How to generate more downloads of your indie movie
5 more ideas every filmmaker can apply easily
When creating a movie’s website make sure to give it a fancy and good looking appeal. You want to capture your potential audience’s attention. But more importantly to consider: In the age of Video on Demand a movie’s website’s main pursuit is to drive movie downloads and streams. For sure your website needs to inform, to engage and it has to touch your audience emotionally but most importantly it should be designed to make you some pocket money for the next weekender with your boyfriend/girlfriend (whatever you prefer).
No matter if you host your indie movie on iTunes, reelhouse or vimeo — make it easy for your website’s visitors to download aka buy your movie or get them as quickly as possible to the download page. Now start with these 5 ingredients to make better movie webpages or hop on the idea bus for more downloads here:
In the age of Video on Demand a movie website’s main pursuit is to drive movie downloads.
- Add Call-to-Actions to your movie’s website:
Make sure you have a concise CTA (Call-to-Action) on your website. A call to action can be the caption of a button saying “Watch Movie Now” or a Play Button on the first frame of your trailer video embed. CTAs advise the user what you expect them what to do next.
- Make your accolades and laurels visible:
You have been selected by a major film festivals? Great, let your audience know! You have even won at Sundance? Incredible, put the award laurel straight into the face of your website’s visitors (e.g. onto the first frame of your trailer). Make sure visitors can see a couple of accolades and awards (if you are lucky enough receiving some). Even if it’s only a selection for the 1st movie festival of Nowheristan.
- Publish your tour and screening dates:
Even though Video on Demand seems to be the savior for filmmakers (believe me, it’s not, every single download has to be earned with sweat and blood) never forget to publish your screening dates on your website. Depending on your topical niche and your overall film distribution strategy movie screenings can be a big revenue driver. So let people know where they can watch your movie. People still love to go to the movies. And in our case it is many more people coming to our screenings than downloading the movie. Rad! We don’t know if this only applies to our first movie (we are targeting the surfing community) or if this can be generalized.
- Create a ‘book/host a screening’ section or a contact form:
Ad a special section to your website or a subscription form where people can easily send you an inquiry to host a screening of your movie.
Make sure to ask about the purpose of the event (commercial, community, non-profit,…), the expected number of visitors, the number of screenings, the technical equipment in use (do they need a DCP/DVD/Download), the audio, general information about themselves, the link to their website/event/location.
Good movies get a lot of inquiries to host screenings. Make sure to keep your workload low and get all the information you need streamlined. Having all information collected makes it easy to decide whether you give them your movie or not and to calculate the fee you want them to charge. If someone sends you an inquiry via mail just forward her to your submission page. Piece of cake.
- Your movie hasn’t been released yet? — Offer a pre-order!
At least try to collect your visitor’s email addresses if your movie is not available for download yet. In the process of creating our first movie we published a lot of high quality photos and stories (credits go out to stefanleitner.com for his great photography) on our website. Thousands of people where directed to our website by blogs, magazines and followers who enjoyed the content. So far so good. But we missed out thousands of opportunities to collect their email or convert them into fans on Facebook. As soon as you get media coverage and people are coming to your website try to convert their visit into valuable data. Think of the ‘Stay updated, join our mailing list’ call-to-action. Don’t let visitors of your website leave without joining your mailing list or becoming a facebook fan. You will need ever single contact later, believe me!
Disclaimer: My colleague at Les Avignons — Raphael Copony pointed out something important: ‘Hey man, you are writing about how to make better websites and then you do some major mistakes too’. Thanks for telling me and yes bro, you are absolutely right, we did a lot of mistakes with our latest movie’s website. My writing is influenced by positive as well as by negative experiences we have made over the last 2 years creating The Old, the Young & the Sea. We are also learning all the time and like to help others to learn from our own mistakes.