Arts organizations, step up your LinkedIn game
Marketing 101 at an arts organization often has a consistent strategy: Send promotional emails about once a week. Make sure you're connected on social media and posting at least once a day on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (twice per day if you can). Print out flyers and posters and have your best interns walk around town posting them on walls, light posts, and community boards. If you're lucky enough to have somewhat of a budget or are a for-profit org, create Google ads or sign up for the Google Adwords Grant Program and implement an SEO strategy. Rinse, repeat.
With companies trying more than ever to cut through the noise and connect with potential audiences, a solid marketing strategy with unique solutions is essential for success. In 2016, Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp alone handled 60 billion messages a day. Statistics show that the digital world is completely consuming our communications, creating an easy avenue for marketers to utilize data points to directly connect with customers.
If we all know this to be true, then why aren't more arts organizations investing in a solid LinkedIn strategy? At a B2B company, LinkedIn advertising and content creation are an obvious pillar in any marketing plan. With more than half a billion international professionals utilizing the network, it's clear that the adoption of the network among the business elite has been successful. The network claims its success as a primary content distribution channel for B2B marketers, but this statistic shouldn't dissuade arts marketers to use the space.
Arts marketers can take advantage of the unique opportunity to advertise to an audience unlike their usual followers. Utilize outside-the-box organic campaigns to allure those who may not know the differences between Samuel Beckett and Tennessee Williams. Repurpose content that frequent social followers may find unexciting to something for a fresh face. Use Sponsored InMail to invite senior executives to a new exhibit or opening performance. Leverage these connections with development departments to follow the customer journey and recruit potential donors. Experiment with Display Ads to weigh the differences in success from your Google Ads strategy. The possibilities are endless (and they're not just for hiring additional stagehands).
Instead of marrying strategies to marketing 101, arts marketers should truly embrace the essence of creativity and explore this untouched space. New York Foundation for the Arts and ArtsBoston are both examples of this strategy implemented well. With messages that stick out from the typical timeline of business news and inspirational quotes, arts organizations can break through the noise and fill it with their own stimulating noise.
This piece was originally published on LinkedIn.