"Ponto e vírgula" (2018), Maria Noujaim. Performance realizada na SP Arte 2019 - intérprete Julia Anadam (Foto: Jéssica Mangaba)
Digital marketing

The importance of artists' influence for art galleries

Caio Blanco
24 Jan 2020, 1:44 pm

It is no longer news – or at least it shouldn’t be – that digital marketing for art galleries is today a fundamental tool in the conversion and sales process. After all, there are more than three billion people around the world using social media every day, according to data from Statista. While Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp lead the ranking for number of active users globally, Instagram has been gaining more and more relevance for sectors with a visual focus, such as fashion, beauty and visual arts.

Even though most art galleries already understand the importance of an online presence through well-structured websites and Instagram profiles, many of them still fail to use one of their greatest strengths: the influence of their represented artists and their networks. The Influencer Marketing Hub, a US institution that analyzes the sector, defines the concept of influencer as one that has the power to affect the buying decision of its audience of followers because of its authority, knowledge, position and / or relationship with this same audience. In the case of artists, this applies regardless of the number of followers that they have on social networks: they are authorities in their work and in their technique, fully capable of influencing the specialized public, from collectors to art lovers in general. In addition, the possibility of following the studio routine, absorbing new references and learning about creative processes arouses the public’s eagerness to get even closer to their favorite artists.

Nathalie Felsberg, director of marketing and communication at Galeria Nara Roesler, understands the value of artists when composing a marketing plan. Since last year, Nathalie has endeavored to publicize the gallery’s exhibitions from the artist’s perspective, launching videos with a more personal touch and that, in some way, focus on the creative process of the work. This is the case of the videos produced for IG TV about the shows by Carlito Carvalhosa, Marcelo Silveira and Vik Muniz. “Each exhibition is unique, so we insist that each video is also unique and true. It is precisely this truth that makes the content have such a wide organic reach”, tells the director.

The videos are recorded in the artist’s studio or during the assembly of the exhibition, demonstrating each one’s specific work process. “We set the tone for each video based on a conversation with the artist. From there, we imagine a content and a way of telling the story that corresponds to their modus operandi and worldview”, details Nathalie. She also tells us that the artists represented form her most important influence network and that is why all the gallery’s teams – both sales and communication – are keen to maintain a close relationship with them through constant meetings and visits to studios. Nathalie explains: “we want to include collectors in the world of artists through the promotion of studio visits, seminars or talks. The collector buys not only the work, but also the artist’s voice”.

It is also interesting to note that Galeria Nara Roesler uses an influence strategy in the broadest sense of the word. For Nathalie, everyone is an influencer: artists, collectors and gallery staff. They all have a network of influence, greater or lesser, which is why this immersion in the routine and lives of artists is so important: so that these networks meet in a point of common interest and business can be generated.

It is not by chance that the main galleries on the market have placed their artists at the center of their communications. After all, building a loyal audience takes time and many artists already maintain a very healthy relationship with their followers. Raising them as protagonists of the gallery’s digital marketing is, therefore, an efficient way to win the attention of this already engaged audience. Today, Nara Roesler gallery counts with the collaboration of art historian and writer Luis Pérez-Oramas, its new artistic director, for curatorial consultancy. It is a project that, among other activities, aims to understand and give voice to the artists in the gallery’s collection: a movement to, once again, put their represented artists at the center of the debate and actions. “It is necessary to understand who the artists are and, in this way, adapt our communications so that we can have a direct impact on their audience. The artist is and always will be our most valuable voice”, concludes Nathalie.

Above: "Ponto e vírgula" (2018), Maria Noujaim. Performance held at SP Arte 2019 - interpreter Julia Anadam (Photo: Jéssica Mangaba)

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Caio Blanco is the digital marketing specialist at SP-Arte. With a Bachelor of Laws from USP and a Master’s Degree in Marketing from the University of Leeds, UK, he has worked for companies such as Google and Socialbakers. He also leads the relationship strategies with SP-Arte partner galleries.

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