Whilst I have been working in the digital marketing industry for almost a decade, working on Before I Disappear was my first foray into the complex world of film marketing. My digital strategy agency, Boguslavsky & Co, was contracted by Electric Entertainment to research, conceptualize and compile a three month social media strategy leading up to the theatrical release of the US film, Before I Disappear. We then spent three months implementing the social media strategy, during the regional and international film festivals, and as part of the countdown to the actual theatrical release.
One of our key investments this year has been in trendwatching.com‘s premium services. I found their consumer trends reports invaluable for creating the digital strategy for this film client. I ended up using some of the trends & insights from Trendwatching.com’s premium offerings and being guided by the latest consumer trends in the entertainment industry. I also focused heavily on researching current film marketing trends and seeing what works best in terms of engagement.
Overall, the key aspect to keep in mind when working on a social media strategy for a film is that it is vital to create a community and a phenomenal experience around the film, with the focus on the viewers’ favourite characters, and the people behind the scenes (producers, directors, filmmakers). The social media channels should in a way be an extension of the film and the buzz around the film. I would also recommend creating a specific strategy for each of the core social media channels based on the target audience of that platform.
We decided on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as the three core social media platforms for marketing the film. We also created Tumblr and Soundcloud profiles for the film but these were more of supplementary social media channels.
We utilized the Facebook platform as more of a family/friends/community kind of social media space as we focused heavily on creating a community around the film and sharing film festival news, awards won at film festivals, phenomenal reviews of the film, much loved songs from the soundtrack, interviews with the cast, and even released the trailer on Facebook before we released it on any other social media channels. The Facebook content strategy was all about celebrating the film and the love the fans have for the film.
The core focus of the content strategy for Twitter, was on developing content for Twitter based on creating specific persona for the film and tone of voice that resonated with the tone of the film. We also leveraged the social media star power of some of the film’s actors in order to utilize their fanbases effectively to promote the film.
Instagram is very much a visual platform with a personal feel to it so we wanted to use that feel in order to give the fans, followers and audience a glimpse into making the film with special, exclusive behind the scenes photos and images that illustrated the magic of filmmaking.
It’s vital to keep in mind that if you have limitations in terms of your social media advertising budget, then a key aspect of your social media strategy should be on leveraging the actors’ social media presence and using their followers to drive the buzz around the film. ‘Before I Disappear’ has a stellar cast, including high profile actors such as Ron Perlman, Paul Wesley, and Emmy Rossum.
When it comes to analysis of your film’s social media strategy and work, it’s beneficial to invest in an analytics tool such as Socialbakers (this is something I ended up using for this film client). I found their customized reports in-depth, cohesive and phenomenal for monitoring the kind of content that worked best in terms of growth and engagement. It’s also a fantastic analytics tool from a B2B angle in terms of the demographic breakdown of the fans and followers and their growth over a specific period of time – great for showing potential international buyers the demand for the film.