5 Reasons Why Art Galleries Should Expand Their Digital Strategy

Compared to other industries, the art market has been slow to take up digital. However, there are some art galleries and related businesses that have successfully made the leap. Websites that promote art galleries can now be found, providing exhibition information and encouraging visitors to attend.

But for optimum engagement and the best results, art galleries should look at implementing an overall digital strategy. This means not only having a website, but also incorporating other digital marketing activities such as newsletters, blogs, email campaigns, paid search advertising, social media marketing, e-commerce and online sales. Below, we explore why.

1. Make the most of a growing art market

Opportunities exist for art galleries to sell to a growing global art market, which was valued at $87.9 billion last year. This study, conducted by Arts Economics, stated that art sales experienced it’s highest ever record – and is continuing to increase annually.

art gallery digital

In addition, according to Artfacts Australia, visiting museums and art galleries is the most popular cultural activity undertaken by domestic tourists. In fact, attendance outweighs that of Australian Rules Football, boasting approximately 11 million visitors each year. Maintaining a connection with the art community via online media provides a great advantage when it comes to attracting visitors and sales.

2. Increase visibility

There is no arguing that today people search and browse for products and services online. Fine art is no exception. Artfacts Australia reported that in 2007, Australian art gallery websites experienced 12 million unique visits and 50 million page views. That equates to 137,000 page views each day.

Having a well designed website will ensure you reap your share. Good structure and content improves SEO (search engine optimisation). Investing in paid advertising – known as SEM (search engine marketing) – via Google AdWords or Facebook is also valuable. It will help your art gallery appear more frequently to users in relevant searches.

art gallery website

3. Keep up appearances

A well designed, findable website not only improves visibility on Google, it also allows curators to showcase what your art gallery is like. For example, beautiful websites tend to reflect beautiful spaces – and this can encourage visitors to attend. A strong web presence also demonstrates its owners are professional, organised, modern and tech-savvy.

4. Increase engagement

Research shows that opportunities exist for galleries to:

  • provide more information about events and artists
  • disseminate valuable information about exhibitions, and
  • encourage the public to engage with creators and contribute to events

Social media marketing is the perfect outlet for art galleries to carry out the above. Facebook company pages are great for friendly conversation, Pinterest is useful for showcasing and sharing images of artwork and Twitter allows you to distribute valuable information via short, sharp announcements.

gallery social media

For visitors that are already fans of your gallery, regular newsletters are a great way to stay top-of-mind. Where possible, use a database program with a professionally designed template to make the process as seamless as possible. The ability the review metrics such as open rates is also very useful.

Another digital marketing activity that enables you to interact with the art community includes blogging, in which you may welcome comments and discussion from fans.

In summary, online channels present many opportunities to stay in touch.

5. Make more money

Despite tough economic times, art has proven to still be very popular. High-end auction houses, such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s, have begun facilitating popular online auctions. Suitably priced online art stores in the US, such as Artsy, have begun catering for fine art fans with great success.

Given that Australian households spend almost $550 million on paintings, carvings and sculptures annually, it pays for art galleries to have an e-commerce shopping function where possible. This enables interested customers view and purchase art online conveniently.

gallery ecommerce

The ability to digitise artwork also provides an opportunity for curators and artists to generate additional revenue with printed versions, if they choose.

To enquire about a digital strategy for your art gallery, contact Radi at If You Build It for a free chat.

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Radi Safi

by Radi Safi

Radi Safi is the Creative Director at IYBI. In 2012 he launched Happy, a music blog and media company.
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