Welcoming visitor into museums, heritage sites and visitor centres can be a challenge as you are usually there to perform an educational function.
While theme parks and farm parks attraction visitors with thrilling rides or fluffy animals, there’s potentially more difficulty marketing a museum or educational attraction. So we’ve put together a few top marketing tips on how you can keep those visitor numbers up and really connect with families to tell the story of your attraction.
This one of the most important points in the whole piece, understanding who your visitors are is essential in developing a good marketing strategy to attract their attention. Just like any business you must have a target audience to create an effective strategy around. Capturing who your customers are can be as simple as recording their details at their ticket purchase or donation stage. If you have annual pass holders or ‘friends of’ scheme, you can capture more details visitor data, with the right sort of reporting you can then find out peak visitor times and even begin talking to them as asking them what attracted them to come and visit. If you can answer that key question you’re more likely to be able to replicate their answer and draw in more visitors.
If you’re struggling to find out who your visitors are and why they visit you incentivising them to take part in email surveys or ‘on the door’ surveys can be a great motivator. Why not enter everyone who takes part into a prize draw for a family pass or season ticket? By identifying who your core audience are and how they respond to your current strategy you can work on creating a better customer experience for them moving forward.
This can be a scary point for most visitor attractions, many think they won’t measure up to the big names like Tate Art Gallery or The Natural History Museum. While they have a great online presence you shouldn’t be comparing yourselves to them. Go back to point 1, think about who your audience are, they might be on social media, so think about a Twitter, Facebook or Instagram page. Using social media platforms brings you closer to your audience as you can interact with them in a whole new way. If you’re setting up a new exhibition run a naming competition to increase engagement. Best of all social media can be completely free, as long as you have someone creating your posts and engaging with followers.
It might have been a few months, weeks or years since you went on your website and tried your own user experience but we can’t recommend it enough. Usually this is the first interaction that a customer will have with your museum or heritage site. Whether its to book tickets online, find out information about your family activities or even how to find you, having a negative online experience can really put visitors off. So think about the customer journey, does you site load quickly? Is it easy to navigate? Are you answering all the questions a potential visitor may have? What is your ticketing process like? Does your site work on mobile devices? Once you’ve gone through your whole site ask other people to try it out and see if they enjoy the customer experience too.
Whilst annual pass holders, season pass holders and ‘friends of’ schemes all work brilliantly for your local audience you must think about capturing the attention of a wider audience, perhaps a family on holiday close by or someone travelling may make a stop as part of their journey. This is potentially the most challenging but there is a simple way to attract this audience in, voucher sites. While voucher or discount sites may look scary at first, they are a great way to attract visitors without spending loads of marketing budget. It also acts as a great awareness piece and gives you a huge exposure right across the UK. If you review your reports and see what days of the week or times of the year are your quietest periods you can set your terms and conditions for visits at this time to give your attraction the much needed boost.
So there are many ways you can increase visitor footfall or awareness through marketing. All of your marketing efforts should be backed up by a data centre or EPOS system that allows you to track and communicate with customers. If you would like to see a demo of how VisiSoft can help your museum, heritage site or country house talk to our friendly team.
Online ticketing, admissions, cafes, gift shops, events and reporting all on one system, all backed up by the support you need.
Your visitors deserve the best experience: VisiSoft gives you all of the tools you need to make sure you deliver an incredible day every time!