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How To Create an Indie Film Marketing Plan

When I set out to create a marketing plan for The Extraordinary World of Cecily Blinkstop, I quickly discovered that there are not a lot of online materials related to creating a marketing plan for an indie film. People are understandably protective of their intellectual property, making it difficult to find good examples to refer to when creating this plan.

While I already had experience marking one indie film, we made most decisions for that project on the fly. With The Extraordinary World of Cecily Blinkstop we wanted to really create a solid framework that we could work off of for the coming year.

With production a year away we needed to give ourselves goals and milestones to reach for. Every month, for example, we have a set number of likes/followers we plan to achieve on social media. This has kept us focused on an achievable goal, which we smashed the first month!

One of the most important jobs in creating the marketing plan was identifying our target audience. These are the folks that will eventually watch and buy our film. Without knowing who our audience is, our posts and marketing materials will be too vague and have less of a reach and effect. When creating a zombie film, for instance, it is essential to tailor the ads to fans of the undead rather than your grandmother’s bridge club.

I initially identified our target market as parents of any age, anyone interested in family dramas, those interested in films by female directors, and residents of New England. In order to find out more about our audience we created a survey and sent it out to our initial followers. We wanted find out which of our themes were more interesting to our audience; a magical imaginary friend, life in the 1970s, coping with the loss of a child, or family drama. We will continue to monitor this invaluable information and fine-tune our marketing towards our target audience.

I also created a list of films that I thought best compared to The Extraordinary World of Cecily Blinkstop. I looked for films with similar budgets and themes. This will be important when we present our project to potential investors. They will want to know if this style of film has been successful in the past. I also looked at the marketing style for these films and adopted some of their practices. When making a film about angsty teenaged vampires, without the budget of Twilight, it is necessary to get creative.

I did a lot of research and asked a lot of questions! Do we see this film screening at Sundance? Tribeca? Or a Grindhouse theater? I had to look at the acceptance rates of these platforms and the benefit to showing our film there. I needed to figure out if there is a special cause that we are championing?

We noticed the lack of diversity in Hollywood and have committed to building a crew made up of at least 50% women. Because work for New England film professionals is scarce, we have also decided to hire at least 80% of our crew from New England’s large and talented pool. Finally, one of the largest themes in our film is the struggle that a family goes through during the loss of a child. This is a tough subject to talk about, but we are creating a platform for those who have suffered this tragedy to open up about their loss.

I’ll be getting into more specifics in later blogs, but hopefully this covers some of the basic strategies and initial planning already incorporated into our marketing plan. As with any great plan, it is a working plan, so stay tuned for future updates and discoveries as we change our plans based on successes and failures. Every project is different and so we must adjust as we go!

Now, after reading this, it is my hope that everyone follows our lead and creates a marketing plan for the next best zombie/vampire/grandma-friendly movie the world has ever seen!

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