Selling art is definitely not an easy task!
Prospective buyers are very hard to reach and even if you manage to reach them, they might not be interested in buying from you unless they’ve heard your name or about your art before.
However, digital marketing has made things very easier for us & this is the right time to embrace technology.
In this blog, I will discuss about how you can leverage digital marketing & sell paintings / artwork online as an artist.
Points described in this article below will definitely help you spread awareness about you, your artwork & eventually sell more of your artwork.
Just in case you’re not familiar with internet concepts such as blogging, advertising, social media marketing, SEO – hold tight & invest some time in learning a few digital marketing concepts to learn the art of selling online
Video works really well & video marketing is currently one of the hottest trend in the digital market.
As an artist, you can create video content & promote it on various channels to get more exposure on your artwork.
The video creation & editing work is pretty time consuming but the results will be worth it.
You can create some videos & then syndicate the copies on multiple platforms like Instagram Feeds/Reels, Facebook Video, YouTube, Vimeo & more.
Having some videos on your main artwork product page can definitely boost conversions.
TO start with, you should do some research to analyze what type of videos you should create to build your credibility as an artist.
Don’t only focus on creating videos for selling paintings, you can also create videos like behind the scenes or maybe a time lapse video taken while you created that painting.
Focus on creating the type of content that might interest your users so you get increase following base over time.
Maybe some videos you can create like –
- Intro video about you & your artwork. You can use this video as a sticky video to display on your website, artist profile on other portals, or maybe in email marketing when you get a fresh new subscriber
- Frequently asked questions about your artwork
- Your story
- Why this particular painting is different
- Series of paintings around any cause or something – to support an event
Influencer marketing – as compared to other paid marketing channels – is the most efficient way to get exposure.
It’s all about connecting with various people social media that has a decent number of followings.
You can reach out to people with as low as 5k – 10K followers or as high as followers in millions, depending on your marketing budget.
If you are stringent with budget, you can connect with even less popular profiles ~3K followers to post on your behalf & share awareness about you as an artist & help you sell your products – artworks, paintings.
Below are some ways Influencer marketing can help artists get exposure on their work & eventually more sales:
- Introduce yourself to the world & build a potential follower base that actually knows you & your work.
- Stay ahead of the competition – basic rule of thumb, the more you try, the more chances of winning
- Create & build great connections
- Promote your work to a highly engaged audience at a fairly cheaper price (if compared to other marketing channels)
- You can turn this friendship into cross-promotion once you grow
There are many more benefits that you can get from influencer marketing, you just need to figure out the type of artist you are & the audience you want to target.
Sell Your Paintings/Artwork on Social Media
Unquestionably social media is the most important marketing channel for everyone.
For professionals, there is LinkedIn;
For artists & other image focused businesses, there are Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook & more.
Facebook being the largest social media channel, is love to many marketers.
As an artist, Facebook is a great platform to connect with communities & people that might be interested in your artwork.
Below are some tips that can help you get more sales via Facebook on your paintings/artwork:
- Post regularly & keep your audience engaged
- Market on Facebook groups
- Sell on Facebook Marketplace
- Run some paid campaigns as per your budget, to experiment
- Engage with audience
Instagram can be a game-changer for artists or anyone with image-focused products.
As an artist, It is a great platform to get exposure to your artworks – many times, your artwork can go viral if people really like it – and strengthen your follower base (potential collectors as well).
Over time, if you do the right work & Instagram works for you, you will establish your credibility as an artist from this platform also.
Post Regularly & have some posts in advance
Social Marketing is not easy, it is one of the toughest but interesting work in digital marketing.
To get good exposure on your profile, keep your Instagram strategy like professional social media marketers.
Posting regularly & planning your content in advance aka content calendar, helps social media marketing journey easy.
You must have at least a bandwidth of 10 – 20 posts in advance so that you won’t miss posting on any day.
User proper-researched #hashtags
You must use proper hashtags to capitalize opportunities to go viral in the Instagram explore/feed section.
Invest some time in finding potential hashtags that are relevant to your artwork & paintings. You can use some sets of hashtags like
- 7 Hashtags with 20K – 30K Posts
- 7 Hashtags with 30K – 50K Posts
- 5 Hashtags with 50K – 100K Posts
Some more tips to get maximum exposure on your paintings & artistic profile on Instagram:
- Avoid generic hashtags – Avoid using overly used Instagram hashtags like #love #picture #follow
- Avoid too popular hashtags – You can use popular hashtags but don’t overdo it, it will be like throwing needles in the ocean
- Be specific with hashtags – Just like Niche Marketing works, if you add hashtags that are very specific to your work, there are more chances of getting exposure.
- Follow others to get follow back – This works, follow others to get exposure on your profile & get follow back if someone finds your profile interesting.
- Tags some profiles that feature posts – There are tons of accounts that handpick some of the best Instagram posts & feature them in their profile. You can try finding some popular accounts (individual or fanpages) that feature artist profiles, artworks like paintings, doodles etc.
- Don’t stuff too many hashtags – This looks unprofessional. While Instagram allows placement for up to 30 hashtags, you should limit yourself to using 15 – 20 only. Keep everything simple stupid.
- Learn from others – Spying is the best thing I like in digital marketing, you should spend some time analyzing other artist profiles that are performing well & shortlist strategies that might be working for them. You can then try these strategies to sell more of your paintings.
You can also record video & share the entire painting creation phase, either time-lapse or maybe cutting clips. Here’s an example by Artist Joony Art
3. Sell on Pinterest
Another great platform for image focused niches is Pinterest.
There’s so much traffic you can get with Pinterest. After reading this blog, you can also read this blog on how to promote & sell your art on Pinterest.
Pinterest gives you a competitive advantage on the Web, including the opportunity to get your work discovered in Google Images Search.
Don’t Forget to Alt Tag Your Paintings
Using alt tag is another strategy you should not ignore since selling art online is an image focused game.
Image Alt is an HTML attribute that we specify as text to describe exactly what the image is.
This tag is used by search engines to understand the images better & is also displayed to a user when the internet is slow & fails to load images.
The primarily use of this feature on user end is for accessibility. People who can’t read can listen to this alt text to know about the image.
Just put in some keywords in alt tags that will help you get discovered in Google & other searches.
Many platforms, including Instagram & LinkedIn, allows you to add alt attributes to images.
Here’s how you can add alt tag to your Instagram posts:
Click on Advanced Settings that appears on the screen while you write caption:
Get Your Paintings Discovered in Google Search
Since your prospect is interested in buying an artwork, i.e, you painting, the artwork image is the primary element of attention.
If you optimize your images to get discovered on Google Images search as shown below, you can get hefty of traffic from here
To secure these image search result placements, below are some things you need to consider before posting your painting images anywhere online:
- Title of the Webpage (if website) & Image
- Photo File Name
- Alt Text
- Anchor text (if applicable)
You should use keywords in these placements from the set of keywords you’ve created. Don’t forget to add image alt text wherever possible as we discussed above.
Remember to not use the same keywords too many times. Google is smarter than you!
Optimize Your Paintings’ Product Page
When it comes to selling online, the product page optimization is must.
Since you are selling artwork, image(s) are the primary thing your prospect will evaluate.
Be Consistent with Images
Keep the image type consistent so that buyers can easily compare. This is very important.
For example, if you are capturing a painting on wall, keep the painting at the same placemenet on wall & capture image from the angle with the same lighting.
Keep this format consistent as this creates a better experience for buyers.
This also helps keep the product listings & their thumbnails aligned.
Unquestionably the image quality need to be utmost too!
Other things to consider while creating listing your paintings online are putting keywords in title & alt tagging your images as discussed above.
Know Your Keywords
Keywords are integral part of online marketing.
Be it social media marketing, search marketing, seo, email marketing or conversion rate optimization, keywords play very important role everywhere.
As an artist, it is very important to have some keywords allocated for every artwork you create so your paintings get best discovered from the Web.
“Keywords” are basically search terms that we type in Google to find solution for whatever we have in mind.
In order to build your online presence as an artist, you will need keywords in your day to day digital marketing activities like:
- Product Listing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Product Optimization (Title, Description, Image Alt)
- Off Page Work (Profile creation, artwork/painting syndication)
Here are a few free keyword research tools you can utilize to get relevant keywords to your artwork:
- Google Trends
- Google Keywords Planner
- Answer The Public
- Keywords Everywhere
Build A Professional Website
A website creates a sense of professionalism, & being an artist, this website would be your topmost sales channel & foundation of your personal brand as an artist.
Another reason to having a website is because if you wish to sell your artwork like painting, you actually mean starting a business, & having a website is quintessential for every business.
This website would be a place wherein people can visit our artwork gallery, know about the lastest painting you has to offer, the featured paintings.
You can share almost anything with the world via Website – Be it showcasing your artwork, telling your story, or sharing about the exhibitions you have been / will be hosting.
There’s a lot more you can do with a website – you can run a series of blog posts, gather & grow email subscribers,
Building a website is no longer tough, there are many platforms like WordPress & Shopify that lets you build beautiful website without having the knowledge to code.
Get yourself a website now & let the world know who are you as an artist
There are a few popular website building tools you can use:
WordPress is an ideal solution for artists who does not only limit themselves to selling online.
WordPress is an open-source (free to use) content management system (website building) tool loved by millions of people worldwide. It powers more than 40% of websites on the Internet.
To add additional features to your website relating to your artistic needs, you can create custom pages or add plugins.
Might be there’s an upcoming event or exhibition you wish to share with audience, or maybe, a blog that you wish to focus on.
You can easily accomplish almost everything with WordPress.
WordPress is easy to use & you don’t need to code, but you must have to invest time in understanding all the features & possibilities.
To integrate ecommerce features into it, you will have to add a “WooCommerce” plugin/extension that adds Ecommerce features to your website.
If you are non-tech savvy or don’t wish to do all these stuff, just wish to sell your artworks smoothly, then Shopify is the option for you which I’ve listed below.
If you are planning to go with WordPress, here are a few blogs I’d recommend you to give a read:
Shopify is simply the most easy-to-use tool that can help you build a beautiful eCommerce website to start selling your artwork within a day.
Unlike WordPress, Shopify comes with a paid plan but definitely makes the whole ecommerce selling game easy so you just focus on marketing & selling your work rather than investing time in improving your website.
If you have a few minutes online right now, you can sign up with Shopify here & see how the platform works.
Don’t Ignore the Optimization
You must have heard of Search Engine Optimization – the process of optimizing your website to gain more discoverability on search engine result pages.
As an artist, you should also keep this term in mind whenever you publish something in the Internet to get discovered by people.
Whenever you create your profile on profile creation websites for artists or submit your paintings/artworks to sell on third party portals / your own website, you should do optimization wherever possible.
Placeholders like name/title, description, image alt, social links, website links etc can be utilized.
- In description, type in some keywords that your audience might use to discover artists like you.
- Submit social profile links & mention your website/portal where you sell your artwork(s)
- Add alt tags to images
- Optimize images before uploading
- Add keywords in title
- Complete all the placeholders that are available to fill
- Don’t forget to add useful information that helps user make buying decision
Explore Paid Digital Marketing Channels
There are so much paid online-marketing channels you can use effectively to boost your sales.
You can leverage content marketing, video marketing, social media marketing, pay per click advertising, affiliate marketing & much more.
Such as, try running Instagram promotion for few of your arts. Just as an experiment.
Maybe 3 out of your 10 artworks get the maximum conversion rate on ads, so that you become informed to spend more budget on these 3 artworks as it has the potential to sell.
Also, with every advertisement platform you can do A/B testing to see which image, title, description, or offer converts well.
There is so much to explore & little money to lose in case your campaign fails!
But, you must understand online marketing well before starting to run campaigns, or you can learn by setting up campaigns as well. That is also a good way to learn.
But what I mean is that you must have to be resourceful & energetic enough to get the job done.
With digital marketing, there could be many approaches for getting to your goal, all you need to do is test what works best for you.
Register Yourself As An Artist & Sell Online
There are many other platforms you can create try to sell your artwork online.
Also, if you go on digging the internet, you will find many platforms where you can create your artistic profile.
Creating profile on these platforms will surely help you get discovered in Google & gain profile credibility.
One Tip: TO help Google better understand you as an artist, make sure to use consistent profile credentials – name, contact details, description<can vary> – as we SEO use NAP in Local search optimization.
Have Some Unique Selling Points
Don’t get lost in the pool of competition.
TO stand out, you must need to identify what makes you or your artwork different from others.
It will take time to know what USP you can offer, but over time, you will definitely need this if you wish to make your art as a business.
This will be an important reason for prospect t buy your at & once you get maximum exposure about this USP, it will definitely improve your sales.
As an artist, you are meaningfully different 🙂
It could be your theme, style, story, inspiration, culture, etc.
Focus on thinking what your audience want & what might impress them.
Upsell or Gift
Don’t forget to include gifts for your customers if you can afford without hurting your revenue.
If not gifting, try including something to upsell. Such as, a complete painting kit or anything that might excite your type of audience.