Want to know how to use data to boost your VOD sales?

The world of digital distribution is constantly changing, and the only way for filmmakers to keep up is to make sure that they understand how effective they are with their data. In Part 1 of our two-part series around how online filmmakers grow their sales with Distrify Media, we’ll look at how to use data to refine their distribution strategies and make their content more appealing to potential fans.

Indeed, the most successful filmmakers don’t just upload trailers and make a few posts on Facebook, and Twitter to promote it, but rather they rigorously investigate their past results for changes they can make to improve performance. To that end, Distrify Media developed a dashboard collecting real-time numbers, on how well your trailer and sales are performing.

In this guide, I’ll look at how to use data collected on your VOD platform, in order to refine your distribution and marketing strategies and boost your video sales.

Test Your Audience Through Paid Promotion

Building an audience from scratch is challenging for any filmmaker regardless of how good his content is. Not only do filmmakers need to reach the right group of potential fans, but they also need to catch them at a time when they’re open to checking out the new trailers, short clips, or previews.

For instance, it can be extremely difficult to get people’s attention while they are scrolling their social media feeds. These users are only engaged with what they’re doing, creators can have a hard time turning them into fans.

Looking to explore options beyond indie guerrilla promotion, chose to create banners on paid media platforms to test your film’s potential audience. Here’s an idea, spend money on Facebook ads, Twitter ads, or even Reddit, to see how your content is doing with a specific targeted demographic. Don’t just assume, or guess, that’s good to start with, but take those assumptions, and prove to yourself that indeed you’re targeting fans correctly. Your audience is crucial to the success of your content. If you’re not seeing success in an audience that you tested, or should be converting, you’ll need to narrow down and get the most interested ones to be your loyal fans, who will carry the film to thousands of their friends.

How to understand your statistics/data?

Chose to use the Distrify Media dashboard to analyze performance. For new creators, it is helpful to access statistics and understand them. Here’s an example of how to test your market. A new documentary “Hotline” was tested with Facebook ads, the creators didn’t make it available for purchase on VOD, but rather wanted to test its potential on different targeted groups. The trailer was uploaded to Distrify Media with the intention to understand the trailer’s performance.

Interest targeting is the backbone of Facebook advertisements. Facebook collects data on its users based on information they’ve added to their timeline, the topics related to pages they like, keywords in their status updates, apps they use, and any ads they’ve previously clicked. Facebook then assigns these users to groups of high-level interests, and filmmakers can use those interests to target people most likely to click their advertisement and then interact with the film’s site and trailer.

After testing a few social channels including Reddit, and Twitter, Hotline’s producers chose Facebook to test the number of impressions their ad generated to trailer views. The number of clicks on the actual player showcases real engagement. The team was able to use multi-variant testing to select the trailer’s thumbnail and headline combinations that people were most likely to engage with. And by analyzing how their trailer performed across, they were able to determine which banners provided the best click-through rates, so that the team could allocate a greater portion of its budget to those.

The campaign generated the following statistics:

1820 – Preview playbacks

555 – Players served to Previews Played

30.49% – Conversion Rate.

A small budget of approximately $100 generated some very valuable data.  

Their interest group produced 1820 player served, which is the number of unique impressions, and from those they converted 30.40% to watch the trailer, 9.5% of trailer views created email to sign up. That proved that they managed to target the audience with precision, and once the movie will go live, they’ll harness the same demographic and group interest to boost their sales. With more advanced tools like retargeting, and email marketing they’ll be able to optimize their fans and boost sales.

Being a successful filmmaker doesn’t just mean expanding your audience by successfully distributing your content to new fans — you also need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to engage the people who are already interested in your film. In part two we’ll go over advanced marketing tools to store your audience’s interest and create engagement that will produce your hard-core fans.

For more information about your video’s performance and how to read statistics please go to our support page: http://faq.distrify.com/article/84-understanding-player-statistics

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