HdK Associates

Digital Marketing and the Arts

At the end of last month Sophie headed out to the yearly TFM&A conference to discover the latest developments in the world of digital marketing. It’s key for us as a company to keep on top of news trends and ideas and find ways of incorporating them into the digital marketing campaigns we work on within the arts sector.

The day made a big change from the usual dance exhibition days I’ve been to before, such as Move It, where pretty ballet costumes and tutus were replaced by stalls selling emailing systems, sales companies and I even spotted a 3-D Printer amongst the crowd.

The biggest pull pf the day for me were the talks given by a variety of industry professionals. Vincent Sider, the VP Social of BBC WorldWide talked about ways to engage your audience; using the example of BBC Television Programme Top Gear. This applies greatly to us in the arts, (not the cars!) as our digital marketing campaigns not only have to create interaction with current arts fans but engage new ones also. He stated that Twitter, for example, is well used to reach a large volume of fans whereas Facebook can reach a lot more targeted audience. Facebook allows us to communicate effectively with arts fans, whereas Twitter allows us to join in more public conversations and reach a wider, more general audience.

Dave Chaffy of Smart Insights questioned what it was we believed would be the biggest trend of digital marketing in the year ahead. He narrowed it down to five points:

  1. Content Marketing
  2. Conversion Rate Optimism
  3. Mobile Marketing
  4. Search Marketing
  5. Social Media Marketing.

Each area is of high importance, but Dave highlighted Content Marketing as the most important. Content Marketing is the area that the arts excels in due to having great content in the first place, whether that’s a dance piece, a play or a piece of music. We need to use the content we create, choreograph or write as part of our online content. It is that which our fans want to engage with.

Liz Stanley, an Engagement Marketing Strategist, encouraged us to engage on Social Media with those we work with. In the arts we can take that a step further. Not only can we engage with our organisation to reach a wider audience but we have a whole community within the arts who are interested in your product. See a dance company premiering their new work? Ask them about it, re-tweet reviews on the piece and importantly go and see it and tweet about it! The arts is a small community – we can use that to our advantage to reach a wider audience.

The final speech of the day came from Facebook’s very own Catherine Flynn. She stressed that the world is mobile. 53% of the revenue that comes from Facebook is from mobile. Make sure you digital campaign is mobile friendly – this means a responsive design for your website, allowing the site to be viewed on numerous screen sizes. If you’re placing a link to your site on Twitter or Facebook, there’s a very high chance your audience will be following the link on a mobile. Make it as easy as possible for them to find what they’re looking for and in turn this could create a loyal user.

It was great to re-cap my practices during TFM&A and ensure I’m looking at my current campaigns with fresh eyes and TFM&A allowed me to step back, think and do just that.


You can find us over at @hdk_assoc