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How creating and nurturing a digital community can elevate a cultural institution’s presence (and increase ticket sales)

In the minds of consumers, the experience of visiting a cultural institution such as a museum, zoo, or aquarium, hasn’t changed much. Once a year, parents want to find something fun to do with the kids and decide to visit an exhibit they’ve never been to before.After a few Google searches, scanning online reviews and discussions with friends, they take a decision on a destination. Sometimes their visit is local, other times, they may decide to travel.

The truth is, digital media is changing the game for how cultural institutions can foster deep, meaningful engagement with their visitors long before they’ve visited, and long after they’ve left. The trick is breaking down how to accomplish that. By partnering with a digital agency that understands the needs of its visitors, museums and other institutions can create a digital community that both elevates its online presence, and gives more value to their audience.

At Absolute Marketing Solutions, we focus on two core philosophies to drive visitor engagement to cultural organizations.

The rule of 1 to 364

As stated above, most visitors think of visiting a museum once a year. According to the American Alliance of Museums, there are 850 million visits annually to cultural institutions, more than all major league sporting events and theme parks combined. Many visitors felt content, enlightened and inspired that one day of the year – but what is your organization doing to keep them inspired and engaged for the other 364 days?

Rather than having your visitors leave with a list of upcoming events, hoping they will return, doesn’t it make more sense to create a digital platform, a community for them to belong to? Museums and institutions need to have a way to connect with their audience year-long, and digital presents the perfect opportunity to accomplish this.

The moment of awe

Some things are just not the same when you read about it in a textbook, or see it on television. Some things are so incredible and fascinating that you have to see it for your own eyes and be physically present. This sensation is what we call the “Hope Diamond Effect,” the feeling of awe and inspiration you can only truly get by experiencing or witnessing something in person.

Institutions aren’t just placeholders or gatekeepers for physical artifacts anymore. With the use of digital technologies to create meaningful online communities, cultural and historical centers can create unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences unlike any other. A carefully crafted digital community needs to consider brand consistency both in regards to the offline and online experience to truly be effective.

By raising the bar on the live experience at your institution, and leveraging the latest digital tools to create meaningful communities with your visitors, your organization can create a lift in admissions and ticket sales in both local and outside territories.

To get started on your own digital strategy for your organization, contact the Tampa Digital Marketing team at Absolute Marketing Solutions today.

Alfred Goldberg

Co-founder and President of American Operations at Absolute Marketing Solutions. Alfred Goldberg has over 15 years of experience as a small business owner and is one of two individuals in Florida to hold the distinction of being a Mobile Marketing Association Certified Mobile Marketer.

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