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MW18 Presentation: Sustaining The Heartbeat Of Your Museum’s Content Strategy

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By Eric Holter, Cuberis, USA, Nick Faber, Cuberis, USA

Access to quick publishing tools like blogs and social media should make populating your website with great content a breeze. Add to that the digitization of your museum's collections, and the options are virtually limitless. But that's also the problem. With so many content opportunities, it's easy to suffer from choice paralysis. One of the keys to knowing what content to produce at any given time is to develop a habitual and sustainable content strategy. A benefit of cultivating a viable content strategy flows from a surprising observation made by Wired's Chris Anderson in 2004, when digital retailers began to outsell offline competitors. Without the limitations of a physical store, online retailers could stock plenty of obscure releases along with "the hits". And it turned out that there was a profitable market for these niche titles. When you tallied the sales from the multitude of niche titles, the total dwarfed the sales from the hits. Anderson dubbed this occurrence the "Long Tail" effect. Museums, like brick and mortar retailers, can only put the "hits" on display. The long tail of objects in the vaults remain out of reach to your visitors. But, thanks to digital collections, the most obscure and specific items can reach their audiences, too. In this workshop you will learn how enrich your museum’s "Long Tail" with content that fulfills your museum's mission while contributing to its margin. We will discuss the following: * Building a content strategy that exploits the Long Tail effect for museums * Establishing proper expectations for how Long Tail content will perform and build value * Examples from museums of leveraging Long Tail content * How Long Tail content strategies can enrich a museum’s featured content (content related to events, exhibitions, and scholarship)

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MW18 Presentation: Sustaining The Heartbeat Of Your Museum’s Content Strategy

  1. 1. Sustaining The Heartbeat Of Your Museum’s Content Strategy Eric Holter Nick Faber Owner & CEO Director of Content Strategy CUBERIS.COM @cuberis MW18: Museums and the Web 2018
  2. 2. “CONTENT”
  3. 3. Google Arts and Culture: Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s Tower of Babel Concrete Examples of Content
  4. 4. ArcGIS Storymap Journal: For King and Country: John Henry Cartwright’s Gallipoli campaign 1914-1915 Concrete Examples of Content
  5. 5. Knightlab Story Map and TimelineJS: Revolutionary User Interfaces Concrete Examples of Content
  6. 6. MIA: Artstories: Chuck Close Concrete Examples of Content
  7. 7. De Young Museum: Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire Concrete Examples of Content
  8. 8. The Field Museum: The Brain Scoop Concrete Examples of Content
  9. 9. ● Audiences of content ● Types and forms of content ● Subjects for content Content Heavy Lifting
  10. 10. ● Local Visitors ● Tourist Visitors ● Parents ● Educators ● Students (Elementary, Secondary, College) ● Donors ● Members ● Scholars Audiences for Content
  11. 11. ● Text ● Images (standard, zoom, gallery) ● Animations ● Video ● Audio/Podcasts ● Timelines ● Maps Types of Content Elements
  12. 12. ● Exhibitions ● Events ● Scholarly papers ● Educational opportunities ● Every one of the objects and artifacts in the collection. Subjects for Content
  13. 13. Yes! That’s why we need strategy! Overwhelming?
  14. 14. Mission Strategy Tactics
  15. 15. Example Mission Statements ● “Through our collection and programs, we strive to integrate art into the lives of people.” ● “To enrich lives through exceptional experiences with art and nature.” ● “[To enrich] the community by collecting, preserving, and making accessible outstanding works of art from the world’s diverse cultures.”
  16. 16. Example Mission Statements ● “Through our collection and programs, we strive to integrate art into the lives of people.” ● “To enrich lives through exceptional experiences with art and nature.” ● “[To enrich] the community by collecting, preserving, and making accessible outstanding works of art from the world’s diverse cultures.” Mission, Management, and Margin...
  17. 17. ● Growing Digital Assets ● Long Tail Effect ● Traffic and Engagement ● Growing Opportunities to build up your support base. Is It Worth It? Benefits from the Long Tail
  18. 18. ● Provide Focus ● Describe Healthy Habits ● Create Strategic Framework ● Identify Content Opportunities Today’s Goals
  19. 19. Cuberis Framework for Content Strategy ● Projects & Productions ● Foundational Content ● Essential Work ● Blogs and Social Media Digital Stories, Online Exhibitions, Special Projects, etc. Scholarly Essays, Exhibition Information, Lesson Plans, etc. Home, About, Hours, etc. Blog, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, etc. Your Content
  20. 20. A Framework for Healthy Habits ● Projects & Productions ● Foundational Content ● Essential Work ● Blogs and Social Media Your Content
  21. 21. A Framework for Healthy Habits ● Projects & Productions ● Foundational Content ● Essential Work ● Blogs and Social Media Your Content
  22. 22. Our Focus Today: Blogs
  23. 23. Making Focus a Habit
  24. 24. A Formula for Focus Audiences + Voices + Themes + Calendar = Your Museum’s Stories
  25. 25. Who is your audience? Audience
  26. 26. Who are your voices? Audience
  27. 27. What are your content themes? Audience
  28. 28. 1. The Visitor 2. The Scholar 3. The Educator 4. The Donor Our Audiences
  29. 29. 1. The Curator 2. The Educator 3. The Marketer 4. The Fundraiser Our Voices
  30. 30. 1. Not on Display 2. Collections & Current Events 3. Behind the Scenes 4. Cutting Room Floor Our Themes
  31. 31. Our Calendar Healthy Habit = One post per theme per month
  32. 32. Our Calendar “Perfect” Distribution
  33. 33. Our Calendar Imbalanced Distribution
  34. 34. Our Calendar: Monthly Planning
  35. 35. Access Your Calendar Template: bit.ly/MW18ContentCalendar
  36. 36. Editorial Planning Exercise
  37. 37. Finding Your Stories Time to roll the dice!
  38. 38. Roll the dice! Roll #1: Audience Roll #2: Voice Roll #3: Theme 1 = The Visitor 1 = The Curator 1 = Not on Display 2 = The Scholar 2 = The Educator 2 = Collections & Current Events 3 = The Educator 3 = The Marketer 3 = Behind the Scenes 4 = The Donor 4 = The Fundraiser 4 = Cutting Room Floor 5 or 6 = Wild Card 5 or 6 = Wild Card 5 or 6 = Wild Card
  39. 39. Plan Your Story! Fill out one tab of your planning doc using your randomly selected: - Audience - Voice - Theme Bonus: Can you tie your story to a calendar event?
  40. 40. Let’s Write! Spend 5-10 minutes writing the first paragraph of the story you just planned.
  41. 41. How did you do? Let’s share our stories. How did your editorial restrictions affect your creativity? What were the challenges? Any surprises?
  42. 42. Open Discussion and Q&A
  43. 43. Eric Holter Owner & CEO eric@cuberis.com Thank you! Nick Faber Director of Content Strategy nick@cuberis.com

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