How Do I Get My Horror Movie Seen?
This is the question on every filmmaker’s mind when they set out to make a movie, or at least it should be. There are many independent filmmakers that get caught up in the creative process and have no idea what comes next. My goal in this article is to lay out a simple game plan that will hopefully take your project to the next stage. There are a lot of great movie concepts out there that never get realized. If you actually finished a movie, congratulations, because that is a major accomplishment!
Now, you have the finished product. What should you do next? Well, your movie is in fact – a product. It’s something that holds value and needs to be treated as such. What does every single product have in common? A Marketing Strategy.
Let’s figure out your marketing strategy.
Before anything else, know your audience. For arguments sake, let’s assume you have a horror movie, because if you are reading this article, you probably do. You need to know how to get in touch with your audience. In the case of the horror genre, it’s super easy, because there are so many media outlets that are devoted to the distribution of horror news.
When should you start telling your audience about your movie or project? It’s never too early. Actually, I highly recommend putting as much press as possible out before, during, and after production. You need to find a PR company that can reach your target audience.
Here’s what you DON’T want to do – put out one press release and hope for the best.
Here’s what you definitely need to do – put out as many press releases as possible.
Let’s take a look at the 2017 remake of Stephen King’s ‘IT’. This movie had a relentless marketing strategy with new assets coming out almost on a weekly basis. Now, how about to recent announcement of Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters 3 coming in 2020. We already have a teaser trailer and stars talking about it on Twitter. This strategy should be duplicated even for small, low budget independent films. I can’t stress enough, that you need to get your information out there and start teasing your audience.
Marketing Macabre recommends that you have a press release for every asset and every bit of news.
1. Start with the announcement that you are making a movie. The name of the movie and maybe a great tag line. Include what names are in your movie.
2. First Look Press Release. Leak some stills from the movie during production. Do it once or do it a bunch.
3. It’s a Wrap Press Release. I’d suggest some comments from the director and maybe the lead actor / actress.
4. Teaser Poster ( The Suspiria reboot marketing campaign came out with a press release with a series of teaser posters, that got some good coverage this past year).
5. The Official Poster ( If you haven’t released it by now, this would be a good time to also announce the full movie synopsis. )
6. Teaser Trailer ( Maybe a 30 second trailer to tease your audience )
7. Official Trailer ( Now it’s time for a little more, 2+ minute trailer )
8. Official Trailer #2 ( Yup, lots of movies have more than one trailer )
9. Date Announcement ( Is it theatrical, vod, dvd, blu-ray? This press release gives dates and details on where the audience can see your movie. )
10. Screeners Available ( You are offering screeners to the media, so you can get your movie reviewed on as many websites and media outlets as possible. )
Of course, press releases don’t have to fall in this exact order but here are (at least) 10 reasons to do press releases. You can be creative and come up with even more.
It’s important to have a social media presence. Your audience is most likely on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, and Instagram. You should have accounts set up for your movie and share related posts. When a press release drops on Horrornews.net, it also goes out on ALL of Horrornews.net‘s social media accounts. Other sites have the same set up. It’s important to be interactive and share articles and tag websites. In other words, every time an article about your movie hits, you should share it and tag back the website that posted the article. This is just common courtesy and gives you a good working relationship with that website. After all, you want to have a good relationship with the media, so they keep posting your releases. This can be time consuming, but thankfully services like Marketing Macabre can handle this type of thing for you.
When you made your movie, you had a cast and crew. There are a lot of people besides yourself that have a vested interest in the success of your movie. Here’s a quick tip, it doesn’t stop when the film wraps. You want to make sure you get connected with your cast and crew on social media. You potentially have an army of people who can share posts and drive traffic to your film’s page. In my experience, most independent films are NOT utilizing all of their talent once the film comes to an end. Don’t get stuck doing everything yourself.
You should treat your movie as a brand. Look beyond your movie as just a movie, and think about other merchandise opportunities, even if it’s just a t-shirt.
Hope this article was helpful. Any questions, contact Michael Joy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Marketing Macabre is a wickedly devilish public relations / marketing / social media company subservient to horror professionals like yourself. Our undying devotion is to assist horror entities in promoting their diabolical creations well beyond the grave… So if you have anything to do with horror, be it a production company, director, producer, actor, writer, podcast-er, singer, etc…, we will craft a campaign “witch” will spellbind you and your evil dominion.