Gary Vaynerchuk: How Indie Filmmakers Can Break Through In Today's Increasingly Crowded Online World
Gary Vaynerchuk is a pioneer in e-commerce (his online wine business grew from revenue of $4 million to $45 million in just 5 years - and his online wine TV shows attracted tens of thousands of viewers per episode until he called it quits in 2011).
Gary Vaynerchuk's ideas about engaging with users (and how he expresses these ideas - warning, profanity is part of Gary's in-person pitch) have made him a star in the new world of online marketing.
What Gary Vaynerchuk calls the "Thank You Economy" involves responding personally to customers. For example, Gary advises marketers to track the personal preferences of every user and then mine that data for opportunities to let the users know you're listening to them as individuals (e.g., sending a customer who tweets about Derek Jeter an autographed baseball).
Of particular interest to filmmakers is what Gary Vaynerchuk has to say about "content." According to Gary Vaynerchuk: Content matters, but the single most important word for the next decade is "context."
Why is context more important than content?
No matter how good your content - the important truth is that your content must compete - "break through" - in a world where more content is uploaded every 48 hours than was created prior to 2003.
What does this mean?
What hits your user in the emotional center - not what you are selling - is paramount. The relationship with each individual in your audience is critical - not your content.
What does this new online reality mean for filmmakers marketing their films?
Marketing is no longer about pushing out messages about your content. Instead of Old World marketing messages ("buy my film") or trying to increase the numbers ("like my film's page on Facebook"), the engagements with individual users - based on listening to their emotional needs and not what you want to tell them - are at the core of successful 21st century film marketing.
In this ongoing massive cultural shift - where recommendations and word-of-mouth are at the center of indie film marketing in ways that were not imagined 10 years ago - maintaining a real two-way dialogue with users is crucial.
Marketing your indie film in the 21st century means creating opportunities for users to express themselves, listening to them and then responding in meaningful ways. According to Gary Vaynerchuk: "The only thing that breaks through is the one-on-one connection."