Sustaining the Heartbeat of Your Museum’s Content Strategy

Workshop - register now
Eric Holter, Cuberis, USA

Published paper: Sustaining the heartbeat of your museum’s content strategy

Access to quick publishing tools like blogs and social media should make populating your website with great content a breeze. Add to that the digitization of your museum’s collections, and the options are virtually limitless. But that’s also the problem. With so many content opportunities, it’s easy to suffer from choice paralysis. One of the keys to knowing what content to produce at any given time is to develop a habitual and sustainable content strategy.

A benefit of cultivating a viable content strategy flows from a surprising observation made by Wired’s Chris Anderson in 2004, when digital retailers began to outsell offline competitors. Without the limitations of a physical store, online retailers could stock plenty of obscure releases along with “the hits”. And it turned out that there was a profitable market for these niche titles. When you tallied the sales from the multitude of niche titles, the total dwarfed the sales from the hits. Anderson dubbed this occurrence the “Long Tail” effect.

Museums, like brick and mortar retailers, can only put the “hits” on display. The long tail of objects in the vaults remain out of reach to your visitors. But, thanks to digital collections, the most obscure and specific items can reach their audiences, too. In this workshop you will learn how enrich your museum’s “Long Tail” with content that fulfills your museum’s mission while contributing to its margin. We will discuss the following:

* Building a content strategy that exploits the Long Tail effect for museums
* Establishing proper expectations for how Long Tail content will perform and build value
* Examples from museums of leveraging Long Tail content
* How Long Tail content strategies can enrich a museum’s featured content (content related to events, exhibitions, and scholarship)

Bibliography:
The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More, Chris Anderson - Hyperion - 2006