For those of you who don’t already know, Banksy (a world renowned Graffiti artist) has claimed an artist’s residency in NYC for the month of October. The title of this month-long show is called “Better Out Than In”, which launched Oct. 1st. And for the past few weeks, no one has been able to spot him or stop him; however “today’s art has been cancelled due to police activity.” (see below)

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And yet, every time I see one of his pieces show up on my instagram feed, or read about him, or hear his name, I can’t help but think about the marketing mastermind he is. His instagram account,@banksyny, created solely to publish his NYC work has 24 posts and 260,000 followers in less than three weeks. Each post racks up thousands of likes. Even those who are supposed to be against him, LIKE him. Don’t even get me started on the irony of this photo:

5 Things We Can Learn

Regardless, Banksy is a marketing master and he’s got some tricks up his sleeve that we can all learn from.

1. ConsistencyEach morning, New Yorkers wake up with the satisfaction of knowing Banksy has given them a new controversial piece to seek out. Whether they’re following along via his instagram feed or his actual website it’s a sure thing that Banksy has struck again.

How you can implement this: The best content marketers give their audience something to look forward to, a sense of security that something is coming next. Whether they rely on you to insert your witty comments into the top story news reports or give them details on the latest free concerts in NYC, expected content will give your audience something to look forward to or check back on, which will increase the likelihood of them hitting the follow button.

(Also, for each photo on Instagram that includes the hashtag #Banksy, @banksynyc likes it. While I’m not entirely sure if this is Banksy himself or a fake account, this seems like a great way to interact with your audience and make your brand seem more personable.)

2. Stay Current 

In this series, Banksy has touched on everything from Occupy Wall St. to The 9/11 Terrorst Attacks; subjects that are very relevant and current to New Yorkers (HIS audience). And his controversial spin on each, has only generated more and more people to join the conversation.

How you can implement: Marketers don’t have to be controversial in order to be current. You can take part in other ways; by focusing on topics that are relevant to your audience. How should you know what’s relevant to them? ASK THEM.

3. Be Spontaneous

On September 26th, Banksy threw up this mural reading “Better Out Than In” in LA. The image had people scratching their heads and searching for answers. It was later posted on his website, which officially announced his New York residency. Why did he chose to start the conversation in LA? Only Banksy knows the answer to that.

More importantly in his vague description of the show to the Village Voice he states, “The plan is to live here, react to things, see the sights—and paint on them,” he writes. “Some of it will be pretty elaborate, and some will just be a scrawl on a toilet wall.” This keeps the public in search of his work, not quite sure what to expect next AKA they’re talking about it.

5 Things We Can Learn

How you can implement: Your content should always be fresh and new, not repetitive and boring. Readers should feel that it’s useful and tie some kind of meaning to it in order to keep reading. Do not just ‘throw up’ content to be consistent.4. Make Your Audience Want More

This installation is for the public, which is a rare occurrence for Banksy. He’s always been very careful about the availability of his original pieces, which increases the value of his product. (Ahem, anyone recognize the guy from Chicago, who bought those prints? I would LOVE to make him an offer.)

But if you ask most New Yorkers, who are following along, they’re hoping that he’ll stay and continue. Why? Because his limited, quality product has got them hooked.

How you can implement: If you give your followers what they want, they’ll keep coming back for more. When you provide the right content, they’re going to follow you.

5. Be Authentic.

It goes without saying that Banksy has a specific style. While his anonymity makes him that much more interesting, his artistic flair is recognizable. His signature stencil approach is what makes him so exceptional, which strengthens his brand as an artist.

How you can implement: Creating a certain personality for your brand will develop an interest from your following. Your brand should have one voice and one personality across all platforms. Do you have multiple people tweeting on your behalf? Make sure they’re all utilizing that voice and sticking to your authentic style. Authenticity builds confidence in your brand, which translates to more business.

P.S.
In his interview with the Village Voice, Banksy also mentioned he “feels an affinity with people who provide quality content for free on street corners.” Hmmm…doesn’t that sound similar to content marketing?

Originally published here