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16 Essential Digital Resources for Museums

It’s an exciting time to be a marketer in arts & culture. With so much new tech in digital marketing, museums are able to reach larger audiences with more engaging experiences than ever before.

At this scale, it can be tough to keep up with trends in the world of museum marketing.

That’s why we pulled together this roundup of great publications, blogs, and one-of-a-kind resources for museum marketers that make it easy to stay up to date with what’s happening in the industry.

Let’s get started!

1 | Museum Revolution

Museum Revolution is an online publication run by TeamWorks Media, a marketing agency with deep museum experience. The team writes about how cultural institutions can harness the power of digital technology to scale experiences and strengthen messaging.

Museum Revolution focuses on topics from digital innovation and guest interaction,  to Q&As with museum directors and unique marketing campaigns. Whether you’re looking for fresh ideas, or ways to use the latest technology, Museum Revolution is a great place to start.

Recommended reading: Art Museums’ Social Campaign Hits a Home Run: Q & A with Christopher Moore of the Cleveland Museum of Art

2 | The Andy Warhol Digital Strategy

Looking for a place to start with your digital strategy or for some fresh ideas? Real, shared strategies are a great place to look for frameworks and ideas. Thankfully, some museums, including The Andy Warhol Museum are starting to put their digital strategies online. Check it out for the insider scoop behind the museum’s digital success.

3 | Cogapp’s Museum Reading List

Cogapp is a digital media agency and industry leader in producing software for museums and online archives. They maintain a blog, specific to technology in cultural organizations. Subscribe for real-world museum case studies, reading recos, and strategy tips from folks who do this every day.

Recommended reading: Digital Strategy For Museums Reading List

4 | Marketing & Museums Fact Sheet

This fact sheet from Museums & Galleries of NSW  is a great resource for small museums operating with little budget and a staff that does it all. If you find yourself handling the marketing of a museum and want a quick read into the basics of the discipline, check this out for a high-level starting point.

5 | Museums and Digital Strategy Today

Some of the best learnings come from live conversations with your peers. In this article, from The American Alliance of Museums, moderators share key takeaways from a candid discussion at MCN 2017 around digital strategy and the museum, titled “Strategy 3.0”. The talk covers varying opinions on questions like “ Is there a digital strategy at all? Or is it just museum strategy?”

6 | 10 Museums Winning at Visual Influence on Instagram

Most museums are on Instagram, but many are mostly using the platform to make the occasional promotional post. Check out this read for examples of museums who have gone beyond promotional posts, crafted winning visual identities on Instagram, and harnessed visual influence.

7 | Continuum

An open-access journal run from Australia, but with an international scope. Continuum is a highly regarded and cited academic journal of media and cultural studies that identifies and discusses new areas of investigation and enquiry in the media and cultural fields.

Come here for academic, well-researched pieces, critical examinations and expert analysis on core issues in media and culture today. Continuum publishes 6 issues per year.

8 | #MuseSocial

The #MuseSocial hashtag was created by social media practitioners at museums who wanted to have a broader conversation about how and why museums are engaging with social media. The hashtag is brought to you by museum professionals from well respected institutions like The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, and The National Museum of Natural History.

Tune into the hashtag to join the conversation. Since it’s a conversation on Twitter, it’s easy to keep up, chime in, and stay connected with the museum community.

9 | Tate’s Digital Makeover Transforms the Traditional Museum

This piece by The Harvard Business School looks at Tate and the ways it has pushed the boundaries of what defines an art museum. From creating entirely online museums and describing its online presence as a “fifth gallery”, to creating “The Magic Tate Ball”  – an app that allows users to shake their phone (like a magic 8 ball) and receive a piece of art, Tate challenges us all to consider what really defines a museum.

Is it the physical space, the echo of footsteps through an open gallery? Or is it bringing art to audiences, old and new, in the ever changing ways they consume it.

10 | 31 Blog and Social Media Content Ideas for Museums

If you’re a marketing professional and have experienced keeping your blog up to date, you know first hand how tough it can be to come up with new ideas. Looking for an idea starter for your next blog post? Look no further than this list from the folks at landslidecreative for some quick ideas and soundbites.

11 | How to use Digital to Attract Chinese Tourist to your Museum

With more tourists from China than any other country in the world, it will be important for cultural institutions to consider the needs of this growing market. Where do you go when Instagram and Facebook aren’t an option? Check out this great post to learn the “where” and “how” for marketing in China’s intricate media landscape.

12 | The Museum Scholar

A free journal for museum students and emerging professionals. The open access articles cover a wide range of topics including digital media, exhibition planning and design, marketing, and community relations. What’s great about this resource is that it is free to publish or read – so you’re able to both contribute to and draw on the resource.

The open source model offers a wide variety of opinions and perspectives, making it a great place to go for unique takes on age-old ideas.

Recommended Reading:  “Shifting Perspectives: The Millennial Influence on Museum Engagement” .

13 | How Museums Can Get Rights to UGC

Many museums have realized the power in user-generated content when it comes to both attracting new visitors, and engaging with their current visitor/member base. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before diving in. Check out this quick read we put together for some guidelines around getting rights UGC so you can rest easy using awesome guest content.

14 | Infographic: Social Media Dos and Don’ts

Museum hack is a tour company that provides unique VIP museum tours “led by art lovers with a flair for storytelling”. Aside from providing great tours, they’re an excellent resource for both museum goers and the professionals who create and maintain them.

New to social media strategy or want a refresher on the basics? Check out this quick cheat sheet on general guidelines for social media.

15 | Museum 2.0

Nina Simon runs the Museum 2.0 blog. She is the Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History and author of The Participatory Museum and The Art of Relevance. What makes this blog so useful is the first-person views and accounts that bring topics to life. She also updates the blog regularly and offers a newsletter subscription for those who don’t want to miss a beat.

16 | How One Museum Went Viral On Twitter By Turning One Of Its Pieces into a Meme

While there certainly isn’t a recipe for going viral, we can learn a lot from campaigns that have gone viral. The Museum of English Rural Life is an inspiration to us all for their ability to step outside of their comfort zone and have some fun with their art.

Check out this read to learn how a photo of a sheep exploded on social media. It’s a great reminder that it’s okay to be playful in museums, it makes them that much more approachable.

When it comes to marketing your museum – knowledge is power.

 Keeping up with industry blogs, leaders, and inspiration pieces is a great way to make sure you stay ahead of the curve in an ever-changing digital landscape.

Any resources you think should be added to the list? Drop us a line marketing@crowdriff.com.