Marketing Your Museum on a Shoestring


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Museum marketing budgets are seldom lavish, but that doesn't mean they can't achieve great results! In this session, we will look at ways to attract individuals and groups in larger numbers, without a big budget! This practical workshop will cover time-saving and affordable techniques including:

Using social media the right way
Creating more targeted marketing for better response rates
Why print is not over--but how to save on your print budget and create compelling materials
Email, web, and advertising that work together to save
Practical ways to craft your museum's message for maximum appeal to diverse groups, from school groups to local families
Working with fans, volunteers, and followers to create free marketing--of the best kind, word of mouth
Where the affordable advertising venues are
Working together with other venues to cut costs and get more visitors
Where you are wasting tons of money, and how to stop now

Published in: Marketing, Technology, Education
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Marketing Your Museum on a Shoestring

  1. 1. Marketing Your Museum on a Shoestring Christina Inge, VP of Marketing, EdTrips
  2. 2. You want more visitors!
  3. 3. But you can’t go over a fiscal cliff! Need a plan for effective and cost-effective marketing
  4. 4. Look at what you want  More visitors?  More tour groups?  More donors?  All of the above?  Set realistic goals and prioritize them
  5. 5. Look at what you have  More than you think!  Much of current marketing uses “free” channels that depend on current visitors and supporters  Social media  PR—not what you think!
  6. 6. Now decide what to go after!  Set realistic yet aggressive goals  Be concrete:  We want to increase bus tours by 50% over same time last year  We want double the number of school field trips  We want to grow the attendance at lectures and events by 40%
  7. 7. Targeting: key to affordable, effective marketing  People respond best to messages that strongly touch their interests  Need to know “Why should I go?” in a way that addresses their unique needs  Find out who your best 5 types of attendees are, and create marketing specifically for them
  8. 8. Targeting in action: Identify  Teachers taking kids on field trips  Their specific needs:  Address Common Core and other education standards  Age-appropriate  Bus parking  Allergy-aware food  CORI-ed staff
  9. 9. Targeting in action: Address  Create web page, brochures, materials addressing their needs  Talk to them directly: “We have great field trip programs.”  Outline what you offer, how it meets their needs, why it’s for them  People have questions—answering them helps them make the decision!
  10. 10. Targeting in action: Target  Find communities of teachers:  Mailing lists  Organizations  Online publications and communities  Facebook advertising  Word of mouth  Share your message  Measure responses
  11. 11. PR is “free” – but you work for it  Can be the most credible channel after word of mouth  Think creatively  New England Quilt Museum:  Wonderful collection of vintage quilts  Owned the intellectual property  Write about history of women, folk culture, and create spinoff, modernized quilt patterns for core audience of 28 million-plus quilt enthusiasts
  12. 12. PR done right  Familiarize yourself with the publication  Think about what the editor needs. When you do a placed article, you work for the publication  Good photos, great stories, outstanding resources appeal  Get your strongest writer  Inform, rather than promote  This is not paid
  13. 13. Social media  Single best way to get your biggest fans to promote you  Share interesting content, not just updates:  Candid photos  Trivia  Questions  Engage people  Don’t be afraid to ask for a share!
  14. 14. Email marketing  Companies get back over $40 for every $1 they spend on email  Still the best way to reach core advocates  Make sure you email with regular schedule:  Announce events and exhibits  Monthly e-news  People come to expect it!  Measure clicks on each article, to see what your attendees like!
  15. 15. Web, email, and social together  Make sure it all works seamlessly:  Consistent imagery and language  Signup forms easy to find  Social media links and calls to follow  Add information easily:  Include links to specific pages, rather than homepage  Use your blog to highlight very specific information  Keep email short and pithy, use website/blog for full info
  16. 16. Are you wasting budget here?  Large print magazine ads with no tracking  Big, untargeted mailings  Print brochures in too many locations  Not getting competitive print quotes
  17. 17. You can save!  Print ads:  Track with coupons, special web pages  Smaller and co-op ads  Mailings:  Target by household type:  Families with kids under 15, seniors, over $100K income  Costs more for list, but worth it  Tailor message to the demographics  Try mailing via a targeted list by interest group
  18. 18. Advertising: you can afford it  In addition to smaller and co-op:  Online ads—they are often a fraction of print  Google Display Network  Outbrain  Email newsletters
  19. 19. Bringing it all together  Set priorities  Look for combined campaigns:  PR on new exhibit with an  Ad in a targeted email blast and  Targeted postcard mailing and  Multiple social media posts  Re-use materials as much as possible
  20. 20. Measure!  Google Analytics  Coupon redemption  Social media tools:  Hootsuite  Facebook insights  Email open rates and clickthrough rates
  21. 21. Thank You!  Blog:   @Ed_Trips & @ChristinaInge