When it comes to marketing a virtual art gallery, the process can be a bit more challenging to overcome than in other industries. It is the year 2020, and it isn’t easy to gain exposure without relying on the right online marketing techniques. For an artist, an effective digital marketing plan for a virtual art gallery can make a world of a difference. The art market is a competitive space, especially today when there are so many tools artists and gallerists can use to attract attention and sell art online.
The Art Market is Evolving Rapidly
When it comes to creating solid marketing plans, the biggest issue lies in the fact that the art market is evolving very rapidly. It is difficult to always stay on top of all the changes, and the continuous turning towards the online art market is one of the biggest alterations that modern times introduced to the art world. If you think that serious art collectors hesitate from buying fine art pieces online, you are wrong. However, many of them still choose to purchase exclusively in art galleries and face-to-face with art dealers. Developing a sound marketing plan outside the digital context is still a great idea, but that doesn’t mean that you should neglect your online presence.
We present some of the most useful marketing tips and pointers that will help you build and improve your virtual art gallery marketing plan. These pieces of advice are actionable, short and sweet, and they will demonstrate what you can do for an immediate positive effect on your virtual art gallery marketing strategy.
Tips and Strategies for Marketing Your Virtual Art Gallery Online
1. Remember the basics.
Among the first and most important marketing tips and strategies out there is remembering the basics. As an artist, you are very close to your art business, online or offline. You might even say you are inseparable from it because your work is very personal. It is easy to assume that people know who you are, what you do, and what’s featured in your virtual art gallery just because you have an online presence. But that is not true.
2. Tell your story in a different way
You can do this with a strong outreach program that will enable you to tell your story in a different way to reinvigorate your old viewers and attract new people. If you keep your creations behind closed doors, nobody will know about the wonderful artworks that you may be creating. Creating a virtual gallery website or on a platform with an already-established community is a smart move to enhance your online presence and your online art gallery’s outreach.
3. Shake things up every now and then
If things stagnate, they will usually become boring. Habits and traditions breed comfort but also complacency, while running a successful art gallery requires artists to stay “fresh” or, in other words, avoid scenarios that may make them predictable. To stay relevant and current, connect with other artists or virtual galleries, promote an upcoming young artist, participate in virtual exhibitions, or feature an intriguing speaker. Feel free to think outside the box, and incredible things will come to mind.
4. Perceive your virtual art gallery as an online retail space
Despite the fact that artists don’t prefer their virtual galleries to be perceived as retail spaces, the truth is that your online art gallery’s business shares many marketing basics applicable to any other art business. For example, create an interesting homepage with an enticing digital window display and change it frequently.
5. Nail your about me page and artist statement
The About Me section on your virtual art gallery is the best place to put your artist statement. Your artist statement describes your work, how you create, and what your art symbolizes. Writing a good artist statement is an important aspect of art marketing. It is a cornerstone of creating your brand identity as an artist, and you need to send it out whenever you submit a piece to art competitions or add a description of your art. Write it down and put it in your “About Me” page next to other engaging content about you and your creative practice. For inspiration, take a look at some great examples of artist statements.
6. Sign up to art competitions
Entering competitions is always a great idea for promoting yourself as an artist. If you win, your art will definitely earn some attention, and it can help you grow your art reputation. But even if you don’t win, entering can help with marketing your art and virtual art gallery because many competitions often show off honorable mentions, runner-ups, or recently submitted entries.
7. Be professional
Actions always speak louder than words, especially in art and marketing. Work hard and be professional because that’s always the best course of action when it comes to promoting your work. When people notice dedication, they are more likely to recommend you to their peers, so your highest priority is providing a great experience for those who visit your virtual gallery and purchase the artwork.
8. Social media
Social media channels are key to artist promotion, and without concrete social media marketing strategy goals in mind, it will be difficult to assess your marketing progress. When creating a social media strategy, you should think about which platforms you’re going to use, what your targeted audience is, and what you want to get out of your social media promotion campaign.
- Start with Instagram and Facebook
Avoid using your personal social media profiles to promote your art among your targeted audience. Instead, create art gallery business pages on Instagram and Facebook. It will make your marketing efforts look more professional, and you’ll get access to powerful analytics tools to track your progress. Since having a Facebook business page is required to create an Instagram business account, you should start by setting up that page first.
Protect your social media accounts from malicious hackers by using strong passwords, avoiding reusing old passwords, and enabling two-factor authentication.
- Peer-to-peer promotion
One of the cornerstones of effective social media strategies is peer-to-peer promotion. In other words, it’s about finding ways to make art lovers into your followers and have them spread the word about your virtual art gallery. You can do that by running contests – ask participants to enter your contest by creating a post that mentions your social media channel and offer something in return (e.g., free T-shirts with a print of your artwork, or even smaller artworks). For instance, they can share a post about their favorite artwork from your portfolio or virtual art gallery, and you offer one of your pieces as a prize. Get creative, and you’ll find ways to get people to participate, even if you’re not able to offer an expensive grand prize.
9. Interactive content
Interactive content is a well-known engagement booster because it provides your visitors an opportunity to interact with your content and even with your online gallery. Probably one of the simplest and quickest ways of engaging with your audience is with Instagram and Twitter polls. You could create interactive content by posting polls on what art movements, works, and events they like best. Also, you could allow them to vote on their favorite art piece to feature in your virtual window display, or they could vote for the theme of your next virtual art exhibition. Creating polls of different kinds can also provide you with great insight into what art lovers and your customers need and want.
10. Live videos
On social media, there are million hours of video currently available, but there’s always some brand, influencer, or friend doing another live feature video session. The format is omnipresent because it’s appealing – doing live videos can help you stand out from the competition to potential clients, when plenty of other artists are still using social scheduling. When you launch a live event, your followers get notifications about your activity and popular posts, and they get the chance to witness your creative process. Run a live feature video while setting up your new virtual art gallery exhibition or creating a new piece that will be displayed there. You can also do a Q&A with your followers. This increases your chances to sell more art online.
11. Influencer marketing
If you are new to the contemporary art world and about to start building your art career, it means that you probably lack followers, which is why you need all the help you can get to draw attention to your virtual art gallery. Find an influencer that’s relevant in the art industry and ask them to share a link to your gallery, or you can create a piece of art around the personality and share it with the person. If they like it, they will share that work with their followers, which will help you sell your art faster.
12. Virtual reality
In recent years, virtual reality has managed to find its place in the world of online marketing. Many successful art galleries have already found that AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) can play a big role in a good digital marketing strategy. With augmented reality and VR technology, artists can create a completely immersive experience for their customers and viewers. The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the big players in the VR market, but there are also low-budget VR headsets that can create a more rudimentary experience.
This is a short and effective guide on ways of promoting your art and virtual art gallery. As an aspiring artist and gallerist trying to start your own venture to become prominent and relevant, building and marketing a virtual art gallery is a good way to embark on the path. Besides marketing, the crucial foundations of selling online art through your virtual gallery are consistency, persistence, good organization, and exhibition quality.