Unless you’re shooting out of your buddy’s garage with an iPhone camera, making a film isn’t cheap. Crowdfunding is a great way to raise the money you need to create a quality film. Film and performing arts represented 12.2% of the total money raised with crowdfunding in 2017. With the wide variety of campaigns on Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms, those numbers are significant.
Advertising can be a major factor in ensuring the success of your Kickstarter since it’s an effective way to spread the word and get people interested in supporting your project. Ads on social media are particularly effective in generating support for a crowdfunding project. 74% of adults use social media in some form, and sharing on social networking sites can help your advertising dollars can go further.
If you’re great at creating memorable films but completely clueless about best practices for advertising, don’t worry— it’s not too difficult to get started. Here are three ways to use advertising to improve your film’s crowdfunding campaign.
1. Connect with Your Audience
What kind of film are you making? Which audiences will go wild for it? Those are the people you want your ads to reach. Knowing who you’re “speaking to” through advertising is a key first step. Since the internet, we’ve become experts at sniffing out ads that are vague or don’t have a clear vision behind them.
By targeting a specific persona, you can create a more effective and innovative strategy that speaks directly to your target audience. It’s a waste of money showing ads to people who won’t care about your film. With that said, diversity is important. If your audience encompasses a wide range of backgrounds, it’s extremely important to be inclusive in your advertising. Up to 83% of people felt that better representation of the diversity of modern society was a key factor in marketing campaigns that had a positive impact.
Connecting with your audience, knowing their needs and wants and making sure to include everyone you serve is the basis of effective advertising.
2. Use Innovation and Creativity
Think of an ad that really caught your attention. Did it make you think? Did it make you laugh? So many advertisements look like all the others, but stellar marketing happens when people present things in new ways and manage to cut through the noise. Dare to try something unconventional. Consider new strategies and approaches to promote yourself and your film.
It’s important to build on the work you’ve done in really understand who you want to target. As Seth Godin, author of the acclaimed marketing book Purple Cow noted:
"Being noticed is not the same as being remarkable. Running down the street naked will get you noticed, but it won't accomplish as much. It's easy to pull off a stunt, but not useful. There's no use being remarkable at something that people don't care about."
That’s the challenge: creating an advertising campaign that’s remarkable in a way that makes your audience care. Fortunately, filmmakers tend to be bright and creative people who can usually pull something out of a box no one knew existed.
3. Share Your Story
You’re not just promoting your film—you’re promoting you. According to one of the co-founders of Indigogo, campaigns typically raise the first 30-40% of their funding from people who know the project’s collaborators. By creating buzz with advertising and growing your social media presence, you can build your network and share your story and project updates.
People want to hear the backstory of your film, and they want to know what compelled you to create the project. Sharing your background and personal experience can help people empathize with you and compel them to support you. Don’t be afraid to get a little vulnerable! People relate to struggles and challenges, especially if they’re part of the journey. Show them why this project matters to you.
Authenticity in Advertising
Above all, it’s important to be authentic and transparent when you’re crowdfunding to support your film project. It can be tricky and frustrating to fund a project. With that said, authenticity and honesty in your advertising efforts can help the right people find your project and support it. Show them who you are and why they should support you in making your film. Most of all, believe in yourself, your project and the ability to sell it.