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Not every independent film that lands on YouTube gets a large number of views. Independent film-makers who do manage to get a lot of exposure usually have put a promotional strategy in place before the film is even released online.
Promoting a film takes into account modern tastes as well as good social marketing techniques. By putting out content out there that is likely to go viral, making it easier to share with provocative images, too, film-makers stand a better chance of reaping a larger audience.
Maybe you can’t hire Miley Cyrus to twerk in your independent film, but there are plenty of other ways to produce viral content. Once you have that great content online, you want to make sure it is easy to share and loaded with provocative images. Your network should be established ahead of time, so once the film is released, you know how to notify all your friends and followers. If this all sounds like the learning curve may be too steep, don’t be afraid to hire a company or social networking expert to help you promote your video.
Here are a few details on each strategy to make sure your debut is as attention-grabbing as possible.
Some types of content tend to be more viral than others. Humorous and controversial videos get more fanfare than instructional videos. Entertainment sells. Big news stories also create interest and can be used as a way to drive traffic to your video by riding on their tail. Adding a few celebrity references and tweaking descriptions and tweets to include SEO-optimised words and phrases doesn’t hurt either.
Learn the types of contents that are more likely to go viral and how to make them search-engine friendly and your film stands a better chance of standing out from the crowd.
Have your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest profiles already up and populated with friends and followers. You should be carefully grooming your audience to expect the release of your independent film by addressing topics and online conversations of relevance. Follow big names that might have an interest in your independent film and let them know how the development and release are going.
If your content is not shareable on multiple platforms, people won’t bother trying to share it. Put up buttons to easily tweet, Facebook, or email a link. If you have a blog where you are discussing the making of the film and its content, make sure it has a widget that makes the blog easy to share. Write up promotional landing pages, create short promotional videos, and write articles that you can give to people interested in helping you promote your film online without much work on their part.
Your content should include provocative images that are easy to pin on Pinterest. A picture tends to get more attention than just written text. You can even make some using a Creative Commons license that allows sharing and no modification to make it easier for people to share that content.
Sometimes, it’s just easier to pay someone for tweets, Facebook status updates, and blog article mentions. Some social net-workers spend a lifetime creating a vast network of connections that you can have access to by paying them to promote your link. That can be far easier than trying to go it alone, especially when you don’t have as large a social network.
Make use of the tools you do have, like expert designers and film artists, and leave the technical details to a social networking advertising company. One final way to do a paid promotion is to create an affiliate program that you pay others to advertise the link to your film, and they get paid if it is either clicked or some other action is taken. You can even limit payout by only paying for subscribers to a film or email list, such that you know you get something from the transaction that can be marketed later on for future films.