You may think of social media influencers and imagine Instagram models posting their favourite iced coffee or tea, urging you to use their promo code. You may discount influencer marketing and wonder how this model could ever be applied to arts organisations? HdK would like to give you an overview of why your organisation should consider using influencer tactics.
Digital marketing is ever-changing, but these individuals can sway consumers’ minds. So, who are these influencers, and what is their role in the arts and culture sector exactly?
Today, people want to hear from and see authentic people they can relate to. Influencers have the power to persuade their audience because of trust. Followers trust influencers because of the personal connection they feel through regular content output. In addition, influencers consistently post on a wide range of platforms on a niche topic, and as a result, the market of influencer types is rapidly expanding. These niches include fashion, art, travel, health, beauty, and more; anyone from fashionistas to art curators.
Many may assume the best way to reach an audience is to find someone with the largest amount of followers. But, this is not always the best way. The key to influencer marketing is delivering your message to a smaller, targeted audience rather than putting it out there for anyone. Today’s most effective type of influencer marketing is micro-and nano-influencers because their message is more likely to stick. These are influencers with high engagement and a particular audience that have recommendations you trust. In addition, social media influencers offer value to brands because of their dedicated followers, so how can arts marketing techniques tap into influencers?
Finding the right influencers
Whether you want to target your audience as visitors or promote a product, influencer marketing enables you to deliver your message to a small, invested market. The most important aspect of influencer marketing is finding the right ones, and there are several things to consider when finding someone to capture your brand’s identity.
Firstly, consider your target audience and the channel you are looking to use. For example, do you want to use Instagram with posts and stories, YouTube videos, or shorter TikTok clips? The easiest way to target the right influencers is to know your audience and then approach them about a partnership. Be upfront and personable; having goals and performance indicators while engaging with them is essential.
Arts organisations and institutions are competitive, so it is essential to innovate and stand out. Any edge to differentiate your organisation from the rest is an asset to you. Influencer marketing may sound reserved for the likes of models or iced coffee lovers, but it may just be the way to get your works shared with a broader audience. Invite them to an opening night or an exhibition, or collaborate with them in promoting a pop-up event, for instance.
BTS, the hugely popular South Korean pop band, exemplify influencer marketing particularly well. The 27-year-old Korean pop star and leader of BTS, RM, has a deep appreciation of art. RM posted about his visit to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts to his 35.7 million followers. His platform sent fans to visit and post photos themselves. His posts from visiting numerous museums and galleries have helped generate visitors for galleries around the world, and arts institutions have noted receiving a surge in social media engagement after RM’s posts.
Similarly, in 2018 Béyonce and Jay-Z helped the Louvre reach a record number of visitors. The Louvre was shown as the backdrop in the release of the two’s six-minute music video. It showcased iconic artworks such as the Mona Lisa and The Coronation of Napoleon throughout the museum and made every work easy to see. The video created a frenzy when it dropped, resulting in a record-breaking number of visitors.
Although not everyone can work with Béyonce and Jay-Z, this principle can be applied to any organisation or institution on a smaller scale. Influencers offer the ability to connect with their followers in ways institutions are limited.
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