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The Impact of Social Media Marketing on Movie Promotions

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Business / Digital Marketing / Miscellaneous

The Impact of Social Media Marketing on Movie Promotions

Within 7 days of its release, Pathaan managed to earn over 500 crores worldwide, surpassing major milestones in the Indian movie business. What’s more surprising is that this is a result of a movie that was trending on the negative side of social media since its trailer launch. In fact, #boycottpathaan was the most trending Twitter news a few days before its release.

So, how did a movie that generated massive controversy end up being one of the greatest hits of Bollywood? Many active Twitter users are indicating that the whole thing was part of paid marketing to trigger social media trends for the film.

Did Twitter actually help to create hype for the movie? How much do social media and digital marketing help movie promotions?

Let’s dig in.

At present, India is the largest producer of movies globally with more than 1,300 movies released each year. However, out of this mammoth amount of film releases, only a few does significant business. Marketing a movie possess a lot of big challenges. According to recent reports, Bollywood spends almost 15% to 20% of its total budget on digital marketing nowadays.

Role Of Digital Marketing in The Big Picture

Long gone are the days when pamphlets were distributed in every college, posters on every wall, mall visits, and campus tours were held to get the attention of movie lovers. Today, the youth of the country lives on social media.

Now, it’s the internet where you spot an upcoming movie. It’s the first look, teaser, and trailer released on YouTube that spikes the youth’s interest.

Today, movie marketing typically consists of three phases:

Pre-release phase

The job of the pre-release campaign is to generate hype for the movie. It starts from the first look posters on social media handles and then flows into teaser, songs, and trailers.

A very interesting example of a pre-release campaign done right was by the Brahmāstra team. The release of posters and all the buzz about the “Astraverse” almost created a Marvel-like curiosity among people.

Release Phase:

This phase consists of live interviews, behind the scene videos, showing up at the theatres- overall more physical communication with the audiences. Live videos and Q&A sessions on Facebook, and Instagram is one of the best celebrity strategies for movie marketing during the release phase.

Think about all the activities Marvel movie stars do while releasing their film. Surprise call by Robert Downey Jr. during Spiderman promotions, “accidental” slip-ups by some celebs, behind the scene videos- all these are carefully placed strategic promotional tricks Marvel uses to keep the audiences engaged.

Post-release Phase:

To continue preserving the hype for a movie even after its release is by far the most challenging aspect of movie marketing. Since the picture is already out, has been scrutinized by audiences and critics.

If the film garners positive reviews, it makes the job of marketers easy. Online platforms like IMDB are great for audiences to know about the movie and write their thoughts. Remember the phrase- “Why Kattappa killed Bahubali?”

It became the question of the year. That’s the hype you want to create after the movie releases.

Reasons Why Social Media Influences Movie Promotions

The latest figure states that 74.8% of the global adult population is on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest. Social media delivers a platter of content online—content that can trigger curiosity among people.

A Platform for Celebrity Endorsements

When you think of Tom Holland promoting Spiderman, do you expect him to write an article about it?

Or do you expect a quick Instagram Live Session? (and maybe a small spoiler!)

Long gone are those days when celebrities were personalities only available in movie theatres and television screens. Social media platforms today are scope for celebrities to connect with their fans, talk about their movies or promote a brand.

Be it Swachh Bharat news, the latest floods, or pop culture drama; it’s all in social media.

Better Reach

Movies have limited screens due to the high cost of distribution. Additionally, the pandemic made film viewing experiences much different than they used to be.

Nowadays, you can request movie screenings through the Facebook app. YouTube brings a lot of movies for rent at affordable prices.

Moreover, with screening platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+Hotstar, etc., you can watch movies anywhere, anytime.

Many production houses are releasing movies only on these platforms, depending on their budget. They simply let social media promotions take charge and people are viewing movie premiers on screening platforms!

Quick Spread and Content Sharing

Movies have a limited lifetime. Thus, promotional activities should also create a buzz within a jiffy.

Social media platforms allow users to share content which is a big part of why advertisers use them. Once you can make a video viral and boom, you are looking at a great movie opening weekend.

Read more:

User-Generated Content

Movie reviews are a form of digital word-of-mouth that helps people to get genuine reviews. Earlier, film critics were the ones who wrote movie reviews.

But, since the popularity of short-form reviews from audiences became popular, social media has taken a front seat in movie reviews. Audiences can now leave their experiences in comments or feed sections without hassles. This contributes to the general awareness of the movie as well.

Why Does Online Marketing for Movie Promotion Matter?

When “The Lion King” returned to Disney with a live-action adaptation, it was a nostalgic moment for fans who literally grew up with Simba.

Source: Disney

In fact, Simba’s unveiling gave Disney more views than ever within 24 hours. And a lot of it was due to the involvement of social media. Social media platforms are such an integral part of our daily lives that to generate any sort of interest, it is the best bet.

Look, movie marketing isn’t much different from any other brand promoting its new launch. Entrepreneurs use social media marketing extensively to create awareness about their products and services. When you generate enough hype for the product, you launch it and let the audience speak about their experience.

It’s the same concept with movies. Marketers are there to create successful marketing campaigns to generate enough buzz and bring more audiences to the premier.

As a digital marketing agency, we can say that it is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach a wide range of audiences. So, even if social media platforms can become toxic and biased, you cannot ignore their importance in film promotion.

Do you think social media marketing is necessary for a film to be a hit? Let us know in the comments.

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