Digital Lab. Byard Art. Experimenting with paid promotion.

Digital Lab. Byard Art. Experimenting with paid promotion.

By Francesca Ramsay


The second blog by Francesca Ramsay, Assistant Manager at Byard Art as part of her Fellowship at AMA Digital Lab.

After having sorted the SEOs of our website, to ensure we are as Googleable as possible, I decided to experiment with different forms of paid promotion, to make sure our potential clients knew to look for us in the first place! We currently have a very unsuccessful online shop. It is a relatively new venture, and nobody has yet expended any energy in promoting it. This is something we really need to focus on, especially in the run up to Christmas. 

To work out where to focus our advertising, I ran a short week-long experiment on Facebook Ads Manager, using paid promotion to advertise our online shop on both Facebook and Instagram. I only wanted to spend £7.50 a day, as we are unwilling to fork out a whole load of cash without knowing if it will be reimbursed through sales.   

I was pretty sure that our reach would be far more successful through Instagram. We already have a high like rate on the pictures we put up, so I wrongly assumed that this would translate into reach. Within the time span of my experiment, we reached over 4500 people, with Facebook having double the reach to Instagram.  

Getting to grips with Facebook Ads Manager was useful, especially as I now know I can use it to make simultaneous Instagram ads. I also recently took part in Devon Smith’s Google Analytics session. Both these platforms, used in correlation with each other, have given me the tools to deeper understand our audience and what they want. Although I had guessed it with our physical audience(and even made a customer profile), using the audience tools on both platforms, when looking at the reach of my advert, I now know for sure that the majority of our online audience are female and over forty five. Though male reach was in the minority, the male audience had stayed in the same age bracket.  

Unfortunately, although my advert has had an audience, this hasn’t translated into online shop sales. In fact, no one of the 4500 people bought a thing. Why is this? The lack of interest doesn’t correspond to the physical footfall or buys we get in the gallery, which in turn doesn’t correspond to a booming online market compared to wilting high streets all over the UK. Are we an anomaly, or is our online shop just not good enough?  

Although we sell things from about a tenner, all the way up to the low thousands, we have focused on putting high value items in our online shop. This is something I have wanted to change since I began in this job, and now I have evidence which will enable me to do so! People are far more likely to buy smaller items, jewellery and so forth, online, rather than huge artworks. Few people will spend £3000 on something they haven’t seen in the flesh, from a gallery they don’t know in person. However, I believe that they will buy smaller items with smaller shipping prices. I am going to focus on adding these items to our shop, launching the jewellery section early next year, ready for Valentine’s Day. Watch this space… 

Francesca Ramsay, Assistant Manager at Byard Art

Resource type: Articles | Published: 2020