As we know, the trend of online movie marketing emerged with the success of the online publicity campaign for The Blair Witch Project in 1999. The campaign aroused a sense of curiosity among the audience, provided a point of reference for moviegoers and was shareable easily and thereby became the most successful viral marketing campaign ever. Now, the increasing use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets is creating a new trend in internet-based movie marketing under the name ‘mobile movie marketing’. A 2014 report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and InMobi revealed that mobile devices play a huge role in helping people learn about movies and purchase tickets.
The report says that 49% of moviegoers surveyed said they use their mobile phones ‘always’ or ‘very often’ to plan their trips to movie theaters. As per the report, moviegoers focus on three major uses of mobile devices such as:
- Movie Research – 56 percent of moviegoers prefer mobile devices as a channel for getting movie information, which is only 1 percent less than that of TV (57%). Mobile devices surpassed desktop (39%) and print media (26%) for movie research as well.
- Mobile Applications – It was found that two out of three moviegoers use movie or event related mobile applications. They use those kinds of apps for various activities such as to buy tickets (17%), to check event listings (17%), playing movie-based games, plan their trips to the theater and much more.
- Mobile Ads and Trailers – Mobile moviegoers are most interested and receptive to ads that showcase movies. They prefer mobile ads that feature new movies (49%), videos, sound and photos (42%), special deals or promotion (34%), pre sale ticket opportunities (31%), stars they like (28%), the ability to share with friends (23%) and link to a ticket purchase page (19%). Around 41 percent of moviegoers surveyed have viewed trailers on smartphones.
Overall, the report reveals the fact that online marketers can utilize the mobile landscape to enhance their efforts and target more audiences. They can launch a mobile website or create a social media page for movies and post news and other movie-related content to encourage movie research by users. In addition to this, they can post videos, movie trailers and other promotional content.
Developing mobile applications that satisfy the needs of moviegoers prior to or during new movie releases is another effective strategy that a movie marketer can adopt.
Tips for Movie Marketers to Attract Mobile Audience
Identify moviegoers on mobile and understand how they use their mobiles to plan their trip to theaters. After that, enhance brand awareness through mobile presence (ads and other marketing campaigns)
- Create applications and ad campaigns according to user location and context.
- While designing a mobile website, make sure links to ticket purchasing apps and map functionality that direct consumers to the nearest theaters are integrated perfectly. Also ensure it provides excellent user experience.
- It is advisable to create website for movies planning to have sequels (for example, sites of ‘Avatar’, ‘Transformers’) as people will be eager to know about upcoming releases. People are not likely to visit the site of movies with no sequels once the theaters stop showing that movie and creating a website for short-term cause adds unnecessary cost for marketers. Social media page is better for such movies as they are extremely cost-effective and feasible for short-term cause.
- Optimize your marketing campaigns to maximize Return-On-Investment and understand the campaign’s full potential.