Viral Videos Could Sell Your Wares
Videos on YouTube have advertised just about everything else alongside their clips, why not your work? Here at Imagekind, weâ€™re starting to see referral traffic from member generated videos, driving users to their art galleries. Investigating this a bit we see plenty of opportunity for any artist who who’s inclined to create some unique video around their subjects, and market themselves while their at it.
Sites like YouTube make it very easy to get video going online, so all you need is a camera, or screen capture software (if there is a digital component to your work), and maybe some video editing software (you can find some basic applications for free online).
You might already want to use video sites like this to host video for other other purposes, but as long as your becoming your own “auteur”, you might as well fill out some details for those who happen upon your clips while browsing these sites. Going further, you could create a detailed profile that helps your audience identify and check out all your work, giving some connection to the subject matter and style of your episodes.
The crucial component in creating a video that gets watched is creativity. Keep reading and we’ll go through some of the artists we found that have tried different approaches to gain views numbering from the hundreds to tens of thousands – even over 4 million!
Doug La Rue was clever enough to add video to his promotional repertoire for his upcoming art opening, in addition to passing the announcement on to us. His video previews some of the work you might see at the event. Watch it here.
James Malone lets us into his world a little more with a lecture for middle school students that is interactive with artwork. That video is sitting around 720 views. A compelling subject like this would almost certainly entice someone to check out his work.
All of the above artists included their Imagekind profile or gallery URL right in the video description. Member artist Hall Groat II takes us one step further with his very popular instructional painting videos. He works through a piece, and has a link to his Imagekind gallery so a viewer can go purchase that very painting! Great idea.
So, Hall is taking one aspect of his art business – his instructional DVD – and uses clips to promote it, but at the same time realizing that its popularity as a free resource can pay off in other arms of his business; in this case, selling prints. This video currently has 10,200 views, and great rating. This is largely due to the usefulness and creativity of the content. Basically, the more interesting and substantial your clips, the more people are going to come back and look at everything you have – and that likely includes your Imagekind gallery.
Well known Natasha Wescoat has been producing very insightful and entertaining videos of her process for a while; even organizing them in a sort of episodic collection she calls “The Postmodern Artist Show“. She has cleverly built an audience on YouTube, and in this way has passively networked to thousands of artists and fans who buy her originals and prints. Her clips are very creative, going beyond setting a camera on a tripod, and they share the dynamic and expressive mood of the work. You feel as if you are painting right there with her.
An example of hitting the viral video jackpot is an artist who goes by the name Eclectic Asylum. He has a bevy of instructional clips that routinely get over 30,000 views within a few months. So how does he do it? By getting viewers to his page using somewhat gimmicky, but truly viral (as in – exponentially popular) video pieces. Some examples are “Speed painting with Ketchup and French Fries” and “How to paint the Mona Lisa with MS Paint“; both have had well over 2 million views. He was smart enough to use the popularity of those clips and put up more traditional (though still very creative) instructional work, knowing that people would take a look.
This artist is not an Imagekind member (yet?), however, he does use this popularity to sell his originals on Ebay. He has one link he uses everywhere, which points to his own site, then re-directs right to his Ebay auctions. So he’s got the same idea with promoting works for sale via YouTube marketing. Imagine how much success he would have with all those viewers if he had more than 3 originals at a time for sale, and in a more affordable edition, like an Imagekind print. This kind of traffic can spiral out of control and sometimes overwhelm people, but a service like Imagekind is designed to give artists a way to accept orders from 10,000 buyers if need be. So now viral popularity can be part of a promotional effort, knowing that there is a mechanism right there for sales – as long as you point people toward it!
Not everyone is going to have this kind of success, and EclecticAsylum has likely put in a ton of effort networking and fostering his YouTube audience. But, taking some of these ideas, you can certainly see how a little creativity might grab more than a few eyeballs. These clips, at the least, are another venue for you to connect at a more personal level with prospective fans.
Here’s a last quick look at a basic recipe for video marketing success:
- Be creative â€“ something entertaining, use music, use humor, have a unique point of view.
- Make it useful and relevant â€“ if youâ€™re promoting art/photography, you’re probably going to attract artists looking for insight, and engaging content can build you an audience.
- Use your URL! â€“ In your description, in the video, in the comments, etc. If you are promoting work for sale, you should probably show people how they can buy it.
This Internet game is about exposure, wherever and however you can get it. So grab a video camera, and see what you can come up with. Be sure to let us know when you do!
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