published on Jul 4, '16
Do you need to get more people into your museum? Whether your exhibits are based on science, history or art, event marketing is a great way to not only raise awareness of the museum, but also encourage memberships, participation in subsequent events, and other interaction between the community and your facility. Here are some ways museums are successfully running event marketing plans.
Back in 2003, Mark Albin, the new director of marketing and public relations at Newark Museum, didn't know what to do to increase the number of visitors coming to his museum. Through a series of phone calls, focus groups and other direct communication with not only current members and visitors, but also prospective visitors, he was able to determine that people really didn't know much about the museum at all. He realized that it wasn't that people weren't interested in the museum's exhibits; it was that they didn't understand what they'd see once they got there! From that point, Albin and his staff were able to come up with a more effective and precise tag line and increase community visibility of the museum. The number of visitors rose, and more visitors gave complimentary reviews after visiting the facility. You can accomplish the same goals by asking questions, such as, "Do you prefer exhibit A or exhibit B, and why?" or "Did anything surprise you about your visit?" Use various platforms to ask the questions, such as a social media poll or an email list.
Let's face it: Your visitors are most likely on social media. Whether that includes Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or YouTube depends on their ages and demographics, but you can bet dollars to doughnuts that they're almost definitely on one or more platforms. Incorporating digital marketing into your overall advertising plan makes perfect sense. You'll need to get creative with your museum and event marketing ideas on social media platforms. And don't be afraid to let your personality shine through! In 2011, the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Indianapolis Museum of Art started a good-natured Twitter argument over who would win the Super Bowl. The Guggenheim uses YouTube to create videos that appeal to their international audiences. Think about your target demographic, consider what events are upcoming and tap into your creative mind to come up with museum marketing ideas that will work.
Think about the most popular advertising campaigns for items unrelated to your museum. Coca Cola, for example, offers refreshment. Several different brands of beer advertise cool cars and attracting gorgeous women. Apple products are expected to make your life easier. What does your museum offer to the general public (or to your target audience) that they want so badly that it could almost be considered a need? Do you cater to an academic crowd who is in need of education and friendship with like-minded individuals? Maybe you tend to attract the most socially aware segments of your local community who need camaraderie and the idea that they're doing good in the world. Perhaps your museum is set up perfectly for families who need something entertaining and safe to do on a rainy Saturday. Think about what your ideal visitor needs from the experience of visiting your museum, and promote that in all of your events and, logically, your event marketing. If you need help managing your arts calendars and marketing events, consider signing up for SceneSquid. We make museum marketing easy, so all you'll have to do is plan and implement your events. Leave the details of getting the word out to us! Even better, you can promote your first event for free to try out the service. We want to help you make your museum a success, so visit us on the web today!