I’m doing a marketing makeover on Debs’ website where she’s raising funding for her movie idea. She’s done a fantastic promotional video and a previous Kickstarter campaign, but hasn’t raised as much as she expected. (I’m listening to P.O.S. while I work). Here are my top 8 quick and dirty tips for turning your movie website around…
1. Some sentences are far more important than others. Spend time to perfect your hook.
I’m greeted by a big sign that says “Join the rebellion against boredom, apathy and fear”. It makes me pause and think. I’m not sure there IS a rebellion against all those things. Or that they are all rebellion worthy. People who are bored and apathetic, by their very nature don’t tend to rebel. Their inability to imagine better futures means they don’t act (which means they don’t buy movies to solve their problems).
Fear is a different emotion. Plenty of people want to overcome their fear and try very hard to do so. Overcoming fear is more of a battle, there is a clear enemy, so a rebellion may be relevant. But if you have a strong emotional driver and a weak emotional driver and you mix them together, you get blah.
The key to a rebellion, to positioning your movie as a cause, is that it needs to really hit people between the eyes. It must instantly grab onto an existing FRUSTRATION and twist the knife. Your movie must be THE solution they have been seeking to solve their XXX frustration.
I would spend a little more time specifically thinking about the psychology of your customers. The ones who buy things like this. What are they really rebelling against? What is their number one frustration? How can I most clearly tap into that frustration with just a few words. Then fine tune that initial hook.
Most of all, don’t underestimate the amount of work it can take to get this one sentence right. Because it is this one sentence which will trigger all the emotion and attention you need to sell the rest of the pitch.
Action: Make a list of 20 different variations on your rebellion theme. Then test them with your audience, see which one phrase appeals the most. eg.
Join the rebellion against boredom, apathy and fear.
Join the rebellion against boredom and fear.
Join the rebellion against creative fear.
Join the rebellion against creative procrastination.
2. The line between clear and clever is a fine one. Be very careful with cleverness when you’re explaining your idea for the first time.
Underneath the main sign you have a second tagline or description saying “Out Loud is a movie shaped expedition into creativity, courage, curiosity and connection.” So, you’ve already essentially got two slightly different pitches for this movie, right on the first page. That isn’t necessarily a problem, if the second description expands and deepens the first, or in this case hits it from a slightly different angle.
But, be very careful of “cleverness”. As a creative product, it’s an essential part of what you’re actually selling. BUT, when you’re trying to sell an idea, you need CLARITY to come first. The cleverness can come later, when the user has bought into the basic idea and chosen to invest their time and energy into getting to know you a little more.
People need to comprehend in a split second, but on a deep level, what this is you’re doing and what you want them to do. It’s a movie (not a movie-shaped expedition) and you want them to be a part of its development.
Action: Test alternative sub-headings like: “OUT LOUD is a movie about creativity, courage and connection and we’d love you to be a part of its development!”
3. Know exactly what your goal is. Prioritise accordingly. Cut anything that gets in the way.
Although there’s not much on the page, there are more calls to action than necessary. A call to action is anything you’re asking the user to do. I can click on two different “shaky” things that open your video.
There are 3 big buttons entitled;
and “spending pennies”
Again, these are creative, but I have no clue why I might want to click on those links or what to expect on the other side. They all presume the reader cares and has time to explore. Neither are usually true at this stage of your relationship with them. There’a also a large “pre-order” button. And a large email sign-up box, with an unclear header.
That’s at least 6 things you are trying to get your reader to do. And they all have a similar level of importance in your design. They’re ALL big.
The one thing you really need people to do is watch your video. But there’s no reason at all to make them think, guess or click before doing that. It should be visible upfront, not hidden behind a sign. And I’d test having it play automatically.
Now you’ve removed the action of playing your video, you can make it much clearer what else you want them to do. So lets think about that for a second. What actions do we want the user to perform? And in what order? Overall we want to…
- Have them watch the video which best describes the product
- Have them give you permission to email them
- Have them pre-order the product
Action: Create just ONE primary call to action on any one page. And maybe one secondary call to action, if appropriate.