Using Pinterest as a tool for your film marketing

February 21, 2012
posted by sheric

Wow, has it really been a month since my last post?? Of course I sympathize with all of you who face the same obstacle, how to keep your online site populated with fresh and interesting content? It is a real problem in this era of being not only an artist, but a publisher and continually connecting with an audience.

Truth be told, I have been blogging regularly…just not here. If any of you are so inclined, my ballet blog for the Joffrey documentary is here. And I make daily  posts to my Facebook and Twitter accounts, also fairly regularly to my Google Plus. I could do better with balancing and mixing all of my activities; some links, some longer posts, devising a Pinterest board of the week…that kind of thing. So once again, I am getting on that horse and starting back again. I hope a few of you are still around.

Speaking of Pinterest…I only recently started using it for the Joffrey project which is why all of my boards are devoted to that. Looking at them gives a good idea on the kind of thing you could use it for on your production. In my workshop presentations, I talk about posting regularly on your social channels and not just information directly about your film, but also about the interests of your audience; those who would be a fan of your film and of yourself as an artist. I am using the boards to show Joffrey history through pictures and videos. The ballets they created, the ballets they revived, their alumni dancers, Robert Joffrey through the years as well as photos of the merchandise available to buy through our site. It’s a balance of audience interest and promotion for the film.

I noticed Ted Hope is using his boards to express his personal interests, things and people he admires and wants to draw more attention to, his artistic accomplishments and resources he uses that he thinks would be helpful to his connections. All of these things help in attracting an audience both to his films, but also to his professional life as a producer. His personal tastes are reflected in all of his boards and none are devoted to posting family vacations! The point being, we can get to know Ted as a professional person without his having to reveal too much private information.

Transmedia educator/artist Christy Dena uses hers to showcase ideas about narrative, interactive and game design ideas she has discovered. Filmmaker Erik Proulx has created boards that show his advertising and design background and what he finds inspirational for this. You may remember his short film Lemonade about those who were laid off, particularly in the advertising industry, and found inspiration to reinvent their lives completely. I think Erik is kind of into these inspirational, motivational, life changing stories which is why he is making another film called Lemonade Detroit about a city that is reinventing itself.

Pinterest is just getting started so don’t be alarmed that you have missed the boat. You still have first mover advantage here.

While there is a “scoreboard” of sorts showing how many boards you have, followers and repins, it also allows you to glean from others what they are interested in. You can start to “listen” to what your potential audience thinks is interesting. You don’t follow people as much as you follow things, ideas, topics on Pinterest. You can repin something someone else has posted and this can open the door to a conversation. They can do the same with your “pins” or posts and you are alerted via email when someone does this and it shows under that image on your board. This is an enormous help when you are trying to figure out what to post, what boards to create, what resonates most? You know, positioning. I find it a little more open than Facebook. While Facebook is about people and brands, Pinterest is about things and interests. You can only post images or video and some comments and tags in text on your boards.

Why Pinterest?

I know, collective groan “yet another social network to keep up with?” Besides being dead easy to start building boards, here are some reasons and stats on why you might want to take a closer look at Pinterest.

-Statistics show Pinterest drives more referral traffic on the Web than Google+, YouTube, Reddit and LinkedIn combined. The beauty of pinning photos/videos is they link back to websites, thus driving traffic. They are nofollow links, so it doesn’t help with SEO, but any link that drives traffic to a site is good for awareness and conversion.

-Pinterest now has more than 10 million registered users, in spite of the fact that registration is by invitation only and had 11.7 million unique visitors just last month. In the past 6 months, visits to Pinterest grew by 4000%.

-Mainly, the site now attracts women in the age range 25-44 who love fashion, home decorating and family related products. As it gains more of a following, this is bound to change. Still, if that is a target demographic for your film…

-Activities are based on images so rather than having to write a lot, you can simply post photo collections and they don’t even have to be your own photos! I think this is the highly attractive thing about Pinterest, in fact I am hearing about Pinterest addiction. Users typically spend 11 minutes on the site each visit. Scanning pics is a lot more enjoyable than scanning status updates on Facebook clearly. Plus there is no EdgeRank to deal with.

-The key for users doesn’t seem to be gaining followers, but gaining repins meaning they want to have people think what they pin is cool (or hot, or whatever). They strive to be INFLUENCERS and that is exactly the people you want to find.

-It integrates with your other social accounts like Twitter and  hopefully Google plus is coming, as well as your website (there are Pinterest badge widgets you can use). Word of caution, at the moment it only connects to Facebook PROFILES not pages. Which is why my Pinterest for Joffrey is mixed in with my personal Facebook account. Not knowing this ahead of time, I signed up using Facebook. oops!  If you want to tie Pinterest to your Twitter account, make sure it is the one you use for your film and when G+ comes online, make sure you have signed up using a gmail account for the production, not for your personal gmail account.

As I said before, Pinterest is dead easy to get started on, but if you like tutorials, watch this video.

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