When we talk about getting an audience, it is safe to say everyone knows how important marketing or publicity is for any business or organisation. Currently this includes, for the most part, press and media coverage. Whether it is mostly-filled- with-advertisements local newspaper or the beacon that is national newspapers and media.

However, people’s consumption of media has changed a lot in the last decade. There is a falling demand for print media and loss of local news titles. The power has shifted from curated, regulated and traditional editorial system to the general public as they create, curate and regulate their own media, digitally, online. This is known as user generated content or user created content.  YouTube, Wikipedia, Tripadvisor and many others are examples of this.

Your regular Johns and Janes are chosen by their viewers or readers, the general public, as a reliable source of information. They become Influencers (Vloggers, and Bloggers) others become Followers (audience). People trust people. Not those personalities that have been created by big corporations; I suppose one can say that age old Word-of-Mouth method with a digital reach.

Example of data from Youtube

Google research shows that 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers relate to Vloggers more than traditional celebrities.  It also shows that 4 in 10 millennial (Born 1981-1996)  Youtube subscribers say that the influencers they follow understand them better than their friends. 70% of YouTube subscribers says that YouTube vloggers change and shape culture.

You may be wondering how many people subscribe to YouTube and how many of them are millennials. 2 billion people subscribe and actively use YouTube (source). In the UK 96% of millennials use Youtube.

Commercial Brands and Companies

The marketing team of a lot big brands from cosmetic brands to fashion brands now include engagement with Influencers in their communications strategy. Press releases and invites now include bloggers and vloggers. Brands work with with influencers to promote their brand and work in a lot of different ways, from sending them product samples to setting up a gathering in Maldives. An example of this is the cosmetic brand Benefit, who held an all inclusive gathering in the Maldives for influencers last year, simply to promote a $24 each new mascara product (source).

If you regularly use social media, and follow particular influencers, you may notice they mention things like: Collaboration, Gifted, or Sponsored. This means that a brand paid them to talk about a particular product or experience.

Heritage Sites & Museums as a visitor attraction

This trend certainly has not missed the travel & tourism industry. There is a specific type of Influencer called Travel Influencers. They travel, and post up their experiences online and followers use the information to plan their next trip. Tourism destinations now invite Travel Influencers to experience their destination.

Here is an example of a Vlog from Emily Luxton, an award winning Blogger and Travel Influencer who was a guest of  Indian Tourist Board.

 

As heritage sites and museums are part of what makes a place a tourism destination, we wondered whether they considered Influencers as part of their communications. So we asked.

We worked with @MuseumHour an influential twitter account for the museum sector, to host an hour of conversation between people working in the museums sector and Emily Luxton.

Museums on Influencers

To summarise, at the moment not a lot of museums consider online influencers yet. Except, big London museums such as: British Museum, London Museum of Transport and the Science Museum.

A comment from the discussion also shows that for heritage attractions, you might not need to be engaging yourself with an influencer, but you can be a venue for influencer meetings or photoshoots.

The impact of engaging with influencers is clearly there. The discussion then continues on what Emily thinks about Museums:

Online Influencer on Museum

Emily also shares a few tips

If you want to read the entire discussion please see our Twitter Moments here.

Tips from Travel Blogger for Museums

Emily has also kindly made several Vlogs for museums including How to Work with Travel Blogger.