Amber Butchart, trend forecaster, author of Theatre of Fashion blog and one half of DJ duo the Broken Hearts discusses how the film industry could learn from the fashion industry to encourage successful blogging.
Blogging has undoubtedly taken the fashion industry by storm. In a visual industry obsessed with rapid change and being ‘in the know’, blogging is the most effective way to keep abreast of evolving trends. The power of blogging for niche markets cannot be underestimated; it can reach areas that the traditional media may ignore, it can tap into communities and networks and it can activate audiences to engage with your brand on a whole new level. The apparel business has had to adapt very fast to the notion that it is now a dialogue, rather than a didactic monologue. If the fashion industry can adapt to this seismic shift, then the film industry can too.
Here are a few tips to get your blog engaging with audiences. It’s time to join the conversation!
• Ensure your cinema has its own blog with its own independent voice, or collection of voices. Encourage debate. Tumblr is being hailed as the blogging platform du jour for early adopters and it has the added benefits of ease of use and forging networks as well as hosting your blog content. Readers are encouraged to ask questions to create conversations – it’s all about interaction.
• Frequency is essential to keep readership high. You should dedicate time to posting as often as possible – less than once a week is definitely not going to keep your stats smiling.
• BUT quality is definitely as important as quantity. Content is essential; blogging is about personal expression and authenticity, and readers will drop off if they feel the voice is insincere. This is a debate that’s currently raging through the fashion blogosphere as bloggers get accused of being paid off by multinationals. Keep your content diverse, fresh, passionate and genuine.
• Use guest bloggers to publicise events or film seasons. Bringing in a respected blogger with their own network of followers will open up that network to you. When I (the Broken Hearts) created a soundtrack for a silent film as part of the Birds Eye View Festival we were asked to contribute a guest blog post to help publicise the event. More recent collaborations with the Fashion in Film Festival led to me writing a related post on my own site to help drive traffic to the event.
• Don’t be afraid to have fun! Tumblr site Textbook has created a storm in the fashion-blogging world by dressing literary characters; the tagline ‘What would Holden Caulfield wear?’ says it all. How about creating a microblog featuring what’s in the fridge of Marty McFly, Margot Tenenbaum or Keyser Söze?