Facebook is a wonderful thing. It’s free and it’s easy, and anyone can create a Facebook page for their business or movie. Instagram is a great way to show off screenshots, behind the scenes photos, and even short video clips. Twitter allows you to connect with folks in a whole new way. IMDb is a must for movies. But none of these takes the place of an actual website.
Social media is an integral part of marketing, but it is designed to supplement your website, not take the place of it. Social media is like spices you add to your meal or accessories to go with your outfit. They’re incomplete on their own.
Social media is like spices you add to your meal or accessories to go with your outfit. They’re incomplete on their own.
Each movie needs a website from the beginning. Hollywood can get away with nondisclosures and keeping things secret in the early stages, but low budget indie films don’t have that luxury. You need all the time you can get to establish yourself and build an audience. You begin marketing with your first casting notice.
So what do you include in the beginning when your movie is little more than an idea? You start with a one-page website that has the title, logline or synopsis, casting notice, and any other content you might have. If you can do promotional images before filming, all the better. We actually had the poster for Providence before we cast our first actor. We were lucky with that one. Most times you’ll create an initial image that will be replaced at a later stage.
As you begin casting, filming, then editing, you’ll add to the website. Your website should be constantly growing and evolving, reflecting where you are in the filmmaking stage.
A website is the glue that holds your social media together. Each of your social media accounts should include a link to your website. Your website should then include links to your social media. They’re all interconnecting to provide a complete reflection of your movie.
Your website doesn’t need to be fancy, but it does need to look professional. You can do it yourself with Wix, Weebly, or WordPress, but spend the extra money to get a custom domain. Nothing takes away from your image like a giant “free website” notice at the top of your homepage. Take advantage of templates or themes. Study other movie websites for ideas.
Remember, your website will be the first time many people learn about your movie. Make sure it’s providing a positive first impression.
To learn more about what to include on your website, watch for my upcoming article websites for movies.