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.
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.
Most of the invites I get are standard press ones, which is a good place to start. There are many museums who want to work with influencers yet never invite them to press views #MuseumHour
— Museum Mum (@museum_mum) March 11, 2019
— Maxwell Museums (@maxwellmuseums) March 11, 2019
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.
This is from our recent influencers shoot arranged by H&M. They paid us for the shoot, all the influencers geotagged Standen and this one pic alone got over 24,700 likes in a few hours. We maximise it by interacting with their followers. #museumhour … pic.twitter.com/K7RYtpycil
— RichardG (@GrudzinskiRg) March 11, 2019
The impact of engaging with influencers is clearly there. The discussion then continues on what Emily thinks about Museums:
Online Influencer on Museum
Yes – if it was an exhibition that was really relevant to my blog and my audience! But I'd be more excited to come to something really unique and interesting – if you want to attract influencers it pays to think outside the box sometimes #MuseumHour
— Emily Luxton (@em_luxton) March 11, 2019
Yeah definitely. You need to offer something cool. Something different, fun and interactive that people actually want to show off on their feeds. #MuseumHour
— VickyFlipFlop (@VickyFlipFlop) March 11, 2019
Emily also shares a few tips
— Sam Elliott (@SamElliott1) March 10, 2019
I think you want to find some bloggers/influencers in your area and invite them over. Reach out online! You could even host a special event – like an after hours photo shoot evening! #MuseumHour
— MuseumHour (@museumhour) March 11, 2019
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.