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Promoting A Film Festival: A Digital Marketing Case Study

This month a company called ClickSharp marketing released a "white paper" (that's corporation-speak for "longish essay") on how one might promote a film festival using online marketing techniques. The use of the buzz phrase "long tail" is misleading; the essay doesn't really have anything to do with the long tail concept. The marketing advice, however, is spot on.

If you're a festival director you're probably already doing some of these things. Do your best to take note of the others and implement them in the way that best suits you. The white paper points out a number of online tools that have sprouted up in recent years that make previously difficult or expensive tasks (like hosting video) easy and cheap.

If you're a filmmaker, you should take a serious look at the ideas presented in the essay, substituting the word "film" for festival where you find it. It might seem silly to consider who your sponsors might be, but I just saw a film at Slamdance where, during the Q&A, the filmmakers mentioned that they'd secured sponsorship from Orbitz in the form of a handful of free round-trip flights. Orbitz got mentioned in the credits and Orbitz-logoed gear was featured prominently in a scene or two, but never to the detriment of the film. There are definitely ideas here worth considering.

Read the full ClickSharp case study here.


Dog Ear said...

I haven't looked at the essay yet, but I can say that in general I've preferred to do much more physical marketing than internet marketing.

Who knows how many people you run into on the internet are in a position to attend?

A much higher percentage of people that you see in a 15 mile radius will be able to attend.

Clicksharp Marketing said...

Thanks for writing about our white paper! Dog Ear makes a good point with respect to engaging attendees for a traditional film festival. However, let us think outside the box for a moment and envision a world in which the festivals themselves happen online. The convergence of a variety of trends: user-generated content, hosted video, permeation of broadband and gadgety consumer all points to a brave new world.

Dog Ear said...


That stuff doesn't really interest me. I didn't start a film festival to have user-generated content, or create an avenue for filmmakers to have their films shown, or to get an in into the industry.

I started a film festival to bring a quality event to a suburban area, that doesn't usually see artistic things.

And, it seems like I do most of the things you've mentioned, website, myspace, facebook, etc. I actually have a sorely neglected wiki on my site!

But, to be honest nothing combines the minimal amount of time I'd like to devote to online marketing with the best payoff the way does (IMHO).

vcim said...

I have learned a couple of things from your presentation. Nicely done!
Digital marketing is the promoting of brands using all forms of digital advertising channels to reach consumers. So go ahead and All the best.

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