Top 12 Art Marketing Predictions for 2012
In 2011, the art industry experienced the first VIP Art Pair; we amazed over Google’s Art Museum project; social media became the mainstream for marketing art, galleries and creative projects; YouTube visitors increased by 47% and the ipad provided artists with new tools and a means for taking their portfolio on the road. With 2012 now here, what marketing trends should forward-thinking art marketers be focusing?
Here’s our Top 12 Marketing Predictions for 2012
1. Content Marketing is Key
Death of the brochure website means that artists will need to focus their efforts on regular content and communication. Hubspot recently released research stating “Companies that blog, have 55% more website visitors.” The artist website needs to become a content-based tool and a place to share knowledge with their customers and listen to their feedback.
2. SoPo (social personalization) will be on the rise
Experts at Marketingprofs.com predict that “keeping up with the Joneses” has never been so transparent. The power of referrals and recommendations will be fine-tuned and harnessed to encourage and persuade others to follow their friends’ leads. Artists who place emphasis on building multiple social networks to achieve “Likes”(Facebook), “+1′s” (Google +) , “FF” (Twitter) and referrals through professional networks such as Linkedin, will be best positioned for success in the months to follow.
3. Online Art Buying
It is only a matter of time before art collectors and décor enthusiasts trade in a trip to a physical storefront or gallery opening in exchange for an online buying spree with virtual friends via shared screens and video chats. This month brings the 2nd VIP Art Fair, which hopes to exceed last year’s success. I’m anxious to see them break attendance and sales records, setting a precedence for other art fairs and exhibitions to go virtual.
4. Social networks will become a more significant source of organic search traffic
As paid advertising increases, and companies like Facebook and Google customize the advertising (including the organic listings) to suit my previous searches, Likes and recommendations by my friends, I find that it gets harder and harder to get true search results. Social marketing activities that establish your locality and offer links to your branded website will no longer be optional; in 2012, they will become a necessary element of traffic-driving success.
5. Virtual Group Exhibitions and Collaboration
As more effective video-conference, document-share, online meet-ups, and various other online event technologies are introduced to the market, the ability to communicate and work within virtual groups will become ever-more common.
I recently attended a Google+ Hangout with HDR shooter, Trey Ratcliff (“Stuck In Customs”) where I was entertained by photographers from distant countries and continents brainstorming and sharing ideas virtually side-by-side. Skype, iChat and Hangouts are still very new, it’s exciting to think about how this technology will effect education, collaboration and art marketing in the year to come.
6. Personalized communication
In 2012, traditional email marketing will still reign. Focus to personalization, relevancy and less frequency will be important to its success. Automation services such as GetResponse and AWeber, will make it easier for Facebook users to sign-up to your newsletter, Twitter users to “Tweet-This” and assist you with capturing client preferences, follow-up with “Thank you’s” and personalize the delivery of news to your customers.
7. SoLoMo – a new and powerful combination
Where are you? What are you doing? Where are you shopping? Business2Community.com experts added SoLoMo (social location mobile) to their top 10 list. Saying that “Google’s Matt Cutts coined this term but it’s probably better explained by a recent example on Black Friday of this year. The New York Times reported that advertisers lured customers away and stole competitor sales while they were waiting in-line to make a purchase – an awesome combination of social, local and mobile all being used together.”
Mobile Internet access continues to expand as more people will go online in 2012 than ever before. Language translation technology such as WordLens also makes it easier for people to read your website, email or advertisement in their own language. To make your online art business more global, set your site up with Google Analytics, to see which countries you are already attracting visitors from. Get to know your audience by creating special art pieces that meet the taste of this international audience, monitor the results. Use this knowledge to expand to other countries.
9. Every-option Commerce
Paying in person or by phone with a plastic credit card is probably going to go away someday; making 2012, your year to get your point of sale ready by accepting payments through PayPal, email-transfer or by enabling Google Wallet or a proprietary point-of-sale option. There are several plugins available for WordPress users, artists using other websites will need to expand their offerings, so that potential collectors can buy anytime of the day or night.
10. Video Marketing
Internet video is now 40 percent of consumer Internet traffic, and will reach 62 percent by the end of 2015 – Cisco
Internet video is still considered an untapped market. Some experts believe marketing your product on YouTube is one of the best ways to position your brand on page one and capture traffic online. Producing videos of your art, an exhibition, or in your studio will provide your audience a means for getting to know your art.
Use 2012 as the year to colorfully dress your brand, get a uniquely stylized logo, create a slogan and build a blog to lend contextual support. Naseem Javed, author of “Naming for Power” says dealing with exponential reality of 5 billion online users by 2020 has lead to the heated discussions about the adding of hundreds of Web suffixes beyond .com and .org. Mr. Javed talks about how will this affect your brand. How will you protect your if your url loses its uniqueness.
Experts say you should own the first three search engine pages of your name. Start working towards this goal by setting up, maintaining accounts and creating cross-links to every major directory, online listing and social media hub.
12. Mobile and Tablet Boom
I fully agree with Fiona McEachran of AbnormalMarketing.com. She says “There is no denying that we are quickly becoming a world of smartphone (iPhone, Android, Blackberry) users and Tablets (iPad, Xoom, Galaxy Tab, Asus). There are currently not many fisherman, but a whole lot of fish!”.
These devices are rapidly changing the way people are accessing information and spending their personal and professional time. Appleinsider.com reported last Wednesday that at least 4.2 million iOS devices were activated on Dec. 25 and 3.7 million Android devices activated on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Relatively inexpensive, intuitive and entertaining, these smart devices are becoming a must-have tool for the modern studio and business person. Seen in this post, an iPad used as an artist portfolio. Photo: Dodocase
What do you predict for 2012? Challenges? We’d like to hear from you.