The Milwaukee Film Festival hopes to be a locally beloved, internationally acclaimed film fest. Thus far, it has created a phenomenal foundation to allow it to happen. They have consistently acquired captivating, renowned films for the festival; have established incredible programs and events for the Milwaukee film community, and the social media presence is there. It’s a shame that I hadn’t heard of them before now.
Essentially, the Milwaukee Film Fest lacks brand awareness. Despite a great foundation for endless opportunity to generate this much-needed awareness, the fest has trouble expanding outside the film-fanatic niche. In terms of their social media presence, it’s average. For a film fest hoping to rise in the ranks, average is not going to cut it.
In order for them to improve brand awareness, they need to fix their consistency on social. Not necessarily in frequency, but in overall execution. The main website is interesting, it carries it’s own style and fits well with what I think of Milwaukee. It works for them, however their social channels do not reflect that same message. That same layout needs to be reflected on all social platforms. It’s a good layout for them as a brand; it should be used more than it has been.
In terms of content, they need to be consistent, develop more of it, and interconnect it with its other platforms. Their blog has good stuff posted regularly, which is shared on Facebook. None of that is shared on Twitter, something a link or two could easily fix and increases awareness. Same idea with their Vimeo content; great stuff, but none of it is shared on YouTube, which arguably generates more traffic.
Adding relevant information on Twitter wouldn’t hurt, either. From analytics reports that took a look at all their social channels, Twitter generated 71% of their following and engagement. Though there is decent engagement with followers, the timeline is random and doesn’t tie any content back to the film fest. If Twitter brings in their most traffic, then adding relevant content and interconnecting it with their other social platforms will help awareness.
Ideally, MFF needs to demonstrate why it’s worth having the film fest. Sell the experience; give them a taste of what a night at the film festival is like. MFF should be giving out free multi-day passes like its candy (not considering budget here, just hypothetically). Consumers love free, but there needs to be incentive for them to buy memberships. As a film fest, opening night is the best night. Offering the chance to someone who wouldn’t normally give a film fest a chance to walk the red carpet (even if it is MKE), enjoy a taste of the local and international film scene, and have the time of their lives. All for free, this would generate some serious buzz and word of mouth promotion. Create the value, it can all start on social.
Produce behind-the-scenes footage of the flicks of the upcoming fest or one-on-one interviews with directors and stars and post these everywhere, compliments of Milwaukee Film Fest. Offer audiences special screenings, the first to view the next critically acclaimed film. Encourage engagement, encourage them to initiate the experience from social.
Sell the experience. They need to show why the Milwaukee Film Festival needs to be celebrated and why it needs to become a word of pride among the locals. Utilize social, clean it up, and use it to tell a story. If MFF can communicate that experience through their social platforms, then they’ll get the brand awareness they need.
*All photos property of Milwaukee Film Festival and can be found here. All rights reserved.