As the art world has become increasingly more digital, so have art collectors and art dealers. As a result, it is essential, as a gallery and an artist, to optimize your digital presence to the best of your ability in order to attract and expand your audience. This simmers down to building an effective digital strategy that is manageable and also provides revenue and results. You might wonder, where to begin? There are a number of tools and techniques that can be utilized to achieve your digital goals. Because of this, Artsper’s specialists have created a list of 8 steps to boost your digital strategy!
1. Define your goals
The first step to revamping any digital strategy, is to analyze your current online operations and processes. Once you have gathered a sense of your current initiatives, you can further develop your goals. Sit down with your team and discuss what you wish to accomplish in terms of revenue and an online presence. Answer the following questions:
- Do you wish to allocate more time and a larger budget to your digital presence? If not, who can manage the changes to your strategy? Will they be internal or external?
- Do you wish to expand your network of collectors? What target audience do you want to reach first? Is it a new audience or one you know well?
- Do you wish to increase online sales? What portion of your overall sales do you want your new target audience to represent?
After this, it is crucial to comprehensively comprehend and pinpoint your strongest and weakest touch points with current and prospective art collectors and buyers. In doing this, you can decide which applications or outreach initiatives require more time and attention. This is the perfect start to get your digital strategy on track for a fruitful future of expansion and revenue success.
2. Understand your audience
If you’re looking to expand your outreach, it is necessary to understand your current audience. Analyze your sales records, target your most active clients, and allocate the trace of their sales. Was the sale done entirely in person? Did they find the artwork solely online? If so, from where? An email, a newsletter, a Facebook or Instagram post? Once you’ve surveyed your previous sales and gathered a further understanding as to your clients’ paths to purchase, you can identify your strongest and weakest touch points. From this point on, you and your team must decide which applications or communications strategies need to be revamped and updated.
For example, if your newsletters are opened by a large number of people (high open rate) but the click rate and the number of sales do not follow, it means that your target is interested in your communication but disappointed by the content of the email. You then know what to optimize! Do the same exercise for your other communication tools keeping in mind that social networks are essential to seduce younger collectors and maintain your brand image. Regardless of target audiences, social media channels are essential for any gallery or artist, at any stage of their digital visibility.
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3. Keep your gallery website and social media up-to-date
Gallery websites and social media accounts are the online representation of your gallery and of your work as an artist. They exist to spread your brand identity to prospective clients while supporting and uplifting the careers of artists. In order for your website to be a true digital representation of your physical gallery, it is necessary to keep the content on your website up-to-date. Not only is this important for your online presence, but it is also crucial for the expansion of your audience. An important aspect to keeping website content fresh is through the use of search engine optimization (SEO). You might have heard the term SEO before but what is it exactly? SEO is the task of increasing the number of online visitors and traffic to your website by having your website appear highest on the list of results generated by Google. It is possible to increase your SEO by updating individual pages within your website to include specific keywords that you wish to use to rank for. Common and simple options include your gallery’s name, your artists’ names, and exhibition titles. All of this can be included in your website copy. Also consider adding longer content that is essential to improve your positioning: artist biographies, history of the gallery, interviews with collectors, descriptions of works...
Not only are websites and social media the perfect way to expand traffic to your website, they are also the perfect platforms to interact with your audience and take positive action regarding a myriad of topics. Learn more about staying engaged during times of adversity in our article.
4. Interact with your community
Find ways to interact with the community you already have and intrigue prospective clients. This can be done a number of ways. For example your gallery can offer giveaways to peak community interest. Consider an Instagram giveaway, offering a discount or a piece of art. The setup is very simple: ask your followers to share the post on their Instagram story, comment on your post by tagging other people and follow your Instagram account. This will encourage your gallery’s name to spread throughout Instagram (if you have an engaged following). You can also create collaborative partnerships with a range of organizations, brands, or influencers. Think of this as a perfect opportunity for an exchange of visibility. In other words, you reach your partner's community and they reach yours, for example through a post shared on social networks, a collaborative contest or a joint-newsletter. Partnering with a brand or a cultural institution will bring in a different audience than collaborating with an influencer. If you are trying to reach a specific audience, think carefully about with whom you would like to partner.
Artsper and partner Urban Art Fair's collaborative Instagram giveaway
5. Optimize your email marketing process
Even though the art world has become increasingly more and more interested in NFTs and digital art, there are old tricks that remain helpful. Email marketing is an effective and useful strategy to reach many collectors and prospective buyers. If you wish to expand sales through emailing, you can begin or optimize your newsletters. Newsletters can be used to promote the work of an artist or artists, speak about upcoming events, and highlight any exciting gallery updates. If you wish to focus on email marketing, it is crucial to expand the number of email subscribers. Segment your target into at least two groups, current clients and potential clients. Be sure to include a sign up button in the non partner newsletter in order to gain as many prospective clients as possible. Utilize a similar sign-up system on your website, social media channels, and at in-person events to collect as many emails as possible.
6. Organize exhibitions and events online
Exhibitions, events, and art fairs are profitable means to sell artworks and meet new collectors. For many traditional galleries, these events take place solely in person, but it is important to consider a digital approach. If you are unable to fully stream your events online, there are many alternatives to communicate about them digitally. For starters, you can promote your gallery’s events through social media and email marketing. You can also create an online version of said events. This would entail uploading the included works on your website as well distributing them across social media. If you’re interested in further exposure, you can create a dedicated online exhibition on Artsper, which will be displayed on the homepage of our website and on your gallery page. This will not only increase your digital presence but will expand your audience, by connecting you to Artsper’s 700,000 unique monthly visitors. These are all international, digitally-aware potential clients. Online events for galleries provide clients from all over the world the opportunity to appreciate and experience art from the comfort of their home. There has especially been a rise in digitized events since the beginning of Covid-19. And in the post-Covid market, digital exhibitions and events are here to stay.
7. Become a source of inspiration
Providing advice and inspiration positively impacts the online presence of any gallery or independent artist. This can be done in a variety of ways. Galleries can offer free one-on-one appointments to current and potential clients to help them find and purchase new work, assisting in the selection process of finding and buying new works. You can also create themes of works on a regular basis, and share your favorites on Instagram and via a newsletter. The idea is to create a consistent diffusion of content that targets anticipate, feeding them with a dose of inspiration, curation and advice. As an artist, you can also diffuse content, such as previews of your new work, visits to your studio, or Q&A sessions with your followers. As is the case at Artsper, offering personalized art selections facilitates the overall customer experience and drives recurring sales by maintaining a strong connection with customers.
Artsper's monthly selection of staff picks
8. Be as responsive online as you are in person
As the art world has become increasingly more digital, it is important to treat online inquiries and interactions with the same amount of care and attention as you would with an in-person exchange. Because of this, it is essential that you are responsive; whether it be an Instagram message or an email from an unknown collector. You never know if this can turn into a long-term client or a purchase. If you think you’ll need assistance in this, there are several online messaging and social media management platforms (Live chat, Twilio et Agorapulse) that make this process easier.