5 Quick Tips on How to Sell Your Film Online
With the increase of filmmakers uploading films on IndieReign, we’re starting to notice some very prominent trends as far as sales go, and what really makes a difference when it comes to converting those sales. To help you out, we’ve made this easy guide for you to ensure you can’t go wrong when you start to sell your content online!
5 quick tips to kickstart your VOD sales:
Tip 1) Have a Great Film Still!
First off, here’s a great analogy: “your poster and film still is your shop front, your trailer is the sales person inside who gets people to buy” – David White, CEO and Founder of IndieReign.
To get people coming through your doors, you’re first going to have to entice them in by promising fantastic cinema and captivating your story and credentials with your films still, and your poster.
A large chunk of your marketing budget should go towards getting a great poster for your film, and a great film still, these are both equally important! Your film still is what people see on all online players before they click that play button. Would you be enticed by a film still that has a random stretched image and no text?. Our statistics show that the films with the most appealing looking posters and stills get the most click throughs. Here’s a great example of a great film still on IndieReign:
What your still should have:
- The background should be a great still image that represents your film
- Film title
- Any festival laurels you’ve gained, including festivals your film was selected for
- If your film is in a foreign language, but you want to sell to an english speaking audience, add in the translation of the title, eg. Roadside Ambanis translates to ‘Roadside Entrepreneurs’.
- Written by, and Directed by credits
Tip 2) Invest in Your Film Poster
Just like your film still, your poster needs a lot of care and attention. Film posters are what we use to advertise your movie around our networks, but people aren’t going to bother clicking through to see your movie trailer if the poster isn’t enticing.
Here are some examples from the some people doing it right on IndieReign! (click through to see the trailers)
What your movie poster should have:
Everything your film still has! It doesn’t need to look the same, but make sure you include: title, festival laurels, a great background image, and director info.
Note: We’re being very serious when we say this, don’t use Times New Roman or Comic Sans as your title font and think ‘it’ll do’. Your poster is what brings click-throughs online, give it some love or you won’t be seeing any return on your fabulous indie flick under that shoddy poster.
You might also want to look at getting some captivating quotes from people who have seen your film- this gives credibility and shows that others have seen it (and like it!). For example “That Scary Horror is a terrifying new take the classic slasher” – Jane Doe, editor of allindiehorrors.com. It doesn’t matter if it’s a website that only has a handful of readers, these quotes add social credibility. People trust what other people say about your film more than reading a synopsis.
Tip 3) Don’t be Lazy with your Trailer!
Make a trailer. Just do it. Trailers sell films. Do I need to say more?
Film posters and stills get people into your shop, but your trailer is what really makes the sale, so throw a bit of money, or some amazing editing at it and DO IT! Tell a story, amp up your audience, introduce your film, and leave your viewers wanting more!
The best time for someone to purchase your film is directly after they’ve watched the trailer. We’ve made it easy for you in creating software that allows your audience to do that, why not make it easy on yourself and just.make.that.trailer.
Tip 4) Get Your Film Rated!
Like I mentioned earlier, people trust what peers say far more than they would a synopsis written by someone they know is trying to sell a film. Ask a friend, blogger, or some chump off the street to review it. Right now.
It’s really great seeing a film and being the first one reviewing it, but sometimes you want to watch something you know will be good, especially if you’re paying for it. Would you trust a 5 star average rating by 56 people? I sure would, and that is why Andy Made A Friend is still one of our best sellers.
Tip 5) share your trailer
One of the many secrets to the success of Andy Made A Friend (which sold hundreds of copies on the first day it went live) was the sheer amount of sharing and hustling writer/director/actress Ash Lendzion did with the help of an army of fans she personally rallied. Lendzion and her posse were tweeting, facebooking, talking, and emailing left right and centre about the debut of Andy Made A Friend on IndieReign, and it paid off in a big way.
Sure, you don’t HAVE to share, and if your still, film poster, and trailer are good you’ll be able to wrangle up sales, but if you really want to make a dent in either paying off your last film (or funding for your next) it ain’t gonna happen unless you buck up and hustle.
Well that’s it with the film tips for now! Next week we’ll be looking into price points and how to set your indie film rental price online, so stay tuned for that!