Blog Posts for October 2013 Blog Salon

Social Media Strategy: Find the Cool Kids

Posted by Alex Davis, Oct 11, 2013 1 comment

Alex Delotch Davis Alex Delotch Davis

Social media marketing seems to run the gamut of potential impact -- from exponential success, a la Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign, to screaming in the dark and bargaining for likes.  It’s tricky business.  Social media “gurus” make it sound like a science that you’re not analytical enough to understand or don’t have the time to keep up with, both of which are probably true.  Whatever your experience has been with social media marketing, here’s what I know for sure: it’s valuable, it’s not going away, and it’s time-consuming.

Allocating the right mix of platforms and the right amount of time to maximize social media can be difficult to manage for arts organizations with already stretched budgets.  However, engaging people that are not only savvy, but popular on social media presents a wonderful opportunity to expand your audience and check off social media on your marketing to-do list.

Adly, a startup that matches celebrities willing to post with consumer brands, calls this “amplifying” your content.  Rather than working your poor intern to death trying to get your twitter followers up, retweeting, posting, and sharing your little heart out - identify and engage the socially savvy in your community.  There are most certainly people in your immediate reach, who have a huge following on twitter, Instagram, and Vine (Facebook is so 2 hours ago) that can push your content out to the audience you want to reach.

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The Advantages and Strategies of Marketing Arts Products Online

Posted by Michael Marchetta, Oct 11, 2013 1 comment

Michael Marchetta Michael Marchetta

If you want to show customers service that surpasses their arts-related wants and needs, you need to go beyond just the standard “bricks and mortar” museum or store and create an established online presence.

Today, this means not only having an interactive website but also utilizing social media - Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and more - to their fullest potential. Tech-savvy customers can easily search and find artwork and supplies that interest them, complete with product reviews. The more venues you provide for them to discover your offerings, the better your chances for a sale or inquiry about your collection. Additionally, your online accessibility will help interested customers learn more about all of your artwork and related products and services, and it will encourage them to retain your business for future transactions.

With a good interactive website and strong social media presence, you can interact instantly with your followers to understand what artwork they want and how to assist them. Marketing online with tools like Google Analytics provides the data you need to create personalized service strategies that help you deliver relevant artwork and cultivate a high level of engagement with clients who know you understand and respect their desires. You can use the data you collect to design customized recommendations and other content for your followers, and to develop a long-term strategy for including artwork in your collection that meets your customers’ needs.

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Retaining and Building Your Community by Working the Margins

Posted by Steven Roth, Oct 11, 2013 1 comment

Steven Roth Steven Roth

Here’s the data* – we all know it:

  • Somewhere between 60% and 80% of single ticket buyers never return.
  • Multi-buyers (including subscribers) can account for over 50% of all ticket income and more than 80% of all donation income, yet comprise around 25% of all patrons
  •  Churn numbers can exceed 80% for single ticket buyers, 20+% for subscribers, and around 50% overall

These numbers cause marketing directors to age prematurely.   Says one:  “I’ve been a marketing director for a dozen years.  There must be something I can do to increase the number of attenders.  I hate standing still. There must be something we can do to slowly increase the numbers.   Growth is very slow.  We have a high renewal rate for some packages, but I’d like it to be higher. The biggest challenge lies in one-time single ticket buyers.   There are so many each season.  Surely there is something we can do with them.  How can we identify/entice move more single ticket buyers into more frequent attendance and towards subscription?"

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People Make Places

Posted by Carol Jones, Oct 11, 2013 0 comments

Carol Jones Carol Jones

I live and work in a small city, the capital of a small country that has four times more sheep than people. Cardiff (www.visitcardiff.com) has a population of less than 350,000 but has a growing reputation as a vibrant city where people want to live and visit. It has, as we say in Wales, ‘hwyl’ – a complex and intangible mix of passion and sense of belonging that isn’t easy to translate but has been said to sum up Welshness in a word.

The contribution of creativity to the social and economic success of cities is a hot topic. And that’s no surprise…CREATIVITY MATTERS. It can drive economic opportunity, aid social problem solving and cohesion, generate new ways of thinking or bring together established ideas in new ways to drive things forward.

But it’s not just about economic growth – creativity can make our cities a better place to live and somewhere more exciting and stimulating to be, to work and contribute. Creative cities are also often better governed and better organized places – though perhaps it’s difficult to discern if better government produces more creativity or more creativity makes better government. (Though I know what I think.)

Either way our cities can be hotbeds of creativity - full of the buzz of arts venues, bars and restaurants and awash with architect-designed buildings. But it’s about more than that, more than being a hub for enterprise and culture even. Creative cities provide countless opportunities for everything from accidental connections to formal collaborations. And it’s those opportunities, those sparks that act as a catalyst for new thinking and innovation.

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Warning: Community Engagement on Social Media Nears Extinction for Brands

Posted by James Sims, Oct 10, 2013 1 comment

James Sims James Sims

If size matters, community engagement must not, or so the current trend of Facebook advertising and it’s near white-noise moment forecasts. Now that the dust has settled on arts organizations creating social media channels, the urgency for continually increasing follower count needs to slow down and priority needs to shift to integrating content and social strategies.

Did someone in your marketing department cheer when Instagram announced that advertisements were nearing reality on the photo-sharing network? Send that person back to Social Media 101. For every step a social platform takes towards monetization, two steps are lost in the journey towards community engagement.

“Marketers believe that a good ad can divert attention, maybe even kick start conversation – a troubling proposition,” writes André Mouton. Is he wrong? Hardly. Beyond the obvious danger of over-saturation, the loss of an already somewhat tenuous relationship between brand and consumer on digital platforms is a real risk.

Breaking that relationship would mean a complete defeat of the social engagement overhaul organizations spent the last few years adopting. “Social media is in danger of becoming something like reality television – a glimpse into the lives of people we find interesting, but have little personal connection with,” Mounton adds.

How should a brand avoid falling down the advertising rabbit hole on social media? Start understanding that everything you post on social media is, by its very nature of coming from a brand account, considered an advertisement. That innocuous photo of a gorgeous sunset over your theatre’s plaza might have resulted in ten times the number of shares a link to the latest New York Times review received, but they are both serving the same purpose in the eyes of a consumer—brand awareness.

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Show Me: Adapting to the Visual Realm

Posted by Ms. Amanda D. Bell, Oct 10, 2013 0 comments

Amanda Bell Amanda Bell

I’ve been thinking a lot about how a line from one of my favorite musicals, My Fair Lady, pertains to arts marketing.  Bear with me.

Show-Me-StillFor those who don’t know it, the Lerner and Loewe musical based on George Bernard Shaw’s play, Pygmalion, tells the story of famed linguist Professor Henry Higgins and a cockney flower girl named Eliza Doolittle whose elocution improvement becomes his pet project.  Towards the end of the play, now a proper lady with perfect pro-noun-ci-a-tion, Eliza delivers the anthem, “Show Me,” admonishing her suitor, Freddy, for saying instead of demonstrating how he feels. “Sing me no song, read me no rhyme, don’t waste my time, show me!” Eliza berates Freddy. Why have I been thinking about this? Well, what Eliza delivers as romantic instruction was actually prescient advice for 21st century arts marketing.

We’ve all noticed the shift towards the visual.  It’s impossible not to.  Web pages have evolved rapidly to keep up—the more visual real estate the better. Take Facebook as an example: People may have fought the mandatory migration to the Timeline when it first rolled out, but now that it’s here, it’s hard to remember a time when prime real estate wasn’t allotted to visuals, right?  RIP-old-facebook And as curators and purveyors of content, our practices as arts marketers have also had to evolve. Marketing once concentrated on the way we talked about our products.  Now, it’s about making that message leap off the page—or more often, device—with bold visuals.  It’s about showing our audiences what we’re made of. Images have become their own breed of storytelling. We all love our Facebook banner image, our branded Twitter page and our Youtube channel because each offers the chance to distinguish ourselves.

As a content curator for artsmarketing.org and our NAMP Facebook page, I can say with certainty that posts featuring compelling visuals or video clips attract an enormous amount more attention than those that don’t.  I consider the visuals that accompany the articles I post as carefully as the posts themselves. I have to. In a world inundated with images, the trick is to catch people’s eyes. Once you do that you have already increased your potential influence. Visuals are a language quickly understood and, thanks to mobile devices, easily shared, so their impact—and your reach—can grow exponentially.

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