Kodkod Helps EMG Increase Website Traffic and Sales via Content Marketing

Like many business owners, Elizabeth Moss knew enough about content marketing to realize she needed an online presence for the Elizabeth Moss Galleries (EMG)—one of Blouin Art Info’s Top 500 Galleries—but she didn’t know how to achieve it. Meanwhile, she was paying for expensive yet increasingly ineffective advertising.

I was operating mostly on the old marketing model—paying for ads in magazines and hoping for press coverage. But more and more, I was seeing the ineffectiveness of this model. 

With Kodkod’s help, EMG now creates compelling content and disseminates it widely on social media, while eliminating expensive advertising. Moss’ marketing costs are down, traffic to her website is up by over 300 percent so far (in six months), and sales are up by 14 percent from the previous year. 

Limited Content and Social Media Presence

It’s a familiar story: a business owner has an essentially static website, a couple of social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter), only a handful of followers on those accounts and no real traffic to the website.

I think it’s pretty common with galleries and other businesses in general. I had some things on my website but not enough good things. I had images of my collections and promotions—usually announcements for upcoming shows—but I didn’t have any in-depth articles. And I was shouting in an empty room with the things I did have because of a weak social media presence, or what I know now was weak.

Expensive, Ineffective Advertising

Meanwhile, Moss was paying a third-party online listing company to—ostensibly—drive traffic from the third party’s website to the EMG website. But when Kodkod started tracking the numbers, Moss discovered that traffic was going from her website to the third party’s website, where customers could bargain-shop her artists at other galleries—a double-whammy. 

When Charlie showed me the numbers on that, I was shocked. I immediately went to my calculator and learned that I’d spent about $25,000 over the years on advertising that actually benefitted the listing company and not my gallery. Needless to say, I decided to drop the listing company right then and there.

Five years ago, I thought being on a listing site gave me national exposure and helped me go head-to-head against other galleries. I now know that it was putting me head-to-head against other galleries in a way I didn’t want. 

High-Quality Content, Disseminated Effectively

What the Elizabeth Moss Galleries needed was an active website regularly updated with content that was original and high-quality, additional social media accounts and a lot more activity on all her accounts.

First, Moss needed high-quality content. These days, effective marketing requires original, informative, compelling, value-adding content. 

I’ve seen—with the Google Analytics numbers—how traffic to my website increases with original articles versus other stuff. At one point, against Charlie’s advice, I focused on promotions. Charlie said that the number of site visits would drop, and they did. Also, against Charlie’s advice, I experimented with curated content—articles other people have written—and site visits dropped. 

There are no shortcuts. You need original content. And it takes solid consistency.

Second, Moss needed to disseminate her content better on social media. 

Honestly, I just thought social media was a platform for narcissism. But it’s actually a platform for connecting with customers. As long as you offer them valuable information. No one cares about my company picnic. They do care about my latest collections, though. In general, as consumers—and we’re all consumers—we don’t care about the company, we only care about what the company can offer us.

Third, Moss needed to follow the numbers. 

Kodkod works on the principle that you do what the numbers tell you to do, so there’s no guesswork. I saw it with the online listing company, and I saw it with the original articles versus promotions and curated articles.

Understanding Content Marketing

Content marketing is elusive—it’s hard to see the big picture at first, how all the moving parts come together.

I was new to content marketing, so Charlie had to educate me about it, which is a process and takes time. But he was patient with me, explaining everything—quite often more than once—until I started to see how it all works. A couple months into the process, it clicked for me… 

We publish and promote (on social media) a new original article written by Charlie; there’s a spike in site visits that day and the days immediately following to the blog page, other blog posts, artists pages and the website as a whole; there are more spikes whenever we re-promote the article; there are spikes when we repurpose the article, like into an infographic; there is steady traffic to the article and website from new social media connections—what Charlie calls “bench scoring;” and the whole thing is cumulative, like a snowball rolling down a hill, growing as it goes (Charlie’s analogy).

Unlike advertising, however, content marketing has longevity. 

A magazine gets thrown out after a couple months, but articles stay on my website and people continue to find them as my social connections grow. The money I spent getting started to build the snowball is money I only spent once, although it continues to benefit me. 

On Content Marketing, As a Whole…

For most companies, content marketing is relatively new or even unheard of, but I believe that—very soon—companies that aren’t doing content marketing will fall by the wayside because they won’t have an online presence. People just don’t understand—I didn’t understand either.

Charlie Smith