Promotion and Distribution
Our target audience is wide-ranging, as animation appeals to many people. We are specifically targeting school-aged children, First Nations’ communities in North America, and Canadian schools (library resources).
Audience Reach and Engagement
This is our third project based on aboriginal themes. Our first project was “A Raven’s Song”, a dramatic live action short film. This film has been screened at several festivals including the American Indian Film Institute. The second short film was our first venture into animation through which we retold the Haida myth “Raven Steals the Light”. We will be connecting with the established fan base from these projects, as well as creating new audiences throughout North America. Both of these projects are currently available on TELUS Optik TV.
Canadian schools are looking for more quality aboriginal content in the classrooms. In addition to creating this series of videos, we are developing picture books for children aged 3-10. The books will also have fun ways in which we will be incorporating the same learning as found in the videos.
A digital distribution is ideal in enabling us to reach out to communities in the farthest reaches of Canada. The partnership with the National Film Board will be very beneficial in promoting these animations nation-wide. Through the Internet, our videos will easily reach into northern and remote communities across Canada, where schools and families will have easy and continuous access to the stories and learning.
There are over 600 First Nations’ communities in Canada, and close to two million self-identified people of aboriginal descent. APTN has recently announced a partnership with Castalia Communications. This partnership will open doors for more aboriginal content and distribution. We have had discussions with APTN and look forward to providing them with quality content.
The main digital platform for distribution will be YouTube. YouTube is easily accessible by the most people and can be linked to our website, Facebook and Twitter accounts. As mentioned above, our first animation is already available on Optik TV which is a subscriber-based digital platform. We will also approach TELUS for their interest in adding the new Raven’s Adventures to their programming.
Digital platform(s) for distribution of the project
We are approaching TELUS Optik Local for funding. As part of our funding agreement with TELUS, they would put the series on Optik on Demand. This is a non-exclusive license and we would be able to promote our project on other digital platforms, sell through a traditional distributor and/or to a broadcaster.
We would also upload our project to independent digital platforms, where would be able to market directly to our audience. We intend to use Reelhouse out of Vancouver and VHX, an international digital distributor out of New York. Reelhouse offers more than simply uploading a film to their website. They have innovative ways to assist the filmmaker in engaging the audience, such as offering bundling, interactive components and the opportunity for the filmmaker to create posts. VHX builds a specific website for the distribution of the videos; the production company has full control over what is available for sale, pricing etc. Neither Reelhouse nor VHX are exclusive, so we would be able to market our films in more than one on-line location. Both Reelhouse and VHX charge 10% plus $0.50 per transaction.
Finally, we would also work with Avi Federgreen of Indiecan Entertainment, who offers more traditional distribution services.
How the project will be promoted on the chosen platforms
There are several kickstarter options and this is a great way to encourage participation by the audience to become involved with and connected to our project.
We will have a plan of rewarding our funders at various levels of support (from a thank you and social media mention to being named an Executive Producer). As we are developing several complementary products, there will be many ways to provide a tangible method of appreciation to funders.
In addition to the support provided by the crowdfunding resource, we will be using a service such as Hootsuite to consolidate and streamline our messaging through Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. We will have several messages prepared to run on a schedule to our followers, and will add messages on various social media as milestones are reached with projects. It is very important to balance timing and quantity of messages shared to ensure people don’t start “tuning out” while also promoting the project to new audiences.
Our goals are:
- Specific: First Nations communities and Canadian elementary schools, eventually expanding to the United States and Europe (there is a great interest in Canada’s aboriginal culture in countries such as Germany)
- Measurable: To reach 10% of Canada’s aboriginal population and create an interest for the stories in foreign markets (United States, Germany, Iceland and Scandinavia in particular).
- Achievable: With support from Telefilm, NSI and the National Film Board, we will be able to expand our fan base beyond Alberta.
- Results-Focused: Our first priority is to create a high quality, marketable series of short films that will educate and entertain. Our results will be measured by the uptake by distributors such as Scholastic and networks such as APTN.
- Time-Bound: We recognize that the audience will grow as the series progresses. We intend to have full digital distribution within one year of completion of the final episode in this series, releasing one new episode every two months.
List of distribution and/or promotion partners that will be pursued
We intend to pursue the following partners, all of which return most of the profit back to the filmmaker.
Reelhouse is an open video sharing platform dedicated specifically for quality entertainment content. The platform offers a comprehensive toolset for filmmakers to self-distribute and market their content while providing a far more engaging experience for their viewers. The toolset includes various monetization, customization and social tools to help filmmakers build their fan base. Reelhouse is a vibrant community and as a destination site also embeds a range of features specifically for viewers to facilitate discovery, ease of access, sharing and curation.
VHX is a developing platform that believes artists should make more money from their work. VHX is a video distribution platform built for everyone. VHX empower creators to sell their work from their own websites, directly to their fans.
Everything that used to be sold on DVD can be sold on VHX and have helped publishers sell films, TV shows, comedy specials, live concert footage, lectures, web series, fitness, education, and more. Their publishers have grossed over $8.7 million and served over 1.4 million happy customers to date.
Digital Marketing Expert
We have contacted Annalise Larson of Veria and she has agreed to work with us when we are ready to move forward with our distribution and promotion. Annalise is a specialist in digital marketing and has significant experience in independent short film. She is well-known to Telefilm, the National Screen Institute, National Film Board, APTN and is very familiar with the film industry in Alberta. We would draw on Annalise’s expertise to identify the timing of our teaser launches, identification of target audiences and platforms where they can be reached; assistance with how to interact with the targeted groups and, of course, best practices for using the available budget. You can find out more at www.veria.ca
Digital Marketing Plan
Our specific niches for marketing will be First Nations’ peoples, children, educators, and people concerned with Aboriginal issues. Specificity allows us to be very targeted and only focus on the places and conversations where the potential audience is, instead of trying to reach everyone at once.
As we develop our digital marketing plan with our digital marketing expert, we will focus on the following:
- Summarizing up to three target niche audiences, identifying key influencers/organizations/online communities for outreach in each;
- Consulting with her on the creation of assets and setup for the crowdfunding campaign;
- Creating a detailed timeline and plan including six weeks of prep work, four weeks for the campaign and one week to wrap up the crowdfunding campaign;
- Consulting with her on the gathering and creation of assets during production that could be of use during marketing and promotion of the web series;
- Creating a high-level six-month audience development and digital distribution strategy (including the eleven weeks around the crowdfunding campaign) with suggested rollout and best practices based on audience research. Recommended tactics could include search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, online PR, online ads and email marketing;
- Ongoing consultation and mentorship provided by Veria on audience development and activation, reporting on key online metrics and analysis and recommendations based on results over the six months.
Promotion and Marketing – Additional Information
The principals of Groove Soldier Productions have significant experience and training in media, design, event planning, promotion and marketing. Following are some specific activities we will be undertaking to fully utilize social media and solidify our digital presence:
- Updates: 2-3 per week (including images or videos)
- Facebook Posts: 2-3 per day
- Twitter: 10-20 per day (3:1 ratio of tweeting articles and world of film and altruism : promotional tweets)
- Videos/Images: 2 videos per week and enough images for every Facebook and non-video update
- Event: Launch Event, Partner Events, Matching Contributors
- Thank yous: Immediate and Public
- Direct Emails/ Messages: 10-20 per day. Contact new contacts for partnerships and events
- Message Testing: What are people responding to? Round 2 of Interviews