As you may have seen, last week AdRoll announced $15M in new funding from Foundation Capital, Merus Capital and Accel Partners. We also spoke with the media about how we plan to use the new funding, which includes further expansion into verticals like Entertainment — an industry in which retargeting is currently being underutilized, but has the potential to yield incredible results. AdRoll is the only retargeting company focused on servicing industries outside of retail.
In addition to big-budget studio movies and games (think Avatar and Call of Duty), retargeting could be especially advantageous for speciality distributors and DIY indie producers trying to find their audiences via a grassroots approach. In fact, Jay Fernandez over at Indiewire, the leading news and networking site for the independent film industry, wrote about this exact topic as our funding news broke last week (see: Could Consumer-Tracking Online Ads Help Indie Films Find Audiences?).
As Jay pointed out, these days one of the biggest gripes in the traditional studio moviemaking world is that it costs tens of millions of dollars to produce and distribute traditional marketing materials for even a modestly budgeted picture. Because indie filmmakers typically have very little money to spend on raising awareness, independent films are only rarely able to penetrate cultural consciousness on a national level, no matter how great the film may be.
Retargeting is an ideal digital marketing solution for these filmmakers due to its low cost and focus on performance. For example, say a potential fan happens to visit your site and views a screenshot or trailer in advance of your film release. With customized ads, retargeting can keep that fan engaged, encourage them to spread the word about your film and eventually convert them (and whoever they shared film trailer and teasers with) into a paying customer the day the film is released. And, because ads are highly targeted and customizable, retargeting is especially effective at reaching and keeping niche audiences, like documentary film fans, engaged. On average, AdRoll’s clients see a $10 return for every $1 spent. That’s a marketing dollar very well spent, no matter what your budget.
Here are a few trade tips for indie filmmakers just getting started with retargeting:
Set Appropriate Cookie Durations
You should set varying cookie durations for different purposes. If a visitor views a trailer for an upcoming movie, you may want to show them ads for advanced movie ticket sales at a regular frequency, up until the movie release date. If you’re in the production phase for a new movie, you may want to target your loyal fans from previous productions at a low frequency. That way, once you’re ready to market the new film more aggressively, your brand will already be top of mind with loyal fans.
Align Your Messaging with Segmentation
When retargeting, you’ll want to tailor your ad messaging based on the actions of your site visitors. You can do so through segmentation. For example, if a fan visits your movie homepage, but doesn’t view the movie trailer, you’ll want to encourage them to do so in your subsequent ad messaging. If a site visitor has already viewed the movie trailer, you may want to encourage them to view other additional promotional content or purchase a pre-sale ticket.
Cross-Promote Similar Titles and Related Merchandise
Any good marketer knows that the initial sale is just the beginning of the relationship with a customer. Leverage the knowledge you’ve gained from past customers to show them other products and offers they might be interested in. Customers who have shown interest in a particular movie genre, are likely to be receptive to ads promoting upcoming movies in the same genre. Similarly, customers who’ve purchased movie tickets or viewed a trailer in the near past are likely to be receptive to ads shown for related merchandise.