Online Art | The Art Marketing Agency


Català Anglès

Today we’ll talk a little about numbers, letters and percentages. Last week we had the chance to attend a seminar on online art, new platforms of online art marketing” – according to what is advertised on the storify of the day- and the use of social networks to promote it.

The event was organized by The Art Market Agency, a company specializing in online marketing in the art sector. They work mostly with auction houses, making the catalogues and trying to improve the bids with the online system in “real time”.
Moreover, they also offer seminars and training courses. The first was last September in Madrid and the second, which we attended, was in Barcelona.  They are already looking for the location of the third meeting.

Some highlights of the seminar

Throughout the morning there were a total of eight talks related to art, the art market but especially its impact to the online world. What are we interested in? Personally, as a professional of culture and heritage in the field of museums, the topic of auction houses was very unknown to me, and this was a good chance to have a first insight on how this world works.

To start Rui Ferraz from Hiscox, a British art insurance company, gave us some numbers of the online art market. For some time they have been publishing a biennial report on the status and impact of art on the network showing that, for example, online art sales are exponentially rising by 70% each year, to the detriment of the in situ purchase (a growth from 6 billion to 80 billion). This is explained in part due to the increment of young people buying mostly online art and especially low cost works. Another curious fact is that since 2013 online Sothebys (one of the most famous auction house’s) is selling items in a partnership with Ebay.

It is also important to note that Instagram and Facebook, but especially the first, are the queens of the dissemination of artwork. Auction houses are in social networks as much as artists are, in order to promote what they have, even showing lots (set of pieces that are auctioned in a day of auction) in real time. From the total sales 62% are paintings, but gradually video, audiovisual and contemporary art with new elements collectors are emerging.

The good thing about online shopping is that it is easy, comfortable and immediate. However, you can not see or touch, and from home it might seem difficult to certify the authenticity. In addition the purchase can not be returned.

Other topics discussed were cataloguing systems databases and storage lots as well as auction in real time on the internet in a rather simple and automatic way, which was explained by the Labelgrup group. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques especially for Google, and how you can, somehow, head the list of a search containing the words culture, travel or heritage. Keep in mind that Google penalizes sites with less than 500 words per post because it considers that they have a poor quality content … so be careful with microblogging!

Another important element is checking with Google Analytics and Google Adwords what works and what does not on your website and see what people search the most. For example, Google search trends showed that since 2013,”art online” searches surpassed “art” searches, so it corroborates that this topic has a growing interest. A tool called Google Speed is also interesting since it helps you to see the weight and speed of your website.

Other highlights of what was presented are the collecting and how it has been changing over time giving birth to WeCollect.com, the first art collectors club of Spain. It is a young project that advises people who would like to buy art but are hesitant because of ignorance or fear to take that step forward. They do not only advise them in the traditional way, but also inscribe the customs to courses, training, seminars, they take them on excursions to art fairs and organize dinners to make them know each other, etc.

And last but not least, bloggers and art

What is a culture or art blogger? Is it useful? Can the blogger influence the art market? It is needless to talk about the first two: healing and content management, broadcast, communication, creation and all those things that keep us busy every day. The talk given by Emma Trinidad (blog contemporaneities) and Angélica Millán (The Muse of Art blog) was basically a presentation of what is and what does an art blogger and how it is almost impossible to make a live of it, unlike for example a fashion blogger, who can get paid for putting on a clothing or makeup. However it can become a part of our presentation, a plus to our professional profile, which shows what we do, how we do it and in the best case that we are great at it.

The blog is a place for development of ideas, cultural critics and even curation. Recently Pilar DM, from the blog The Art Die, invented the word Knowmad, meaning that bloggers are nomads of the knowledge because we walk from one place to another taking it all in and learning from everything to use it in the blog and in other projects. In addition, gradually renown institutions are paying more and more attention to us, and even there are auction houses that have partnerships with bloggers who write articles for them and create interesting content about the artists whose works are for sale, thus leading to a mutual visibility.

The important question here indeed is: can the blogger really influence the art market, helping to sell a work or an artist? In the US quite sure, in the UK too, here … well not so much, but there are quite influential bloggers that make many people visit a given city, exhibition or gallery. Maybe some day we will also be one of those bloggers, who knows 🙂

Guiomar Sánchez

Cover picture: Own photograph. Abraham Villar while presenting his talk

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