Are you interested in learning how to use Instagram to promote your art? In this post, Nadia will share her tips on how to make the most from your Instagram account.
How to use Instagram to promote your art
Guest Post By Nadia Eldemerdash
When it comes to visual content, there’s no social media platform better than Instagram. The photo sharing app has 500 million active monthly users sharing over 95 million photos and videos every day. Those users are also responding to other people’s content – according to Instagram Advertiser Statistics, 75 percent of Instagram users take action on posts, such as visiting a website.
For artists whose media are inherently visual, Instagram offers an excellent opportunity to capitalize on an engaged user base to market themselves and their work. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re using your Instagram to its greatest capacity.
Create a calendar and post consistently
A crucial aspect of audience engagement is consistency. Your audience should have a good idea of when they can expect new content from you, so it’s important to get organized from the start. Create a content calendar that details what you’ll post and when, and schedule posts ahead of time so that you don’t fall behind or lose track. There are plenty of programs and apps that allow you to do this – Buffer is a well-known one that has the advantage of also allowing you to schedule posts to platforms like Facebook and Twitter. It’s also free for up to three platforms.
Keep track of your hashtags and keywords – and be creative with them!
There’s a lot of controversy around hashtags, but so far they are still the easiest way to put yourself in front of your target audience – posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6 percent more engagement than those without. When you’re using hashtags, think outside the box a little; if you’re an artist based out of, say, Denver, include the hashtags #denver #denverartist #denverart #denverartscene. Location is a great way to connect with people, and who knows what opportunities could arise from it? As a writer, checking out location hashtags is a great way for me to brainstorm ideas for the magazines I write for, many of which are interested in local content. You can also use resources like www.keyword.io to help brainstorm creative hashtags you may not have considered.
Invest in the right equipment
Because Instagram is such a visual platform, it is important that your photos and video are of the highest quality. Particularly with the sheer amount of content available these days, the online audience expects high-quality content and will be turned off by anything less. While smartphones today have excellent cameras built-in, you may want to consider investing in a professional camera to get the best results. You may also want to look into purchasing a tripod and lighting equipment, depending on the nature of your work. Familiarize yourself with what’s available and see what makes the most sense for your work and budget.
Educate yourself on best photography practices
In a similar vein to the last point, if you don’t have any formal photography experience, you might want to look into taking a course or finding other resources to get you started. You should also familiarize yourself with concepts like exposure, clarity, saturation, etc. so that you can edit your photos effectively. Your art is beautiful and you want to make sure it looks its best online!
Engage your audience by asking for their feedback
Social media is about being social, so talk to your audience! Ask for their feedback on your work, invite questions, or ask them to visit your website. It may seem a little silly when you only have a handful of followers, but it’s a great way to get engagement on your posts.
Be creative with your content
If you simply post photo after photo of your art, your audience may get bored – and it’s not a very good use of Instagram, either. The platform is a great place to promote sales and giveaways, announce new products or projects, and, perhaps even better, show off your art at work!
Take a look at this post from creature.creation. He sculpted this skull pendant, but instead of simply posting a picture of it to his Instagram, he put it on a cord and styled it, showing his audience (and potential buyers!) what it looks like in action.
Provide value through tutorials and other resources
Many of your followers will likely be aspiring artists themselves. Take advantage of Instagram’s video capacity and Stories feature by creating tutorials on your work. If it’s a long process, you can speed up the video or include a snippet, and then put a link in your bio that redirects to a full video on your website or YouTube. You can also post about the equipment and tools that you use and the resources that you find helpful. By providing your audience with this kind of value, you’re establishing yourself as a resource and building your brand, which is crucial for any kind of creative professional. It is also a great way to mix it up with your content.
An artist who does this really well is Marouane Bembli, or thesketchmonkey on Instagram. He regularly posts videos of himself at work, and his bio includes a link to his YouTube page, where he posts full tutorials.
Collaborate with others in your niche to expand your network
A lot of success on social media is based on engagement and collaboration with others in your niche, rather than strict competition with them. Reach out to artists doing similar work and see if you can collaborate or cross-promote. This is a great way to reach an audience you already know will be interested in your work, and you get a new art buddy to boot! #FollowFriday is a popular hashtag on Instagram for exactly this reason – and it’s a great place to start.
You can also submit to collaborative profiles that feature many artists in the same niche. Take a look at this page, art. It is run by a collector’s studio to promote emerging artists. Tagging them in your posts could introduce over 240,000 people to your work. But before you contact a page like this, make sure you visit their website and understand the kind of work they promote.
Run a tight ship
If you’re going to create an Instagram account for your art, it should be for your art and your art only. On occasion, it may be appropriate to post a picture of yourself in an “artist behind the scenes” vein, particularly if you’re using the Stories feature, but keep it limited. Your followers are here to see pictures of your work, not of your dog.
Direct followers to your main media outlet
Social media is a great way to connect with people and take charge of your own media presence, but it needs to be part of a wider strategy. Make sure to include a link in your bio to your website where you can collect email addresses, make sales, and demonstrate your knowledge and skill. If you primarily sell on Etsy or a similar platform, include a link to your profile there.
Take a look at strokesinthesand. Her bio includes just a simple sentence on how to contact her, along with a link back to her Facebook page, which is her primary form of engagement and outreach.
Building an audience takes a lot of time and commitment. It can be frustrating to be posting every day and see no immediate increase in followers and engagement, but if you stick with it, you’re sure to get results. In the meantime, enjoy your work and know that there are people out there who are seeing it and loving it.
About Guest Post Author Nadia Eldemerdash
BIO: Nadia Eldemerdash is a writer, editor, and media strategy consultant based in Las Vegas, Nev. She works with freelancers and entrepreneurs to create compelling stories that put them at the forefront of their fields. Nadia is also an avid consumer of pop culture and writes reviews and critiques of her favorite books, movies, and shows at Creative Quibble.
You might also be interested in:
- 4 Social Media Monitoring Tools For Artists Selling Online
- 12 Twitter Marketing Benefits for Artists
- 11 Ways to Build Trust on Social Media for Artists
- 7 Essential Tips on How to Sell Paintings Online
Are you on Instagram? I would love to hear your thoughts about Instagram in the comment section below.
Learn how to start, grow and monetize your online art business.
eBooks by Dave Nevue
Art Marketing Video Courses by Dave Nevue
Art Marketing Resource – All of the tools I use and recommend for my online art business.
28 Day Blogging Challenge
Are you ready to start building an online presence?
Take the challenge and join all of the other artists selling their art online.
28 Day Blogging Challenge for Visual Artists By Dave Nevue
The Productive Artist How to Live Your Dreams The right mindset and time management skills are essential for any business. These topics are often not talked about but are key elements for your success. You will learn how to have a winning mindset and time management skills necessary for operating a successful art business. Available at Amazon or Download today.
Graphite Drawing by Dave Nevue