Tag: arts marketing

Content Marketing for Creatives or #CreatingTribes

As our next round of AIM is coming fast upon us, I thought I would take some time to talk about marketing. One of my favorite ways for creative professionals to increase their market and visibility is through content creation and content marketing. The Content Marketing Institute describes content marketing as the following:

“…a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” 

Quite simply, content creation and curation allows your audience to interact with you based on the content you share through platforms like social media, YouTube, websites and blogs. The goal of content marketing is therefore not to sell, as in traditional marketing, but to cultivate a relationship with your stakeholders and find the “tribe” that is interested in what you are doing. It is that greater sense of loyalty that helps to build your customer base in the long run, by providing a destination for the folks with which you are looking to interact. Through content marketing, you can develop greater brand awareness, help build your customer base, provide added value to your work and services, and establish yourself as an expert in your field or discipline. Another plus is that content marketing is generally a very cost effective form of marketing and even more advantageous to artists and creative professionals working on small budgets.

So how do artists create and curate content? Consider the things you do as part of your practice that other people might find interesting. How you create work, how you run your business, areas or techniques of expertise and thoughts or articles that pertain to your career, core values or industry are all great sources of content. Even posts and pictures that tell more of your story or share your personality are great for getting your market more interested in you as an artist. Likely, if you find it interesting and it relates to your core values or your business, your target market will find it interesting too.

Wanna see how I curate content? Follow me! Twitter/Instagram: @allthatsmash
Wanna see how I curate content? Follow me! Twitter/Instagram: @allthatsmash

From there, consider your market and how you might best deliver this information to your audience or customer base. Your distribution channel should match where your stakeholders go to find information. For instance, concentrating your efforts on Facebook and Twitter might not be your best option if you are a children’s book illustrator (and this depends on what market segment: children, parents or teachers). Performing artists might do better with mediums that allow their work to be experienced more closely to how it is performed.

Content that creates exclusivity is also highly advantageous. As much as I am an advocate for accessibility to the arts, who doesn’t love the feeling of a backstage pass or a members only exclusive? The ability to create exclusivity helps to drive overall demand.

Keep in mind that this is about creating a relationship with those that consume your content. Relationships that are totally one sided don’t usually work very well. Dialogue between yourself and your target market is key to content marketing. So re-tweeting, using hashtags, answering fans’ comments, and being consistent (!!!!) are all important to making content marketing work for you. One more note about consistency – the moment you stop blogging, podcasting, or tweeting regularly is the moment you lose your audience completely. In any relationship, as soon as you break someone’s trust, you’ve usually lost their loyalty. So commit to the things you can keep up with. I have long thought a video series on how singers practice would be great for young singers and professionals. However, having no video production equipment or skill, it would be ridiculous of me to try this. There’s no way I would be able to keep up a regular, quality output.

If done correctly, content marketing can even lead to additional revenue streams. Services like Patreon allow patrons to donate directly to artists for the content they consume based on an amount they find sustainable. It’s also possible that as you establish your expertise in your discipline, others might approach you with opportunities to share you curated content as much as your artwork.

A new Atlanta startup will soon be offering a very innovative form of content marketing. VISIT is a new platform in which makers, artists and creatives can offer exclusive access to themselves through a limited number of phone call or Facetime interactions. Conceived as a limited edition, add-on purchase experience, each fifteen minute visit allows the maker and customer to share in whatever way they wish together. Still in beta, it’s worth keeping an eye on this new model as they launch their full platform soon.

Learn more about marketing strategy with us! Classes start October 20!
Learn more about marketing strategy with us! Classes start October 20!

And finally, content marketing is just one piece of your overall marketing strategy.

Concentrating on just one area of marketing can decrease your overall reach ability. It’s important to understand all the tools available to create a better marketing plan. Which is why we offer AIM, our three week course in Arts Marketing. In addition to content marketing, we also cover lean marketing strategies, social media, traditional marketing and so much more. Classes begin October 20th! Sign up here.

 

The Next Round of Add-in Dates – Arts & Culture Census

Is your organization doing everything it can to understand its audience? Do you do what other types of arts activities your audience members are participating in?

From a recent study published by the Wallace Foundation about arts marketing:

Arts organizations that want to build their audiences need to understand their audiences. That requires market research, and a number of conference participants talked about how gathering data – through focus groups, surveys or other methods – had been crucial to their work.

New Organizations may join the Arts & Culture Census group this May. The deadline to submit data is May 4, 2012. To join your peers from over 20 area arts organizations, email Jessyca@c4atlanta.org.

What does the Arts & Culture Census offer your organization?A picture of a man next to a blackboard. Above his head are the words "target your patrons." An arrown is drawn on the blackboard. The arrow looks like it is going through his head.

The purpose of the Arts & Culture Census is to:

  • Simplify mailing list exchanges
  • Share list hygiene expenses
  • Identify a targeted, qualified and focused group of arts consumers
  • Examine consumer behavior through comparative market analysis

Lists can be traded with just a few clicks. The list exchange is permission-based and completely secure. Read the A&C Census FAQ online at C4Atlanta.org.

22 Participating Organizations

Academy Theatre • Artworks! Gwinnett • Atlanta Ballet • Atlanta Jewish Music Festival • Atlanta Lyric Theatre • Atlanta Opera • Atlanta Shakespeare Company • Brooks & Company Dance • CORE • C4 Atlanta • Essential Theatre • Full Radius Dance • Georgia Ballet • Georgia State School of Music • Kennesaw State University College of the Arts • MINT Gallery • North Fulton Drama Club • Rialto Center for the Arts • Schwartz Center for Performing Arts • Serenbe Playhouse • Synchronicity Theatre • WonderRoot

Additional Information

In 2012, we will expand this program to include:

  • Training workshops
  • Relevant panel discussions
  • User Group Meetings
  • Blog site for the Arts & Culture Census users – articles, best practices, & more!
  • Hosting TRG Arts in Atlanta for a special training session with members

Join your peers today. Email jessyca@c4atlanta.org today!

It’s 8 PM. Do you know where your patrons are?

The Atlanta Arts & Culture Census can help you find them!

Arts patrons look board watching T.V.
Your Arts Patrons

Join your peers in the Atlanta Arts & Culture Census this March. The Arts & Culture Census is brought to our community through a partnership with TRG Arts, one of America’s most respected marketing consulting companies. Nearly 400,000 unique arts patron households currently represented!

We will be adding more companies to the Arts & Culture Census March 2, 2012. The deadline to express interest in being a part of the Arts & Culture Census is Friday, February 17, 2012.

What can the Arts & Culture Census do for my organization?

  • Get to know your patrons
  • Discover how to find new patrons
  • Secure list trading with your peers in just a few clicks of the mouse
  • Identify areas of growth and collaboration within the Atlanta region
  • Pull instant demographic reports for board meetings, grant proposals & more

How do I join the Arts & Culture Census?
Fill out this short interest form!

What do your peers think?

Atlanta Ballet has been both a consultant and database client of TRG since 2005.  TRG’s knowledge of performing arts marketing and specific focus on database marketing have been invaluable.  Their eMerge product has allowed Atlanta Ballet to create an aggressive direct communications marketing plan using mail, email and phone as methods to stay in touch with our existing and future patrons.   The launch of a community arts database in Atlanta will allow us to continue to grow strong arts patrons by reaching out to non-ballet patrons, and allowing other organizations to connect with Atlanta Ballet patrons., creating stronger arts patrons who crossover multiple Atlanta arts organizations. -Tricia Ekhom, The Atlanta Ballet

Although we had a broad understanding of our Schwartz Center arts patrons, we didn’t have much real data to support our media buys and who we were targeting. Once our info was loaded in TRG, I could easily print out demographic reports–showing zip codes and demographics like age, income and buying habits. Some of the research data was surprising to us; particularly the average age being a bit younger than we thought. The Arts & Culture Census has also made requesting mail lists from other arts organizations a breeze. – Jessica Cook, Emory Arts, Schwartz Center for Performing Arts

Organizations currently participating in the Atlanta Arts & Culture Census (as of 01/16/2012)

  • Academy Theatre
  • ArtWorks! Gwinnett
  • Atlanta Ballet
  • Atlanta Jewish Music Festival
  • Atlanta Lyric Theatre
  • Atlanta Opera
  • Brooks & Company Dance
  • CORE Performance Company
  • Essential Theatre
  • Full Radius Dance
  • Georgia State University School of Music
  • Kennesaw State University College of the Arts
  • MINT Gallery
  • North Fulton Drama Club
  • Rialto Center for the Arts
  • Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts
  • Synchronicity Performance Group
  • The Georgia Ballet
  • The New American Shakespeare Tavern
  • WonderRoot

Know your patrons?

Do you know what your patrons look like? Do they donate to your company? Do they have kids? What do they like to buy?

Do you have a picture in your head? Good. Imagine that people who don’t see your shows, visit your art openings or attend your lectures are out there aimlessly wandering around waiting to learn about your organization. Imagine that those friendly wanderers look an awful lot like your current patrons. How do you reach them?

We can agree that knowing your patrons is a good idea, right? You need to know everything about your patrons because chances are you haven’t exhausted all avenues to reach and retain them.

What excites us about the Arts & Culture Census: it helps the Atlanta region’s arts community connect more meaningfully to patrons. The more avenues your organization has to reaching audiences that look, act, and behave like current patrons, the less money, time and frustration your staff will spend on marketing initiatives. Even if you know your patrons, making assumptions (without data) about all of the region’s arts consumers provides an anecdotal approach to marketing at best.

What the Arts & Culture Census is NOT: A replacement for your current ticketing system.

The data co-op is designed to augment marketing strategies for maximum impact. We get a lot of questions about Tessitura. TRG’s system is not designed to compete or replace Tessitura, or any ticketing system. It is designed to help create an efficient means to cultivate, grow and retain patrons. It is designed to foster community collaboration. You should have in place a system (whether it be software or a comprehensive marketing plan) to help you track and understand your patrons. The Arts & Culture Census allows you to not only look at your patrons, but you can get to know the habits of patrons in other disciplines, companies, regions, etc. You can also track where your patrons are spending arts bucks elsewhere. Maybe this leads to some creative marketing between two companies? Maybe it tells you that your assumptions are correct? Maybe you will be surprised!

When It Comes to Marketing, Your Gut Is Still Not Smarter Than Your Head

A more audacious goal…

C4 Atlanta is an arts service organization. We have goals for the ENTIRE arts community. It is our hope that this service will encourage a standard of marketing accessible to all budget sizes, disciplines and audiences. The more we share information, support each other and raise awareness as a community, the more we are visible within the entire Atlanta ecosystem. The more we are all elevated to success, the stronger we all become.

Join us

Not only will your membership allow you access to the Arts & Culture Census, but you will also be supporting community-wide social innovation initiatives. It has been a tough couple of years for many of us in the arts community. When I was laid off, my world was turned upside down. So I understand that paying membership isn’t necessarily on the top of your to-do list. But I am asking you to invest in the long term. To look ahead at the possibility of greatness. I believe that a strong recovery comes with the right long-term investment. I believe in an Atlanta community where the arts are at the forefront of innovation. Join C4 Atlanta.

Interested, but you need more info? Email Jessyca@c4atlanta.org

— Jessyca Holland, Executive Director

P.S. – Direct mail is still relevant.

Young Adults Prefer Offline Marketing Offers

Direct Mail vs. Social Media Marketing & Email