Here are hand-picked 60 free marketing 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. The landing page is a great marketing tool that ensures the audience gets your story and creates the highest possible conversions from visitors who arrive on these targeted pages.
A typical landing page contains 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 for drag and drop site builders.
Social media can be an incredibly useful free tool for marketing to promote 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 increase 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 a mailing that helped her self-distribution efforts. 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 free services for filmmakers to publish and monetize their work. Most of them are based on a free rev-share model.
VOD – Transactional Video On Demand (TVOD)
AVOD – Ad Support Video On Demand
Consider maximizing your film’s exposure by monetizing your film with ad support.
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. Here are some platforms you might want to add.
- Snagfilms ( 50% rev share, approx $50 for every 1000 views)
- 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 boost your marketing efforts and get your film to more audience.
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 marketing and 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 your 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!)