Whether you’re completely new to it all or you’ve been actively involved in promoting yourself on the social media scene for some time now, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes to learn some ins and outs of different sites or refresh your perspective to see if there’s anything new on the horizon.
One social media site tends to be a favorite of many artists because it’s easy to use, visually appealing, and it has fun, interactive features and that’s Instagram (you can follow us @adcfineart). Did you know that in 2018 Instagram had over 1 billion monthly active users!! That’s more than double the monthly active users of Twitter and over three times as many users on Facebook Messenger, so if you’re not on Instagram – get on it!
Here are 4 powerful, but easy, Instagram marketing tips for artists (and they actually work) that you can immediately put into practice.
Mountains of Truth Never Climbed in Vain by Tom Owen
1. Switch to an Instagram business profile ASAP
Before we get into the content strategy of this blog the very first thing you must do is switch your personal artist account to a business account. You may or may not have already known that Instagram has business profiles, which heavily mirrors Facebook’s business profiles, complete with a huge “contact’ call-to-action, allowing users to email, call or text you when they want to buy a piece of artwork or learn more about it.
Along with the contact option, business profiles have access to analytics. Instagram calls these Insights and they aren’t just generalized, either. You can get specific insights on posts for the week that show you how many impressions you earned for that time period and what your top posts were. The more you understand how your users are interacting with your content, like when most of your followers are online, the better you can adjust improve your engagement.
If you use your Instagram account to promote your artwork, you might want to consider converting your personal profile to a business profile in order to take advantage of these options. Now on to how to optimize your content to grow your Instagram account.
Here our marketing director (@elizabethdesigns_) shows you how quick and easy it is to switch your peronsal Instagram account to a business profile.
2. Take High-Quality Photographs/Videos of Your Work
Instagram was designed so that images and videos would take center stage, and this gives artists such a fantastic opportunity to present your work to the masses! Of course, you know that stepping up your game with your Instagram photos will lead to a far more appealing presence for your brand.
It’s important to share bright, clean, crisp images of your artwork, studio shots or videos. With the digital technology we have available at our fingertips (thanks to smartphones) it’s so much easier now to take great, high-quality photos and edit them! There are hundreds of photo editing apps out there, some you pay for and some you don’t. We love Snapseed, a complete and professional free photo editor developed by Google.
“Here’s another way to think about it: When you walk into a high-end clothing boutique, you expect to find well-made (and likely expensive) clothing items. It’s exactly what you went there for. Similarly, users on Instagram are there for beautiful, high-quality images—not lackluster snapshots with zero thought or quality.” – Kat Boogaard
If your images and videos are blurry, dull, or unappealing, your followers will scroll past your content, or worse, unfollow you. Don’t let this happen!
Momentary Elegance by Igor Turovskiy
3. Connect with Your Audience in Relevant and Meaningful Ways.
Instagram can be a great tool for keeping followers updated on what you’re doing, but it’s also a great way to start conversations. You want to post often enough that your artwork stays relevant (like once a day), but at the same time, you don’t want to post so frequently that you overwhelm your followers and they end up unfollowing your account because they feel you are constantly in their face. If you want to share something else, look to post the additional content in Instagram’s story feature (more on that in the next point).
Connect and engage people in two-way conversations:
- Ask a question – Maybe it’s asking your followers to caption a photo of your work. Maybe it’s more philosophical. Whatever your prompt is, it’s a way to welcome people into your space and to look at and think about your work.
- Ask for feedback - This is a great way to engage your followers, but it’s also a great way for you to understand, analyze, and test your brand as an artist.
- Interact with followers – If one of your followers leaves a comment or direct messages you, take two seconds to reply and thank them. This seems minor, but a simple engagement can make a life-long customer as a free promoter of your artwork.
Share Experiences That Appeal to Emotions.
Whether it’s on your page or in your stories, you can engage your followers in emotional ways. Relate how one of your pieces was inspired? Who or what does one of your pieces remind you of? Chances are it’s doing the same for your followers and they would probably love the opportunity to tell you what your work means to them.
Show Your Creative Process - #WIP (work in progress).
Some artists share practice sketches or works in progress. Some post-time-lapse videos. Some show warehouses and studio shots for a context of how pieces can be made or what they’re made from. Behind-the-scenes photos and videos bring viewers into a more intimate level with you as they experience art coming to life from your thoughts and onto your canvas.
Embrace Yourself by Karina Llergo
4. Share Your Story
Instagram stories are like posts on your page, so it’s yet another way to get your art seen. Stories, however, are temporary in that they disappear after 24 hours unless you save them to highlights. Now you may be wondering how that’s part of a good promotional strategy for your artwork. Why use it if it’s just going to disappear?
Posting to your Instagram story increases your visibility. Whenever you publish a story on your Instagram, your profile appears at the top of the screen and with Instagram’s algorithm, it automatically shows stories that users are most likely to engage with first, putting your profile first on the list.
Post Diverse Content
- You should definitely be posting to your stories on a regular basis to stay current in feeds and to increase your chances of being seen. But what to share…hmm. Mix it up! Stories allow you to enhance your content with colors, stickers, text, and filters. From photos to short video clips and boomerangs, you can literally create all kinds of content AND repurpose it all for a later time.
Why It’s Important to Have a Good Instagram Game.
Now that you’ve read through the blog, you’re probably wondering the “why” of it all. Why is it important to have good visual content as well as photo captions? Well, here it is. Instagram favors content that receives high-engagement ratings. It’s not just about likes anymore. Here’s how it works. When you post Instagram shows that image to a sample size of your followers. If Instagram sees that more people are leaving comments on your post, bookmarking the content, and sending your post in a personal message it will more likely open your content up to a larger pool of your audience.
So, there you have it! Hopefully, you’ve gone from asking ‘Why is Instagram marketing important for me as an artist?’ to ‘Now I can build a brilliant Instagram marketing strategy for my artwork’.
2019 Talent Search for Blink Art Resource
Blink Art Resource was created as a promotional platform for artists in 2015 to have their work seen and sourced by designers for a variety of corporate, healthcare, residential, and hospitality projects. Even though there is an online component, we’re not just another online art marketplace. Each year we publish a print catalog and distribute it to 10,000+ top-grossing interior designers, art consultants and art dealers in North America. Not only does this put your artwork at their fingertips, but the best thing about Blink Art Resource is also that you work with the designer directly and get to keep 100% of the commission!
If you are interested in being a Blink Artist, contact our director Amy Whisenhunt at email@example.com to discuss details and review your portfolio.