1) Most important in your marketing: Be FOCUSED! Get to know your customers. Know who you are reaching out to and what they are searching for. Place those keywords in your website, metatags and in the content of your message.
Google Ad Words: Can be very effective for a business to "stand out" in a Google search. Although you may not need to advertise yourself as an Artist, setting up and managing a client's Google Ad campaigns are a way of making an income. Microsoft Ads can also be used. Use Clean Links! Place direct page (subdirectory page) in the link with blue type (see example below) in the exact words that someone would use to find you or your product. The homepage is reserved for green type link. Google wants to know that you are directing the audience to an actual service or product you sell, so clean links are important. In brand messaging, use variable or AB testing of different words in ad messages to attract the most customers. Make the campaigns focused. Market one at a time. Track the campaign and see the one with the most responses and clicks will be the most successful for your business. You will be bidding on specific keywords for your ad. The more popular words are more expensive. Pay per click charged monthly to your credit card. You need to watch your budget spending tho, as these ads can get costly, especially for a small business. Actual Ad Example (links removed):
Buy Art Here
Art Prints & Posters for Sale
Custom Frame your Art Online!
Facebook Ads: These work for most internal events or specific issues related to a Facebook Fan page - not so much for ads with links to outside sources. As a working Artist, you could have a Business Facebook page where visitors become your Fans. Check out a successful painter like James Jean on FB. He's got over 16,300 fans! His artwork is awesome, by the way. A Facebook Ad can help to promote your art event that you create in FB. Then place the event on your own website, connect with Twitter, deLicious, etc. Try as many of the social media accounts as possible. The exposure will be good for your event and also increase the SEO traffic for your own website when you include links to the social media out there.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization): is more effective with keywords on your website and also in its metatags (html). You will reach higher placement in front of others with the best keywords in a search engine like Google or Yahoo.
Google Analytics: Can be used for stats on your website. In a more relaxed form, I also use WebStats or RiteCounter
Blogs: It's content can be used to promote your PR. Fill a page with information and photos of your business. Send an email with the weblink to the blog page(s) to prospective clients in your mailing list for media exposure. This electronic "press kit" is a good alternative to the printed version or send both when you are trying to get a write-up in a magazine or newspaper. It is better than sending an attached PDF or s slideshow that editors may not be able to open. Try using Constant Contact or Vertical Response to send out and track mailing list database. Link yourself to other blogs and add a link to your own website. The SEO traffic will increase for your own website when you include the links. To search for any blog, go to Alltop.com
For Public Relations: You can use the services of PRweb.com or PRBusinesswire.com These are services which need to be paid. They will blast your media release to thousands of clients with the correct tags.
Social Media: Such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and YouTube and Blogs are online venues that can help to spread your message and your brand. Yes, even as an artists, you should get used to the idea of branding yourself. What is it about you that makes you stand out amongst the others? What do you specialize in? Put these together together in your business image or logo and marketing materials and brand yourself. Social media is used for conversation, awareness, research and acquisition. You will need to manage your time, content, resources. They measure sales, recommendations, awareness and engagement. Although these types of social media named above offer free accounts, you will need to invest all these things, especially your time into them and in the end, they do 'cost' you.
Most of the information above was learnt from attending a Branding Seminar hosted by Justin Boone of www.ClearMetrics.com Thank you, Justin!