Like any emerging artist, as a filmmaker, it can be a challenge to find an audience for your videos.
Audiences now have greater access to content than ever before, and so it’s increasingly more difficult to stand out and find an audience amongst lots of competition. Once you’ve put all your effort, talent and creativity – not to mention the hours and hard work – into producing your film, it can easily feel demoralising to see it struggle to find its audience.
We work with thousands of young filmmakers who are keen to build a career in film and media, whether as part of the growing UK film industry, as an independent filmmaker, or as a content creator on platforms like YouTube, TikTok and Instagram. We know how difficult it can be to break into these worlds, to gain attention and establish yourself amongst frenzied competition. To find an audience for your videos, it requires effort, patience, resilience and plenty of strategic promotion.
Here, we look at several ways you can start to find an audience for your videos or film productions and breakthrough in a competitive landscape.
Find an Audience for Your Videos
- Find Your Niche
Ultimately, content is always king, so it’s wise to focus on the quality of your content and making it as strong and as identifiable as you can.
Focus on one thing to begin with and consider what is unique about your videos/content, in comparison to everyone else’s.
For example, maybe you make animated music videos in your own unique drawing style? Or you make short horror films with unusual plot twists? Maybe you make dance videos with your own unique choreography or interesting camera angles? Or videos of your pets?
How can you be more specific about what an audience can expect from your work? What characteristics define your videos?
It’s also much easier to find an audience for your videos where you are recognised for one thing than it is to be known for several things at once, or to be known for a general talent. Aim to excel in your particular niche to begin with. You can always expand your reach later on.
And remember, sometimes, the quality of the audience and how well they connect to your work is more valuable than the quantity and how many people you can reach.
- Understand Your Audience
The more closely you can understand your intended audience, the more likely you are to find an audience for your videos.
Your intended audience is likely to vary depending on what you are hoping to achieve. If you’re seeing to become a TikTok star, then the way you interact with your audience – and the ways you find them – will be very different to someone who is perhaps seeking an agent to represent them as a director or screenwriter.
Find out as much as you can about your audience. What do they like? What do they follow? Where are you likely to find them?
- Use Online Platforms
Online platforms can be a great way to find an audience for your videos and start to capture attention.
You can build online video portfolios or channels on YouTube or Vimeo, where audiences can find your work, or you can signpost people towards them. You can also use social media platforms to trail or more widely promote your videos, as well as to connect directly with audiences using short form video content.
Video and social media platforms offer lots of tools that can help you to be found. Include relevant hashtags and keywords. Include truthful, relevant descriptions, so that the platform’s algorithms can start to connect you with people who are likely to be interested in your work.
Expand your reach with add-on content. Share teasers, behind-the-scenes content, and announcements about your films. Engage with your audience via the comments, you can also consider running targeted ads to reach a broader audience.
- Film Festivals:
Submit your videos/films to relevant film festivals. This can be a great way to showcase your work to an interested audience, as well as to build up a valuable network of contacts, and some credibility as a filmmaker.
Not only is your work seen by a brand new audience – often built up by the festival organisers – but it also gives you the chance to connect with industry professionals and fellow filmmakers.
Research festivals that align with your genre or style. You can find plenty of options on FilmFreeway.com.
- Collaborate with Other Filmmakers
Collaborating with other filmmakers on joint projects or agreeing to share each other’s work is a great way to partner up and find an audience for your videos. This can help you tap into each other’s audiences and gain exposure within the filmmaking community – a team can often help you achieve more than is possible for an individual.
- Networking Events & Communities
Attend industry events, film screenings, and networking sessions. Building connections with other filmmakers, producers, and industry professionals can open doors to opportunities and increase the visibility of your work.
Join online forums, groups, and communities related to filmmaking. Participate in discussions, share your experiences, and seek feedback. These communities can be valuable for networking and discovering new opportunities.
- Harness Support from Your Network
You’ll be amazed at how many people will want to support you and help to find an audience for your videos, if you just ask them for their support. Friends, family members, collaborators and even commentators or journalists will be interested to share your videos online, or attend your screening events.
If applicable, submit your work to film schools or student showcases. As a youth film school, we host regular cinema screenings of our students’ work and we’re delighted to share and celebrate it through competitions, awards ceremonies, newsletters and our website, not to mention we often submit to film festival partnerships on behalf of students too.
Ask for support from your network. You’ll find lots of people happy to support you, spread the word and help you to find an audience for your videos.
Remember, to find an audience for your videos, persistence and perseverance is key.
It takes time to find an audience for your videos and gaining recognition can be a slow process, so stay committed to your craft. Continuously improve your skills, and actively seek opportunities to showcase your videos.
About Sparks Film School
Sparks Film School inspires young filmmakers aged 5-18 to reach their full potential.
We help children and teenagers to develop their confidence, knowledge and skills, as well as to build up a network of friends and collaborators.
We offer filmmaking, animation and photography courses from our 30+ UK film school locations.
Our filmmaking classes run outside of school during term time, alongside fun filmmaking holiday camps during half term holidays and the summer.
You can find out more about Sparks Film School here.