Today, museums are undergoing a digital transformation.
More and more are embracing a visual influence strategy, where instead of banning photography and video, they’re actually encouraging visitors to actively take and share photos online.
Museums are lifting their curtains — curating not just art and artifacts, but these visitor (user-generated) photos too. And those collections turn into visual stories about their exhibits, culture, and visitor experiences.
By letting their personalities shine through visual influence, museums are showing the world how dynamic and fun they can be.
And a key ingredient to their visual influence strategy is CrowdRiff. These are 5 ways leading museums use CrowdRiff to attract visitors.
1 | Featuring diverse visitor experiences
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis showcases the photos their visitors have taken, with CrowdRiff galleries on each of their exhibit pages.
Every museum visitor has a unique experience. That’s something that just doesn’t come across in professional photos.
That’s why the Children’s Museum uses CrowdRiff to source visitor-taken photos, and display them in beautiful header galleries on their site. These photos capture and authentically show the variety of unique experiences people have had there.
Now, when someone wants to get a good sense of other visitors’ experiences at the Dinosphere, they don’t have to leave the site to go to Instagram or Twitter — the official website is their one stop for everything they want to know.
2 | Amplifying conversation around special events
One of the most popular events at The Royal Ontario Museum is Friday Night Live at the ROM. On Friday evenings the museum transforms into a themed social affair, where guests party beside exhibits, with food, drink, and live music.
As you’d expect, they have a hashtag dedicated for the event, #FNLROM, to encourage people to take photos.
During the event, they display a live gallery of photos tagged with #FNLROM, curated with CrowdRiff. That means more people share photos with the hashtag to see themselves up in the live gallery at the event — and outside the event, people see a flood of photos on social media, of people having a really good time at the museum, amplifying and encouraging the social conversation happening around Friday Night Live.
Then after the night is done, these photos live in a CrowdRiff gallery on their event page, for interested visitors to explore.
3 | Adding authenticity to promotional visuals
Did you know your promotional photos are 28% more effective when paired with your visitors’ user-generated photos?
Museums use CrowdRiff to harness this magic formula by curating these visuals and embedding them as galleries on their exhibit pages.
Along with their branded photos and videos, on each exhibit page, the Connor Prairie museum features a gallery of user-generated photos taken around their museum.
People know that you’re not paying visitors to post these photos, which is what makes user-generated content trustworthy. They’re unbiased and genuine visual stories.
4 | Giving website visitors opportunities to explore and discover
CrowdRiff galleries don’t just look pretty — they’re interactive and engaging. By hovering over each image, they can see the original caption and poster. They can also play the gallery like a slideshow.
CrowdRiff clients have seen their time-on-site metrics quadruple after integrating galleries.
The Museum Association of Ontario shows photos from museums all over Ontario with CrowdRiff. People can explore the gallery and discover new museums or collections by clicking images that catch their eye.
5 | Inspiring ownership and community
If you knew your Instagram photo was displayed on a museum’s official website, wouldn’t you feel pretty good? Wouldn’t you keep going back to the site to see it there (and share the page with your friends)?
Museums use CrowdRiff to display visitor photos and inspire this sense of ownership with its visitors. People can see that their own photos have real value to the museum, and it makes them feel like they have a part to contribute here.
We showcase user-generated content to give our community ownership over the museum. We want to give them a real sense that they’re involved in what the museum is doing.
Ryan Dodge, Digital Engagement Coordinator, Royal Ontario Museum
This is a gallery that the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis displays on their website, which they keep updated with CrowdRiff.
With the hashtag #atTCM, they welcome people to share their photos with everyone, and to contribute to the museum community.
By displaying their visitors’ photos, museums use CrowdRiff to show that they care just as much about its people and visitor experiences as its exhibits.
CrowdRiff can help your museum attract visitors
It’s more important than ever for museums to stay relevant with their communities — both in terms of their physical space and their online presence.
Otherwise, you’re at the risk of being left behind, as people get drawn to other places that stay on top of their radars.
CrowdRiff helps museums stay relevant, through helping them tap into user-generated content and powering their visual influence. Request a preview link to see what CrowdRiff can do for you.
Header photo creds: @nelkric