How Fine Art can Teach Inbound Marketers to Create High-Conversion Content

Jen Saunders
Reading Time: 5 minutes

For centuries art has been used to convey certain feelings to target audiences. Religious institutions commissioned artists to create works of art aimed at increasing parishioners and tithe. Paintings were used to influence politicians, public opinion, and to create social trends. Art was used as monetary units. Art was used as a weapon. Art was also used to spread love. Artists also created paintings to showcase their pain, anxiety, and to express the inner workings of their soul while making connections with their audience sharing similar mindsets and energies.

In the decades to come marketers deciphered both the obvious and hidden messages in famous works of art recognized by most people, slapped the paintings with a “brand identity”, and used the images to emphasize their own marketing campaigns with the goal to make connections with consumer audiences and increase sales (for example, Capital One ran a highly successful ad using the ‘Mona Lisa’).

The best inbound marketing agencies in Los Angeles to New York  strive to do the same thing: use the art and science of marketing to make deep personal connections between consumers and brands; create workflows designed to resonate with particular buyer groups by impacting their thoughts, making a human connection with their heart’s strings, and influencing their purchasing decisions. This is where content steps in and carries the responsibility. To be successful it must speak to individuals; it must hold a mirror to the consumer’s face and reveal solutions to their needs just as an art viewers at the Getty may contemplate a painting and experience a deep, personal emotion. .

Here are three masterpieces that speak to three strategies that will empower your content to convert buyers and leave them delighted with a clear immersion of themselves in the product or service purchased.

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Paul Delvaux’s ‘The Sleeping Venus’ and Your Branded Identity

Successful content reveals the energy and identity of its brand. And amazing content that converts allows buyers to see not only the face of the company in its words, but see glimpses of themselves. To the average person on the street, Delvaux’s ‘The Sleeping Venus’ appears to be a strange work of art that makes little sense. But to the right audience (lovers of the French and Belgian surrealist movement) the painting is a “clear Delvaux” and intimate self-portrait.

As a boy Delvaux was traumatized by skeletons; in his school he was forced to sit at a desk positioned directly in front of a human skeleton displayed in a glass case. He begged his teacher to let him move to another desk, but was refused. He was also repeatedly taunted by his teacher and classmates over his fear of the skeleton. The artist developed severe anxiety towards skeletons, and also towards female sexuality. As a boy his mother caught him looking at pornographic images and severely punished him. The majority of Delvaux’s paintings feature nude women and skeletons. And due to the artwork’s subject matter and clear mapping of the artist’s tormented identity, the display of spacial anxiety, and its hauntingly erotic chaos, it is one of his most popular works. Its many variations are the most highly sought after by art fans of the French and Belgian surrealist movement. All one need do is to look upon its subject matter, and they identify if they represent the “right buyer audience”.

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‘An Experiment on a Bird in an Air Pump’ by Joseph Wright of Derby & Buyer Persona Content

One of the main reasons why content, even if creative and well-written doesn’t convert, is because it isn’t focused on a specific buyer persona. Instead, it represents interests all across the board creating total chaos.

Joseph Wright’s ‘An Experiment on a Bird in an Air Pump perfectly illustrated this.The painting depicts a wealthy family being “entertained” by a scientist’s experiment (it was common for the Victorians to have entertaining demonstrations in the parlor before or after dinner). Aside from the fact that a bird is being deprived of oxygen in a cruel experiment, the other chaotic and horrific thing to notice is that, despite the painting’s portrayal of a family from the wealthy class, the artwork has multiple mentalities that conflict with one another. Emphasized under the light of the Gothic moon you have these conflicting personas represented as witnesses to the experiment:

  • An enthusiastic father explaining the experiment to his daughters
  • Terrified daughters filled with dread over the torture of the bird
  • Two lovers completely dialed in to one another, removed from the experiment
  • A man deep in thought beside himself, ignoring the experiment
  • A young man and a boy who are actively entertained by the experiment
  • A boy either lowering or raising the cage, who may or may not be the scientist’s apprentice (his role is widely debated)

As mentioned, the witnesses are demonstrating contrasting relationships to the experiment at hand. There is no order, and of the group only ⅙ of the party is responding favorably, even though the entertainment was directed to the same class of people. In terms of content used for inbound marketing, this represents a failed attempt to capture single personas drawn to the same product.

Conversion is the ultimate goal with any inbound marketing campaign. When writing content be sure to segment the consumer audience, create a  thorough buyer persona for each target group, and cater your content to the individual buyer type and not the entire client base interested in the products or services at hand.

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Georges Seurat’s ‘A Sunday on La Grande Jatte’ and Creating Workflows that Convert

Today’s buyers are savvy; they don’t buy into base content that leads them to a sales team where they get the rest of their information. With the explosion of mobile and smart home technology, buyers like to perform extensive research before making a purchasing decision. This means a finely crafted workflow that funnels people through a buyer’s journey with educational content designed to enlighten at various stages until the consumer converts is required.

Seurat’s masterpiece and its very technique helps to illustrate that it takes many pieces to convey one message. Pointalism is a technique in which small dots of color are applied in patterns to create an image. Seurat completed ‘A Sunday on La Grande Jatte’ in three stages using precise colored dots and began a movement with this technique known as Neo-impressionism.

When viewing this painting up close at Chicago’s Art Institute, you only see colored dots placed closely together; there is no logic nor does it convey an image or message. But when standing back and taking in all the pieces at once, the viewer clearly sees Parisians at a park on the banks of the River Seine. With content pieces in an inbound campaign, a single article will not reveal the entire message. Instead multiple blogs, articles and emails join together to show buyers exactly how a product or service can benefit them. This is why content in numbered volume is powerful for conversions.

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