Use the power of networks to reach more fans and supporters
Extend the reach of your communication at minimal cost by embracing network thinking and designing your content with spreadability in mind. Mark Turrell of Orcasci explains these two groundbreaking concepts and their applicability to the arts world in two short videos.
1. Learn to Use the Power of NetworksThink of every individual as being part of several networks. Learn to tap into existing networks that you belong to, as well as into other people’s networks. This approach allows you to get in front of many more people than you could do personally or directly, and it helps boost your credibility.
Use our ready-made template to work out a network strategy for yourself or your arts organization. It will help you identify relevant networks, and develop a strategy for communicating with their members and their key influencers.
In the following video, Mark Turrell, CEO of strategy and marketing firm Orcasci, presents his concept of networks and how artists can benefit from them.
2. Make Your Content Spreadable
In the following video, Mark Turrell explains how you should package the content of your marketing and communication efforts to make it easily spreadable across networks. The 5 key techniques for spreading messages online are expanded upon in the section below.
3. Key Approaches for Spreading the Word Effectively Online
Share immersive content (photos and videos)
Online channels are ideal for encouraging your fans and customers to spread your message across their networks by sharing it with their friends, family and colleagues. Nothing is more likely to be shared than immersive content. Publishing impactful, possibly humorous photos and short videos, especially behind-the-scenes footage, that you share via Facebook and Twitter (or tools like Facebook Poke and Vine) is therefore a great way to spread the word about your offerings. Don’t forget to include your website’s URL, a tag line and a call to action via a caption. Make sure that you ask people explicitly to share your content with their connections.
Post artistic insights, invite guest performers to contribute
In order to create authentic, insightful and therefore interesting social media posts, stay focused on art and make sure that you provide value to your fans (e.g. by describing your creative process linked to one of your latest works or by reviewing a performance that you attended). Use real artists’ voices instead of relying on content mainly written by other staff. Be sure to include your guest performers in your online communication activities like Facebook and blog posts, tweets, etc. In this way you benefit from a fresh perspective in your posts, and you can also tap directly into new networks outside of your usual fan base and mailing list.
Make it very easy for people to resend and repost your communication
Persuade your connections to spread your message by writing out appropriate content for social media channels for them to copy and paste. For example, in a thank you mail to people who have just attended one of your events, you may write “Below are some suggested tweets and Facebook posts for you to adjust and share….” and include some ready-made messages to save them effort and prompt them to act.
Provide polished pre-written emails for your board and advisory board members
Your board and advisory board members are happy to support you if you make it easy for these important people to help you. Enable them to spread the word about your work across their networks by putting good quality content at their fingertips that is likely to appeal to their connections. Note that neither expecting them to create their own messages nor giving them content of an embarrassingly low quality is going to result in the desired activity on their end. The mails and materials that you ask them to send on to their contacts need to read well, be concise and contain a clear call to action for the recipients. Don’t forget to let your board members know how much you appreciate their support.
Prompt readers with an obvious call to action
In your sales-focused communication you always need to make it very easy for people to make a purchase immediately via a prominent direct link to your order form or by highlighting the necessary contact email and phone number. For those situations where people should review additional information, direct their attention to a link pointing to a relevant page on your website or on a booking site like GoSeeDo.org. This kind of page needs to be focused on your offering, and feature a “buy now” button (or similar) that cannot be overlooked. The explicit button on the page or the equivalent wording and link in your original communication is the holy grail of successful marketing – the clear call to action.