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Takeaways from "Arts Marketing in the Digital Age" With Capacity Interactive

During Philly Tech Week this year, the Cultural Alliance worked with Capacity Interactive to offer sessions around digital marketing in the arts and culture field. Here are some of the key takeaways from the event:

First, attendees heard from Capacity Interactive’s president, Erik Gensler. His keynote, entitled Your 2017 Digital Marketing Priorities, covered key elements arts marketers should be focusing on this year (because we’re all short on time, all the time, right?).  Click here to view the keynote presentation.  

Here are some of the useful things he discussed:

  • We’ve shifted to a world of permission marketing: the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them (more here Seth Godin, who coined the term)
  • Focus your efforts on mobile, social storytelling, video, search, and digital architecture
  • In a world where everything is mobile first, 39 percent of arts organizations do not have a mobile friendly ticketing path; but people are buying everything on their phones, from tickets to cars
  • Focus on Facebook (especially when short on time): it’s prevalent amongst all age groups and most users are on it daily
  • Images are “thumbstoppers” and make social posts more memorable
  • Check out Capacity Interactive’s Call to Action generator for better “Buy Ticket” CTAs and more:

Capacity Interactive also hosted marketing breakout sessions at the event, including a session onFacebook Content and Advertising, and a session on taking the “fear” out  of Google Analytics.

While we had  learned in Erik’s keynote about how images are key on social and that Facebook is the best platform to focus on, the Facebook Content session dove in a bit deeper. Here are some key takeaways from Rachel Pursell’s presentation:  Click here to view the Content presentation.  

  • Don’t stress, be like Mozart. There’s a lot you can do on Facebook in a short amount of time. Reuse your own content and “steal” other people’s content
  • Break your content into 70% of what your users want and 30% of what you want (aka 30% on promotional content)
  • Visualize everything: images make posts stronger and serve as “thumbstoppers” for when people are scrolling through social media
  • Be concise: Cut down your post length in half once and then cut it in half again
  • Shorten links ( is your friend!)
  • Be smart about videos: they autoplay silently (so make sure they make sense without sound and/or add subtitles and text!)
  • Optimize sizing (Facebook and Twitter are always changing their image sizing) Find Facebook’s current image sizes on their site.
  • Find your voice: Think about your organization’s culture, identify the community you are trying to reach and determine your role in the conversation
  • Avoid using we or us, make it about your audience
  • Don’t just boost your Facebook posts (creating ads are more effective than Facebook’s standard boost option)
  • Use dates mindfully (since ads run for multiple days, be careful of saying tomorrow, or in a week)
  • Have no time for social? Establish a routine, schedule posts, streamline proofing (Facebook posts shouldn’t require a board member’s approval every time) and be flexible
  • Look around you and steal (repost, share) other’s content
  • Save your evergreen content and post when you have less time

We also took a deeper dive into analytics. Jenny Kreizman gave us some great analytics advice, especially when it came to what we could and should do as soon as we got back to our desks as well as what would take more time (and effort) to implement.  Click here to view the Analytics presentation.  

Here are some of the key things she covered--many of which are great to share with your non-marketing teammates:

  • Analytics does not equal reporting. It gives us insight into user behavior
  • Use analytics to focus on key performance indicators (KPIs), whether that is sales, donations, event attendance or something else
  • Average session duration is problematic for many reasons, such as viewers having your page open in a tab while browsing other pages
  • If you’re bounce rate is super low, something probably isn’t setup correctly in Google Analytics: like having the tracking code installed twice.
  • Enable Demographic Reports (this is in the admin section and takes 2 minutes to enable, but you have to do it manually and it doesn’t come enabled when you first setup your Google Analytics account.)
  • Bot filtering is another thing to enable that takes a short amount of time. This will allow you to eliminate tracking of non-human site visitors.
  • Campaign UTMs is a great way to track your campaigns that will take a little bit more time to set up. Google has a URL builder to help you out:

Looking for more information? Capacity Interactive’s blog has more great information about arts digital marketing in general, which you can find on their website, including a great blog post from Jenny herself on more Google Analytics usage for arts organizations at