Monday, May 11, 2015

Art Institution Directors: 3 digital marketing tips to help your organization go viral



In recent years, an increasing number of art institutions have turned to digital platforms to attract larger audiences. However, most of them are still in the stage where they only have some digital platforms “sitting” there. They haven’t realized how powerful digital marketing can be if they were to engage and interact with their audience through professional digital marketing methods. I am currently a graduate student majoring in Integrated Marketing Communications in the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and am interested in marketing for the art industry. In this blog, I am going to introduce two articles that will help you have a deeper understanding about the importance of digital marketing for art organizations and how to do a good job in this field as a non-profit art institution.

The article “8 Reasons Arts Organizations Need to Embrace Digital Marketing" addresses the importance and benefits of digital marketing to art organizations. Digital marketing brought art closer to the audience and gave art institutions more chances to engage with their audience. Research shows that the art organizations that thrived were mainly those which fully embraced digital marketing. Digital marketing could benefit art organization efficiently and effectively by improving audience attendance at events, public awareness and amplifying fundraising results.

viral marketing

The second article “Tate’s Digital Makeover Transforms the Traditional Museum” from Harvard Business Publishing introduces and provides insights into Tate museum, a successful digital marketing case. Tate museum integrated the traditional museum-going experience with an online platform, making its online presence as a “fifth gallery.” Instead of just serving as an online brochure for the institution, Tate built an online platform that could curate artwork in a way that leads the audience through a physical experience, and at the same time, engages the audience by letting them contribute to the conversation. The creative strategies are:  training hundreds of employees to be digital content producers, keeping track of customers’ digital activities through different metrics, and infusing everything the museum did and entertaining the audience with creative and interactive activities online. Another key to Tate’s success was that they embedded digital marketing in their corporate strategy and were not afraid of changing organizational processes according to the digital realm. 

Based on the articles above and other successful digital marketing strategies from some art institutions, here are some useful tips to help your content go viral on digital platforms:

1. Post behind-the-scene content- The best way to build a relationship with your audience is to let them know as much as possible about you. This includes things not only in front of the scene but also behind the scene.  The audience is usually curious about those things and tends to trust organizations that are willing to tell them the story behind the scene.

2. Upload entertaining short videos regularly- Video is one of the most powerful content format nowadays. Video content usually goes viral more easily and receives positive feedback. In addition, it is also a good way to engage your audience and turn them into a loyal audience.

3. Give the audience a chance to be curators- In the art field,  curators usually select and comment on art pieces and the audience only gets the chance to see the results of the selection. However, if art organizations can change the dynamic and give the audience a chance to comment and select the art pieces they love in a campaign or activity, art enthusiasts will definitely spread this message to their friends and be actively involved in it. 

If your organization still hasn't paid enough attention to digital platforms or is struggling about what to do to make your website popular, just use these tips and you will see how powerful digital marketing is!





Ran Yi is a current graduate student studying Integrated Marketing Communications in the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, focusing on Brand Strategy, Digital Marketing and Marketing Analytics. She was the founder of a five-star society: Fudan Abstract Art Association in Shanghai, China and has great passion in contemporary art. Contact her on twitter for further discussion on this topic: @jenny0041

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