Wednesday, 14 August 2013

10 Social Media Strategies used to Promote Movies

Movie promotions in 1990’s were limited to TV promo, very few newspaper ads and posters outside the movie halls. Gone are those days and then came promotions of songs on Radio, associating with various chat shows, TV shows, pre-launch PR, post launch PR and associating with brands which endorses the movie during the TVC.

Since two years even these strategies have seen a shift with a high percentage of marketing budgets being accommodated with Social Media. It all started with a Wiki page followed by Facebook page, YouTube brand channels, Twitter handles and even hash-tag promotions. Apps (Applications) are built considering the possible engagements with the consumer.

Let us take a look at the Social Media Strategies that are used for Movie Promotions:
  1. Facebook page – All most all the Bollywood or Hollywood movies have their independent FB page. As per the trends in Indian Bollywood industry, movies which are already high budgeted are doing lot of activities- both online & offline, but low budget movies are also investing on Social Media.

  2. Facebook app with an engagement – My personal view to some of the apps on Social Media related to movie promotion has been very good. While some of them are extremely bad when it comes to engaging the consumer from the movie point of view. Some of the examples are from blockbuster movies Kahaani and Once Upon a Time in Mumbai. While the former movie app was built to ‘find the lost husband of a pregnant lady’, the latter was more fun by getting app users appear as characters in the movie – the hairstyle, clothes, shoes, accessories and name.

  3. Twitter handle – Initially it started as a handle from the makers of the movies, so that each time they make a different movie, the handle remains same. But now trends show that there is Twitter handle of the maker and one for individual movie. The shelf life of both – the Facebook page and the Twitter handle remains very small i.e. pre-launch and launch phase. Examples are listed with pictures below.

  4. Twitter contests with hashtags – Most of time the hype is created by the hashtags used by the marketers of the movie. These hashtags are promoted across Twitter for a contest where in the players are given an opportunity to win the tickets or meet the star cast. This involves an engagement from masses and thus has been success on twitter

  5. Twitter handles of the star cast – Actors have huge fan following and this has been taken as an advantage to promote their movies. They tweet about teaser posters, songs and behind the scenes which excites people to interact and even go to watch the movie

  6. YouTube branded Channels – YouTube page looks like a website which is a collection of songs. It can have multiple Tabs to differentiate one movie from another.

  7. YouTube channel with engagements – It has been a recent trend on Twitter to work with interactive videos series during movie releases.  This includes consumer engaging with the brands and series of videos are playing as result. Movies like Barfi and had seen such a phenomenon success on their YouTube campaign much before the release of the movie. Now one can imagine that keeping  Rs 15cr on online promotions of out of Rs. 40cr total marketing budget made it as a pre-launch success with 2.5 lac YouTube views on the channel and more than 1.5 Lac likes on the Facebook page

  8. Standalone Websites– It is a method in which brands are building their own properties. Everything from videos promotions to a pre-launch game for engagement is hosted on this platform. Movies yet to be released like Krrish3 are already diverting the consumers with new initiatives.

  9. Integration with offline activities – Play a contest on Facebook and get an invite for the movie launch press conference. Also win merchandise of the movie signed by the actor. Or get the movie tickets with an avatar of the movie theme. These type of strategies are evolving and have seen a success on Social Media

  10. Associating with brands for co-branding – Many brands have brand Ambassadors who are famous personalities. If they are actors of the movie which is yet to be launched, the brands also indulge in co-branding activities.

Since the whole concept of Marketing is evolving and thus is Social Media, there are many innovations possible in making a brand out of anything. However, these activities are restricted to create hype before the launch and do not ensure good reviews of the movie.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Exploitation of Hashtags by Brands

Have you noticed many changes in the hash-tags off lately on Twitter? Over the time these hash-tags by the brands are misused for promotions or contests. As far as I can connect, they are used so that people or target audience can be associated with particular topic of discussion.

Brands started promoting the tweets with relevant hash tags which were mainly keywords with which people with common interest as that of that company can be identified. But yesterday I came across a weird trending hash-tag on twitter which was as long as a tweet. And this one is not the only one, brands are allowing the agencies or the in-house Social Media resource to play with the image by coming up with funny & irritating hash-tags.

It is extremely difficult to understand that renowned brands which have strict discipline on their offline communication can be so casual on their online part. Or is it that they feel that online audience is non-serious audience and they can be flexible in their approach?

Let us understand 5 Hash-tag etiquette from Marketing point of view:
  1. Is your hash-tag a keyword or a phrase which anyone will ever search for? Looking at the above images, no one would ever search for them. They are extremely inefficient hash-tags.

  2. Is the length of your hash-tag too long?  It takes too much effort to read words without any space in them. Many people get annoyed trying to read something like #happybirthdayselenagomezweloveyou. If something like this is done by a brand, like many examples shown above, someone or the other will just go ahead and make fun or tweet about how this hash-tag is a disaster or bad use of Social Media. 

  3. Does your hash-tag or your tweets look like spams? Twitter recommends using no more than two in your tweets. You only have 140 characters to work with in the first place. Making it look like #Follow #us #to #get #attractive #prizes would never work in your favor.

  4. Is your hash-tag too difficult to understand? If yes, then it will never interest the audience, forget the responses. How many of us can understand #UOATIMD, yes it is difficult and seems to fit a sentence but it is a movie – Once upon a Time in Mumbai Doobara. Make the hash-tags relevant for people to engage with your brand.

  5. Is your hash-tag very common? Next time your agency brings a contest with a hash-tag you have already used in past or #ReplaceMovieNameWith, time to bring in a new agency or new SM managers. Be innovative in your approach.
If you are a Brand Manager, Social Media Manager or an Account Manager, keep in mind how people would think about your brand when they see such bad hash-tags  Over exploiting them could be bad for the brand image!