How Social Media Have Turned Up Movie Marketing?
Previously the release of films in theaters was promoted before their theatrical release and the mystery could be more easily kept around its directing and production. With the advent of social networks and new technologies, it is easier to know shooting anecdotes and this is used in the marketing of films to create the buzz before the release. But how to use social networks to best promote the release of future productions?
Marketing Films Before The Appearance Of Social Networks
Traditionally, the marketing of films has been done through a trailer, posters, and traditional media, be it television interviews or in the press. Street or guerilla marketing campaigns could also promote films and create a buzz around a film. But it was rarer and only certain films could benefit from it and profit from it.
A striking case is a buzz created from scratch around the release of the film “The Blair Witch Project” in 1999. The film shot as a documentary tells the story of 3 students wanting to investigate Blair’s witch. To create the buzz, the production says that this documentary was found a year after the disappearance of the “students”. In order to add more authenticity to this story, the co-director of the film created a website around the witch and her myth and for a time the research notices of the 3 “students” could be visible online. Of course, the “documentary” was only a film but this buzz raised around $ 250 million for an estimated budget of $ 25,000.
Such a buzz these days could not be created from scratch due to the ingenuity of Internet users in unearthing information. However, social networks and the entire digital ecosystem make it possible to make film marketing all the more innovative and to start promoting a film several months or even years before its release.
Social Networks: Film Marketing Strategy Boosters
Today, films can be promoted even before the actors are on film sets. This is, for example, the case of Marvel where the film release schedule is already known until 2022 even if we do not necessarily know which superhero will be put forward.
But during filming, social media marketing can already begin, and that’s thanks to the fans. One of the best examples in the recent is the filming of the next Joker (played by Joaquin Phoenix) which is slated to hit theaters in October 2019. Photos from the New York shoot and of the actor as the Joker are flocking to Twitter and quickly creating some excitement. easy and reusable publicity by studios and the press to promote this event film which will not be released for another year.
Thus, social networks can propel the notoriety of a film thanks to fans of a franchise or of actors at little cost to producers or distributors. Paradoxically, the marketing budgets for the release of films tend to explode and the street marketing campaigns for the release of a film are found on social networks to give more scope.
This was particularly the case, last year, for the release of the remake of the film “it” where campaigns of hidden cameras with clowns were coupled with campaigns on social networks. In France, a Buzz kit was sent to influencers to promote the film before its release. This contained various elements linked and identifiable with the film and could, therefore, be relayed by these people and thus make people talk about the film before its release.
These innovative communication campaigns thus make it possible to reach a wider target but also to make future viewers intrigued by the film and thus involve them in these strategies. But it is important to be able to follow what is being said and to benefit from it.
How To Enjoy Social Chats Before And After The Movies Are Released?
Social media chats can be a great way to analyze the potential of a film before release but also the potential of a sequel after release. Social listening has indeed become a key issue in marketing strategy and is also in the film industry. An excellent example of the impact of these discussions is the release of the 1 st film “Fantastic Beasts”. Indeed, following the release of a trailer promoting the film, the company comScore recorded “62,000 new discussions” and placed it at the top of social conversations while the film was in direct competition with films from the Marvel franchise or Disney.
Social listening will also make it possible to know the opinion of the public in the film at different stages of its production:
- Does the cast interest the audience: If we take the example of the release of a Marvel movie, the announcement of an actor who will play the traits of a superhero is very important. Fans can very quickly criticize a movie and boycott it even before the first trailer comes out.
- Is the trailer powerful enough: Even before having finished a film, some distributors are already launching trailers or full trailers on the web. Marketing teams can take advantage of social listening at this time to get the opinion of the target audience.
- Is the public interested in a potential sequel: When the film is released, social listening allows us to analyze customer feedback on the film but also on the characters. Indeed, if the public has a particular effect on the characters, the probability of having success for a second part is higher.
Marketing teams can also take advantage of the influencer network to introduce the film to new targets and thus launch new social discussions. Here again, social listening will be important to find the most relevant influencer to promote the film.
Using listening tools will allow producers and distributors to know the expectations of the public before the release of films and to produce new content that will meet these demands.