You’re probably hearing buzzwords like content marketing more and more, as advertisers are turning away from standard marketing to get the word out about their products. But what does this have to do with you as a creative? In a word—everything. But the good news is, by virtue of what you do, you’re probably well ahead of traditional advertisers.
So what is content marketing, exactly?
While we’ve discussed art marketing before, content marketing is a very specific approach to getting the word out about your art and converting fans into collectors and clients. The Content Marketing Institute defines it as “a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience–with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
As a creative, you are constantly producing new work, and whether you realize it or not, that process is full of innate storytelling that translates perfectly to content marketing. And, of course, social media has a lot to do with the rise of content marketing in all sectors. Quick, easy, and highly effective, it’s one of the best methods you have at your disposal to get the word out about your art.
Not sure where to get started with content marketing? Here are 5 suggestions for using your creative energy to further your career, whether you are a photographer, designer, maker, or fine artist.
It may sound obvious, but… Be. Original. People are always fascinated by original—and clever—content. Think outside the box and you may just find your next project going viral. For instance, Dreamworks animation artist Avner Geller used his skills in a series that illustrates ridiculous overheard conversations and shares them via his successful Instagram. Derrick Lin used the ordinary frustrations of office life to create a successful series of miniatures that was first shared online, and then became a book. These are reminders that the more clever and original the idea, the more it resonates with the public.
Start a Blog
Yes, people are increasingly pulled toward the short, ephemeral content of Snapchat and Instagram, but that’s no reason to abandon the thought of writing a blog. If you are good with words and enjoy writing, blogging can be a great way to reach a wider audience, while at the same time pulling out interesting aspects of your work that people will want to read about. Photographers Omar Z. Robles and Benjamin Von Wong both use their blogs to take readers inside their photo shoots, while street photographer Eric Kim has used his blog, which is full of street photography tips, to help launch a career teaching workshops.
Take it Live
When people invest in art and creativity, they are also investing in the creator. Take people inside your world using Instagram Live or Google Live, where your fans can interact with you as you take them on a tour of your studio or show them part of your brainstorming process for your new Etsy collection. Going live is a quick, immediate way to bring interested fans close to you and forge a deeper relationship.
Make a Video Tutorial
Creatives in all fields show off their prowess by putting together tutorials. Whether you are teaching people how to paint or giving them a behind the scenes look at your photo shoots, you are both being helpful and letting people in on your creative process. A quick search on YouTube will make you quickly understand just how powerful a video tutorial can be.
Create an Infographic
Content marketing is all about give and take. You want people to be invested in, and share, what you are putting out there, and infographics are a great way to help you do just that. If you are a designer, put those skills to use by pulling together a captivating infographic that people will want to share across the web. You’re not only offering interesting information, you’re also subtly advertising your design skills.
Ready to try your hand at content marketing? Try one of these projects, or hop over to Patreon, where we'll be sharing more ideas on how to further your creative career.