Film Marketing: Missing Mix in SA Film Industry

Film

I have observed a commonality in the South African Film Industry. Many great films are shot and distributed without having an effective and strategic marketing plan. Which is like buying a car with no engine. I’m not talking about a Tesla.

Whilst this is attributed to tight and low budgets Film Makers have to work with, however, marketing is the most important investment that ensures that all the amazing cinematography and enticing story-line becomes a financial success at the end. Films should make a profit unless you were making the film for your close friends and family.

Films do not fail because they were not good, but they fail because nobody knew about the film.

I have watched a fair share of South African films and one needs to give credit to the level of cinematography we have elevated to, unlike before. The quality has improved. However, most and the greatest films are unknown to larger audiences, therefore, becoming a failure, probably thereafter being pirated and distributed on the streets and on YouTube.

In this post, I will leave out the aspects of genre preference and themes such as holidays and seasons and solely focus on the role of marketing or the lack of thereof in Film, assuming that the film is wonderfully shot, amazing cast, and a great story line.

Social Media Marketing Campaign

Media houses should really adapt themselves and utilize new media especially the internet and social media. Social Media is god-sent if used right. That is one thing they should take an advantage of. Running a digital and social media marketing campaign is more affordable than booking a few seconds on TV, or space in Billboards, which you rely on the probability that a certain number of people are seated or passing by that Billboard or watching your film trailer for those few seconds you have paid millions for. If the budget allows, yes, of course, you can also incorporate TV and Billboards, but the internet is your money cow. Trust me.

Domino Effect

Marketing on the internet is cheaper. It reaches more people and works on a ‘domino effect’. By ‘domino effect’, I mean, if ran strategically, your film becomes viral and gets more shares on social media, which reaches more people and by the Premier date, you already have masses lining up to watch your film and just like that, you’ve secured your bag.

Know Your Audience

Research shows that contrary to popular belief, South Africans actually do support locally produced films. People who go to the cinema the most, are young people, recent graduates, university students and young professionals who are just starting out in their careers; Interns. They often go in groups, as friends. They are always on social media, and on their phones. That is your audience and that’s where you’ll find them; on social media. Whether it’s a Zulu action film, which is South Africa’s favorite genre, whether it’s a drama, a romantic comedy or comedy, keep them in mind throughout the process.

Content Marketing

Another mistake often Brands make is to oversell their products or services. This also goes for Film Producers. The key lies in content creation around your film. Get people talking about the film. Diversify your strategy. Involve YouTubers, Influencers, Bloggers (like me😜) , and Instagram. Share the trailer, interviews, behind the scenes videos on social media. Create seconds short, enticing, and mind-blowing video content. Your main goal should be to create that FOMO effect; a fear of missing out on your film, for your audience and potential target audience. THAT should be your ultimate strategy and TV, Billboards, interviews, old media comes after. Trust. 👌

Look at the latest, top-grossing films. You will agree with me that some are not the best films. For example, their editing is flawed, not crisp, the script is messy, or something Film people would notice but they became successful because of hype created around those films. I’d name-drop but I don’t want this post reduced to a trolling session against some films. But I’m sure you know a few. 😊

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Xoli
Xoli

Blogger, Media and Marketing student at the University of KwaZulu Natal.

Find me on: Web | Twitter

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Twitter Rules Simplified-Why Your Account Might Also Get Suspended

Twitter Rules


Twitter has suspended over 70 Million Accounts ever since the beginning of the #TwitterPurge. Even the most prestigious Twitter accounts lost more than 500 000 followers. A definite tragedy especially when you have worked hard, spent money and years to gain followers.

You are presumably here because you fear that you might get a Twitter suspension. Worse, you have been suspended already.

Let me help you understand the complex and long Twitter rules so that you can toe the safe Twitter line and avoid getting in trouble with the Twitter Rules.

Copyrights Infringement

What Twitter is trying to do is to encourage organic, original content creation.

If you steal tweets, post music videos, or any content created by someone else, without crediting them or their permission, you might find yourself without a twitter account.

Stealing a Tweet means that you are publishing someone else’s original content as your own without any acknowledgment.

If the owner of the original tweet can prove the originality of that stolen tweet, they can report you to Twitter Support and as a result, you can get suspended.

Graphic Content

Posting explicit content like death and/or dead animals, an accident or injury, violence, porn or surgical procedures can get you suspended BUT there is an exception. You HAVE to mark that content as Sensitive Material so that you allow the viewer to make a choice to view or not.

And more importantly, you cannot use that material as your Display Picture or your Header.

Unauthorized usage of Twitter badges.

I have seen a lot of videos on Youtube where they teach people how to fake/hack the Twitter Verification badge.

You can get suspended for unlawfully using Twitter badges, Twitter logos or any material that might give the impression that you work for and/or you are endorsed by Twitter.

Selling Twitter Accounts 

Twitter prohibits the creation of multiple similar accounts and the selling of Twitter accounts.

This is familiar to those running Twitter Followers Gain Trains. You find that the owner has more than 3 accounts identical to his/her name. This is specifically for those who sell accounts with a large following. Well, if Twitter catches you, you will lose all if not most of your accounts.


Inactive for 6 months

If you are like most of us who created accounts out of curiosity and went back to Facebook for years because Twitter seemed complicated, you can no longer be away for more than 6 months now.

Stolen identity, impersonation

If you want or have a parody account, indicate that it a Parody, Fan Page and NOT Affiliated with the person you’re impersonating. It must not be confusing with the original person’s account, or else the blade will be upon you.

Violence

You cannot make threats of violence that aim to cause serious physical harm, death or disease to an individual or a group of people.

This includes promoting terrorism. Also, you might get suspended for affiliating yourself with organizations that promote violence against civilians.

Suicide or self-harm

Whilst depression is a serious problem, however, if you are promoting suicide and/or self-harm on Twitter, you might be suspended. But, you will be referred to a relevant organization that deals with mental health problems.

Child Sexual Exploitation

This includes but not limited to; child porn, sexual videos of a child. Twitter has a Zero-Tolerance against sexual exploitation of children.

Abuse and Hateful Conduct

Those who think Twitter is a platform to bully, harass people, they are in trouble. Twitter even considers “an attempt to harass, intimidate or silence someone else’s voice” as abusive behavior.

You cannot promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.

If you’re a troll and you make fun of people, your suspension will come.

Also, those who love sending pictures of their genital area in the DMs, are not safe either.

Sharing Private Information

Sharing private information of someone else can get you in trouble.

This depends on what your country’s Constitution defines as ‘private information’.

For example, someone’s HIV Status. No matter how angered you might be with your ex, just don’t hurt yourself by sharing their private information.

This includes threats to expose or hack into someone’s private information, accounts etc.


Spam and Security

Linking your account to malicious content or 3rd party applications/websites that aim to hack, disrupt twitter security in attempting to access someone else’s private information, in simples, hacking into someone’s account can get you suspended. Or even using apps that send automated DMs to your followers.

Twitter defines SPAM as “bulk or aggressive activity that attempts to manipulate or disrupt Twitter or the experience of users on Twitter to drive traffic or attention to unrelated accounts, products, services, or initiatives.”

This includes:

  • Mass following, or mass unfollowing accounts.
  • Sending automated links on the DM
  • If you have a large number of people who have blocked you for various reasons.
  • There is a large number of spam reports against you
  • If you purchase/sell followers
  • If you run follow trains or sharing 3rd party APPs that aims to gain people followers.

The best way to stay safe on Twitter is to stick to your own original content. Do not do follow trains. Credit the writer of the original tweet. Do not send automated links on the DMs. Keep your genitals to yourself. Lastly, stay true to who you are.

Source: Twitter Support

Xoli
Xoli

Blogger, Media and Marketing student at the University of KwaZulu Natal.

Find me on: Web | Twitter

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