The Film Business

Checking Your Online Box Office

filmmaking

image by: CarbonNYC

We see the box office numbers every weekend and look to see which movies were the blockbusters and which were the flops. There is something similar that you can do for your own career to track your progress in the areas of audience engagement, social media growth, website traffic, and revenue generation. This is checking your own online box office. Below we are going to discuss some tools that you can use to manage your online metrics efficiently and accurately.

  1. WP-Visitors – This is a WordPress plugin that allows you to check how many hits your site has had on a concurrent basis. It keeps a running tally but will also tell you how many hits (non-unique) you’ve had in the past 24 hours and also tell you where they’ve come from and record their IP address as well. This is very helpful for counting overall site hits as well as tracking where possible hackers, phishers, etc. might be coming from so you can block them.
  2. Google Analytics – Whether you’re setting this up yourself or using a CMS plugin (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla), Google Analytics should be one of the first things you set up for your website. The data that this tool provides is invaluable for determining where in the world your visitors are consistently coming from, your unique site hits, and how long people are staying on your site (the bounce rate). If you are ever seeking advertisers for your production or site these numbers can come in very handy in your pitch packet or press kit.
  3. Crowdbooster – (http://crowdbooster.com) Currently an invite only site, Crowdbooster is a great way to chart your Twitter growth. It will graph how far individual tweets have reached. It will tell you who your top re-tweeters are, and who your most influential followers are. This is great info to have if you are running any sort of crowdfunding campaign that will rely on your followers for re-tweets and donations. It’s good to know who your strongest supporters are ahead of time so you can prime them before it gets to the zero hour. Crowdbooster will even give suggestions on when the most optimal times are for you to tweet out to your followers.
  4. Klout – (http://klout.com) Klout can be hit or miss when it comes to the actual number it gives you. Where the value of Klout comes in is how engaged other people are with you through it. Someone giving you +K may not affect your overall score very much, but it shows that people are engaging you, and Klout does give a pretty accurate prediction of your place in the social media community. Another advantage is that you can connect all of your social media platforms so it isn’t just dependent on either Twitter or Facebook. Of course, the perks aren’t bad either.
  5. Blip.tv – (http://blip.tv) If you are doing video on the web and not using Blip.tv then you need to take a second look at it. Not only is it a fantastic video distribution platform that works on traditional and mobile devices, but the analytics are great. If you put out a lot of videos you can easily track at which point in each video that people have stopped watching, so you can adjust your content going forward, and hopefully increasing audience retention. You can also track how many views your video has gotten across multiple distribution platforms as well including many popular ones like YouTube, Vimeo, iTunes, Twitter, TiVo, Boxee, and many more. Let’s not forget about the monetary possibilities as well. Blip.tv offers advertising revenue sharing as well.
  6. Harvest – (http://harvestapp.com) Time is money right? You need to keep track of that time effectively not only so you can budget your time, but also know how much that time is worth. Harvest lets you do all of that. Whether you are using it on the web or in app form, Harvest tracks your time on projects (great for freelancers or for-hire production members), analyzes yours and others time to keep accurate project records as well as seeing who’s not putting in their fair share of work, and also handles custom invoicing too. There is a free option for those of you who can’t afford expensive budgeting and scheduling softare that are typically industry standards.

So we’ve covered your website analytics, shown you how to effectively manage you and your crew’s time, track who’s watching your content and for how long, and finally we’ve seen tools to show you just how you measure up with your audience and peers in the social media world. All of this information is valuable in different contexts and can certainly increase your understanding of where your audience is and what they are looking for.

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MasteringFilm, powered by bestselling Routledge authors and industry experts, features tips, advice, articles, video tutorials, interviews, and other resources for aspiring and current filmmakers. No matter what your filmmaking interest is, including directing, screenwriting, postproduction, cinematography, producing, or the film business, MasteringFilm has you covered. You’ll learn from professionals at the forefront of filmmaking, allowing you to take your skills to the next level.