Monday, November 16, 2009

Support Your Local Arts Organization as They Connect with You Online

The idea for ExperienceLA began when the Internet was only 4 years old in 1998. Thus, when it was finally launched in July 2003 with opening of the Gold Line to Pasadena, web 1.0 was a known platform and using the Internet for marketing was beginning to hits its stride. The ExperienceLA project has gone onto experiment with different forms of social networking to increase awareness and to help the more than 1,500 cultural partners market themselves on the Internet. I've watched the National Arts Marketing Association teach its members how to use various Internet and social marketing tools, and I myself have spoken at the National Main Street Conference earlier this year in Chicago. While in Charleston, South Carolina, I have had the opportunity to observe how Blackbaud is seamlessly weaving social networking into their annual conference which attracts over 1,000 nonprofit professional from throughout the United States, including several of the major Los Angeles art organizations. To follow the Blackbaud conference on Twitter, use #bbcon.

I was given the opportunity to sit in on one session of the Blackbaud conference of special interest to Los Angeles based art organizations, and that was on eCommerce and Marketing Strategies for Arts and Cultural Organizations given by two Blackbaud staff professionals. The main take-away from this session was encouraging arts organizations to better understand their audience and to break it down into segments so as to target a specific audience. Then with so many social marketing tools, how best to have such tools be supportive of each other without overwhelming their supporters. With the end of the year coming, and art organizations continuing to be significantly impacted by the economy, trying to put these lessons to work to engage their supporters and even attract end of the year donations, is especially important.

The Blackbaud conference has a number of their sessions online over the next several days and will be archived on their site. Blackbaud is the premier non-profit donor datasbase company, but the importance of a quality database for marketing and development purposes would be its own subject to be discussed at another time.

No comments: