Tag Archives: Social Media

Social Media Marketing in Modern Distribution of Films

The landscape of the film industries distribution strategy has changed dynamically in the last 10 years. From the perspective of windows of distribution, attention has shifted from the traditional theatres and television screens to mobile technology. The opportunity to get in front of a potential fan of a film by interacting with them through a device in their pocket is the power play of the digital age we currently living in.

Within the device, social media offers one of the most cost-efficient and strategic implementation of digital marketing channels in distribution tactics today. Production teams and executives can not only build networks for their studio brand names, but also build something similar to “personal brands” surrounding each individual project.

I’m Scott Burak, and I’m speaking from my experience of being the Co-founder of ADFly, LLC, a social media strategy and digital marketing development agency.

As the world continues to innovate and become more connected, these changes will become more frequent, and the studios have to continue to adapt to emerging technologies. This means opportunities for specialists and consultants in niche marketing channels across the ever-growing list of online content distribution platforms.

Social Media

Social Media Case Studies of Film Distribution

I’ve decide to investigate the social media strategies of two films, one launched through major film studios as well as one distributed independently.  For the sake of being festive this Halloween, I looked into two successful horror films (interestingly not released during scaring season).

Studio: Fox

Project: Devil’s Due

Distribution: 20th Century Fox

Release: January 17, 2014

Premise: American psychological horror film focusing in on a newly wed couple starting their family together. They decide to document their life and begin recording events that lead up the climax of their story. It becomes evident early that the woman is experiencing an uncommon and unpleasant pregnancy.

Strategy: Viral Video with over 54 million views on YouTube. Such a popular platform reached the mass markets without precisely targeting their audience. However by gaining a following for the film with these initial marketing efforts, they were able to parlay their foundation to find other similar people whom might enjoy their film.

Results:

  • Production Budget: $7,000,000
  • Box Office Returns: $15,800,000
  • Return on Investment: $8,800,000

Independent Film Studio Social Media Distribution

Studio: Animal Kingdom

Project: It Comes at Night

Distribution: A24

Release: June 9, 2017

Premise: American psychological horror film staged during a health crisis with a highly contagious outbreak that is wreaking havoc on across the planet. The main character and his son live deep in the woods and fight off other survivors looking for resources and shelter.

Strategy: Organic social media strategy played a huge role in the marketing of this project. Regular postings leading up to the release directed at a following of people that showed initial interest in the film. Then they leveraged Facebook as a platform to identified similar demographics and interests among their core audience and implement precise awareness marketing to ideal consumers.

Results:

  • Production Budget: $2,400,000.00
  • Box Office Returns: $19,300,000.00
  • Return on Investment: $16,900,000.00

Ongoing Innovation in Digital Distribution

Obviously studios and distribution networks should not see the digital revolution as a threat, but as an opportunity. With powerful analytic technology and targeting methods, comes the potential for greater ROI with strategic planning in distribution. Ultimately meaning more bang for your buck in marketing dollars.

On the horizon, I see the incorporation of two disruptive technologies that will again reinvent the way production houses push out their content digitally. I believe virtual realty will provide a platform for endless creative projects as the technology becomes more affordable and commercialized. Not only could entire projects be produced within whatever becomes the standard VR format, but studios could also get their feet wet in by incorporating small-scale projects in marketing and promotional strategy for films that are traditionally produced and consumed.

Additionally, I believe that artificial intelligence is something that any digital savvy distributors will take advantage of especially from a marketing standpoint. Being able to program computing technology to make informed decisions by aggregating information between engagement, demographics, and messaging strategies; the most profitable, most successful strategies will become apparent through mass data manipulation. This also leads to extremely relevant marketing and messaging to hyper-segmented target audiences by better understanding the correlations between what a certain group of people like compared to another.

Even more, I predict we will see incredible, personalized experiences at the crossroads of these two technologies. Imagine how an immersive virtual realty experience that adapts to how the user is interacting with the content could change the way people consume entertainment.

Regardless of which of these technologies’ potentials becomes an actual reality, one thing is for certain; Entertainment executives and content producers need to stay on their toes and ahead of the digital curve if they want to take advantage of the future of digital distribution platforms.

-Scott Burak

Social Media Poses a Challenge to the FTC’s Advertising Guidelines

Assuming you’re not already reading this on your phone, go ahead and open up your preferred social media app. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, whichever you prefer. Scroll through and quickly count the ads you see. How sure are you that you counted them all? How did you determine they were ads? Did the post say sponsored by? How about #ad?

Unfortunately, you may have missed one or two, because a content producer didn’t disclose that they were getting paid for their posts. They might be monetizing their audience, without their audience even knowing it.

This issue is not isolated to one particular industry or level and even occurs with high profile influencers such as the Kardashians, one of ninety social media influencers and marketers who received a letter from the FTC noting their legal obligations to disclose material connections. Despite this, consumer groups are still claiming that the Kardashian/Jenner family is failing to disclose that some social media posts are possibly ads.

Social MediaBut unfortunately, the Kardashian/Jenner situation isn’t the most nefarious or outrageous when it comes to this problem. That honor falls to CSGO Lotto owners Trevor “TmarTn” Martin and Thomas “Syndicate” Cassell.

Before we get into what these two did, we need to understand one part of the popular first-person shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offense, otherwise known as CS:GO. CS:GO has a well known and very successful micro-transaction business model that creates unique and rare gun skins for cosmetic use inside the game. And because the developer and publisher of CS:GO, Valve, created a marketplace where players can trade in-game items for real money they quickly became a pseudo-currency that could be used for gambling on websites.

Social MediaTo have a complete and total understanding of what CS: GO skins are won’t be necessary for the rest of this article but if you want to know more here is a handy article to learn more.

But back to Martin and Cassell, both of whom are popular CSGO players on YouTube and Twitch. The pair co-owned and operated a skin gambling website called CSGOLotto in which they actively promoted on both other creator’s platforms, but their own.

(Here is one of Cassell’s videos where he gambles on his own website.)

Basically imagine a Vegas casino owner hiring Brad Pitt to play at their casino without letting anyone know, and then sitting down at their own table and playing a few hands with house money. While this already seems bad, it’s made worse by the fact that the main audiences of all social media influencers involved are minors.

This situation has to lead to the first-ever complaint against individual social media influencers on the FTC which was settled September of 2017. With Martin, Cassell and the influencers, they paid to promote their website getting little more than a slap on the wrist from the FTC. You can see the settlement here.

“Consumers need to know when social media influencers are being paid or have any other material connection to the brands endorsed in their posts. This action, the FTC’s first against individual influencers, should send a message that such connections must be clearly disclosed so consumers can make informed purchasing decisions,” said Maureen Ohlhausen, the acting chair of the FTC, when the settlement was reached.

While there was a lawsuit over the illegal gambling which involves the CSGOLotto owners and the video game publisher Valve, there are no are legal or financial punishments for either Martin or Cassell for deceptively advertising their website.

For now, it seems, social media influencers will continue to give the FTC problems until an influencer is made an example of.

-Chase Danielson

Going LIVE in 3..2..1: Facebook Rolls Out Live Video

If I asked you what the top number one social media platform, what would you think it is? According to multiple websites, Facebook is the most used social media website. It’s no wonder to see why. Facebook allows for many uses; whether it be creeping on your crush in your chemistry class, or seeing how Barb from high school is doing in life, Facebook allows for you to do it all. Even go live.

Facebook LiveOn April 6, 2016 Facebook Live was dropped into the Facebook social media platform. According to Facebook’s creator Mark Zuckerberg “Live is like having a TV camera in your pocket. Anyone with a phone now has the power to broadcast to anyone in the world. When you interact live, you feel connected in a more personal way. This is a big shift in how we communicate, and it’s going to create new opportunities for people to come together.” Mark went on to go live that night to answer questions.

While the in-app feature went ‘live’ on April 6, 2016, the ad campaign to promote it did not start until around October. The ads which were featured on TV were put out in two phases. The first phase to be an awareness to the in-app feature. (These included cute non-scripted short videos used with the app.)

The second being an instructional purpose. (These were also made with the app however many started with the phrase ‘How to go live when…’ and then in app videos would be featured)

While the feature has been met with some criticism because of people’s uses with it, it has had a very good use with businesses. One good example of this is Land Rover.

Throughout April of 2016 Land Rover would do live test of their vehicles on every Friday.  Each test would feature on and off road situation. They would then end these with a Q and A session for anyone viewing the video.  According to Land Rover’s head of global digital marketing Peter Biven, “We needed to make our products more accessible to online viewers and increase interaction with fans and potential customers. It felt like now was the right time for detailed product demos.”

So, with all the hype of Facebook Live what do you think of it? Do you believe it is a positive feature of the app or a negative feature? Leave a comment below! 🙂

Taylor Peterson

Social Media Live

Your 6:00pm local news is no longer your only source of live content. Over the past two years, we’ve seen network news companies go live on Facebook, the NFL stream live its first game on Twitter, and people from around the world, famous or your average cat lover, stream live on Periscope.

social media facebook live“Going Live” on social media is the new sexy thing. People will stream anything and everything to grow their social media audience, to inform the general public, and to simply say “hello”. We’ll look at who’s using Facebook, Twitter, and Periscope, what Facebook has done to promote its Facebook Live and how Twitter is changing the streaming game, and how it could be utilized in the future.

social media twitter   social media periscope   social media facebook

To understand why going live on social media is popular, we need to know three things, who is on Facebook, Twitter, and Periscope, what the potential reach of people is, and which one is most effective. Facebook has the most users of the internet on the site.

As of August 2015, Facebook had 72% of the Internet users using its site. 77% of the women on the Internet use Facebook compared to men. 82% of people 18 to 29 years of age use Facebook. Twitter has 23% of the Internet users using its site. 25% of male Internet users use Twitter compared to 21% of women Internet users. Periscope has only 1% of Internet users and 71% of men post Periscope URL’s.

Clearly Facebook has the larger reach and even though Twitter owns Periscope, their reach doesn’t even come close to Facebook’s. We can see that with the percentage of Internet users that Facebook has, they clearly have deep enough pockets to pay high profile people and organizations to user their latest feature, Facebook Live.

After 2015, Facebook’s revenue increased 40% and they made $18 billion in advertising and they are on a steady pace to do well in 2016. They have the money to pay people to play with their new toys. Facebook was a little late to the social media live party. They launched Facebook Live on April 9th of 2016 and Pericope was launched back in 2015.

But how has Facebook Live brought this whole social media live to the forefront of social media culture? They paid a lot, and I mean a lot, of people and organizations to do so. Facebook made a deal with ABC to Facebook Live 74 hours of the RNC and DNC during the 2016 Presidential race which delivered 28 million views, but with no dollars attached.

social media rnc dnc liveIt’s tough to make money off of Facebook Live because it has no ad support or ways to advertise. But Facebook is all about getting its new things in front of people. Facebook has spent over $50 million with almost 140 different video creators to use Facebook Live. The graph below shows how much they’ve spent on who.

social media live contentI know it seems like Facebook is doing everything with the new live technology, but Twitter has signed a deal with an organization who owns a full day, the NFL. This year, Twitter signed a deal with the NFL to live stream 10 Thursday Night Football games during the 2016 season. Twitter had to pay a hefty sum of $10 million and could only sell some of their ad inventory exclusively but Twitter has attracted quite the audience, especially for the first game of the 2016 season.

On average, every minute of the game had about 243,000 people watching the Twitter stream. On the television side, 15.4 million people were watching on CBS and the NFL Network. Twitter’s first live stream of the game reach 2.1 million people who watched only a small portion of the game. Even though Twitter has only 23% of Internet users, 2.1 million people being reached due to a Thursday Night Football game made some people perk their ears which can really start changing the live streaming game.

What can live streaming on social media do for the future? If you think about it, it can really change the game of advertising and can be a way to promote concerts and events, businesses, or inform the general public easier. It’s cheap to stream live on social medias. If you have a phone and enough storage space to download Twitter, Facebook, or Periscope app, you too can stream live. You don’t need a television tower, big expensive equipment, a vehicle, or anything that it normally takes to do a live television broadcast.

Social media reaches so many people around the world you can reach anyone, anywhere, at any time by simply going live. But how is it going to affect the distribution of content? I don’t think it will change much. It’s a new way to distribute content but not a way to replace a current way of distributing content. We still have people who are making those fun live stream cat videos and that means one thing, it’s a social media tool more than broadcast tool, right now.

Where do you see social media livestreaming in the near and distant future going forward? Do you follow pages on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Periscope for live information consistently? What other ways can social media livestreams profit besides ads? Comment below!

Connor Kenney

Social Media Marketing: How Music Festivals Are Advertising FO FREE

SMO or Social Media Optimization seems to be the game changer in today’s media driven world. Social media is an extremely easy and cheap way to market any brand and is accessible to basically anyone. So it only makes sense that there is still a more efficient way of using a free and open service. The music industry is one segment of the media that has taken full advantage of social media and its marketing practices. In this article I will discuss the ways in which music festivals such as Tomorrowland, EDC, Electric Forest, and Okeechobee use social media as their primary marketing medium.

YouTube: YouTube is known for entertaining others with it’s user generated content. It also houses a lot of paid for advertising that are at the beginning of most videos. Music festivals however, have found a better way to market than just paying for ads. Instead, they create trailers, after movies, sneak peek, and production videos for their youtube channel. Tomorrowland owes a lot of their global recognition to its Aftermovie views on YouTube.

Click the photo to experience the magic of Tomorrowland.

Twitter: Twitter has become the reliable source for festival information. When I am looking for an updated lineup or tour dates, my first search is within Twitter. It has also become the number one place for a flow of communication between the consumers and businesses. With Twitter holding business accountable, customer service has been able to improve as well.

Electric Forest

Snapchat: Snapchat is used in a number of different ways. Sometimes the festivals hardly have to participate and curated user generated content advertises for itself. Recently, festivals have been creating their own Snapchat name and allowing artists to take over the account in order to advertise the event and get people interested. It’s shameless self promotion for both the artists and the festival, what a win win.

Instagram: Instagram has become the platform for different competitions, such as photo contests, scavenger hunts, or voting for new DJs to perform. Since Instagram is basically archived photos, it creates a feeling of nostalgia for those that have attended previous events. For prospective attendees, short clips and photos give an individual an idea of what the environment will be like.

Instagram

Facebook: Facebook groups are not only a way to advertise and create an event, but also a way to connect people who have similar interests. In the cases of festivals, a lot of groups are created in order to share festival information, help consumers trade tickets, and also collaborate on camping groups or car rides. It helps build a community before the event begins.

Austin Red Smith

These are just a few of the ways in which social media can be used to market. To check out more tips for social media marketing. click here.

Partnerships: In addition to utilizing social media to its fullest degree, partnerships are also a huge part of advertising for music festivals. Common partnerships are made with companies like Red Bull, Bud Light, Miller Lite, Pandora, Sirius XM, Coke, and more. These partners oftentimes hold their own ad campaigns using footage from previous events. They also host VIP lounges, where they give out samples, play games, and interact with attendees. These partnerships end up being great ways for both businesses to gain exposure. An example of some partnerships made with Okeechobee this year can be found at the bottom of their webpage.

So as we conclude, I hope that this article has not only convinced you of the magic behind social media marketing, but it has also peaked your interests in music festivals and similar events. Especially now that you know all the information is housed right there in your twitter feed.

Sam Fickett

Connecting the Consumer

Consumers are more connected than ever in this day and age. Through social media brands are working on the most effective ways to connect with consumers. With multiple forms of social connection online (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) users are looking to explore new content as well as utilize the sheer convenience of these online connectors. With this new trend, brands are starting to understand the pure power that a connected campaign can have.

Social ButtonsWhat is the true power of connecting with users through social media? Users are now spending more time online than ever and most of this time on social media. According to Adweek, “The average user logs 1.72 hours per day on social platforms, which represents about 28% of all online activity.” As these numbers grow, brands are working on making engaging ad campaigns that users can actually interact with.

One of the most impactful ad campaigns was done by Always called #LikeAGirl. This is one of my favorite ad campaigns ever. Not only did it show during the Super Bowl and gain millions of views, but it also engages the viewers into actually thinking about social equality. I would argue that this is the most compelling social ad campaign out there today.

LikeAGirlPerhaps you saw someone taking the ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge on Facebook? This viral video trend didn’t involve a single dollar spent on promotion. People would share a video of them dumping ice water on their head and donating to ALS while sharing and tagging their friends so that they would have to do the same thing. The video phenomenon generated over 70 million views and raised over $220 million. Not to mention that it spread across 159 countries! Not only did this campaign raise hundreds of millions for a good cause but it also increased awareness and was a very interactive campaign.

These two examples alone show that connecting with consumers can have a groundbreaking effect. Connecting with consumers can change how typical marketing is done in respect to trying to make perfect models of people, and online strategies can be innovative and informative.

If users can relate to an ad campaign, and if they feel that it is genuine, then they will be compelled to share it. So long as people keep sharing, others will listen and share it too. Do you think these are these examples are flukes, or is online marketing truly groundbreaking? Is it just another way for marketers to manipulate us into getting what they want?

Taylor Bluemel

Tweets Aren’t News: What Millennials (Actually) Want

At the National Association of Broadcasters conference last week, I attended a session called Social Media and the Business of Live Television. During the Q&A section of the talk, a woman asked a question about the baffling new trend in television news where newscasters read tweets from viewers on air. Whether it be reactions to the current story, comments on the news cast, or just whatever some idiot decides to tweet while using the approved hashtag, news programs just can’t stop giving people their 15 minutes of fame.

The woman who asked the question wanted to know exactly why newscasters do this. She didn’t see the value of it, and judging from the sounds of approval, neither did the audience. They found it vapid, uninteresting, and just plain dumb. The response from the panel was essentially, “Yeah. It’s pretty dumb. We’re still going to do it though.” This was supplemented with other buzzword-filled answers such as: “Tweets are news now.” and “This is what millennials respond to.”

millennialI’m going to ask you to stop right there. I heard the word “millennial” way too much at the NAB Show. The definition of a “millennial” is “a person born in the 1980s or 1990s.” I fit that definition. So, as a “millennial,” as all you “old media” professionals love to call me, I would like to say, please stop telling me what I want instead of listening to what I’m telling you. You wonder why my generation doesn’t watch news on TV, why the percentage of news we get from television and broadcasting is approximately 0%. Well wonder no more, for I have your answer. We want you to do your job.

Don’t read tweets on the air. Don’t talk about the traffic this post is getting on Facebook. And for the love of God, don’t talk about whatever stupid video is “taking over the Internet.” You don’t want to do it. We don’t want to see it. We want news. Plain and simple.

Most young people who actually seek out news prefer to read it on the Internet rather than watch it. They get it from NPR, Politico, Slate, or even BuzzFeed. Can you guess why? Because in written stories, you don’t get bogged down with all the “shiny objects” that TV news is constantly trying to throw at you. We don’t need to be pandered to.

BarronsMillenials    Time_Millennial

In all boils down to the simple fact that tweets aren’t news. Tweets are people reacting to news. People who, in all likelihood, do not have journalism degrees or broadcasting experience. Their tweets are not fact-checked, their biases are not accounted for. They are not the journalists. You are. Don’t outsource your responsibilities to the masses. When you start reporting on tweets you are no longer reporting news. News is not a reaction to itself.

Look, we want the same thing. Trust me. I’ve heard many a middle-aged person get all nostalgic about Walter Cronkite. I don’t know if it’s possible to be nostalgic about something that you weren’t around to experience, but I definitely feel something very similar to that. All I want is for someone to sit down and tell me the truth for 30 minutes. All I want is for journalists to do their jobs.

Olivia Guns

If You’re Not An Agile Business, You’re Doing It Wrong

Agile. What started as way to more quickly develop software, has turned into the mantra of everyone from marketers, media professionals, to business startups. It is the way in which these industries are attempting to structure their strategies in order to keep up with a quickly and constantly changing market.

Agile Business In terms of marketers, when framing your marketing strategies in the agile format, have the benefits of quicker launch times and better adaptation to problems and campaigns that aren’t showing the returns you need. Media professionals are able to break large projects and initiatives into smaller, more manageable sizes and can adapt to a changing market. And business startups can improve their success rate and increase investments by showing those growths.

Andy Beal knows a thing or two about building a business. His resume includes having been one of the most respected online reputation consultants, and most recently launching trackur, a social media metrics tool. During his career as a business builder he has started three companies with enormous success. He is also a huge proponent of agile as a business planning and management tool, and he has used agile to reach many successes. He lays out 5 reasons why being an agile business is better than being perfect.

Agile BusinessIn a world of consumption, the product or service that provides the most value is the one that will win over other products or services. The more efficiently you can provide your customers with adequate solutions and motivations to use your product, the better you can provide value. In the end, the company that adapts the fastest to the ever-changing value streams of consumers, is the company that is going to win out over their competition.

According to the book Value Proposition Design, created by the folks at Strategyzer, the way to create value is to neutralize the pains associated with your product or the problem your product solves and to optimize gains that your product provides. Seems easy right? The problem is that values are always changing. What people value today, they might not value tomorrow. Take myspace.com for example. In the early stages of the social media tech boom, myspace provided value to consumers by being able to customize their own webpages. Values changed to the point where people prefered to have an organized and clean layout rather than the messed up, html code, monstrosity that occurred when people customized their myspace pages.

MySpaceAnd just like that, myspace was out, and facebook and twitter were in. The key to being a stalwart company in media is providing evolving value to customers. Agile is helping businesses do this. The philosophy is in contrast to the old style of business planning and management that sought to create the perfect business plan. Using market research and months of planning to fit find a market space. Then doing more market research to plan the perfect product to meet the needs of your consumers. Agile seeks to accelerate the process. Planning a business with the “quick to fail, quick to adapt” mantra is what is guiding businesses today. John Lasseter famously quoted,

“We don’t actually finish our films, we release them.”

This is indicative of the agile, never finished, mindset that has been helping businesses build and maintain good patronage. Do you agree? What other frameworks are guiding business in a market of changing values? Is Agile just a fad? Or is it the way to success and the future?

Ethridge Netz