It is conventional wisdom that if you want a business to grow that you have to “speculate to accumulate”. If you want to see growth it is important to develop your marketing strategy and that was certainly the thought process adapted by the Royal Museums in Greenwich. They wanted to promote their observatory to improve the knowledge of local patrons and they wanted an innovative and interesting marketing campaign to achieve that. The only problem is that their marketing budget was fairly modest. And by modest I mean five hundred and fifty pounds.
However, the in-house team were not dismayed by the meagre amount. The Royal Museum began working diligently on their new project, Space LIVE. The concept was simple, via the medium of Facebook they would broadcast major astrological events in video form. This meant that the likes of the lunar eclipse and the Ramadan new moon sighting were viewable by people all over the globe.
The project was inspired. It took live streams of these events and added expert commentary from astronomers. In addition to this, the team revamped its website introducing features like user-generated content and taking advantage of search engine optimisation. In addition to this, they used press channels to generate interest in what it was doing. It’s safe to say their approach hit the spot. The campaign reached almost a third of a million people on Facebook and wracked up and impressive 190k views as well as 100k engagements. As well as attracting a vast amount of traffic the site also achieved the number one ranking on Google. The holy grail for a website. It was the surprise of nobody when the campaign won a Marketing Week Masters Award for Best Use of a Small Budget.
How did they do it?
The approach had a five-pronged attack. They aimed to achieve the following: To extend the museum’s target audience and to improve their reputation. To engage the general public and increase their knowledge of space and astronomy, to give the public enjoyable experiences in ways that they can all access, to provide purposeful innovation, and finally to show how effective their facility can be in order to attract and secure future investment. That was a bold vision for a budget little more than half a grand.
The facility had been blessed with the installation of a brand new telescope a couple of years ago and this offered them the capability to share footage online. It was then a bit of a no brainer to draw on the expertise of its astronomers to help engage and attract viewers online.
Unfortunately, the RMG didn’t have the resources to promote their facility and their new project in the usual way. So it was forced to be resourceful and develop an audience using lower-cost approaches such as Facebook live and taking advantage of SEO. They were also shrewd in providing coverage of important events with regards to the cosmos. The company also cleverly partnered with organisations such as NASA to help attract a much wider audience.
Another masterstroke was the level of community interaction with people being encouraged to like RMG’s Facebook page as well as uploading their content. In addition, they hosted a section for people to upload their pictures of the cosmos and created a newsletter. All the work was done in house and the only money spent was on their Facebook advertising budget
The campaign was incredibly successful. The sites footage of the lunar eclipse attained the most views from any museum-produced video. Their Facebook page also has the highest interaction rate for any museum. This in addition to the massive increase in their social media following just goes to show what you can do with a bit of ingenuity and hard work.