I wrote a guest post over and IndieGoGo, a cool fund raising and awareness tool for filmmakers, on the topic of using SEO (and SEM) to attract an audience for your film.
Here’s a teaser:
Making a film is a big enough challenge in itself, but if you are like most low-budget independent filmmakers, you’ll quickly discover that finding an audience for your film can be even more challenging.
Outside of widely known marketing methods like submitting to festivals, inviting people to special screenings, and attempting to make friends on social networks, most filmmakers fail in allowing their audience find them on their own.
In an effort to get more entries into the 2009 Webby Awards, the Webby Awards teamed up with some online video rockstars to promote entering. Eventually there will be five videos, but here are the first two:
This well-done video featuring the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Courteney Cox, Ellen DeGeneres, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Jonah Hill, Dustin Hoffman, Ashton Kutcher, Eva Longoria, Tobey Maguire, Demi Moore, Natalie Portman, Forest Whitaker and other celebs, is sure to be one of the most rapidly deployed viral videos. The non-partison video is aimed at getting more people to vote using the invite 5 friends meme strategy.
At the time of this posting, the video has less than 100k views. I expect it will surge to a million views in short time.
I’m registered to vote, so I’ll pass this along to 5 more who run websites or blogs in the search community:
For those planning on attending the Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer in Arizona, but haven’t registered yet, here’s a Discount Code you can use to save $200 (or $350 if you register today): ESPKA08
I’ll be there to speak about Search & Social Media (email’s not my bag, baby).
I’m feeling a bit guilty for not spending more time writing about SEO on this blog. But, I’m happy to say there is a reason, a very good reason. As you may know, I recently wrote, directed & produced a 30 minute short film which is currently in post production, but mighty close to complete.
Besides learning every nuance to the Final Cut Pro Studio suite, I’m now sharing my experiences with the short film blog associated with the movie. If you are into movies or movie making, I’d love to see your participation on the site. Yes – the image to the right is the Unseen Abilities still image of choice to describe some of our SoundTrack Pro experiences.
Google recently experimented with having their Gmail users upload short clips to make a fun collaborative video showing how Gmail goes around the world. Unleashing users to play with your brand can be scary for marketers, but in reality, Google had complete control over the process (they got to choose which videos to show). Kudos for Google for stepping outside the box and having people interact with their brand.
I shot my first short film last week. It was a jam-packed 4.5 day shoot that has left me with over 7 hours of footage to mess with in post-production (should turn out to be a 20 minute movie). My goal is to win an award in a film festival and/or receive financing to make it a full-feature film.
This film has also given me an excuse to use MySpace. I’ve never been a fan of MySpace from a web experience perspective, but I realize its marketing power for film & music.
I’ve been impressed with the marketing tactics The Simpsons movie has employed. Back in July, by word of mouth I heard about the Simpsons 7-11 promo where select 7-11s were transformed into Kwik-E-marts including one in my hometown, Seattle (shame on the 7-eleven site for removing the page from their site) where you could buy pink donuts, buzz cola, krusty-os, etc. (I still think they should have made Duff beer).
Then, last week before I went to see the movie, I visited the official simpsons movie site which also had some great viral marketing elements built in. For example, you can create your very own Simpsons character. Here’s my Simpsonized family:
They made it really easy to create avatars, jpgs, video and other web elements that you could add to your blog or social networking profile. I love it when movies go beyond creating a site that only contains a movie trailer and a couple stills. Allowing your fans to promote their love for your movie is a smart marketing tactic. Massive marketing still works for Hollywood, but it seems like the movies that are most successful rely mostly on Word-of-Mouth. Why not use the web to promote word-of-mouth activity?
The movie was also enjoyable. As a filmmaker, I loved the beginning. Television actors & movies are often considered undesirable for feature films because the audience is used to seeing them for free. In true Simpson’s style, they actually poke fun at the audience for paying for the movie during the first 30 seconds of the film.
SEOmoz released the results of the 2nd Annual Web 2.0 Awards yesterday. I’m happy to announce that I was one of the 25 judges. I’ve judged the Webby Awards for a number of years and even judged an online Miss World competition a few years ago, but I must admit that judging the Web 2.0 Awards was a refreshing change. It’s fun to see how people are changing the web in exciting ways.
I highly recommend you take a look at the 2007 Web 2.0 Award Winners, especially if you are still unsure what a “Web 2.0 site” is. I think every company with an online presence could benefit from paying attention to sites that are leading the movement towards Web 2.0 experiences.
Think about how you might be able to integrate elements of what these other sites are doing into your site, especially if it adds value to your existing user base.
The WSJ reports that CD sales for the first three months this year are 20% down from last year. Though digital music purchases are up about 50% Y/Y, overall music industry revenues are said to be down about 25% Y/Y. It appears the RIAA’s lawsuit bully tactics are having a reverse effect on sales. From the Journal:
The sharp slide in sales of CDs, which still account for more than 85% of music sold, has far eclipsed the growth in sales of digital downloads, which were supposed to have been the industry’s salvation… In recent weeks, the music industry has posted some of the weakest sales it has ever recorded. This year has already seen the two lowest-selling No. 1 albums since… 1991.
Whether the music industry likes it or not, things are only going to get worse. The good news is that people still like music—maybe more than ever. What’s really changing here is that those who had control over distribution are losing control. More and more, the middlemen can be cut out and small bands (much like small businesses on the Web) can reach a worldwide audience without incurring much in the way of costs.
The movie industry has just started feeling the sting of a digital world. As it becomes clearer and clearer that Hollywood’s monopoly over movie distribution lessens, Hollywood will be tempted to take control of the inevitable movement towards new distribution models. Hollywood would be smart to learn from RIAA’s mistakes and take a more participatory role in giving people movies the way they want them, at fair prices. $20 New Release DVDs and $10 movie theater tickets may sell for now, but I don’t see that lasting long.