To thrive in the contemporary fast-paced, digitally-driven world, art brands including galleries, art magazines, and artists need to harness the potential of content marketing by creating content that is not only informative, engaging, well-organised, and aesthetically cohesive, but also resonates with their target audience. Employing impactful digital marketing tactics whilst being aware of best art marketing practices will make a notable difference to your business.
If you’re seeking to make your art brand more visible and successful in the virtual space, here are some top tips on how to implement effective content marketing strategies to achieve your marketing goals and elevate your business to new heights. Applying these tips will help you connect with your target audience, establish your brand as a thought leader in the industry, and increase traffic to your website.
Define and Research Your Target Audience
The first step in any successful content marketing strategy is to define your target audience. Are they art collectors, art enthusiasts, interior designers, art professionals, or people who are new to the art world? Think about their age, education, location, and other relevant factors. Determine who your ideal customer is and what type of content they are most likely to engage with. This can be done by conducting market research, analysing data, and providing surveys to understand your audience’s interests, preferences, needs, and pain points.
If you’re an emerging brand, producing content is essential, as it gives you the chance to share your views, style, and vision, and drive traffic to your website by making your presence known in online groups and communities bringing together people with similar interests.
Once you know who they are and what they would like to see from you as an artist or art business owner, it will be easier for you to create the right kind of content that resonates with them. And remember: You don’t have to strive to create content that appeals to everyone – focus on and nurture your niche interests and audience.
Start a Blog
Blogging is one of the most effective content marketing strategies for art businesses. It’s an excellent platform you can leverage in order to provide value to your audience and increase your reach and brand awareness.
• Showcase your expertise.
• Tell your story.
• Share your passion for art.
• Be relevant and memorable.
In addition to sharing your knowledge on topics related to your art business – e.g. art history, art collecting, or current trends in the art world, you can also conduct interviews with or conversations with artists, create tutorials, share in-depth research, document and reflect on art events you attended, or share more personal details and behind-the-scenes insights.
Provide value to your audience with information, tips, and advice related to the art world that they can use in their own lives or businesses. Within this context, take into account the existing knowledge and educational background of your target audience as well.
“Marketing is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world you are one” – Robert Rose
“The mantra should change from ‘Always Be Closing’ to ‘Always Be Helping.‘” – David Hahn, LinkedIn
Let’s talk about SEO. If you’re taking the time and effort to create content, it’s important that your audience can find it. To make sure that happens, don’t forget about SEO (search engine optimization). A great advantage of blogging is that it can help you improve your website’s SEO by incorporating relevant keywords and driving traffic to your website.
• Research relevant keywords: Do some research on what terms people are using when they search for art-related content online. You may even want to look at how other galleries or creative businesses are doing this – you might be surprised by what you find!
• Incorporate keywords into your content: Make sure that any words or phrases related to your business show up regularly in posts or pages on your site so Google knows what type of information is available there. This will also help increase traffic from search engines such as Bing and Yahoo! by bringing more targeted visitors through their doors who are interested in what they offer specifically rather than just generic searches like “paintings” or “gallery.”
• SEO involves more than just using keywords. It includes various strategies that help improve the visibility of your blog. You can establish a strong foundation for SEO by integrating keywords into your blog content, implementing keywords into your URLs, inserting images with adequate file names and descriptive alt text, inbound and outbound links, and maintaining consistency in posting frequency. Whilst incorporating images into your blog posts is a good SEO practice, don’t forget to compress or optimise them for web use with the help of plugins: a website that takes too long to load will significantly increase your bounce rate. So will pop-up ads that are displayed as soon as someone accesses your website, as they are intrusive and spammy. Bear in mind that, in addition to your content, your web design as well as source code can also affect your SEO, thus it’s worth investing time or resources in the technical aspect so that search engines can crawl and index your site to improve its searchability and ranking, especially when you’re launching your website, as Google is likely to prioritise older websites over new ones.
To ensure your content remains relevant and easily searchable, it’s important to keep up-to-date with SEO changes by following the latest news from reliable sources.
Focus on Quality over Quantity. Provide Value and Substance.
In the art world, visual content is paramount. However, it’s not enough to just create stunning images. Your content should:
• Tell a story.
• Evoke emotion.
• Provide value to your audience.
To stand out in a crowded market, you need to produce high-quality content that is informative, engaging, visually appealing, and relevant to your target audience. At the same time, you have to always be mindful of your content’s purpose.
Develop a content calendar using content management tools and be clear about who has access to it and what they are working towards, if you have a digital team. Tools such as Hootsuite, CoSchedule, Asana, or Trello can help you keep track of your content, schedule posts in advance, gain insights from analytics, and collaborate with your team. Having a timeline of upcoming events or exhibitions will allow you to incorporate relevant content into your strategy leading up to them and plan your evergreen content around them.
You can create social media posts, blog posts, infographics, or videos that showcase your artwork or your artists’ creative process, share stories about your inspiration, answer your followers’ questions, provide insights into your industry, communicate industry news, and offer tips for budding artists.
Don’t be afraid to repurpose your work into different formats or media types (for example, turning an article into a podcast episode or video essay, or summarising a podcast episode via a social media graphic post).
Provide insights by discussing topics that are significant for the art world, such as:
• How do I become an artist and how do I market my art?
• What are the best materials to use for my medium?
• Where can I find inspiration?
• Perfecting your art or photography portfolio.
• How to approach social media in the art world.
• What are gallerists and curators looking for?
• What are some misconceptions about galleries?
• How do galleries and curators find artists?
• What is the most important thing when it comes to creating a piece of art?
• Navigating the relationships between artists and galleries.
Communicate industry news and art market updates that are likely to be of interest to artists and art lovers, such as upcoming events and exhibitions at other galleries or museums nearby, new policies affecting artists in general, and so on. As an artist, in addition to incorporating your portfolio and an online store to allow customers to purchase your prints, your website could also reveal your artistic process in stages, communicate your vision, as well as offering tutorials, workshops, and other services, and unveiling behind-the-scene moments.
Of course, you don’t have to disclose everything – especially as an artist, it’s understandable if you want to maintain a sense of mystery surrounding your work. The key is to offer value to your audience and make them want to come back for more. In addition to the aforementioned elements, you can do so by providing tantalising glimpses into your creative work or artistic process, whilst making sure your content is well-written, intriguing, visually appealing, and shareable. The balance between revealing and concealing is up to you and what feels authentically on-brand for you.
“Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide.” —Donald Winnicott.
Be Active on Social Media
Social media is an excellent way to showcase your creativity, promote your art business, and build brand awareness. It’s also a powerful tool for driving traffic to your website, connecting with potential customers, and building relationships.
It’s important to choose the right social media platforms for you based on your business goals and what aligns with your artistic vision, as well as taking into account where most of your audience hangs out online.
Use suitable social media platforms to highlight your artwork or your artists’ creative process, share your story including what drives and inspires you, reveal exciting behind-the-scenes moments, promote your blog posts, and interact with your followers. Be consistent in your posting schedule and use hashtags and social media advertising to reach a broader audience and engage with your existing audience. For a more raw, unfiltered, closer look into your work, provide sneak peeks and brief, timely updates via ephemeral content such as Instagram Stories or consider doing live videos. All of these initiatives will contribute to providing your clients or followers with a sense of belonging.
Don’t forget to respond to comments and messages promptly to build relationships with your followers.
Host Contests and Giveaways
Hosting contests and giveaways is a great way to generate excitement around your brand and drive traffic to your website. Offer a free piece of art to the winner of a contest, or give away a discount code to everyone who enters. This is an excellent way for artists to build their audience without relying on other types of advertising, drive up sales for their business, as well as providing a fun way for fans to interact with them!
Offer Exclusive Content to E-mail Subscribers with E-mail Marketing
E-mail marketing is an effective way to nurture your audience and keep them engaged with your brand. You can use e-mail marketing to send targeted messages to your subscribers, informing them about new artworks, exhibitions, and events. You could offer exclusive content such as special promotions, sneak peeks, and early access to new artworks, limited edition prints, behind-the-scenes footage, or discounts, to your email subscribers.
E-mail is also a great way to get people excited about what you have in store for them next. For example, if you have an upcoming exhibition or event that’s going to be held at a particular venue (such as a gallery), then it’s worth sending out an email blast about this beforehand so that people know where they need to go on the day of the exhibition/event itself.
E-mail marketing will help you build a loyal following and generate buzz around your brand. Make sure to promote these offerings and encourage people to sign up for your email list through your website and social media profiles. Create high-quality emails that provide value to your subscribers and encourage them to take action.
“Not viewing your email marketing as content is a mistake.” – Chris Baggott
Use Visual Content
In addition to creating great written content, make sure that every piece of content includes visuals as well: photos from past exhibitions, new paintings in progress, behind-the-scenes shots from studio visits…anything visual will help engage potential buyers whilst also adding value. As an art business, you have a unique advantage when it comes to visual content. Use your artwork to your advantage by sharing high-quality photographs of your art, distinctive designs, and intriguing videos on your website, social media channels, and email marketing campaigns. Make sure your website and social media presence align with your brand identity, whilst doing justice to your artworks.
All your blog posts should have images – the choice to neglect the visual element will be detrimental to your website’s SEO.
Check out my article on Visual Branding Tips for the Art World for more details.
Collaborate with other Artists, Art Influencers, or Businesses
Collaborating with other artists, influencers, art organisations, or businesses can be a great way to promote your work, expand your reach, and get attention for your artwork, gallery, or business. You can collaborate on art shows, joint exhibitions, or social media campaigns. You could also host a joint event and cross-promote on social media as well as creating a joint blog post or guest post on each other’s blogs.
Seek opportunities to network and work with artists or businesses that share your values and have a similar target audience in order to expand each other’s audiences to reach new customers.
Collaborating with influencers is a great way to promote your brand and reach out to a wider audience. Check out influencers in your niche who have a large following and are aligned with your brand values. You can work with them on social media campaigns, events, or even co-create artworks.
They can be bloggers, vloggers, or social media stars. You can find them on Instagram and Facebook by searching for hashtags related to your art business. Once you’ve identified influencers who align with your brand’s values and target audience, reach out via e-mail or DM asking if they’d like to collaborate on something mutually beneficial for both parties. For example: “I am an artist based in [city] specialising in [which medium]. I would love to know if you’d be interested in featuring one of my pieces as part of an article about emerging artists working today.”
Videos constitute one of the most engaging types of content and a great way to share your art with the world and provide value to your audience, but they can be tricky to produce. If you’re not an experienced video producer, start small and create time-lapse videos of your artwork in progress or behind-the-scenes videos of your studio that show how you work. You could also showcase your artistic expertise by making short educational videos presenting different art techniques or highlighting the work of artists. Post them on YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, TikTok, or Instagram, keeping in mind which video format and editing style works for each platform and repurpose your video content to match audiences’ expectations, interests, and viewing patterns.
Measure Your Content’s Performance and Adjust Your Strategy
When you’re ready to start your content marketing campaign, it’s important to measure your results. You can do this by tracking website traffic and engagement metrics such as time on site, bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who leave after viewing only one page), click-through rate, average session duration of time spent on the site, number of pages viewed per visit, etc.
You should also pay attention to conversion rates – that is, how many people are buying products or making reservations after reading your blog posts?
If you’re using social media platforms for promotion purposes (as you should), monitor your activity and engagement over time so that you know what kinds of posts work best for reaching your ideal audiences with relevant information about upcoming events at your gallery or studio space.
Remember: success is not always about vanity metrics (i.e. number of followers and likes), it’s about meaningful metrics and goals such as engagement levels, conversion rate, and loyalty-building.
This data will help you identify which types of content are most effective and make data-driven decisions to optimise your strategy.
An essential aspect you have to remember is that the key to successful content marketing is providing value to your audience. The greatest component of content marketing is storytelling. Whether it’s through informative blog posts, educational videos, or entertaining social media content, make sure that everything you produce is relevant, exciting, helpful, inspired, and inspiring to your target audience.
“When creating content, be the best answer on the internet.” – Andy Crestodina, Content Marketing speaker
“Useful X Enjoyable X Inspired = Innovative Content” – Ann Handley, Digital marketing pioneer, writer, speaker
In the digital age, content marketing is a crucial tool for art businesses seeking to capture people’s attention. A strategy based on identifying your target audience and producing memorable, captivating content tailored to them, utilising social media strategically, hosting giveaways and contests, providing exclusive content to email subscribers, collaborating with other industry professionals, creating videos, and monitoring your performance metrics, will ensure you will position your brand as a leading authority, attract more visitors to your website, and increase your conversion rate. Remember to pay attention to the ways in which you can optimise your content for each channel. These efforts can also help you cultivate a devoted following and generate buzz around your art business, propelling it to greater heights.
Does this sound too time-consuming? Would you rather take care of other aspects of business instead and outsource your social media responsibilities? Let’s discuss how I can leverage social media and other digital channels effectively to build awareness and loyalty for your brand, develop and maintain an online community, and convert clients. Send me a message to book a call so I can gain a better understanding of your vision and see how I can help you establish and fulfil content marketing goals and improve your social media presence. Or schedule a meeting directly: Book a Discovery Call