You have just completed your first independent film, now you need to figure out how to market it. You don’t have the budget to advertise in major entertainment publications, but you want to reach a broad audience. So how do you accomplish this on a small budget? The answer: by being creative.
It will definitely take a lot of creativity to promote a small budget movie these days, because there is so much ’big budget’ competition out there. However, you can use some of the same marketing tools the big budget studios use, just with a different strategy.
One of the online marketing tools many big budget studios use is YouTube. They use it because it is one of the largest online video platforms, and it generates billions of viewers each month. This high volume of monthly viewers provides these studios an automatic built in audience.
Before using YouTube however, there are a few things you need to know. The first thing is that you will most likely not generate any revenue using YouTube. This may not be an issue if your primary goal is to build your brand. However if generating money is your main goal, then this may not be the strategy for you. There are some people who do make money on YouTube, but they are the ones who are generating a million plus views per month.
Big budget studios don’t use YouTube to generate money; they use it to promote an upcoming film. This brings us to the second step of this strategy. The most effective way for a low-budget filmmaker to use YouTube is to post their film on a separate website, and create a promotional video trailer for YouTube.
When creating the trailer, make sure you include a link to the site where your actual film is posted. Also include a comment section on your site so viewers will be able to leave comments. A comment section also helps film viewers feel more engaged, which will help to increase site traffic.
Another strategy for promoting a low budget film, is pitching a story about the film to high profile industry publications. Even though you are not an A-list filmmaker, there are still some industry publications that would be interested in hearing about your film. Before you pitch the publication however, make sure you familiarize yourself with the type of content they publish. Use this information to customize your pitch. Pitching a story about your film is an alternative way to get your film mentioned in a high profile magazine, when you can’t afford the magazine’s advertising rates. Before the interview, make sure you ask if it is okay to include a link to your online film.
This same strategy also works for promoting low-budget DVD’s and a Web Series.