Museums are exquisite affairs that we all seek to experience once in a while. However, for decades, places like museums, aquariums, etc., have solely relied on in-person visitors from around the world. That is to say, you can only experience the glory of a particular museum if you are physically present in that place. But things have changed now!
Especially with the massive wave of COVID-19 shutting every doorway for visitors and travellers to explore different places, the digital evolution came rushing. And it is no different for museums. As a result, museums and other similar industries are now trying to get creative by attracting audiences through digital platforms.
So, let us walk through some museums and their online engagement strategies below. We will also try to understand why these strategies are important.
Online Museum Engagement Strategies
While there may be different approaches opted for by different museums and galleries, the most common strategy lingers around social media. Social media has become the next big thing in this generation of digital marketing and virtual engagement.
Utilizing Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, etc., have become the easiest way for museums to engage with audiences. Now, museums are trying to build a strong follower base and turn them into potential visitors.
Over the past few years, museums have developed many creative and innovative tactics to attract visitors and keep their businesses relevant. Especially on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, museum pages are sharing their latest information, images, videos, and educational notes, allowing new audiences to navigate easily.
Above all, many museum pages are now holding contests and user-generated challenges. They are asking their followers to share their experiences, recreate art collections, and promote their pages to win prizes. As a result, hashtags interlinked with the museum pages are giving them exposure and increasing potential visitors.
Other tactics include virtual viewing events, trivia sessions, etc. Most museums have on-site movies or videos for visitors. Now, they are making them available online so that audiences can get a virtual tour from home and engage more with their content. In turn, it is increasing the potential of turning viewers into visitors in the near future.
Building A Strong Website
Earlier websites were merely present without much content. But, with the rise of online presence and audience, every museum is trying to build a strong web page.
The website is probably the first thing a visitor comes across when they search for a particular museum. Hence, it has become an important affair for museums to showcase their research and offer original and expertly written content on their websites.
Especially with Google’s helpful content system and rater guidelines, museum page handlers have become more cautious and attentive. They are now providing blogs and articles expertly written with original content.
Google privileges content that can educate the general public by making an original contribution. Hence, museum pages are now performing keyword research, including attractive headlines and language, to rank higher on search results and reach a larger audience.
Virtual Events And Lessons
VR/AR programming and virtual exhibitions have also become quite popular post-COVID. Especially for the public who do not want to attend museums physically or are disabled, virtual exhibitions have become a primary solution.
Furthermore, virtual lessons for the public are another very engaging tactic that museums have opted to impart knowledge. Especially by sending email invites, museums have been able to attract a lot of viewers and attendees to their virtual meetings and exhibitions.
Since not everyone is on social media, email is still an effective means of communicating and welcoming loyal subscribers.
Why Build Online Engagement Strategies?
While COVID-19 must have become an acute reason why museums are trying to engage audiences through online means, there are more reasons that tell us why. Let us read a few of them:
Engage A Larger Audience
While on-site visitors play a great role in museums by making the experience whole and meaningful, there is a large group of people who would like to join but cannot. Especially for disabled people, virtual tours and exhibitions of museums have resulted in a great initiative.
Moreover, audiences from the age of 18 to 34, called millennials, rank lower in the visitor percentage. And since half the population covers people of that age in most countries, it has become essential to engage them through innovative methods, if not physical visits.
Further, with the digital age rushing, people are more comfortable using their gadgets than travelling to places to gain knowledge. They are more pleased accessing information in seconds through the internet and indulging in entertaining methods and experiences. Hence, now more than ever, museums are trying to find innovative online strategies to link with millennials and catch their attention.
While visiting museums can be a whole new experience, most museums are not able to show their full potential. In most cases, only 2 to 5 percent of items are displayed for public view in museums due to a lack of space or capacity. This is also because most ancient artefacts are too fragile to be displayed outside or too huge to fit in a room.
In such cases, online engagement plays a vital role. Especially for people who are keen to explore historic artefacts and architecture, digital archives with high-resolution images and videos have become the best solution.
Create Chances For In-Person Visits
Most people do not visit museums in person because they are uncertain if they will enjoy or understand them. But once they go through virtual lessons and exhibitions and get the jist, there is a high chance that they will want to witness the wonders in person.
Hence, if a museum builds the right virtual presence and offers the right impression, it can turn its followers and viewers into potential visitors in the near future.
To conclude, museums and other industries like aquariums and zoos have been trying to incorporate digital tactics to improve engagement in recent times. It has become an essential task for museums to keep themselves relevant in difficult times.