Research – Other Museum Marketing Campaigns

Before I created a marketing strategy for the exhibition and website I researched how other museums marketed their exhibitions.  I found that just by using the word ‘museum’ in marketing can put people off, preconceptions or a poor experience as a child may mean that the word museum is a big turn off for the general public.

Participation and engagement

I thought it was interesting to find that in 2011 a group of museums and galleries in Yorkshire had launched a marketing campaign to promote art collections in 35 venues across their county.

The campaign chose not to shout about how great the art in these museums and galleries was, but instead asked the pubic to participate in the campaign by sharing stories about their favourite painting.

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The campaign Yorkshire’s Favourite Painting offered a unique prize, the opportunity to win a replica of a painting that you love, and in six weeks, over 400 people took the opportunity to enter the competition.

The stories about why people loved these paintings were diverse, from a moving account of a mother who had lost her son in the conflict in Afghanistan and was reminded of him by a Lowry painting, to a six year old boy who ‘liked the lovely ladies’ in a painting of mermaids and a lady who wanted to win a replica of an artwork by her famous artist father.

This proves how people are happy to participate and engage with museums and exhibitions and are happy to tell their own stories.

While 400 people wrote stories, many more participated in other ways, sharing stories through social media, leaving comments and voting for stories.

The website attracted tens of thousands of hits, but the campaign resonated further, with online participants becoming real world visitors.

 

 

 

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SEO – Search Engine Optimisation

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SEO Search Engine Optimisation is the process of improving the visibility of a website on search engine result pages.  Everyone who has a website whether a large or small business or individual strives for their website to appear as high as possible in search results.  Large businesses and organisations invest thousands of pounds on search engine optimisation to ensure their website always appears in the first page and ranks highly in search results.

It is very difficult to get in the top 10 (first page) rankings.  It can depend on what the user actual types in and searches for they may be quite specific and find your site immediately.  Once you have optimised a site the results of SEO improvement may take time to see they will not be implemented immediately.

All search engines including Google have an algorithm which determines the ranking of a site; these algorithms are very complex and are not widely known.  Google regularly brings out algorithm updates with the aim of giving the best possible user experience; these updates are called Panda and Penguin updates.  In 2015 amongst other requisites sites now need to be mobile friendly and load quickly.  Google is looking to provide the best possible user experience so users continue to use google; this way they are able to charge for advertising space and gain revenue.

These are the SEO basics which will help your website rank higher:

Content is king

Always write strong content, you should focus highly on the content of your pages.  You should demonstrate expertise and be authoritative and trustworthy; search engines want to provide links to relevant pages and do not want to rank sites with lots of spammy content.  They are constantly tuning their systems to read and review the content of websites to make sure your content is about what you say it is about.

Write valid HTML

If your website is very badly designed with a lot of invalid code Google and other search engines will not be able to read it so it will not rank very highly if at all.  To avoid this you should validate your HTML to make sure it meets web standards; this is the link to w3schools HTML validation (http://www.w3schools.com/website/web_validate.asp).

Find good keyword phrases

Phrases are better as these are what people type in.  Meta words and meta descriptions used to be but are no longer the focus with SEO.  Use one phrase that captures your website page, one which is repeated in the content, the headlines and links within that page rather than lots of different keyword phrases.

Don’t optimise the entire site

View every page of your website as a separate entity and optimise every page individually.  This way users have more chance of finding your website.

Progressive Enhancement vs Graceful Degradation

Progressive enhancement as the word ‘enhancement’ suggests means ‘looking forward’ or ‘being enhanced’.  It is the practice of building websites for the most commonly used device or browser.  More advanced functionality is then built in for more advanced browsers; as when designing for mobile first, progressive enhancement allows functionality to be added for larger screen sizes.  It has been “found that designs optimised for mobile devices first adapt easier to wide screens than wide sites cram down to mobile.  In the long run, it’s easier to expand than to shrink (Zurb Inc, 2015).”

Graceful degradation is the opposite, as the words suggest ‘looking back’.  It is the practice of building websites from a higher level as viewed on the latest/newest browsers or larger screen sizes i.e. desktop.  Functionality is added enabling the site to degrade gracefully to work with older browsers or smaller devices i.e. mobiles.

References:

Zurb Inc. (2015) Graceful Degradation [Online] Available From: http://zurb.com/word/graceful-degradation [Accessed On: 18 October 2015]

Site Development

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With my project as conceptual I have listed the areas below I would need to include and bear in mind when coding and developing the site further:

Platform

What platform would I use to develop the site or code from scratch:

I have looked a various platforms available including Bootstrap; as we are learning about Foundation in class this is the one I would choose.

Create tables needed in CPanel

Forms – use for user input

Validation – check user entries are ok, all validations should be ok before adding record to table.

Make responsive – using media queries

Loading times – minimise, beware of size of images and videos

Nibbler – minimise reduce code space (all lowercase fields names in code is faster)

If using Couch as a CMS, Couch will reduce size of images.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overlay – JQuery

I researched JQuery and overlays as the project brief asks we include an element of Flash or JQuery.

JQuery allows you to add popups or overlays, example of overlays and popups below.

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Examples of JQuery overlays in this project design.

  1. Date Selection or Date Picker.  When the user clicks in the date input field a calendar small overlay is displayed.  The user chooses a date and the date is returned to the date input field.  This helps reduce user input error as they are not actually typing the date into the field.

 

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2. Overlay shows image when user hovers or clicks on ‘TRANSFORM YOUR HEALTH’ below:

TranformHealth

Overlay

TranformHealth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How overlay will look:

TranformHealthoverlay

CMS Designs

Login Screen

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The system validates the ‘Username’ and ‘Password’ and proceeds to the main menu below if correct.  It will also validate user authorisation and level of access to system:

Main Menu

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Exhibition create and amend screen below:

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