I recommend reaching out to key people in your audience with a personal email to share the film before it is public. Clients are coached to share the film with corporate partners, alums, big donors, thought-leaders, etc to show them the film(s) first and privately. You would explain the ‘how and why’ behind the new content. It is a way of allowing a smaller population to have private access to the film before anyone else because you hold them in high regard...but you then task them with coming back to the website or social media when the film is public to like, share, comment.
Think of it as a VIP email message but we expect them to be part of the conversation when you release on social. Your new film can also be utilized in any of your existing email campaigns like Mailchimp, Constant Contact and so on...but use the announcement to create a funnel to your best digital footprint. The video link in the email should redirect to a strategic section of your website, social media or similar areas where they can stay engaged versus just opening a new video page link. You will lose the viewer if this happens - Ask Ryan Hanlon about the benefit of “gingerbread” or “bookending” to combat this.
Each year we make films for non-profits such as Autism Speaks and Independence Center and the film is premiered to a captive audience at a Gala event as part of a big fundraising ask. This is another idea that can be applied to YOU. Once you select the release date on social media and the website, you can plan an event where all the film participants, members, donors, fans get to see the film in person. This is basically a “live” version of the email example above.
We did this for Marquette Catholic High School at a Friday pep rally and the kids loved the film but were then given a homework assignment to Like, Share and Comment on the film when it was released on social media the next morning. By Sunday evening the post had thousands of organic views and this was before Facebook had a proprietary video player or a financial boost mechanism. Lastly, if your film does premiere at a gala fundraising event, your public release should immediately follow the event via email, social media and/or text. Contact Ryan Hanlon to discuss this more in depth.
You need to select a public release date for Social Media and then back up a few weeks and start teasing the premiere. We recommend you share behind-the-scenes photos (which we now provide to you) (CLICK HERE TO VIEW A GALLERY) from when we were filming to compliment the teaser message. Promote these posts with a few dollars as well as the actual release of the film. It is highly recommended that you utilize Facebook’s video player NOT Vimeo, YouTube or any external player. Facebook’s algorithm has changed and your traction will suffer if you do not use their video player. LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram now have proprieterary video players as well but you need to adhere to each platform’s idiosyncrasies. Again, the key with social is to tease the release so people know when it’s coming and promoting those posts is highly recommended and money well spent.
Also, who are the partners on social that you can credit, tag, etc for crossover potential? Another important note is that if you have created more than one film, you should consider calling the upcoming films, a series. Create a consistency with your audience that video content will be coming with some frequency. Some clients will attach film releases to holidays, events, anniversaries so the online audience is as captive as possible.
We utilize Vimeo for many reasons but as stated above there are many options across other platforms. YouTube is an option that is worth a discussion but for most small audiences, it is not recommended on it’s own. YouTube videos need non-traditional titles and tags to get viewers to find them and your audience is not necessarily searching for you on YouTube. Also, YouTube has ads all over the content as well as other videos that pull the viewer away from your mission.
One other issue I have with YouTube is the amount of videos can cause paralysis by analysis....”what am I supposed to watch since there are so many on an individual channel and low view counts?” You want to control the viewer experience and funnel them to wherever your best footprint is and where they can take action...typically your website or social. It is all about digital legitimacy and engaging the viewer....video players, on their own, do NOT do that for schools and non-profit organizations. YouTube should be a downstream addition once your content has been released or simply used for hosting needs. Contact Ryan Hanlon to learn more.
LOCAL & REGIONAL
There are a lot of opportunities to reach people in your local area via Facebook ads and boosted posts which is very smart.... but movie theater advertising has also been huge for our school clients. My Colleges and Universities have run movie theater ads with abbreviated versions of our films because it is one place where you can find a relatively captive audience.
The advertising is affordable and you can tailor the timing to specific movie audiences and times of the year. Other options are pursuing an article with local/regional papers and magazines to boast about your new foray into video marketing. These outlets can embed your ‘pre-packaged’ video content and create crossover benefits for both audiences. It’s always a slow news day and good video content is welcomed by these folks. The idea is to create your own newsworthy buzz!
Lastly, do not be afraid to reach out to national or international entities that may be aligned with what you do and would love to share your pre-packaged video content. We made a film for the Student Union at Washington University for the It’s On Us campus campaign but it was technically a PSA for the national It’s On Us campaign. We asked them to share our original It’s on Us Facebook release and the film has reached 20K views with strong engagement that is native to the original Student Union Facebook post.
Typically these national entities love having pre-packaged content (as much as the locals) that is well made and is of no cost to them. It just makes everybody look good especially YOU! The other scenario here is big conferences or events that you present at or attend annually. You can present and use your Video Marketing as a case study or allow the conference to use your content in another teaching/engaging capacity. The idea is to position yourself as an authority on generating compelling content.