By Susan Aspinwall, High Museum of Art
The High Museum of Art attended the November 2016 National Arts Marketing Project (NAMP) Conference on a scholarship provided by the Audience Building Roundtable of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. The scholarship grants were a joint project of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and the Georgia Repertory Theatre.
The High’s publishing department manager attended the conference and utilized the opportunity to learn about new techniques for audience engagement, meet with arts community peers to discover new ways of visual storytelling, and see examples of eye-catching branding.
The High’s online advertising banners were transformed after attending the conference. Like most arts organizations, the High Museum creates many targeted online banners to promote upcoming programs and exhibitions. Then the High monitors the click-through rates weekly to ensure that it is getting the traffic needed to ensure a successful event. The High also does A/B/C image testing so that it can quickly identify imagery that’s performing optimally.
At the NAMP conference session “Breaking Through: Audience Acquisition with Emerging Technologies,” Anneliese DeDiemar, Imagination Stage, and Kristen Friesen, The Washington Post, provided tools to stay ahead of the marketing curve. During this session, best practices were shared to acquire new audiences and create transformative audience experiences. Success stories were shared from an arts and education nonprofit that partnered with The Washington Post’s digital and print advertising team.
Helpful Tips to Engage Online Audiences
Since the conference, the High Museum has implemented these helpful tips that DeDiemar and Friesen recommended, to help engage online audiences:
- Conducting an audit to see what’s working well and what could be enhanced.
- Doing a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis to identify internal strengths and weaknesses as well as external opportunities.
- Enhancing our visual brand by utilizing software tools: Canva, a digital design tool for enhancing digital ads and Moat.com, a resource to review competitors’ digital ads from specific date ranges.
Didier and Friesen also recommended using more rich media in online advertising to heighten visibility (video and HTML5). This is something that the High Museum would like to do more of in the future.
Be Nimble. Pay Close Attention to Your Audience. Communicate Who You Are.
The High’s recommendation for peer organizations is to:
- Be nimble.
- Pay close attention to your audience by tracking online response rates.
- Create authentic online cross-platform advertising that communicates who you are.
- Deploy new creative to spark interest.
The conference provided a platform for engaging dialogue with other attendees. Thank you to The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the Georgia Repertory Theatre and the Audience Building Roundtable for providing the High Museum with this opportunity.