Comms

The Dos and Don’ts of Marketing

Modern artists use social media to present and promote their works. However, the social media world is massive and so diverse, each platform requires a different marketing strategy. For example, YouTube may require videos about the making of the art, or interviews, whereas Instagram or Flickr may only require images of completed artworks or promotions.

I’ve decided to study coder and designer Tom Beddard’s marketing strategy in his 7 platforms: website, Twitter, Ello, Vimeo, Flickr and Bēhance. His username, subBlue, is consistent with each platform. This makes it easier for people to find him and is a good marketing strategy than having different usernames for each platform.

Fig 1. Tom Beddard, Sub Blue, 2020.

Tom Beddard has had a website up since 2008. He regularly added his work onto his website in 2016 to show his latest creations to his target audience is developers and artistic people. Much like Sarah Meyohas, he sees the connection between two distinct worlds, art and maths, and wants to show others the similarities. This website has been successful with his old blog posts having 10-50 comments each. In 2013, Beddard created a new site (same link) that matches the trending designs for websites. From the beginning, he slowly reduced the number of posts per year, leading to only two posts in 2013, his last blogging year. He seemed to have lost interest in blogging or ran out of ideas as to what to blog, as he works on a single project for a long time, in his second to last blog, Introducing Frax, he showed a project he has been working on for two years. This possibly means that he does not have much new work to show through his blog posts and he, therefore, decided to quit blogging. He seems to work on his website alone as he is very casual and more engaging-based than professional-based. Since he is targeting both artistic and mathematical people, he wants to talk and communicate in a way both worlds can understand, as well as giving them the space to interact and communicate with one another visually, which has been very successful.

Fig 2. Twitter, Tom Beddard (@subblue) on Twitter, 2020.

Beddard joined Twitter in 2008, with a total of 4,301 followers and 1,908 tweets, he does not have a normal schedule for posting. He posts 1-3 times in a week, with a few weeks of no posting, then posts 1-3 times in a week again. While his posts do consist of good marketing strategies – by promoting himself and others, as well as retweeting others’ posts – his inconsistency damages the usefulness of marketing on Twitter. Twitter is a high-paced platform which requires multiple tweets per day. A study done by Adobe Spark recommends 3 tweets per day [1], something Tom Beddard cannot achieve with his busy work schedule. The study also found that Twitter should be used to make conversations as well as regularly responding and treating followers like friends. Beddard does not really engage with his followers, but he does sometimes respond to other tweets. If Beddard wants to succeed with his marketing on Twitter, he will have to post more regularly and engage more with his followers. His target audience on Twitter is friends and family as well as other developers, artists and mathematicians. Twitter is #4 most popular media platform in the world and is used mostly by people who have graduated from college and have an income of more than $75k USD, being the perfect marketplace for Beddard to find developers and artists. Especially nowadays, with social media on the rise and people tweeting more often than ever, it’s easy for Beddard to talk and tweet towards his audience, helping make him appear more human and engageable, as he shares his own opinions and thoughts, rather than just posting finished works.

Fig 3. Ello, Tom Beddard, 2020.

“Ello is a global community of artists dedicated to creative excellence.” [2] Beddard had only signed up for Ello.co in 2015, after becoming part of KPV LAB Berlin, Germany, possibly as part of their marketing strategy. With only 36 posts, Beddard has gained almost 9,000 followers and 370,000 views. He posts 3D and GIF artworks about 7 times a year, in clusters. Tom Beddard’s presence on Ello is great. This platform allows his work to be shown in its uttermost beauty, with moving images and still pictures filling up his page. He uploads his creative work along with their names and sometimes a small sentence about them, perfectly reaching his target audience of other artists and developers who want to explore the community and get inspired by others’ works. I believe his marketing strategy for this website is very well thought of.

Fig 4. Vimeo, subBlue on Vimeo, 2020.

Beddard has 34 videos on Vimeo, with a total of 412 likes. He also has 4,632 followers and has one of his videos selected for Vimeo’s Staff Pick, reaching a total of 1.1 million views. Beddard’s Vimeo consists of short, mesmerising videos of his works alongside nice music and short titles. He only posted in 2010-2012, about 17 times a year, more often than his other social media platforms. However, he decided to stop posting onto Vimeo as it was not a very popular website, mainly targeting adult and news content, it was not the most successful platform for Beddard long-term.

Fig 5. Flickr, subblue, 2020.

With almost 1,000 photos, Beddard only has 913 followers. This means that he gained less than 1 follow per photo, which is one of the reasons he left Flickr in 2015, the other being that he started working for KPV LAB, wanting to focus his marketing in other areas that fit his target audience better. Flickr is a website mainly used for photography interests. Beddard has shared his mathematical art, hoping to reach more artistic people, but because his target audience were not photographers, it was difficult for him to gain the attraction he wanted. During his 9 years on Flickr, Beddard posted more than 100 photos a year, only receiving one comment every few images. Sadly, his marketing strategy was not successful on Flickr and he decided to leave the community.

Fig 6. Behance, Tom Beddard on Behance, 2020.

Much like Flickr and Vimeo, Beddard has not posted on Behance since 2015, after joining KPV LAB and changing his marketing strategy by reducing his reach towards artistic people and increasing his reach towards developers, as it matches more with his current work. With only 4 works, he has received 6,043 views and 147 followers, which has been very successful for him during his time on Behance. His target audience on Behance are artistic people and he engaged with others by liking different artworks and appreciating them. Overall, his marketing strategy on Behance was quite successful, as he personally interacted with others and reached towards the artistic audience. However, as his working path has changed towards a more developing aspect, he decided to leave Behance and focus on his work instead, as he felt accomplished with his position in life.

Fig 7: 1.4, Patterns of nature, 2012, interview.

During 2010-2015, Beddard used to do film screenings, interviews, books, magazines, commissions and installations, and talks. This marketing strategy was very successful as it helped him gain a following and receive feedback. With a total of 7 talks, 6 interviews, 4 commissions, 12 film screenings and 7 books & magazines, Beddard had successfully gained himself an audience of artistic and mathematical people. However, once he received a job with KPV LAB, he felt he no longer needed a busy marketing strategy, and reduced his marketing strategy to consist of only his website, Twitter, and Ello.

Beddard has never used Facebook or Instagram. Perhaps because he is in his 40s, and Instagram is most popular by 13-30-year-olds, he decided his target audience is not found there. Perhaps, because Facebook, Inc. owns both Facebook and Instagram, he did not want to join these platforms because of a personal dislike towards Facebook, Inc. Either way, I do not know why he is not on these popular platforms, as they could easily help him reach many artistic and social people who would be willing to follow him and learn about his work.


Footnotes & Appendices


[1] “How Often to Post to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest | Adobe Spark.” Adobe Spark Blog. Accessed May 5, 2020. https://blog.adobespark.com/2016/05/06/how-often-to-post-to-twitter-facebook-instagram-and-pinterest/.

[2] Ello. Accessed May 5, 2020. https://ello.co/.

Fig 1: Beddard, Tom. “Sub Blue.” n.d. https://sub.blue.

Fig 2: “Tom Beddard (@subblue) on Twitter.” Twitter. Accessed May 5, 2020. https://twitter.com/subblue.

Fig 3: “Tom Beddard (@subblue).” Ello. Accessed May 5, 2020. https://ello.co/subblue.

Fig 4: “SubBlue on Vimeo.” Vimeo. Accessed May 5, 2020. https://vimeo.com/subblue.

Fig 5: “Subblue.” Flickr. Accessed May 5, 2020. https://www.flickr.com/photos/subblue.

Fig 6: “Tom Beddard on Behance.” Behance. Accessed May 5, 2020. https://www.behance.net/subblue.

Fig 7: “Patterns of Nature.” 1.4. Last modified July 27, 2015. https://www.onepointfour.co/2012/02/15/patterns-of-nature/.


Bibliography


Beddard, Tom. “Sub Blue.” n.d. https://sub.blue.

“Digital Marketing Artwork on Brown Wooden Surface Photo.” Beautiful Free Images & Pictures | Unsplash. Accessed May 5, 2020. https://unsplash.com/photos/SB0WARG16HI.

Ello. Accessed May 5, 2020. https://ello.co/.

“How Often to Post to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest | Adobe Spark.” Adobe Spark Blog. Accessed May 5, 2020. https://blog.adobespark.com/2016/05/06/how-often-to-post-to-twitter-facebook-instagram-and-pinterest/.

“Patterns of Nature.” 1.4. Last modified July 27, 2015. https://www.onepointfour.co/2012/02/15/patterns-of-nature/.

“Social Media Demographics to Inform Your Brand’s Strategy in 2020.” Sprout Social. Last modified January 15, 2020. https://sproutsocial.com/insights/new-social-media-demographics/#FB-demos.

“SubBlue on Vimeo.” Vimeo. Accessed May 5, 2020. https://vimeo.com/subblue.

“Subblue.” Flickr. Accessed May 5, 2020. https://www.flickr.com/photos/subblue.

“Tom Beddard (@subblue) on Twitter.” Twitter. Accessed May 5, 2020. https://twitter.com/subblue.

“Tom Beddard (@subblue).” Ello. Accessed May 5, 2020. https://ello.co/subblue.

“Tom Beddard on Behance.” Behance. Accessed May 5, 2020. https://www.behance.net/subblue.

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