Your Film's Content Marketing: Roles and Responsibilities

How can a microbudget filmmaker develop online content (e.g., Facebook updates, blogposts, tweets, etc.) that potential customers will actually care about AND that will actually help to sell the film (e.g., merch, streaming, tickets to a screening, etc.)?

If you look at what many independent filmmakers are doing online to sell their films, and compare that to what online marketing experts recommend, it seems that many (most?) filmmakers are just wasting their time.

For example, many independent filmmakers make blogposts and Facebook updates that are just transparent attempts to "push" their films.

Marketing experts will tell you that "pushing" your film online may be a waste of effort - obvious sales pitches are just too easy for the audience to ignore.

What content marketing experts suggest is 1) consider what your audience is really interested in and 2) provide them with the type of content that they want (not just your film, but other content that your audience might actually be searching for) - building a relationship that will eventually lead to trust and sales.

Easy for the experts to say. But, if you're a microbudget filmmaker, how do you accomplish all this content generation?

At large companies, there can be a team generating content that will be of interest to the target audience (see below). But most low budget filmmakers can't afford a team. We do it ourselves. And we didn't get into filmmaking to be marketing experts. Is it any wonder that the content for our film's Facebook page, Twitter account, website or blog is not like a big company's?

OK. But studying what the big companies are doing may provide insights for microbudget filmmakers - even those that can't afford any help with content marketing.

Here's what the experts at Junta42, a content marketing company that offers some free services say:

"Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience - with the objective of driving profitable customer action...Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty."

How do I know what content my core audience cares about? And how do I go about creating that content?

According to an Oct. 26th guestpost by Joe Pulizzi, "no matter how many people actually take responsibility for the function, the following roles are needed:"

The Manager — or Chief Content Officer (CCO)
"At least one person in your organization should own the content initiative."

The Managing Editor(s)
"They help internal employees develop and write content, and they help external people match their writing to meet the organizational goals."

Content Creators
"Content creators produce the content that will ultimately help to tell the story."

Content Producers
"Content producers format or create the ultimate package that the content is presented in (i.e., they make the content pretty)."

Chief “Listening” Officer (CLO)
"They are there to listen to the groups, maintain the conversation, and to route (and/or notify) the appropriate team members who can engage in conversation (customer service, sales, marketing, etc.)."

The slide at the top is from a presentation by March Honoroff  published as a slideshare by in December of 2015

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Randy Finch's Film Blog:

Thoughts from a film producer about making and distributing films.