Internet Marketing & Public Relations for the Arts

lessons for promoting your arts organization on the web.

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Hunting the Elusive Patron


In the previous article, I spoke about some examples you could use for increasing online awareness for a Salvador Dali exhibit--most of them were pretty obvious.  A simple search on Google will show you the top sites you want to be listed, and then it is just a matter of tailoring your pitch to get that link.

But what about those patrons who are interested in Dali--but don't know it yet?

This is where Microtargeting can really shine.  The idea of finding where these patrons go online and getting a story about your exhibit (and link) in front of their face.

How do we find that out?

Well, you could spend thousands of dollars on microtargeting services, but since this is the arts--we need to be clever.  Here are some suggestions to find out where more patrons may reside:

• Your web site stat report--if your web site does not have a good statistical package, you can sign up for a free one from Google Analytics.  Within those reports you can see search engine phrases that people used to find you, as well as any referring sites.  Those two pieces of data are instrumental in helping you discover where your patrons go online.

• Ask your patrons.  Using the "like attracts like" theory of marketing, we can assume that patrons who visit your organization or similar to those we want to attract. If they are spending time at sites, find out what they are, and get on them.

• Use the search engines to your advantage, for example try typing in Cincinnati Artists into google.  What sites come up? Follow them, and see if their is a place to post your story.  What about Cincinnati Art Students, Cincinnati Art Supplies,  or  even Cincinnati Dali.

• Ask your mailing list to post your website and story.  It is shocking how many people have some sort of website, be it a blog, a myspace page, a face book page, even a vanity site.  Why not ask them if they wouldn't mind posting a link to your story with the headline "Dali in Cincinnati: Read the story here" -- make sure you send a thank you note, or even better a stat report!