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3rd July 2017 Rebecca Moore

The Google Inquisition #DMA

Olivia Parker from Waddesdon Manor shares her experience on the Digital Marketing Academy.

My ultimate aim to engage younger audiences with our art collections has begun with a journey of diving deep into our online audience and their behaviours. My first mentoring session with Tom Beardshaw was somewhat enlightening and I discovered, much to my shame, that I hadn’t been using Google Analytics to its full potential.

In November we launched our shiny, new website which not only reflects the beauty of Waddesdon but has a much more user-friendly interface. Great! But how do I get more people to it and engage with the content? It’s now my responsibility to find a way of doing this – in fact this is true of our social channels too. It’s a key organisational objective to get our digital audiences to engage with our art collections, both new and existing, and an audience we are really missing a trick with our 18-24 year olds.

Waddesdon website screenshot

Image Courtesy of Waddesdon Manor website © National Trust, Waddesdon Manor


Following my initial mentoring session, armed with Tom’s expertise in Google Analytics, I have started creating audience segments to dig down into understanding our website users, giving me actionable points from the data. I have been asking questions like, what is it that prompts our audiences to come to our website via social media? And are they visiting our collections pages? In doing so, my hope is to use this information to make some considered changes to our social content.

Our social media is quite eclectic to represent the many aspects on offer at Waddesdon: these include the art collections, our Aviary (interestingly also a registered zoo), exhibitions, gardens, wine cellar and tastings, online shop, and events which can be anything from big food and arts festivals and cinema screenings to kids camping and Christmas. Currently our best performing posts are beautiful pictures of the Manor or gardens, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, we want to raise the profile of our art collections. We already post a fair amount about the collections but the engagement is comparatively low and I need to find a way to increase it.

When I got accepted onto the Digital Marketing Academy I was excited because so often I feel like time runs away from me, and though I deliver sound marketing campaigns, they’re not as creative as I’d like them to be. So for me, the key to my project is creativity and having fun with it.

Therefore, to target our younger audiences, our plan is to begin by trialling playful and humorous content based around our collections that we hope captures the imaginations of 18-24 year olds. A huge inspiration for this approach has been Adam Koszary who used to Tweet for the Bodleian Libraries (now at Reading Museum). He created funny content that not only brought the collections to life but also showed the intention of the art works. I highly recommend giving his blog a read if you’re thinking about how you can jazz up your content.

Next step, learn how to create GIFs!


Header image:  Image courtesy of  Parterre, Waddesdon Manor  Photo Chris Lacey © National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

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