The 4-steps you need to take to promote your short film


Copyright H5 Productions - Logorama

How to promote a short film online

What's the best way to promote a short film? Well, if you've got a limited budget, and want to spread the word about your latest film, there are a few simple steps you can take to give it a promotional boost. There are of course many more methods to take than just these 4 below, but sometimes, overlooking the most fundamental parts of your marketing effort can undermine your overall success.

These steps are a must if you want to give your short film a chance at success, and to give it it's own personality on the web.

1. Edit Trailer(s)

This is by far the most important of your visual marketing tools. Even if your short film is only 5 minutes in length, you need to create some conversation around it. Create small teasers, embed them in forums and on social networks, and let people know where it's going to play (if you have succeeded in entering any festivals.) You're much more likely to succeed if you can get the right people to look at your work. Being proactive on this front is a step in the right direction, and having your trailers online gives you an additional voice for your film. Remembering that most short films should not be screened prior to a festival or TV distribution deal, this is a way for you to entice your fans without breaking those rules.

2. Set up your film blog (self-hosted)

Now there is a difference between self-hosted and ordinary blogs. Take WordPress or Blogger for example. Both platforms allow you to set up a blog, but they severely limit your ability to do customizations, or changes to the overall theme looks and designs. If you want to use this option as a first step it's good, but if you really want your film to come across as professional, set yourself up with a self-hosted WordPress site.

3. Create the social blog

Once you've got your personal film blog up and running, it's time to get onto social blog platforms. Two examples are Tumblr and Squidoo. Both have their own pros and cons, but the idea here is to create a discussion platform for your film. By engaging fans and building an audience on these platforms, and others, you can start to send them back to your primary site with the full info about your film.

4. Twitter and the list

Twitter is now the most important tool for bloggers and journalists to communicate and find stories. You'll need to spend some time building up your Twitter following and adding bloggers, publications that you will want to reach out to about your film. The same also applies for the film festivals, and competitions you want to submit to.

Also what you can do with your Twitter profile page, is create lists to categorize the festivals, programmers, and bloggers that you want to be targeting. This can be enormously helpful if you have more than one short film in the pipeline. Keep close tabs on those influencers and start a conversation. See what they like, and what they're looking for. Once you've got yourself going, take note of the contact details, and start submitting your film!

Additional notes:

Now you may have noticed that I didn't mention Facebook in any of these 4 steps. The reason being is that although Facebook is a great platform for showing your work, recent changes to the algorithm mean that you're most likely going to have to pay to boost any fan pages you create. It's no longer as friendly to people starting out on the marketing side than before and the engagement is much lower. By all means create your page, and add your friends, but don't make this a primary focus to boost its following if you're on a tight budget.

Remember that there are literally hundreds of platforms outside of Facebook that can help you generate promotional buzz for your short. Instagram, Snapchat, Buzzfeed and Reddit are just a few examples.

If you want further guidance on making your short film successful check out our guide on making it 'Oscar Worthy'.

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