All over the world organizations are facing the difficult decision to temporarily close their doors and ultimately limit access to their collections and content. However, many people are turning to digitalization in an effort to reduce group tours and reach visitors that can’t physically visit a site.
According to the International Council of Museums, creating virtual tours and digitizing content are the best ways to continue to engage visitors and keep audiences informed during this unprecedented time. In terms of OnCell solutions, we wanted to share some important features that might be useful in helping you build a digital experience for your remote visitors.
One thing to keep in mind is that with OnCell you can upload your content for visitors to access immediately. Our platform also allows you to change and update content daily if not hourly with the click of a button.
Building the Experience
Quizzes: Setting up quizzes in your app will allow you to engage with your visitors by asking and updating questions daily to add a new level of interaction.
Surveys: Let your visitors drive the experience. Ask them what they want to see tomorrow or next week. Is there a topic they want you to cover?
Video: Videos will help mirror an on-site experience. Whether it’s a video of your site, institution or collection- a video is worth a thousand pictures! Have a Curator record a video discussing their favorite piece of art or a Ranger sharing fun facts about your national forest.
Video can also work well as a substitute for school trips that have been postponed. Keep the education going! Now is the time to reach kids who are in-home learning.
Images: Digitize the collection by uploading images of your collection to the app and create tours based on rooms, galleries or floors within your institution.
Image Map: Adding an image map of your organization will allow people to visualize the building or exhibition layout and maybe even help plan for their next trip when you reopen.
If you’re a park or forest- add an image map of your trails. If the trails are isolated visitors can get outside and explore them away from large crowds of people.
Donations: During these trying times your visitors want to support you. Link out to a donation page on your website or in the OnCell builder you can add the donation widget which connects to a Stripe account.
Push Notifications: Push notifications are the best way to interact with people who have the app downloaded. Push notifications can be a safety alert, closure update, fun facts, content update notices or even a friendly hello.
Content, Content and More Content
When clients ask us what the most time consuming task is when building an app we say; content. Despite the difficult circumstances, we suggest using this time to gather content and do some spring cleaning on the app so that when you’re ready to reopen, your visitor experience is ready as well.
Getting the Word Out
You’ve spent all this time building an experience – now what?
The International Council of Museums suggests social media as your best option to spread awareness regarding your tours and we agree! Social media can not only be used to promote your digital experience, but can also be a great place for added interaction with your visitors.
You can hold social media contests, create memes to share and for those students in-home learning we suggest holding a Q&A hour via Twitter to continue to help you educate. However, social media isn’t the only way to promote. Adding a QR code to your website can bring people directly to your digital experience and for web apps you have the option to directly promote the URL link.
Reach out to local media. Your town is going to be looking for things to do. See if your local media outlets will run a quick feature on your digital experience to help you connect with your community.
As organizations are forced to close, more people will be turning to digital experiences to fill time, educate their children and to stay connected with the outside world. Continuing to be accessible in light of the current situation is key in staying connected with your audiences.
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