. See this blog for annotating instructions.
7) Update your Fans
Chill has an “updates” feature where you can continue to update your fans about exciting things that are happening with your project. Do you have a new review or screening coming up? Have you posted something new to YouTube? Want to thank everyone for their support? Post an update! This will also trigger an automatic email to people who have purchased and opted-in to hear from you.
8) Embed your Trailer
Did you know that you can actually embed your Chill trailer on your web site or in press coverage? That means the video will click right through to Chill and have a call to action to buy your project on it. Find the embed code by clicking play on your trailer and then clicking on the square icon in the lower right hand corner. You will be given size options to grab the code from.
9) Promote Yourself
We have a nifty tool called “web site promo” that lets you create an ad for your Chill sale page on your own web site. Sign into your account, click on purchases, then on dashboard. Click on the marketing tools tab at the top.
You will need to upload a 1200 x 600 image and put in a description, and we will pull color options from your image to make it look great. After you’ve created it, you will want to paste the code anywhere in the header of your web site. For an example, visit pleasesubscribefilm.com.
Have other Pro Tips that are working for you?
We’d love to hear from you. Share any of your own marketing and promotional insights with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org