The Voice, part two

Want to read part one first? Check out this post. 

After posting my first article about the important of voice, I reached out to Erik Gensler of Capacity Interactive to do a short interview about all things voice, and specifically the success of CI’s arts marketing podcast. It is really the one of the best resources for arts marketers and in an accessible, digestible format.

Erik immediately responded to my request with some great insight, as you will read below. Please ensure to follow Capacity Interactive on their social media channels, and I recommend not only listening to CI to Eye, but also signing up for their email newsletter, so you can find out about upcoming webinars and other resources.

“With any marketing materials we have imagery and words to work with. Sometimes it can be resource restrictive to create a new image but you can always write better, “says Gensler.  “A book I go back to often is Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug. He writes, particularly when writing for the web you should write what you want to say and then cut it in half and then cut it in half again. Then it is ready to publish. I think that’s great advice.”

“As far as the importance of content marketing we need to look at our marketing as an opportunity to teach people more about our art forms. People who attend the arts are curious and the more they know the more likely they are to purchase and engage. Rather than barrage people with “buy now” messaging create content to educate and inspire. Curate your content for your biggest fans. Go for the edges. Don’t race to the middle. Don’t dumb it down. Now I’m not saying use highly technical language about your art form that is alienating. I mean assume your audience is smart and curious and educate and entertain them with your content.”

“The mission of all our content is to provide educational resources to help arts administrators do their jobs better. We inspire to lead the tribe of arts marketers. All of our content is through the lens of providing tools, inspiration and resources for arts administrators to be better at their jobs. The podcast allows me the opportunity to speak to people who I think can provide ideas and inspiration to those working in the field today.”

Why this matters:
Erik says, “I care deeply about the success of the arts and we are a mission driven company. If people like what they hear on the podcast and trust us and need help with their digital marketing then we’d love to hear from them. But I am not thinking about that when we produce the podcast. I want it to stand on its own as a source of inspiration and information. I think content marketing is most successful when you are authentically giving something away without expecting anything in return. Perhaps you do that enough and it earns you the right to ask for something. But you have to be careful and we haven’t asked anything of podcast listeners except for an iTunes review. ;)”

My prediction:
Many arts organizations don’t have money for professional development, but there are still so many resources online that can be sampled and tested that are free. I think as revenue development continues to be a challenge, arts marketers will substitute conferences and courses for time spent consuming and testing online content. What do you think?
Thank you Erik for providing arts administrators with free resources. My colleagues have attended the CI Digital Marketing Boot Camp and raved about it, and since Seth Godin will be the keynote at the next session in October, consider checking it out.


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