Today on the show we have returning champion Kyle Prohaska. Kyle is a Facebook Marketing Ninja. Kyle also specializes in promoting and marketing indie films.
He also has created insane followings for his own films. Check out this 1,000,000 follower Facebook page he created for his film Standing Firm. Get ready to take some MASSIVE notes on this special episode. Enjoy my epic conversation with Kyle Prohaska.
I wanted to bring Kyle back on the show to discuss a new system he is using to generate real money for filmmakers using Facebook ads. The problem I've always had using Facebook to promote indie films is ROI or Return on Investment. It didn't make sense to me to spend twenty dollars to promote a $2.99 rental or worse a free watch on Amazon Prime.
Kyle has figured out a way to not only get a massive ROI on money spent but to also bring awareness to the film. If you are using or are thinking of using Facebook ads to sell your film this is the episode for you. Get ready to have your mind BLOWN!
Enjoy my conversation with Kyle Prohaska.
Alex Ferrari 2:23
So guys, today on the show, we have returning champion Kyle Prohaska. And Kyle was on a very popular episode, Episode Number 200 of the indie film hustle podcast talking about how to use Facebook in order to sell your movies. And that episode was very, very well received by the tribe and I wanted to talk to him. Now I wanted to bring him back on the show because he has been developing new techniques on how to get an actual ROI on Facebook ads getting a return on investment. The thing that always never really set right with me is spending $20 on a Facebook ad to promote a 290 $9 rental, or worse even a free watch on Amazon. It just didn't make a whole lot of sense. But Kyle has been able to crack the code, and has been using it with his clients now for a while and it is consistently bringing him a good return on investment. And not only is he able to get that ROI, but he's also able to bring awareness to your film, which will then spill over into other areas of your marketing. It was quite quite remarkable. So I cannot wait to share this episode with you. So without any further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Kyle Prohaska. I like to welcome back to the show returning champion, Kyle Prohaska. Man How you doing brother?
Kyle Prohaska 3:53
Good, how are you?
Alex Ferrari 3:55
I'm good man. I'm good. You know, it's I wanted to have back on the show because we were kind of going back and forth on Twitter a little bit. I think I think one of that old episode we did, which was number 200. about Facebook marketing for filmmakers, which we were just discussing was a few a couple years ago. So a couple things have changed since
Kyle Prohaska 4:13
Alex Ferrari 4:14
Pre even pre COVID a couple things have changed. But post COVID is even not post during COVID A lot has changed in us like Hey, man, we should talk again. There's a lot of stuff that's different. So um, that's why I wanted to have you back man. So let's just get into it. Man. How has the Facebook marketing game changed? In your opinion since last we spoke,
Kyle Prohaska 4:38
Oh, man. I mean it. Just like anything. The rules seem to change constantly. The performance goes up and down. It's like a big roller coaster every year throughout the year. You know, the the the difference in even how I would approach things you know years ago is now totally different just because of what you can do. The tools have improved You know, they've also pared back some things that got them in some trouble, I'm sure everybody's aware of some of that. But the whole ecosystem is, is constantly changing. And you have to stay on your, or you gotta, it keeps you on your toes, I guess is what I would say, you know, um, so it's, it has changed quite a bit. And it's an ongoing sort of thing. So I have to keep my finger on the pulse constantly to make sure I'm paying attention to what's happening or not, like everybody, I'm sure heard about the boycotting, that was happening with a lot of big companies and Facebook. And, you know, I wasn't sure what's that going to do? You know, I know, I know, at least for me, it's like, well, I can't pull back, I got all kinds of clients that are, you know, they have ongoing businesses, and Facebook's a big part of their success. So they're not going anywhere. You know, they're not Honda, you know, or whatever, the
Alex Ferrari 5:53
Honda and Starbucks
Kyle Prohaska 5:54
Yeah so they, you know, so so I wasn't sure what that was going to do. It's been, especially this year, you know, it has been a constant roller coaster. And what you can and can't do is never entirely clear. I feel like it's sort of the Wild West, and it has been all along. So so it's been interesting. It's like, I don't I don't just do stuff. Now. That's film related. Now, I'm like working with some online colleges, for instance, that's been interesting, because of COVID. Or, you know, there are nonprofits or there are. And then of course, you know, filmmakers. But, man, you got to be careful now, because they're cracking down on all kinds of things. And I'm not doing anything shady, but their whole automated system even will crawl around for stuff.
Alex Ferrari 6:37
It I find that Yeah, sometimes they'll flag stuff. I'm like, What are you talking about man, like, and but you'll let something else go that's, you know,hoarder
Kyle Prohaska 6:45
And it takes like a week for it to disappear. You know, like, recently with one unmentioned video that I want mentioned?
Alex Ferrari 6:53
Kyle Prohaska 6:54
It's like, it's pretty safe.
Alex Ferrari 6:56
And then there's, and then there's Facebook Jail, and we could talk about Facebook Jail, which is a whole other a whole other thing. For people who don't know what Facebook Jail is, it's not a pleasant thing to be, if you do something that they don't like, not just advertising, period, if you're doing posting stuff, or you're doing something that's not acceptable, they will, they will block you for. Yeah, like for like, it depends. I you know, I've been in face I, I have been In Facebook Jail, in my day, haven't been in a while, but you kind of learn,you kind of learn.
Kyle Prohaska 7:30
To do and, and, you know, even for something as simple as, like commenting on your own posts too much and like responding to everything, you know, self promotion, it's like, they'll kind of take away your commenting ability temporarily, and then give it back to you, you know, stuff like that, because they just don't, they're trying to, they're trying to cut down on as much spam Enos as they can, you know, so if you go too hard, too fast responding and answering every question and saying thank you to 200 people in an hour.
Alex Ferrari 7:58
They don't like it.
Kyle Prohaska 7:59
Yeah, they don't like that at all. So it's a it's a constantly changing environment. And, you know, I, I've been doing Facebook marketing now for more than 10 years. So, you know, when I look back, way back, you know, what feels like now to what it used to be like then and what it's like now, it's just not even the same universe. And I don't even spend or suggest to people that I spend their money the same way. You know, it's just, it's, it's just different now and on the filmmaking and, you know, there are tools now that you can utilize that you just couldn't, you know, five years ago, that are now available, like that, like the conversion based stuff that I mentioned, like that sort of stuff has been around but it hasn't been anywhere near as common as it is now. Everybody seems like they're selling something or creating a store now, using like Shopify or big commerce or Squarespace you know, everybody's willing to it's not the gig economy. I think I heard it called the hustle economy like everybody has like their their thing there's yeah.
Alex Ferrari 9:01
Sir everyone's just catching up with me sir. I've been here for quite some time at the hustle sir.
Kyle Prohaska 9:08
I know, I mean, we we both have our our stuff that we can point back to a decade ago where we were like selling physical you know, physical stuff physical mirch and and that and that is honestly I've swung back around where I don't do like theatrical much anymore. You know, I really kind of moved away from that and moved over to okay well, how do I help people sell something direct where they're gonna either ship it themselves and they're gonna have a fulfillment place do it. I can track the sales they can see the money's going in and going out.
Alex Ferrari 9:39
And or like a digital or digital,or digital products or something like.
Kyle Prohaska 9:42
Yeah,digital products and then there's their to me at least there's been like a surge in physical again, everybody left it alone and figured it was dead. But I think that was because the means of moving it. So like unreachable, like you could maybe Place your product somewhere but it was going to cost a lot of money to make And you didn't know if it was going to move, or now you can sell it direct, where if you can move it, and the ROI is there, you can justify kind of keeping the money in rotation.
Alex Ferrari 10:09
Alright, so So let's talk about a little bit about this. I'm going to ask you a question first, and then we're going to get into this and it might lead into that. And I've had a problem with this for a while, can filmmakers actually get an ROI return on investment with Facebook ads, if they're strictly just trying to get watches? Or getting people to try to buy or rent their films on iTunes? or Amazon? Is there a model that that still works in?
Kyle Prohaska 10:36
Yes, so so the prime streaming side of things where you're getting paid like an antibody. Now, you know, that's just really not a that's more of a thing where you place it, and you hope to kind of get into the right hole algorithmically, you know, where your movie will kind of seem to get suggested around via their platform. And then you see people's numbers blow up, and then they die. And like a month, you know, I've seen movies, it's a good, but it's a risk. It's like a gamble. It is it's a gamble. And it's told it seems totally random, as far as anybody's outside influence on and who seems like it's Amazon, you know, and I've seen that work for movies that have like name talent, where it's like their face on the cover. And all of a sudden, you'll see some of these older men of comedy do well, because they happen to have an actor in it that was recognizable. But, you know, you mentioned the word model. And people throw that word around. But like, the model that I use all the time now, for most people I'm doing stuff for is to have them sell something physical on a store, they control if they can fulfill it themselves. run all the advertising and a conversion based environment. So all the deliveries about triggering the the purchase itself, right? So it's not like video views first, and then link clicks to retarget, and all that sort of stuff, it's kind of top to bottom, all at the same time, funnel wise. And what that does, and this is kind of the thing that took me a while to really realize I didn't do it on enough movies is when you when you leave the kind of awareness base ad delivery alone, any pivot towards conversion, you're telling Facebook to go get a very different result, right? Like, it's easy for it to go get video views, Link clicks, post engagements, landing page views are better, right, but they're still not the same as somebody physically buying something. So telling it to optimize for that means that your delivery is narrower, and it costs more, right, less people per dollar, that sort of thing. But the quality of the people that's delivering to changes dramatically. So if you get yourself to a place where even those ads pay for themselves, and that's it, like see, the ROI is like one, you know, or 1.2 or something that doesn't feel like much the the bump that you see over on Amazon, for instance, rental and buy and the bump you see on an iTunes and things like that is tangible.
Alex Ferrari 12:55
How is it that how is it so if I'm selling a T shirt, Samson, I'm selling a T shirt for my horror movie. And and it's good, and then we set it up in Shopify. Alright, so we have a Shopify site, we put on some t shirts, and we're selling that T shirt that may have something to do with my movie may not have something to do with my movie might be a horror movie, but it might be worked into the movie, somehow. It's in the ecosystem of my movie, right? How does that convert to views on, let's say, an amazon prime or to be or rentals or sales?
Kyle Prohaska 13:27
Sure, and a shirt, a shirt would be different. I'm talking more about the movie itself. So like, I know your movie existed five minutes ago. And now hopefully, they're you know, some of them are checking out and getting it from you, you know, a download that you can track, you know.
Alex Ferrari 13:41
Oh, so you're putting this yourself distributing it through a digital file on like, either a Vimeo, x or VHS.
Kyle Prohaska 13:49
Or Shopify has like a free app. But but there's no DRM, things like that. Not everybody's going to care. But so so the model is basically sell it in a trackable way, run conversion based ads, if you can break even great if you do way better than that great, because now you're making money on what you move. But all of the spillover awareness from people who don't buy it from you. a much bigger portion of them seem to gravitate towards the digital platforms. That wasn't true when I was running. Why do you think retargeting only and I think that's because the, the makeup of the people within the group that you fed it, that it will deliver to is much more exclusive, it's far more expensive to get to them. And as the pixel that you install for the tracking learns more about the makeup of the buyer, that delivery will improve over time. So you end up getting way higher quality awareness than you used to if you just pick a lower intent thing like video views, like clicks, pose, you know, post engagement, all that stuff. You get a lot of people in the top of the funnel, but you get all kinds of sorts of various intent. You know, when you do a conversion based campaign, it's factoring in what it knows about the users already. What it knows about the makeup of the buyer based on like previous data you have from your pixel, hopefully, you know if it's a totally cold thing, and.
Alex Ferrari 15:05
Can you can you stop real quick? Can you explain it to everybody what a pixel is?
Kyle Prohaska 15:07
Sure, yeah, sorry. You know,
Alex Ferrari 15:09
I know what a pixel is I use pixels. But I want everyone to say, it's not that bad Adam Sandler movie,what is the pixel,
Kyle Prohaska 15:13
The facebook pixel is something you set up in your business manager, which anybody can start one, if you have a Facebook page, you can, you know, go and sign up for a business manager, it's sort of the, you know, bucket that all of your Instagram and Facebook pages and everything lives under. And then you have an area where you can create a pixel and the pixel is something that it gets installed on your website gets installed on your store gets installed anywhere that you want to track, the data of pageviews of purchase triggers of add to carts, you know, all that sort of stuff. And from that, you know, when you do like a purchase based campaign, so you have like, 100, previous purchases, or 10, or five, or whatever it is, Facebook goes, Okay, what's the makeup of the people who triggered this thing you're telling me to go get, and then it will deliver within the target, you fed it. So it was like people that like horror movies, people who like dramas of this store to that store, it will try and pivot all the delivery towards people like those people, you know, um, because it's conversion based, you get to a lot less people, and you pay a lot more per dollar for those people. But it's way higher quality traffic, higher intent traffic, so the people who don't want to buy it from you who are never going to buy it from you say it's like physical, right? Like lots of people don't buy physical, some people do. But it's a way to get to the person who is the digital renter and buyer.
Alex Ferrari 16:39
And because you have the pixel, Facebook knows that they have already purchased or rented films in general.
Kyle Prohaska 16:46
Well, they won't know that, based on the because that that's, that's really the problem. And why this model is still a roundabout way. But it's still the most direct way. Amazon, iTunes, any ubiquitous platform doesn't allow you to track the sale from the ad to the rental. So there is no way to know they saw this ad and they got this, you know, and I got this rental, the only thing you can track is I know they saw this ad and bought from me, or they rented it from because you're controlling the platform, right? So so what I'm describing is getting yourself into a place where your ads are paying for themselves, which is something we didn't have, if you're not in a conversion based environment, you're just kind of get you're paying for a lot of awareness. And it's all floating out there. And you don't know what's connecting to what and you're paying for for much lower intent people than you need to where if you do conversion based, and so you move enough DVDs to pay for the advertising. And that's it. What I'm saying is that you should see a tangible bump when you go and check your digital numbers, all that spillover from people who didn't buy it from you, but you still delivered ads to them. Not all of them, of course, gravitate to digital, but a much higher percentage every single time have ever tried to spend ads to bump someone's rental and digital numbers only, like in an awareness sort of campaign. Pick any other optimization link clicks, landing page views, which you can't track, by the way, if you're sending them to Amazon, because there's no pixel over there. So clicks only video views only, you can't get to enough people per dollar for the small percentage that does convert to make you money. There's just not enough money to go around, right? A trackable higher margin sale that pays for the ads for you. So that all the digital spillover is gravy, like.
Alex Ferrari 18:30
So. Okay. All right. So if so if I'm a filmmaker right now, and I have a movie, and let's say I have $100,000 movie and it you know, let's say genre, let's say it's a horror movie, you know, easy horror movie genre, it might have a B level horror star in it. Okay. Now, the way I would set up and I've got, I got five grand to start for advertising, specifically. Now I have gone with the distributor for all the platforms and going out to you know, Amazon, and tubi, and all these other places. But I've retained the right to sell it on my website or on my digital, a digital platform online somewhere, I've been able to carve that out. So now I open up a Spotify account or, you know, put it on, you know, wherever VHS, Vimeo, one of those kind of places. And we put the movie there for rental and for sale. So let's say for sale, it would be 999. We're going to throw in a whole bunch of special features and stuff like that. And 399 for a rental. What you're saying is as opposed to, which is what most filmmakers do is they'll take that five grand throw it at the Facebook ads and try to drive them to Amazon or drive them to iTunes, right use and even conversion even if you use the conversion algorithm in Facebook ads, you still have no way of really knowing it other than maybe the backend numbers.
Kyle Prohaska 19:54
And you can't you can't even do a conversion campaign in that instance because you don't have a way to track that Amazon sale. So the only way to run a conversion campaign is to sell it somewhere you control and it's trackable, and the options are really not. There's not a lot of them, right? Like you have the Shopify type places that you can use, you have VH x, which they sort of hid their more traditional, like, the old VHX is still there. But you kind of have to.
Alex Ferrari 20:19
Vimeo, yeah, Vimeo, yeah,
Kyle Prohaska 20:21
Like normal, Vimeo doesn't give you the pixel option. So I would tell people, like, don't just put it on Vimeo, can't track over there, fine, if you want to put it over there, but send people to where the pixel is available. Because then you can see, from this ad came the sales, and here's how much came through the sales, you know, you need that ability.
Alex Ferrari 20:40
So then Alright, so if we continue with that, that conversation, so then. So then I have it on VHX, and I have a pixel to it. And now I start putting in, we'll put in 1000 bucks to see what happens. And we push that in, and now we're driving people to buy or rent from me specifically. And the people who are buying and renting from me will hopefully or we could track it, start paying for the advertisers as
Kyle Prohaska 21:05
they roll through.
Alex Ferrari 21:06
And there might be an if we get 1.5 to double our money. Oh, my
Kyle Prohaska 21:11
You're making money on your money, which is great. Great. The key to the model is to answer your question directly is that plenty of people are going to have no interest in buying it from checks, right. So like, in the last number of years, what's been totally clear is that everyone wants to try and push everyone to like a particular place. When I know for me, if I'm renting anything, I'm going to iTunes first I'm an iTunes guy, I use like iTunes gift cards constantly to rent stuff that I want to see or to buy it. I think I rented something from Amazon once, right?
Alex Ferrari 21:43
Yeah, I'm an I'm an I have an Apple TV,
Kyle Prohaska 21:47
Alex Ferrari 21:47
Like, I personally, like I've never rented anything, I think I might have rented one or two things from Amazon. And but if I rent anything I buy it.
Kyle Prohaska 21:54
And the opposite exists, right? People that are just happily google assistant or Google, right. So ours, or people now especially if they skew younger and male, they're probably renting on youtube movies and things like that, you know, they're available over there. So everyone has their preferred thing. So it being available on like, VHS only is going to cut down on the people that are going to convert through. But if you can get yourself to a place where the ROI is, like you said, it's paying for itself, hopefully, right? Like that would be the point. or making money, obviously is the goal. But in the event, you were only breaking even all of that spillover awareness, if it's available on those big ubiquitous places should get it should get a pop,
Alex Ferrari 22:35
So on other words just because now there people are aware of your movie, like I don't want to rent it on VHX, I'll go hunting on iTunes or Amazon. And I've done that a million times. I want
Kyle Prohaska 22:45
I mean don't tell people that it's there for now. So that's what I mean. But um, but but pivot all the ad delivery towards a trackable thing, because this is what I want to make sure people understand it changes the people Facebook delivers to it changes the ad delivery, you know, it's going towards people that it knows are engaged buyers based on previous data, it's pivoting towards people who are more like the folks already triggering, hopefully the purchase event on your pixel. So it's a different makeup of people, if I fed it the same 2 million horror fans, and I did video views in one campaign and I did conversions on another, it's going to one's going to try and go after a much broader base of people and get you cheap video views, right that are like three seconds only. And depending on how good the content is maybe the watch deeper and all that sort of stuff. And then you'll have the other world take that 2 million, and it's probably going to focus on on a tiny little subset right within that 2 million based on what it knows already. And based on what it's learning as it goes. And that's who's going to hyper focus in on that everyone knows that 2 million are not going to be buyers, right like that's a much bigger group than are going to probably do anything, no matter what you spend the money on. So pivoting the delivery towards people more likely to be buyers means that on like a per dollar level, you're more likely to get in front of people who are going to convert somewhere. But if you can optimize all of the delivery and the campaign around something you can see, it's way easier to keep the money running. Right? Like I've dumped plenty of money into like theatrical campaigns awareness campaigns, and it's terrifying because even if you know that you're doing a good job as far as the metrics are concerned, you don't know what's happening on the other end. And it's way harder to ask people to continue spending when you can't really tell them what's happening. You know, it's it. I don't like being in that position. That's why I pivoted all my business away because like it starts to eat away at you. There's only so much you can do conversion wise right like some movies you just gonna have to do the traditional sort of campaign right like a big theatrical movie, you got to spend money like everywhere in order to have an even have a shot right? Um, but for somebody who has a movie to sell, maybe they have some older films that they Compact together, and maybe they have some other products around that movie, like you said emerge t shirts, right? Special exclusives that only you can sell, nobody else can sell them. Um, if you can run ads that will just pay for themselves, and that's as good as it gets. That's the best way to spend that five grand if it's available on iTunes and Amazon, because it changes the makeup of people that you deliver to with that five grand, and they're way more likely to be buyers.
Alex Ferrari 25:25
And then you can also use that. And this concept could also work on DVDs and blu rays or anything physical,
Kyle Prohaska 25:30
A huge part of what I've been doing, because everybody thinks that it's dead when I know I got like a zillion of them sitting over here. You know, I got a ton of blu rays and DVDs, I will buy physical as long as it's available. And yeah, of course, everyone's not me. But a lot of people are still me. You know, it's not just older people are plenty of younger people. I mean, vinyls had a comeback, for goodness sake, who would have thought that you know, a number of years ago, so selling something physical, similar to not assuming what platform people want to use, right? Like, let people buy it, the way that they're comfortable with, plenty of folks will see your ads and go right to Amazon, like anyone listening right now, I guarantee you've been in a Walmart, and you're like, I wonder how much this is on Amazon. And you go and check on your phone, because you want to find out if you're getting a good deal or not. And you're comfortable with Amazon, and you've probably used it a million times in your lifetime. So let people go where they're most comfortable. Because they're gonna do that anyway, if they're interested in the movie. And they really think it's compelling, they'll probably go check whatever their their most common kind of consumption platform is. And that's where they'll go first, they might check your site, they might even buy it from you. But odds are, they're going to go and see if it's available in that thing they use all the time. So let people go where they're comfortable. That's why I like don't deny physical, if you can afford to make even just a small amount of units just to see like don't bury yourself in copies if they're not going to move. But there are plenty of ways now to get stuff made cheaply and get a get only get some made don't make a ton without any proof yet. But give it a shot, make it available digitally, make it available physically do it in a trackable space. It's sort of a line I've repeated over and over again with people. But if I can't figure out a way to sell it directly to someone, it's really unlikely I can spend their money another way. And it work. Right like that. That's what I've seen.
Alex Ferrari 27:32
So right now, so right now you wouldn't take on a client that is going to you you need them to either sell it on VHS or somewhere trackable, or on a physical DVD or physical medium somehow that which they obviously are tracking because they're actually fulfilling it themselves.
Kyle Prohaska 27:50
It's always my first question, how is it going to be available if they say, Oh, it's only going to be over here, it's like, you know, it doesn't have to be available everywhere. But when I say you see a bump in other places, I'll even see a bump on eBay for some of these movies, some of these movies, they're all they came out 20 years ago, and they're selling better now than they've sold in years. And you can go to eBay and search them and go to completed listings and see a bump from people that see an ad. And they go and hunt around
Alex Ferrari 28:17
To see if they can find the DVD some ways
Kyle Prohaska 28:18
To find it. So so like people are listing their DVD via their own account, or they set up their own, you know, business account on eBay. And they're catching sales from people that decide think they're clever and go over their email, and they're still buying it from the filmmaker. So it's, it's a really interesting. Yeah, it's it's interesting. I mean, once I once I realized though the digital bump was real, then it was like, okay, because someone who comes to me and says, hey, it's gonna be on Amazon rental and buy only. What can you do with, you know, whatever amount of money and it's really hard for me to say yes to that. Now, I'm like, I would much prefer me spend it all on a conversion environment, I guarantee you're going to get more buys and rentals over here. If I do the ads this way, I know that you'll get more people over here, it doesn't mean that you're going to be a big winner, but it means the amount of money that's going to result from the spend is likely to be much higher, because it's too hard to get to enough people on a per dollar basis. When you do like video views link click retargeting landing page view retargeting like traditional funnel, it's really hard to run those kind of,
Alex Ferrari 29:25
But if you so look at it. So this is my film shoprunner mine working. So if we're going to a Shopify, a site that we've built, that we're selling the DVDs ourselves, we're fulfilling them ourselves. If we have T shirts, if we have ancillary products, if we package it with the movie, those are things we could track.
Kyle Prohaska 29:42
Alex Ferrari 29:43
Those are things we can track and based off of that that's still going to deal with the digital bump. Because Because it's still going towards, there's still awareness and if you're just selling a T shirt by itself, I see what you're saying is different if you're selling them, right but if they're selling the movie, and while they're buying the movie, you can either buy the special Cooper super duper bloody edition with the with the fake x with the FX x and the bloody t shirt for, you know, 40 bucks. That's another that's another possibility because the people who are interested in that rented the movie there very well might be interested in buying that T shirt, if it's a cool design, and maybe a proper maybe inside of a tin lunchbox or something like that, as a special edition,
Kyle Prohaska 30:24
Raise your checkout value, you know, that's why for some of these folks that have come to me and said, Okay, well what else you got? You have this movie? Well, what upsells bumps, upsells bumps, and honestly, folks that have made a new movie, but they have all these previous ones that to them are like worthless now. Or that's how I see them. Yeah, you know, I'm like, like, I and I won't mention movie names, because I don't have permission for all that, sure. But I can talk about it anonymously in a sense, like, there's a guy that, you know, he he's made movies for decades. And he has one movie sort of dragging all the others along where that movie selling fantastic. The new ones great selling everywhere is getting bumps on digital, he's selling tons of units every month on his own store. But he packed it with like his for old products, some of which are very old. But the whole pack is like 25 bucks. Because those movies are so ancient, they haven't moved in years. And now he's selling more of them than he really hasn't
Alex Ferrari 31:19
Value proposition. To value proposition.
Kyle Prohaska 31:21
It's it's a, it is a really, really great way to give old products new life, right? And take the new one like whatever. I've even told folks like be agnostic in a sense about what movie you think is the winner. If you're someone who's made multiple things, forget what you think about your movie, put them all in there and let them fight. And then just pivot where the where the where the clear ROI is don't worry about you know, if it's your new one, I get it. That's a different story. But, you know, this, this model has worked in even giving those older movies of that guy, for instance, digital bumps were like they're getting rentals that they wouldn't, it wouldn't have thought and that's just because people are landing there. And they're seeing, oh, he has this other stuff, what's that one called and, you know, they might not even buy the pack, but they're over on Amazon now. You know, checking it out on DVD and things like that. So
Alex Ferrari 32:13
You can you can track the bumps just basically on the money that you're getting. From these platforms.
Kyle Prohaska 32:18
It's as close as you can get, right, that's what that's what I'm saying this is as close as you can get. Because I've, I've spent money everywhere I can think of to try and get a bump over on Amazon in a way that has an ROI. That makes sense. And it just doesn't, you can't get to enough people per dollar. And because there's no tracking ability, you have no idea what target is working, you don't know which demographic is buying, you can't say anything. So if you do conversion ads, at least those can pay for themselves, hopefully, right?
Alex Ferrari 32:48
And if it pays for them, it if it pays for itself, if you're winning, if you can, even if you're slightly losing, if it's 90 cents on the dollar, it's still you're paying 10 cents for an amazing amount of awareness that will hopefully bump elsewhere. And then the ROI turns out,
Kyle Prohaska 33:04
Yeah, it's way way better than what than what had what I've previously done, it's way better than what I did with my first movie way back, like this, this is this is the thing now for me.
Alex Ferrari 33:16
This video, though there was a video views are easy to get because they're gonna they're gonna focus on Oh, these guys watch videos, and we need three seconds and this guy and these all these people watch three seconds of this kind of video.
Kyle Prohaska 33:27
It's slow intent you know it Facebook kind of knows out of their whole user base, like what chunk of everybody is more likely to perform these actions who are click happy people who love watching videos, and who were people that have done a lot of buying, right, so when you feed it a certain target, it's going to factor in what it knows from the pixel. And it's going to factor in previously known data. And it's going to hyper focus on a chunk of that target. Because it knows they're more impulse buy happy sort of people. Um, you know, and I feel like what people miss is that you don't just deliver to people who buy, it's all the other people that are in the mix. So you still get video views. You still get storefront views, you still get engagement and comments and all that sort of stuff, but you're not optimizing around that. Right.
Alex Ferrari 34:13
So that's all still off stuff.
Kyle Prohaska 34:14
Yeah, it's what am I telling Facebook to do? If I'm telling it to go get video views, and that's what it's going to go get. And it's going to get me as many of them per dollar as it can afford in the bidding environment. You know, a Facebook just like on eBay, people are bidding for products will Facebook's bidding to put your video up instead of somebody else's video. And that's all it's doing. Because it's all you told it to do. Same with link clicks get me as many of these dollars you can get me and it'll go do that. Get me as many purchases per dollar as you can get me.
Alex Ferrari 34:46
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. Now, if you had a funnel, let's say a sales funnel would link clicks make more sense if you if Your sales funnel is strong. And you know what converts? Does liquids know,
Kyle Prohaska 35:04
When you have a funnel and there's enough money coming in and going out and you like building a funnel like that takes time takes you to test a lot more money, a lot of testing, right? You have to be a lot of people just don't have the room to fail. You know what I mean? They don't have the room to to make those kind of mistakes, and they don't have the playroom to figure out if it's gonna work that way. There are plenty of businesses where Click Funnels and those sorts of things work great, right? But when you have like 510 grand to spend, you have a new movie, you really need to get moving, and you need to get moving quick. Um, I just don't suggest it for people because it is.
Alex Ferrari 35:44
No, it's it'sdefinitely much more advanced scenario.
Kyle Prohaska 35:46
And that's not to say there's no funnel, right, you do conversion, ads, top and bottom, you can still retarget video viewers, you can still retarget people that added to cart, but they didn't buy or landed on the store but didn't buy, like you still funnel these people right? down the funnel. It's just
Alex Ferrari 36:01
So real quick explain funnel to people because I know you and I are talking about funnels, a lot of people might not understand what a funnel is.
Kyle Prohaska 36:06
So like, you know, if you I mean, everybody knows what like a funnel looks like. And at the bottom would be whatever action you want people to do, which in this case is hopefully buy something or it might not maybe it's a lead, you know, putting your email sort of thing. Um, you know, at the top of the funnel, the if you break the funnel up into layers or stories, like in a building, like, first impression is at the top, right, whatever action to bottom, right? And and, um, you know, in an ad environment, you're trying to get people from the top to the bottom. So maybe that means they see a video first and then people are retargeted who saw the video? How do I get them to my site? Because they haven't visited yet. Okay, well, now they visited but they didn't buy it. So now I get hit them with a nother layer of ads that tries to seal the deal. Right? There are all kinds of ways to structure a funnel like that, you know, video views at the top, then link clicks or landing page views, then a conversion based campaign maybe at the bottom or it's all link click based all the way through there, there are a million ways to segment it out. Right? The traditional like conversion based one for me now would be like conversion at the top right? With totally cold audiences and retarget. Right, like say they released their trailer months ago. And there's video views there or they have web views they've been tracking for months, or they have everybody who bought from them in the past or visit visited their site for years. Get everybody in there. You know start retargeting while you get people at the top of the funnel, and, you know, work your way down. You know, it's like, you have to figure out a structure that works for what you're doing. Right? Like, it's not the same for everything. But most folks need something that simple. Because they can't get too complicated with it. They need it to be cost effective as quickly as possible, because they don't tend to have enough money to lose for very long if it's going to be difficult, right. And they need to be able to see what's happening. There's nothing worse for me now. Anyway, I can't see. Right. And I I told you I did that drive in based thing, you know, I was emailing you. And there was a driving sort of release and you know, lots of locations that sort of hopped around week to week. And it was really hard. I didn't miss spending money that way at all. Because it was so in the filmmaker was fine. He was like, I'm so glad that you care. You know, a lot of other people don't care. But I was just really bummed out that the results were spotty. Because I couldn't look at my campaigns and know what worked from this place that didn't work from that place.
Alex Ferrari 38:36
Yeah, you're a data guy, you You got it, you got to see the data. And yeah, that's the problem I've always had with advertising in general, as a general statement, before in the internet, before social media, advertising in general was always a roll of the dice, whether you were buying a magazine page out layout, an ad in the back of a newspaper or a billboard, to get an order to track that ROI, you would just kind of like well, I spent 10,000 on marketing, and I brought in an extra $15,000 in sales that wasn't there last month, I assume that there's a correlation. And that was what advertising was for decades. Then Then Facebook showed up and Google Ads showed up and all of a sudden now you could start tracking every little aspect of the business but like you so eloquently have put in this interview that you kind of like we're throwing money in the air yes there's trackable things but you really if you unless you have complete control of the whole ecosystem of the face will pick the pixel this and that to see what's converting what's not converting without that you're literally awareness. Awareness campaigns are essentially putting a billboard up
Kyle Prohaska 39:48
Yes, their billboards which like if you have a local coffee shop and a town of 1200 by all means running awareness based campaign to everyone who lives within 10 miles because it's cheap to deliver to them all like a million times. A week, that would be a good way to go in that instance, but not when you have a movie for sale and you're trying to find a buyer amongst a sea of people who have endless things to watch anytime that they want, what makes What makes you so special? Right? Like, it's hard to get people's attention. It's hard to get people to look at you and not at whatever, whatever other thing that can watch that night. So, you know, in our people
Alex Ferrari 40:24
window, and our people, our people, actually, you know, because I've been saying for a long time, TVOD is dead, you know, and transactional video on demand is dead. Unless you can drive traffic or unless you have an audience that is willing to pay for it. Those are the two what ifs, if you just throw it up on iTunes, Amazon and Google and go, let the money come in those days are thats 2010. Yes, that's that's when that happened.
Kyle Prohaska 40:51
Yeah, one point when my movie went up on like VOD, via the cable box, you know, and yeah, 2010, or whatever it was, there were like a handful of movies available. So of course, he did sales because people were there and there was anything to watch. Right? You know, now there's a million things. So changing what you have to change how you look at this stuff. You know, it's like people are willing to be ruthless on the page. And then they're ruthless in the editing room. And then when it comes time to sell it, nobody wants to be ruthless. And if you stop, you know, it's right. Like that, you have to stop looking at it the way you always have. People are not just going to show up to watch your thing. There's just too many of them to watch.
Alex Ferrari 41:29
Are you telling me that my film is not genius? And and, and that everybody, my baby is not beautiful? And that everybody is not just going to show up?
Kyle Prohaska 41:39
Right? Like that's really the thing. They could be the most beautiful baby, you might be a genius, but not even movie. It's really a ton of people out there. And they just don't know that you exist. 3d movie exists is the same problem. If you have a good movie or movie, it's not so great, but you have no choice. And it's as good as you could make it at the time. It doesn't really matter between the two, you have the same problem. No one knows it's there.
Alex Ferrari 42:00
Can we can we can we dismiss a myth right now debunk a myth right now on this show. A lot of people have heard this 1000 times the cream rises to the top, meaning that if it's good enough, it will find an audience. I have to disagree nowadays. I mean, if yes, if you happen to get picked up by a tastemaker like Sundance south by a 24, neon vertical,
Kyle Prohaska 42:29
Not a sure thing either now.
Alex Ferrari 42:31
That and even then that's not a sure thing anymore. But they say if it's really good, it's going to find an audience. I disagree. 110%. I think that without understanding your audience without creating a product for your audience, without understanding the marketing and how to get to that audience, I don't care how good it is, unless you've got a tastemaker with some major power behind it, to come in and go, this guy's good, this girl's movie is great. And even then, even then, it doesn't guarantee anything. I don't wanna, I want people to know, I want I really want people to understand
Kyle Prohaska 43:10
What mattered more, you know, when the world was different, you know, it's like, we don't live in the Kevin Smith Sundance world anymore. We don't live in the, you know, it's not El Mariachi anymore. Like, if you have something and you have something that's good, I would say that what we're talking about is even more important, because this stuff matters even more, when you have something that's really good.
Alex Ferrari 43:33
Yeah, cuz it's easy, it's easier to sell good stuff than it is to sell bad stuff,
Kyle Prohaska 43:39
Yes ofcourse, so so and, you know, so that that has been a big factor. Like, I'll get an email from somebody and I, you know, I have a good gut for that sort of thing. At least I know whether or not I think it has like that impulse buy thing, because a lot of movies just don't even really good movies don't write. So there's categories of movies, there's like good movies that have that impulse, buy, appeal. And then there's movies that are good, that don't have that impulse buy below because they're liked by a smaller group of people. It's not obvious to someone that it's going to be like, it's hard to explain to somebody why they're like, drama that looks good is still hard to sell.
Alex Ferrari 44:17
Well, it's I'll use a perfect example. If I showed up tomorrow with Green Book, as that's my film, Green Book is my film. It doesn't particularly have the stars in it. Let's say we have lesser stars in it, but the same director, same script, but let's say quality acting like the acting is still stellar. Yeah, that's a tough movie to sell without major millions of dollars pushing it, and it won the Oscar. Right? You know, it's a parasite, parasite.
Kyle Prohaska 44:47
It does not work for everything. It's not, it's not magic. It's really, really not. You have to have the right movie. You have to have the right financial situation. For instance, if you're Movies buried in insane costs where the movie already costs like probably more than it should have, and all that sort of stuff, then it's tough. But I try and tell folks though, like, when it works, though, like when what we're specifically talking about works, it really works. And that's what's great is that
Alex Ferrari 45:19
It's a home run. It's not it's not a foul ball. It's a home run,
Kyle Prohaska 45:22
Oh, no, but you know it, when it works, it works really, really well. And, um, it's, it's actually not that crazy to try, right like there, it's crazy to spend $50,000 $100,000 on your your small theatrical campaign where you have no idea if people are going to show up or not, I would never do that. I mean, not to write, or I've worked on lots of limited releases, or fathom, you know, fathom events, things like that, where lots of money has to get dumped in, because you don't have a choice, you're gonna go that big, and you're gonna give that a real shot, you have spent a lot of money per theater, otherwise, you're not even giving it a fair shot.
Alex Ferrari 46:01
But is that even like, Well, obviously, that's not a business model now that we can talk about.
Kyle Prohaska 46:07
It's like, it works for some things, but most things, it's, it's not gonna be the right thing for your movie. So so you know, when this works, it works good. And it doesn't cost a lot to find out. Right? So that's important for you to
Alex Ferrari 46:22
You could test pretty quick, you could test pretty quickly,
Kyle Prohaska 46:24
It doesn't take very long to like set up a like I push everybody Shopify, like not paid by Shopify, there's no sponsorships here or anything. But they, they're simply have the best system I found where it's fast to set up, it works really good. It connects to all the different ways people might want to pay, you know, and, and the UI experience on a phone, where most of your sales you're gonna come from now, is fantastic. It's so easy, it gets out of the way, that's what you need. You don't need some fancy, you know, difficult to navigate website, you need people to just land there. So you should have is it you know, are the prices easy to see, you know, is it easy to navigate and check out? Like, it's the most efficient system I've been able to define, and I've tried a couple by now. So, you know, setting that up is not hard. And then I know the physical part scares people, because they're like, you know, I don't want to have a bunch of boxes sitting in my garage, you know, that's happened to happens all the time. But, you know, it doesn't take much now to get something like that offered, you know, and give it a shot. Setting up your own digital, your own digital transactional thing, like VHS is not hard to sign up for either. Like all this stuff doesn't cost a lot to sort of get it all in place. I mean, I realize if you've never run at your own advertising before, it can just seem like this insane. But it's, I would encourage people it is in your best interest to give it a real try, like, set up a business manager get in there. You know, if you have to save up some money just to see what the ecosystem ecosystem is, like, set up your own campaign. There are so many YouTube videos.
Alex Ferrari 48:04
Oh, no, there's and there's and there's a lot of paid courses you could take as well that are
Kyle Prohaska 48:08
Out there. There is a lot of crap, I say that, but there's no excuse for you to not give it a shot. I mean, I definitely say that
Alex Ferrari 48:17
Well. So look, and I'll give you my experience with it. I've been I've danced with with Facebook now for for years before I even open up Indie Film Hustle when I had my old business, I would use Facebook ads. And it's it's daunting, it's daunting, because it is a fairly big beast. I'm a fairly educated person in this space. You know, I can talk to you pretty clearly about things. And it's still intimidating for me, because there's so much unknown about the process there. Is this, like you were saying? Like, I don't know, is it working? Is it not? I see the conversion. But is it really converting? And I don't know. Like it's there's so much that it's intimidating to someone like me who's fairly educated in this, let alone someone who doesn't even understand any of it is a little bit, it could be a little bit overwhelming this model that you're talking about makes all the sense in the world. It just is the only way I can see moving forward with
Kyle Prohaska 49:16
I wish I had it 10 years ago, do you not I mean, if you
Alex Ferrari 49:20
Yeah if you have a way to track like what you're talking about for this film, specifically, not for other products, but for films specifically, that you that you have something paying for the advertising and the spill off is trackable, just purely on the numbers that you're getting on these other platforms. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And you have you have data to back it up because you've done it with clients and is working. It makes sense. But even that is still a fairly complex system. Everything you've said I'm in my mind, I'm like yeah, I could do this. I could do this at that over here, set that over there. But I'm I'm well versed in this space and the digital world. A lot filmmaker's or not. So it is, it is, it's easy to start it up and open up a business management account. And, and put out some ads. If you want to try to do conversions first do that. If not just see if you could do some videos.
Kyle Prohaska 50:16
That's like, dude, I would say I would say if you're if you're if you're not hanging your whole campaign on right now, and you're simply looking at your trailer release, for instance, right, but your trailer out, you know, listen to our previous conversation from a couple years back where we spent, like, half the time discussing why a piece of content which I know makes a lot of filmmakers want to borrow from just using the word don't don't kill me, you know, what you cut and made that you're going to put money on? really think through, you know, how you put together your promo material and things like that. Because if you're going to put money on it to different environment than somebody who knows you who's seeing you share your own trailer on your wall, like if you're putting something in front of someone who didn't know your movie existed till two seconds ago, what do they see first? Does it give them context right away? If it's a horror film? Does a horror movie fan know it's a horror film? Or do they have to watch half of it before they find out? Not a good thing when you're paying on a per view basis? Right? Like, there's all kinds of factors there. But a video view campaign or something small like that would be the simplest thing for someone to set up who's never set up a campaign before? You know, put a few targets in that you think are obvious, just start somewhere, you know.
Alex Ferrari 51:25
So when you say targets, what would you say the aim at some targets? If I may translate? That means like, if you have a horror movie, you'll go, Hey, I have a slasher movie I made Why don't I focus on people who like slasher films, or like specifically movies
Kyle Prohaska 51:40
That are comparable? And see if they show up, you know, and see if they and then like, go do some research about possible demographics that are more obvious for something like that. I assume you know, some of that already, because you made the movie. But if you don't, that's fine. That's why the internet's there, Google and look it up, you know, do some research. But a simple campaign that's just like to launch a trailer, put a little money on it, find out who's in who's reacting the best. For instance, it's great info, you know, even if you never do what any of what we're talking about, um, it drives me crazy that people aren't willing to like test their test their content out, because they're so hyped up on putting out their trailer on this day, like everywhere, right? That they won't put it out kind of as a test or posts that will like disappear in 48 hours, and put a little money on it and find out we'll put all of this stuff about who's gonna buy this? What if, what if I put this out and spend some money on it for two days, and the results suck? You might want to know that before you go and spend the rest of your money.
Alex Ferrari 52:42
Or you could just like do like three or four versions of the trailer and do a test campaign. Yeah, do a test campaign and see which one works. And then pump money behind that one.
Kyle Prohaska 52:51
Yeah, if you upload it, in, which I know all of this is gonna get in the weeds for folks. But if you upload those test videos that you might have in ads manager only than the live is what's like a dark post. It's not like a public post out front on your page. Once those ads are off, those posts will disappear. They'll fade away. Right now they'll get buried by today's craziness and all the posts that are out there. And
Alex Ferrari 53:14
Is there stuff going on today? What are you talking about, sir?
Kyle Prohaska 53:17
Yeah. So like, don't be afraid of putting something out there. Right? You know, it's great to find out whether or not all of these assumptions you've made about who's gonna like what you spent all this time on. If they're right or not. Else, like tests, for goodness sake tests, you don't have to spend that much to find out, you know, like, this is as cheap as it gets. And that's the other part is like, I know, Facebook comes under fire for all kinds of things. And you know, so to all the other huge companies, but Facebook is by far, the best place to start for somebody who especially a smaller don't have a lot of money to spend enough if what you have to offer is really specific in your require, like niche audience interaction and stuff. There's just no better place to go what the you know, as far as the targeting is concerned, what's available. You can find articles upon articles about some of the stuff that people are angry about. But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about typing in, you know, Friday the 13th for your horror movie and being able to, you know, go after folks that like those movies, not talking about using data you shouldn't be using, it's just sort of like the publicly available obvious stuff is honestly the best place to start. Like, I don't think people realize just how smart their ad system is where if you feed it, um, what kind of movie to movie but if you feed it a lot of obvious stuff, you'll be surprised how well it'll actually do. If you give it some time and space and you like you said, you have a good movie, it's much easier to sell it. You know, so this is good stuff. If you think you have something good and you can't get a you know a deal somewhere or if the deals are bad, right? This is a great thing to look into. I was really encouraged. When I emailed Jim, Jim Cummings, before Thunder Road came out, um, I emailed him and just said, Hey, like, this looks really great. Like, if you need any help with anything, like, I'd love to just like, you know, help with whatever. And he hit back and said, Thank you. But he was planning on running all of his own ads. And I was, I wasn't bummed out about that. I was like, great. That's awesome. Like that that case study is now available now. It's now downloadable, you know, where they talk about, there's a section about what they did on Facebook, you know, but like, that's what it should be like, it shouldn't be there. And so long as you so long as you don't do anything incredibly foolish, you should generally be just fine.
Alex Ferrari 55:43
So not $1,000 a day is not not not No.
Kyle Prohaska 55:46
It's like, don't spend too much money too fast. Don't try and sell masks on Facebook, probably not going to be a good idea.
Alex Ferrari 55:53
Damn it, I just lost my ad campaign today on that
Kyle Prohaska 55:57
Banned and kicked off constantly for selling, you know, all kinds of things they shouldn't be, you know, if you're a movie, it's just like, set up a simple store, make it trackable, doesn't take all that long. Make sure it's available like that your here's a big thing, I want to make sure I say this, because I'll tell people, I won't spend your money at all until this is done. If it's not available digitally, in line with what we were discussing. If it's not available digitally, I won't spend their money to move the physical units yet, I will do anything I can to convince them to let me to wait. Just let me wait until it's on Amazon, for instance, I don't want to try and move units on your store, because I know that they're leaving money on the table, you know, over here. So if it isn't published over here yet, wait, I don't want any ads for the physical units, because I know for sure that they're going to get a real bump over here. And there's money over there that they're not getting. So there's all kinds of factors here. I realize it's not about confusing people, but you can post your movie, and most of the big platforms easily now especially Amazon, right? Like, I know, everybody has their thoughts on that. And man, has it taken a long time for them to publish things lately. I don't know if you've gotten any Oh, no, no, that that's yet another thing for folks where I've told them I'm like, look at upload it, make sure all the settings are right, hit publish and forget about it. Don't worry about it. Being public on Amazon for a week before your movie release date is supposed to be just forget about it. Make sure it's there, before you're spending money. Don't worry about the fact that it's there. Because for somebody you're not knows it's there.
Alex Ferrari 57:31
You're not the next Marvel movie.No one cares about the release date.
Kyle Prohaska 57:35
Don't get worried about that anymore. Make sure that it's available once it's time to spend the money. Right. That's all that's the most important thing.
Alex Ferrari 57:43
But can we can we agree on one thing though, the house always wins. Zuckerberg is the one who is winner is the house always wins when it comes to Facebook ads,like
Kyle Prohaska 57:52
Any any any of these ad platforms and things. It's like, Look, I get it, you know, sometimes it's really easy to hate the system, you know, but find the tools that are available to you work within the box that you're forced to work in and figure out how to win in it. And stop. Not stop complaining. Because there are plenty of legitimate arguments against some of the practices of some of these companies, right? I'm saying, look, no matter what today, tomorrow, a week from now, we got plenty of folks who have movies that they made to work really hard on that they want to continue to sell because they have bills to pay, and they have themselves take care of and they'd love to make another movie. So now a lot is we're not doing anything wrong. And we're just trying to find people who, who are hopefully going to like what we're putting in front of them. I have no problems. You know, it's like, this is the box, do you want to win or make movies or not? Right? Just like, I don't know what to tell folks. But I haven't found another system other than what we're talking about. That seems ideal for a lot of the indie filmmakers I know. And I'm actually trying to reach up a little bit higher towards folks that because of COVID, for instance, right? You got movies coming out that would traditionally have all of this ad money to spend, and they would do a traditionally big release, it's really hard to find someone who will spend a limited theatrical sized budget on a digital release, for instance, you just can't get anybody to do it. They can't wrap their head around why they should spend, you know, these big amounts of money on their physical digital release. When I'm like, why why why would you not? Why would you not lie? Why are the folks that spend a couple $1,000 a month or something, you know, making this amount when you have this big movie that now is getting dumped out there? Why would you not at least try you don't have to commit right? That's the difference with these theatrical campaigns is you sort of have this big number that you know for sure it's all going to get spent right across all these different ways is all going to get spent. Why not try and craft a campaign where if it's working You have an amount of a certain size that maybe you can roll through, right. But start with a smaller chunk. So long as the money's coming in and coming out, you can start to skill up. That's the beauty of some of this is that it's not about the day the movie comes out, right? It's the theatrical thing is like we have to hit this weekend. And that's going to set the tone for the rest of the release, right, you're sort of like peeking, and then you're going to roll off. And maybe you'll sort of hang around longer than usual, and that sort of thing. But it's all all the chips are put on that thing, you don't have to do that in this model, you can, certainly trying to focus where you think the urgency is going to be highest, because you have other stuff going on other PR things like that. But that's why this model is working for movies that are 20 years old, you know, there are more people who didn't know that these movies exist, and now they do and they still like to buy physical. So they are or they're renting it tonight, you know, so this can work for movies that are older, this can work for movies that are new, and you don't have to worry about all the focus being piled on that few weeks, you can chart out, you know, a much longer tail of focus for this sort of stuff. And if the right in, you can see it, right, like you can look at it and go, Okay, here's where we're at, here's our monthly average, so long as we hold within a certain zone, you can start to chart out what you what you think you need to do. And that's a whole new world, you know
Alex Ferrari 1:01:24
As opposed to putting all the pressure on the first 30 days or 60 days,
Kyle Prohaska 1:01:28
Right, you can be dead? You know, no, no, it's not, it's not dead. You know, if you have something that people want to buy, then why wouldn't you know, it's just like, it doesn't make any sense? Do you have a movie that people are gonna be interested in? Or not? Or is there something that maybe dates it that maybe hurts it or something, there are examples you can think of? But like otherwise? Um, do you have something that people, enough people that are out there are going to be interested in checking out? is it available? Where they're probably going to want to go get it? You know, can you run any advertising, or Can't you risk any money, some folks just can't risk anything, and they're already in a tough spot, right? So I can sympathize with that. Um, but this doesn't work, unless you're willing to really try, you know, and take a swing, you don't have to light money on fire, this is the opposite of that, right? Um, if there's money going in and money, money coming out, and you can see it, and it's trackable, it's way easier to spend more, that's the other thing, that's great, it's easier to justify, it's not hard to look to your investors, for instance, and say, I know, this isn't going the way that we hoped or we didn't get released that we wanted, and now it's out but spent this we got that maybe we can scale to a certain mark, and then there's a consistent amount of revenue coming in. That's, that's not that wasn't normal, you know, a while back, you would sort of billboard, right, you just have like your video continually sort of going out there. And you would sort of run any, any other, you know, link click ads, you could run or banner ads, right? I mean, you know, this is a different, a different world we're living in now. And there's nothing wrong with there's nothing wrong with doing pre orders for your movie, not saying that either saying a lot of folks just don't have the money to, to do it. Right. Like, there, I've suggested for plenty of people who don't have a lot of money to spend, don't worry about spending a dime until it's available, like on on release day, if need be, then start money, because you don't want someone to see the ad go look it up. But it's not there. You know, the more all that pre awareness is going to require you to get back to everyone a second time, which means Oh, and how we have to pay to get in front of them again, and again. And again. You know, that might be normal, in kind of your campaign as it rolls forward, where you got to continue to go after them. But you got to look at what you can risk, you know, and what and what kind of situation that you're in every movie is different. So I'm, I'm really encouraged that these tools exist, and I'm glad that they're available. And I think folks should try it. I mean, that's the thing. I know, it's scary, but what are what are the what are the alternatives right now? Right?
Alex Ferrari 1:04:13
Well, the alternative sir is to to sign with a film distributor and they're going to handle everything and they just send you a check on top on time, on time, and it never bounces. So that agenda that's generally the what is taught at school, is that not right? That is that was taught at film schools, like a distributor will take care of that for you Don't Don't worry yourself about the business of marketing that's let that lead to the other people. You could just be creative and be an artist.
Kyle Prohaska 1:04:40
I mean, it's certainly a factor. Even the deals now that you might sign that are good, you know, like, can you you know, or somebody who's gonna aggregate things for you, you know, it's like, can you like I would suggest for folks, carve out amazon for yourself. You know,
Alex Ferrari 1:04:58
It won't happen. It won't Yeah, they won't do
Kyle Prohaska 1:05:02
Start chopping it up, they won't do it at all. But, um
Alex Ferrari 1:05:06
You won't get you won't get Amazon but you might be able to get, being able to sell it on your own platform, you might be DVDs and physical that they don't touch those as much it doesn't affect their core business, but there's no way they're going to get rid of any of the SVOD TVOD
Kyle Prohaska 1:05:17
But all the more reason when you have to wait so long to find out if anything's happening. Other than like hearing from people seeing your views, maybe go up, you know, a couple of different things that that'll give you some kind of indicator, all the more reason to spend the money in a zone where $1 came in and dollar came out, or $1 came in and $3 came out, it least you know, because it happened, it happened to me, I did an experiment in January, or I had two of my old movies. And I contacted other people who I'd sold stuff for and I said, Okay, will you send me a certain amount of units to my house, I'm going to try something, I started a store out of the blue, like at the very end of the year to get it all ready. I bought bubble mailers, you know, did all that stuff that I hadn't done in a long time, because I was doing it for other people. But, um, and I and I and I decided what if I try and do this, like I'm encouraging other people to and do it with like much bigger numbers like I had they had the capital that I could burn, so long as it was profitable. Or it was breakeven, I could I could afford to give it a shot and see what some of the numbers might look like. If you didn't I mean, in this case, I only on to the movies that that turned out to be the problem, right? It's like the margins were there. So long as you got to own your stuff, you're selling a bunch of other stuff that costs way too much data hold it up. And all that sort of stuff, margins get getting eaten up, right. But it was like $45,000 of gross sales and like a two and a half month stretch. It wasn't it wasn't bad. And that was spending more money than I could get a lot of other people to spend per day like they just couldn't wrap their head around spending more. And I'm like, if the results are there, are there scale, scale,
Alex Ferrari 1:07:01
Spending my money
Kyle Prohaska 1:07:03
Way higher than I was prepared for. And it was like a problem. As far as the filming goes, I was like, packing with my wife down in the garage, you know,
Alex Ferrari 1:07:11
Oh, I've been there. I know exactly what it was.
Kyle Prohaska 1:07:13
It was an experiment. And what happens when you spend bigger numbers and these movies were older? Right? This is older stuff. So it was like it was it was to prove to certain other folks that I will not name that. Look, here's what happens if you forget for a second, whether the movies old or new, and you look at whether or not it's sellable. And you really commit, you know, what's possible, if I owned all of those movies, I mean, you could just clean up the whole year would have eaten up all my time, of course, but like if, if those were, if that was the point, right? If the point was to make an income and to sell my stuff, that would have been easy, it would it would have been a perfect thing to keep doing, you know, COVID hit because, you know, it was like, What am I gonna do go to the post office every day with a trunk full of boxes, you know, and walk, I just didn't want to do it. So I shut everything down. But I proven my point at that at that time, which was, look what happens when you spend what was like, honestly, I would have to go look at the numbers. I don't remember what they weren't. But they were, they were large on a daily spend sort of level in order to get that. And then I got, and this is in line with what we were just discussing, I had to wait forever. For my older films that had signed with an old aggregator that's been around forever, to like, send me my checks for the January, February, March, all that sort of stuff, right? I got much bigger checks than I was expecting. So bumps, real bumps, it took forever to find out if they were there. So that would be the situation quite a few people are in if they sign with somebody for all the platform placement, interesting, but like the bump was there. And that wasn't I'm not basing everything we're discussing on that experiment. Sure, of course, for people, but I just wanted to see, well let me do with my own stuff and spend more than everybody else's spending and see what happens, you know, the dream is always the same
Alex Ferrari 1:09:09
The dream is to be able to put $1 in and get $2 back. And if that's or $5 back and you just do that all day. Just keep like if it's a thought, you know, and then you just scale as big as you can till you run out of market.
Kyle Prohaska 1:09:22
And if you have and if you have problems you pivot, right, you know, cut a pull up, pull a different clip from the movie, cut a new trailer. It's all this stuff nobody wants. It's constantly put, you're constantly it's in flux. There's no it's not like, if this month, this week, I made five to one return on my dollar in three months. It doesn't mean that that same situation exists, you're gonna be pivoting or moving. It's important for people to know that it's like the Facebook ecosystem changes every month. You know, when the boycott said it changed all kinds of things that seemed we're like traffic went way up and it was way cheaper but the quality of the traffic seemed to go down and people that were making x every month. Also we're making less and I had to explain to people look, it doesn't matter what I'm trying, the normal is kind of evening out here for you. So but next month isn't necessarily going to be the same. And we have an election coming up, right? So costs and ad costs go up, everybody starts flooding all of the, you know, the inventory with junk, unfortunately. But it means that ads get more expensive, right? And holidays, right? How crazy are the holidays going to be? There's no black friday craziness going on this year and physical places. So he's all online. It's all online, it's gonna be a bombardment this year, when it comes time for the holiday. So it's gonna be nuts. But all this stuff is available for anybody that wants to go look, and any information I'm talking about is available to you just go look around,dig it up,
Alex Ferrari 1:10:51
Kyle man I know we could talk for at least another two or three hours about this stuff. We can geek out pretty hard on this, but I appreciate your time. And thank you for for enlightening the tribe a little bit about how to use Facebook ads in the current state and you've laid out a model. That is the best shot you've got, I think to being able to use Facebook ads in a way that actually turns into an ROI. And if anybody wants to reach out to you, where do they where do they go?
Kyle Prohaska 1:11:18
You can reach me on Twitter, or find me on Facebook, you know, you can just message me, you know, send me a DM. I'm happy to try and help with anything I can.
Alex Ferrari 1:11:28
And I'll put you up with all his information in the show notes. Thanks again. Call for being that men stay safe out there. Thank you so much, Carl, for coming on the show and dropping those Facebook knowledge bombs on the tribe today. Thank you so much, Kyle, if you want to get links to anything we spoke about in this episode, including how to get ahold of Kyle, head over to the show notes at indiefilmhustle.com /430. Thank you so much for listening, guys. As always, keep that also going. Keep that dream alive. Stay safe out there, and I'll talk to you soon.
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- Kyle Prohaska – Official Site
- Kyle Prohaska – IMDB
- IFH 200: How to Sell Your Indie Film Using Ninja Facebook Hacks with Kyle Prohaska
- Facebook Audience Kyle Created (1,000,000 Followers)
Where Hollywood Comes to Talk
Oscar® Winning Writer/Director
(Platoon, Wall Street, JFK)
(Brothers McMullin, She's the One)
Oscar® Nominated Writer/Director
(Boyhood, School of Rock)
Emmy® Winning Writer/Director/Actor
(City Slickers, Analyze This)
(Smokin' Aces, The Grey, Narc)