Film industries refer to a range of economic activities. Right from making a film till the promotional phase of that film is very critical because a wholesome of money has to be spent.

The introduction of latest technology has changed the cinematic landscape. Now the films are made with a rapid speed and cost of film-making has changed the production process completely.

Did you know?

India is the largest producer of movies in the world with over 1,300 films released each year.

Marketing a movie is always a great challenge. Right after the development of internet and new technologies, marketing techniques lead to an improvisation. Before there was the Internet, production studios had to advertise to their audiences through print media. Billboards, buses, and streets were plastered with hand drawn posters. Once cinema became a bigger industry, trailers were introduced to help promote future films. The business soon expanded, not just for film but also for advertisement agencies and departments. Without these types of promotion, film has the potential to fail in attracting an audience and losing money spent by studios. Today, both groups are extending their campaigns to the usage of social media in order to gain a higher profit and larger audience. Production studios compete against each other to have their film be the most profitable in box office earnings. To attract more attention and beat the competition, studios must spend more money on promoting the films. It is hard to go somewhere and not see a movie advertisement. In order to gain a higher gain it is important to know how to market and where to market.

This is precisely where, Social Media takes a leap. The biggest impact that social media has is that it allows for people to connect with others in sharing and communicating ideas. When print media was only used, people were limited to taking what they saw and process it in their own way. With the usage of social media, many people are allowed to not only share different marketing campaigns but can create an environment where they can discuss with others what they think and how they feel about the movies. This new extension will allow current and potential audience members to have a deeper and more meaningful relationship with the movie and the production studio

Marketing of a movie can be classified into pre-release, release date and post-release.

Pre-release Face:

Pre- release campaign is done to give out the feel of the movie before even the movie is released; this is to create a buzz about the movie. It encompass things that a production company holds like release of songs, release of the first look posters in the newspapers and all social media sights, Teasers, interviews about the making of the movie in television and other online channels etc.

Release date:

In this phase of campaign, celebrities and all the contributors of the movie will make their presence in front of audiences by giving live interviews or may be by making a live presence in the theatre and also most importantly by making their presence in social media sights like going live in Instagram and Facebook. This celebrity endorsement is one of the strategies in a marketing field.

Post-Release date:

It is the most significant one, since the content and the results of the movie is out, and has been widely scrutinized. A positive feeling about the movie going rounds makes it all the more important to make it stay that way. Reviews about the movie and the ratings of the movie in online mediums like IMDB are the entire one that audiences choose to know about the movie.

 74% of people in the 18-65+ age group are on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. 

Why online marketing matters?

Social media is believed to play a notable part of our daily activities, with Facebook and Twitter being the most popular platforms. The success of such platforms has not stayed unnoticed for many businesses looking to promote their products and services. Social Media didn’t stop attracting the movie promoters, they used these social media bases to reach several types of audiences. Below are some of the services and marketing ideas that can be made use of to promote films using social media.

Creating online pages: Creating pages for movies are proved to be effective in connecting with the audience, engaging them with the movie content and promoting the movie online. Fans usually like these pages and look for constant updates and the progress level of the films. Most of our Kollywood movies have their own Facebook page and profile where the movies can be promoted.

Conducting campaign: Event or campaigns can be conducted in collaboration with other forums to uncover the first look teaser or poster. These need to be promoted across all channels and platforms to attract mass audiences. Besides, conducting events the movie cast and crew can also conduct online contests or events where the audience get to meet their favorite stars or get free movie tickets for the first day of the show.

Video marketing: The latest trend in promoting movies online is to collaborate with video marketers and YouTube channels for quick promotion of the movies, where the celebrities can give interviews, talk about the movie, their experience working in the film. Many online forums and YouTube channels are promoting movies online as pre-release, during release and post-release basis. Behind the scenes and the making of the movie videos can also be done.

Content sharing: There are many online forums available for to publish content for the entertainment section. These forums can be targeted to publish movie content. These contents can be like Behind the scenes facts, making of the movie facts or blog posts on character highlights or the technology used for the movie.

Using technology: Promotions can also be done by taking a step further and making use of technology like app development for the characters of the film or creating a web domain for the movie. Animated characters can also be developed for movies like periodic films or super hero stories.

Creating hypes and Publicity: The first step in creating a successful marketing strategy is to create an hype for the movie. This can be done by creating a first look poster or teaser and promoting it across all channels. Creating hypes for the movies are always a must to get the audiences attention. This can be done by talking about the character highlights, casting and the special story lines or mention abut the films.

To show up when audience search for related items: When the target group search for related things in Google, it is important to be visible in the results. Eg: When audience search for the list of movies of the director, it is important to show up in the results page and redirect audiences to know more about your movie.

Social media platforms provide the possibility to publish several types of media content online. The question then is what is the content that works in reaching the audience? Content that triggers the curiosity always grabs the attention of the audiences. Hence creativity in promotional platforms is really important for any successful promotional campaign.

5 main reasons on why social media is the best platform for Movie promotion:

Quick Spread:

Movies have a short lifetime; hence the promotional activity should take part right from pre-release stage (say like a couple of weeks before the movie hits the screen). The intent is to create a buzz about the film. Social Media being the best medium helps to create awareness in a limited time.

Celebrity Endorsement:

Film stars have a high social capital.

Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms in India which many celebrities intensively use to connect with their fans.

Gone are times when celebrity endorsements are featured in TV. Today, celebrities are given more opportunities to interact openly and directly to their fans! Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat have been excessively adapting to these genres.

Off-late, we have also seen a revolution take place with movie stars acting as influencers. Be it Tamilnadu’s Jallikattu protest, Swach Bharath, Chennai Floods etc. social media platforms has only bought actors close to their fans and influence them in a positive way. In fact, on certain occasions, social media promotions have gone a step further and introduced movie campaigns like Chennai-28 part 2 “Mannequin challenge” or Dosa challenge for the upcoming Jyothika’s movie “Magalir Mattum”.

Content Sharing In a Jiffy:

Social Media platforms are extremely user-friendly. This allows production houses to upload or share movie trailers and other contents on Facebook, YouTube, and other video sharing platforms. Before you know it, they go viral!

User Generated Contents:

Reviews are one of the most important aspects that encourages audiences to watch a film. In the past, reviews were limited to film critics. However, social media has changed this custom. The general can now leave their comments and movie reviews online without any haste. These user-generated content (UGC) naturally contributes to the awareness of the movie.

Reaches new levels:

Movies generally do not hit every possible screen due to its distribution costs. However, production houses have now found a solution through digital media platforms. Production houses have used Facebook apps that fans can use to request a screening. Also, with the advent of satellite technologies, movies can now be beamed to cinemas worldwide.

Digital marketing has been helping in the promotional activities of mainstream cinema a lot, lately. Digital mediums have become extremely cost effective and reach to a wide sector of the audience in a matter of seconds! Therefore, social media marketing for promoting films is definitely a “Yes”!

Guest Blogger – Ashwitha Pushparaj