Here are hand-picked 60 free online tools that can help you promote and distribute your film, build your audience from start to finish and create a large followers base as a result.
It’s vital for filmmakers to ensure that they are reaching the right audience with the right messaging at the right time. Your goal is to get the audience to discover your trailer, being intrigued to click to your film’s site and become a fan.
A landing page is a simple page that your fans first land on, which has a clear call to action on it. Usually, it calls the visitor to watch a trailer, scroll through your cinema listing, or subscribe to a mailing list. The idea is that your potential film fan shouldn’t have to scroll down to get the essential information. Your landing page should be cross mobile friendly, as the internet is now consumed mainly on mobile devices.
I’d recommend spending your time on creating a simple (but beautiful) landing page, and a Facebook page.
Luckily nowadays you can create everything on your own without the need to have any background in coding. Here are some great options of drag and drop site builders.
Social media can be an incredibly useful tool for promoting your films. You can boost your film’s appearance and loyalty, connect with potential or current fans, advertise products and promotions, share helpful or inspiring content, and more. Best of all these platforms are free.
Including images when sharing to social media increases engagement across the board–more clicks, replies, and favorites. Check out these free image designers tools:
Tracking your performance on Social Media and scheduling your posts:
Free licensed stock footage for your social media activities
- Life For pix
- Pic Jumbo
- I’m Free
- Death To Stock
Gif is a powerful visual tool that can highly iwncrease your visibility, here are some free ones:
Your best marketing tool is no doubt your mailing list. As you can read in my previous post, filmmaker Claudia Tosi has worked her mailing list to a successful distribution of her film. People signing up to get updates from you means they want to hear all about your film and your progress, use it wisely.
- Mailchimp – Up to 2,000 emails free
- Send In Blue – Up to 9,000 emails free
- Benchmark Email’s – Free for Life plan allows you to send up to 10,000 emails per month
- Mad Mini – Up to 100 emails
- Vertical Response – Free plan enables you to send up to 4,000 emails per month and store up to 1,000 contacts.
Video-on-demand (VOD) is now considered the second most important distribution window of your film’s release. Creating a successful marketing campaign will ensure high volumes of demand online to watch instantly. These websites offer services for filmmakers to publish and monetize their work.
VOD – Transactional Video On Demand (TVOD)
- Gumroad $10 A month + 3% + 0.30
- Vimeo On Demand ($200 + 10% rev share service fee + approx 17% transaction fees)
- BitTorrent Bundles
Pivotshare – 30% Rev Share
- Kino Nation – 20% Rev Share
- Reel House – 6% Rev Share
- Seed & Spark – 20% Rev Share
- Amazon Direct – 50% Rev Share
- Distrify Free upload, 15% + 0.60 rev share
AVOD – Ad Support Video On Demand
In an on-demand world, with video explosion, take into consideration that putting a paywall with TVOD services in front of your potential viewers might drive away. Consider maximizing your film’s exposure by monetizing your film with ad support. Here are some platforms you might want to add.
- Snagfilms ( 50% rev share, approx $50 for every 1000 views)
- Hulu ($90 CPM for every 1000 views, rev share changes)
- Viewster (For animation creators)
- Viki (Primarily Asian content)
- Blinbox (Talk Talk TV)
Monthly Subscription Services, these platforms are offering indie film fans to subscribe and access a large inventory of films. The bad news is that rev share is based on your performance, so you probably won’t see more than a few dollars every quarter, still another good way to get your film to more audience, and get recognized.
Theatrical On Demand (TOD)
Coined by Ted Hope: it’s “Simply, a movie-goer would request a screening of a film, and if enough people were to reserve tickets to the screening by pre-authorizing their credit cards, the film would get ‘green light’ the screening.
Additional tools to complete your distribution (Paid + Free)
- Muso – Protecting your film by taking down piracy links
Fiver – Starting at $5 you can hire professionals to help you with all your marketing needs such as setting up your MailChimp account, marketing campaigns, design, animation, you name it.
- Taboola – Promote you trailer with the world’s leading publishers such as NY Times, Guardian, USA Today.
- Outbrain – Promote your film’s story with thousands of publishers.
- Lynda – Learn marketing skills such as SEO, Facebook Ad Manager, Social from top professionals (A Linkedin company)
- Moz – Free marketing webinars from top professionals, these webinars will enrich and help you get started with your marketing campaigns.
Please feel free to comment if you have additional suggestions.
Check out some of the tools in the presentation I made available for you using SlideShare (free!)