We talk to galleries all day, every day. When it comes to what galleries are thinking about and prioritizing for 2019, here's what we hear over and over again.
Priority 1: Maintaining a strong online presence
For a gallery to thrive in 2019 and beyond, having a strong online presence is the bread and butter of your marketing strategy. Digital marketing channels provide a powerful way to grow your client base, and with more and more sales taking place online, galleries are looking to optimize their digital marketing channels to generate inquiries and sales.
The 3 essential components of a gallery's online presence are:
Your website is your gallery's primary digital presence. While your website needs to look good and on-brand, equally important is your clients' online experience. You should give that experience as much thought as you give client experience in your brick and mortar gallery.
For the best client experience, gallery websites should be up-to-date, easy-to-use and optimized for mobile browsing, all of which also contribute to your website's ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).
In addition to thinking about search engine optimization, don't forget about directing traffic to your website! The most efficient and effective way to do that is through your email marketing newsletter, which is the second component of your online presence.
Email marketing newsletter
If you're not already, it's time to start being consistent about your gallery's email marketing.
The most successful galleries don't just sit back and wait, hoping people will visit their website. Instead, they actively send clients and prospects to their sites with effective email marketing campaigns.
With all the information and content available online, it can be hard to capture people's attention for very long. But if a prospective client gives you their email address, you've got a direct, consistent way to reach them for the long-term.
You don't need to email your marketing list every single week (in fact, you shouldn't!), but consistently reminding people about your gallery, your artists and upcoming events helps keep your business top-of-mind and is proven to increase sales over time.
Pro Tip: Learn why most galleries prefer to use MailChimp for their email marketing campaigns.
While there are a lot of social media channels out there, Instagram is the one to focus on, especially if you want to grow your clientele to include younger, more tech-savvy clients. Instagram is a highly visual social media channel, and therefore ideal for showcasing your artwork.
Once you've got the basics, be sure you're using some of the deeper Instagram functionalities, like creating Stories and Highlights to add to your profile.
It takes patience and consistency, but many galleries find that they're able to reach new groups of clients in other parts of the country and even around the world through Instagram, and even to generate inquiries through direct messages.
Priority 2: Nurturing client relationships
The most successful galleries build and maintain strong relationships with their clients over time, and galleries are increasingly looking for tools to help them effectively manage those relationships.
If your gallery isn't already using a client relationship management (CRM) platform, it's time to get one. A CRM tracks key client data and interactions that you can use to give you and your staff a full picture of every client's relationship with your gallery.
From basic contact information and artwork interests to purchase history and a record of every message you've ever exchanged, your CRM is the brain of your gallery, a virtual rolodex that holds much more than phone numbers.
A CRM not only records the history of your gallery's interactions with a client, it's also a fantastic to-do list that you can use to for sales follow-ups or even to remind yourself to say 'thank you' to your top clients or send them personalized birthday wishes.
If you're using ArtCloud Manager, you're already familiar with the benefits of a CRM, but even getting started with a spreadsheet of client data is better than nothing!
3. Working efficiently
With more to do and seemingly less time to do it all, efficiency is a high priority for almost every gallery. Nobody has time to waste on rote tasks or repetitively entering the same data over and over again.
If your gallery staff is still doing a lot of manual, repetitive work, it's time to start thinking about automating some of those workflows.
Be sure to take a look at modern software options, many of which are designed specifically for art galleries. A comprehensive gallery management platform is your best bet for a cost-effective, all-in-one solution that helps your gallery run as efficiently and effectively as possible.