Digital Marketing in Art Auctions

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Auction houses field is not a typical digital context, yet, at ByTek we have been able to apply digital marketing activities in this area successfully.
MinervaAuctions is an auction house, born as a branch of Bloomsbury Auctions which, after the acquisition by the Finarte group, is based in Rome and Milan.

Minerva Auctions is a young and dynamic environment with a team of experts who have made their passion for Art, Literature and Goldsmithery a profession. A team of people grown up in the world of Auctions and who has made seriousness and transparency his belief.

Minerva’s matter

The auction houses sector is highly competitive, so emerging among the big ones, such as Christie’s or Sotheby’s, is extremely difficult.
Digital, however, is one way to improve the brand’s authority and online visibility by working on search channels, social, digital PR and Google’s display network.
This was, in fact, the first objective of MinervaAuctions, but with a consequent goal: to generate contacts interested in an evaluation of their works of art, creating a virtuous circle of evaluations and online sales.

Their main difficulty was, in fact, in composing an auction with lots of real interest to buyers. To overcome this impasse, Minerva Auctions’ desire and need was to optimize the advertising investments that, until then, had been managed in a traditional way through advertising dealerships.

Our solution

The first activity that we conducted as a digital marketing agency saw an optimisation of investments in activities through advertising agencies with a consequent maintenance of the results already achieved.
Through the managed positioning of Google Ads network Display, we have therefore ensured visibility to the brand on vertical newspapers and with specific advertising formats, with a reduction in investment of 90%.

At the same time, we started to develop advertising tests and designed a complete SEO planning, to define the main changes to the information architecture based on online user searches.
With the data collected in this way we understood how to distribute the saved budget, in addition to an extra budget made available by the client.

Our final solution saw the modification of the information architecture of the site and the opening of a new in-depth section, the Minerva Café, introducing additional taxonomies for lot classification. In addition, we started a solid Digital PR activity with original publications on blogs and magazines in order to increase the authoritativeness of the brand and the website.
Lastly, from the lead generation point of view, specific landing pages were developed for ratings and sales, conveying display advertising and search advertising campaigns that, with a limited budget, made it possible to reach the desired target.

As in every project we work on, the client followed the analysis step by step with us, illustrating the world of auction houses, which for us is totally new and unexplored.
Bringing the sale of unique pieces online as one of the few copies of Galileo Galilei’s Sidereus Nuncius is not the classic digital marketing activity and required a continuous comparison with the priceless Silvia Possanza, our partner on the project, with whom we worked from day one and who accompanied us on a truly unexpected journey.

The first digital activities were already online after the first month. With cycles of continuous experimentation, the activity went on until the acquisition of Minerva Auctions by Finarte, which still collaborates with us.

The measurement of results

Among all the results achieved, the one that is most relevant for us is the lead, the real driver of growth.
In general, the activities carried out were effective right from the start, leading to a considerable increase in the number of requests for evaluation.
An excellent result was the record sale at the first auction after the start of the campaigns, with a result of over 1 million euros. In addition, the positions obtained by Minerva Auctions have allowed a steady increase in the number of requests for evaluation and an improvement in awareness.

KPIs, measurements and statistics reveal that Minerva Auctions has almost tripled organic traffic in a year and ranked first for important keywords such as: “Rome auction houses” and in the front pages for “auction house”, “jewellery auctions”, “contemporary paintings” and “modern sculptures”.

The collaboration has gradually expanded over time, also integrating aspects related to tracking user behaviour on the platform and synchronisation with CRM.
Born as a “simple” lead generation activity, it has then turned into a path of digital transformation, which has brought advantages to Minerva Auctions also in terms of customer knowledge and general approach to communication.
This is what happens with our digital marketing consulting: our technical approach and our ability to analyse problems in depth allows a “simple” lead generation activity to turn into an opportunity for digitisation and business improvement.

 

What has been Done

Minerva Auctions relied on ByTek Marketing to improve the brand's online authority and visibility, working on search, social, digital PR and Google's display networks. All this was supported by the goal of generating contacts interested in evaluating their works of art, creating a virtuous circle of ratings and online sales.

What has been Done

After an initial assessment of a restructuring of the information architecture, we developed a tracking plan that would allow us to monitor the behaviour of the acquired users and have the main KPIs under control. We managed digital PR, SEO and advertising campaigns, optimising the media budget.

Results

The result for Minerva is an increase in search engine traffic of +180% in a year, a reduction in advertising costs and a record sale at auction of over 1 million euros on lots beaten.
Today Minerva Auctions receives hundreds of requests to evaluate works through online channels.

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