List your Indie Film on IMDb, TMDb, and Rotten Tomatoes
What is one of the first things watchers do when deciding what film to watch? After their interest is struck by looking at your artwork, reading your synopsis, or seeing a quick trailer - they quickly grab their phone and Google your title. Well, what happens if your title is nowhere to be found? Boom, your film lost its chance. In this post, we’ll cover one of the most important aspects to getting your film high in google searches - ratings & review sites!
As an example - type into Google “Bitcoin: The End of Money as We Know It” - A Film by Torsten Hoffman that he distributes on Filmhub. Torsten has done an amazing job driving critic reviews across sites. When you Google his film you get a strong impression that it has solid reviews and is a reputable film.
The top 3 sites that we recommend you worry about in the United States are TMDb, IMDb, and Rotten Tomatoes. If you’re not on these platforms you’re missing out on a HUGE opportunity. Your independent film has to shine above the rest - if you can’t even be found on these sites - your barrier increases significantly. As you can see in the screenshot above, Google has started indexing and displaying more reviews. There are many more ratings and review sites besides these, but these are the most important, especially in the United States.
- TMDb is similar to IMDb except that it is open-source. Since its open source its also better internationally. A lot of streaming platforms utilize metadata from TMDb to populate metadata in their applications. JustWatch also uses TMDb to power their search. Watchers can also review your film here, which is great because it means it can bring further legitimacy to your title. Make sure you everything out in its entirety and display strong artwork! Blast your networks, get them to review your film on TMDb.
- IMDb is owned by Amazon now so it is a bit more closed than TMDb. Amazon’s main goal is utilize IMDb to be a lead gen to get people to watch films on Amazon Prime Video or IMDb TV. It’s super important to have your film here because IMDb ratings and profiles are typically high up in Google search given IMDbs notoriety. Once again, strong artwork and filling out everything here is of the utmost importance. You just made a movie - go the last mile and spend an hour really making this look right. Another added benefit is channel buyers look often at your IMDb page as well. So put your best foot forward, you won’t regret it.
- Rotten Tomatoes is a little harder to get your film on as you cannot direct list it yourself. You have to get Rotten Tomatoes approved critics to review your film which can be difficult as critics get 100s of films submitted to them every week. You can see a full list of Rotten Tomatoes approved critics here. We recommend reaching out to the critics relevant to your title via appropriate means (Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Email, Facebook etc.) and sharing details about your film trying to get them to post reviews. Also if you utilize a PR agency with your release, they can typically help drive critic reviews so your title shows up on Rotten Tomatoes. Looking for a PR firm? We recommend working with EPEC Media or October Coast.
The list goes on of review sites and there are even genre-specific ones such as TopDocumentaryFilms.com and ReelScary.com but if you cover these you should be off to a solid start. Also, we recommend Googling international review sites as well as these can also help improve your film’s SEO ranking. If you remember nothing else from this post, at BARE minimum list your title on TMDb & IMDb.