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In a world increasingly reliant on streaming and digital content, movie theaters must adapt to survive. Today, many films get simultaneous theatrical and streaming releases. It only makes sense to take your marketing digital, too.

When it comes to digital marketing, WebFX is a powerhouse of tools and strategies that puts your business in front of the people you want to see it. Check out these three easy steps we’ve put together that cinemas can take to start marketing their services online.

For more tips on digital marketing for movie theaters, sign up for Revenue Weekly and stay up to date on the latest industry tricks from WebFX.

1. Determine your audience

Before you can start marketing, you need to know who you’re marketing to! Defining your target audience will help you determine where your time online is best spent and what kind of content you should create.

One way to understand your audience is to create buyer personas. Personas are detailed imaginary profiles of the people you’re hoping to target in your digital marketing plan. Examples for your movie theater might include:

  • A retired couple looking for a weekly date activity
  • A family with schoolchildren who want to have a family-friendly evening together
  • A single adult wanting to add some fun to their schedule

These are some basic ideas to get you started. When creating your actual personas, try to add as many details as possible. Give them names, ages, hobbies, interests and needs. Why is your theater the solution to their desires? What type of content is most likely to draw them in?

2. Optimize your website

Once you’ve found your market, it’s time to ensure your website caters to them. Optimizing your website allows potential leads to find you and navigate your website faster. The goal is to help them find the information they want with ease so they’ll stay on your site to learn more about your business and invest more in your services.

Search engine optimization

One of the most vital parts of updating your website is ensuring it’s easily accessible to searchers. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of understanding what your leads search for and using those keywords in your web design, content and anywhere else you can. SEO usually costs less than other marketing tactics, so it’s a great place to start your journey.

Content marketing

SEO lends itself well to another tenet of online advertising — content marketing. Content marketing is about adding more information to your site about relevant topics to your field. The goal is to make your site more knowledgeable and helpful to visitors. The more information they find on your website, the more likely they’ll come back.

Content marketing can also help improve your authority and trustworthiness according to search engines. These factors affect your ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). Plus, the more content you have, the more space you can use to add SEO keywords and increase your chance of showing up on that coveted first page of results.

You can use content marketing on your homepage, blog, how-to articles and more. Movie theaters have excellent opportunities to discuss the entertainment industry through film reviews and cast or crew interviews.

Web design

Even if your content is useful, it means nothing if viewers don’t stay long enough to read it. A site is only as good as its web design, as it’s the first thing people notice when they navigate to a page.

For your web design to be effective, it has to be responsive. Over half of users will abandon a site if it takes more than three seconds to load, and a similar amount will leave if the site isn’t optimized for their mobile device. 

Once the page loads, it must be appealing to the eye, too. Bright colors and funky fonts might be fun to play around with, but they can be challenging to look at for a long time and may weaken your authority. Aim for something professional and easy to read so you can showcase your movie theater’s identity through branded images and page content.

3. Choose places to advertise

Now that you’ve prepared your website for new business, you can start attracting customers.

Digital marketing takes place on more than just your website. If you want people to discover your theater, you need to advertise everywhere. The more people see your brand, the more likely they are to remember it. And when the time comes to seek out a big screen near them, you’ll be the first place they think of. 

Social media

In today’s online landscape, social media is a must. Whether your audience is part of the Facebook generation or finds most of their content on TikTok, you need to be where they are and constantly update your profiles.

Social media also offers great opportunities to interact with your patrons and build a relationship with them, encouraging them to come back again and again.

Email marketing

When you convince leads to provide their email addresses, you can directly contact them any time you want. Since almost everyone online has an email address, you’re able to connect with the widest portion of your customers to inform them about upcoming movies, updates to your schedule and special events you have planned.

Paid advertisements

Paid advertisements are an excellent way to ensure your movie theater gets noticed. For example, pay-per-click (PPC) marketing puts your ad at the top of a search engine, and you don’t have to pay for it unless someone actually follows through to your website. It’s a cost-effective way to get your brand out there and ensure people remember you when the time comes for a good old-fashioned movie night.

Our digital marketing campaigns impact the metrics that improve your bottom line.

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WebFX has driven the following results for clients:

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$6 billion

In client revenue
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24 million

Leads for our clients
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7.14 million

Client phone calls

Get digital marketing for movie theaters from WebFX

Maintaining your movie theater takes time, dedication and expertise — just like employing the perfect digital marketing strategy. When popcorn and projectors are enough for you to focus on, WebFX can take care of the rest. Our digital marketing services provide a personalized plan for advertising your cinema and meeting your sales goals. You can be the best at what you do, and our award-winning team will do the same.

If you’re ready to transform and enhance your brand’s online presence, talk to one of our strategists today. You can reach us online or at 888-601-5359. We’re dedicated to getting you the results you deserve. We can’t wait to fill your theaters with eager new patrons!

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