Influencer marketing and the movie industry

, 7 May 2018

On the occasion of the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival, chaired by actress Cate Blanchett, we focus on the links between influencer marketing and the movie industry. Indeed, social networks and influencers are having an ever greater impact on this cultural industry. And these days, for distributors when it comes to promoting a film or a series, influencer marketing is an integral part of any promotional strategy, and for several reasons.

Presence on social networks and cinema blogs

Despite a recent decline, traditional channels such as the printed press, festivals, specialised television and radio shows still play an important role, especially concerning reviews. However, the latter is sometimes out of step with the public and it’s often word of mouth that then plays the most effective role in ensuring the commercial success and popularity of a production. That is why the Internet and social networks have in recent years taken a decisive place in the promotion of new films and television works.

To reach a young audience, when promoting a movie or series, it is crucial to be present on social networks and work with influencers. (Photo credit: Neonbrand, Unsplash)

Therefore, any good promotional campaign must necessarily be done on social networks in addition to creating an official website for the film or series (with, if possible, interactive and quality content). A teaser of the film and the trailer are published on YouTube. Platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram must also be involved, especially to reach younger generations (Y and Z) by revealing on-set photos, reports, interviews or events to generate interest.

To reinforce the web presence, we must not neglect blogs and YouTubers that deal with film news. In France, some are even quite influential and have a large audience, as for example, the Le fossoyeurs de films or Inthepanda. They represent, rightly or wrongly, more individualized and less conventional viewpoints than those of traditional French reviewers ( Télérama, Cahiers du cinéma, Tout vu, etc.). There is a more direct and interactive relationship with the audience: influencers respond to comments and launch debates. A movie blog is often a guarantee of authenticity, especially for younger generations.

Identify and collaborate with digital influencers

The film industry has begun to fully engage with influencer marketing and is therefore wooing relevant bloggers. For example, before the release of a movie, it is recommended to invite them at least to the preview. A blogger is basically an enthusiast, so it’s easy to find proposals and partnerships: to get coverage during filming, offer a YouTuber an interview with an actor or invite them to an event.

Several partnerships and initiatives are possible to convince influencers to promote a film, a series or a program. (Photo credit: Clem Onojeghuo, Pexels)

The world of fashion has already understood the power of influencers, the latter are now in the front row of fashion shows. But don’t just consider movie bloggers. Indeed, lifestyle influencers also recommend movies and series by sharing opinions and are at the heart of the word of mouth phenomenon. In addition, a major trend in 2018 in influencer marketing is the integration of all profiles: using micro-influencers can be interesting even for the promotion of a film.

Actors versus influencers

Actors are influencers in the classic sense of the word because they have a reputation and have long been sought after by brands. For example, Cate Blanchett, the president of the jury in Cannes, is the Ambassador for Armani. Notoriety is also important for producers because it makes it easier to attract an audience. Actors are also judged on being bankable, that is, profitable. They must therefore promote films, especially at premieres, on TV sets and in magazines. But, like some directors, they are also active on social networks including Instagram; often successfully by quickly forming a large community of followers.

Actors are influencers, but they also use social networks to maintain and increase brand awareness, promote a movie or even a product. (Photo credit, Pixabay, Pexels)

Conversely, there are influencers on the web, especially on YouTube, who have now become actors in television or cinema. In France, we can mention in particular Norman, Alison Wheeler, the Palmashow duo, Mister V, Cyprien, etc. Many are first and foremost comedians on the web with a large number of fans and followers and millions of views on some videos and are therefore considered influencers. Television but also the movie industry quickly recognized the potential and the interest of collaborating with them, either to host programs, or to feature in a film.

Finally, we should note the emergence of digital platforms such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime that have shaken the film industry but also changed the way to promote and watch a movie or series.

Influencer marketing also provides a way to carry out effective promotion at a lower cost and is becoming the key to creating positive word of mouth. This technique is ideal for small and medium productions and will continue to grow in importance. To learn about influencer marketing developments, you can follow our blog and Twitter account @bylinkjuice  for the latest news.

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