Keeping pace with digital change is hard but below are links to some really good stuff that is out there to help you. Many of the tools and resources detailed here were commissioned by Culture24 and The Audience Agency, supported by Arts Council England and written by our collaborators. We have also highlighted really useful tools and resources from elsewhere.
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Tools to better understand audience needs
Google Analytics healthcheck by Mia Ridge - Google Analytics (GA) is a free tool for recording information about visitors and actions on your website or mobile application. Following the steps in this healthcheck guide will help you get more accurate and more useful analytics information by ensuring that Google Analytics is set up correctly and will give you a basic understanding of how Analytics works.
Getting the most out of Google Analytics by Surface Impression - A simple overview of GA configuration tasks ordered according to priority.
Google Analytics segments by Mia Ridge - Google Analytics Segments are a powerful tool for looking at subsets of visitors within the wider analytics interface. Use them to view and compare different types of visits based on factors that are important to your organisation, such as their location, the sections of your site they’ve visited, referrals from a partner site or from a marketing campaign.
Understanding Mobile and tablet use for your website by Andrew Lewis, V&A - This guide details practical tips for finding out how visitors to your website are using mobile phones and tablets to access and use it. It will provide you with a better understanding of how to gather evidence about device-specific user behaviour on your website, when you need to do something about it and what you should be considering when planning your response to this audience behaviour.
SEO for content producers by Lana Gibson, GOV.UK - Free online search tools will help you create the content that people want, based on what they’re searching for. Use this insight into your audience to design your content so that popular pages are easily findable in search.
Tracking your audiences online motivations by Sejul Malde - Your website is a key online channel connecting you to with your audiences, but how much do you know about them? In particular do you know why your audiences visit your website? If you think you know, are you sure that your assumptions are correct and is your website meeting these needs? By applying the thinking contained in this resource you can begin to answer these questions.
Understanding Facebook insights by Peter Pavement, Surface Impression - This guide takes your through each aspect of the Insights interface and explains what the graphs and tables mean and how they can be useful to you.
Google Analytics Academy Free online courses from Google that will help you improve your analytics skills.
Undertaking content audits by John McCrory A useful template that can help you begin to plan an audit of your existing content.
Building broader arts audience data insight: Audience Finder The website of Audience Finder, a national audience data and development programme, enabling cultural organisations to share, compare and apply insight. It is developed and managed by The Audience Agency for and with the cultural sector, and is funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Audience Finder provides insights and practical advice to help cultural organisations develop their audience through collecting, understanding and using data.
Tools to better shape your content
Are you on Google? This page has been put together by Google’s own search quality team as a checklist for ensuring that your website is appearing in Google search results
Get found in search This page has also been put together by Google’s own search quality team to give you tools to help you build and maintain a website that’s helpful for your visitors.
A/B testing your website by Peter Pavement, Surface Impression - A/B testing helps you trial your ideas for website improvement using the behaviour of your own online audience to show the benefit (or otherwise) of those ideas. This guide explores the reasons to deploy A/B testing and gives you step by step instructions in how to set them up and analyse results using Google Analytics Experiments, a powerful A/B testing tool.
Maximising engagement on social networks by Abhay Adhikari, Digital Identities - This resource gives you practical tips to maximise audience engagement on social networks. You will learn how to build a narrative voice that can be used to promote events, themes and initiatives.
YouTube for cultural organisations by Chris Unitt of One Further - This guide is an introduction to online video strategy for cultural organisations, specifically in relation to YouTube. It covers using YouTube as a video hosting platform, and as a means to build and engage audiences. As well as helping you to identify the strategy that is correct for your organisation, this resource provides tips for achieving the best possible results for your chosen approach and recommendations for evaluating your performance.
Google rich snippets and structured data An overview of how to create rich snippets and structured data so that Google can better understand your content to present to audiences
Understanding and using interactive ‘cards’ – Twitter and Pinterest Cards are small interactive pieces of content that are built for the social ecosystem in that they can be shared over networks, are not static but rather designed to be rich and interactive. These websites will give you more information about using cards on Twitter and Pinterest.
Google Open Gallery is a set of powerful free tools for museums, galleries and archives to create online exhibitions.
Tools to better understand organisational change and develop content strategy
Social media evaluation by Elena Villaespesa and Culture24 - This resource will help you consider and select which of the measures matter for your organisation and then identify the performance indicators and tools to collect and analyse. This resource also includes a series of practical examples that illustrate how to evaluate social media from different perspectives.
Hatch storytelling resources A suite of tools and insights designed by the Rockefeller Foundation to help you use storytelling as a strategy to increase your organisation’s reach, resources and impact.
Storythings weekly newsletter 10 carefully selected stories sent to you each week by Storythings, all of which are either hugely entertaining, identifying new learning or highlight a new approach to storytelling.
Native: the journal of the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts Native is the magazine site from the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts in England. The website showcases the projects supported by the fund and shares their insights and research as well as lots of other stories of what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to digital innovation in the arts and cultural sectors. The site also hosts information about projects funded through the Digital R&D Fund for Arts and Culture in Scotland and the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts in Wales.
Digital Culture Study A 3-year study tracking how arts and cultural organisations in England use technology.
Themed guides from the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts. Films and downloadable PDF guides to cover the 4 major themes that have stood out as part of the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts. These themes are data, mobile, accessibility and business models.
Digital Toolkit for Arts and Culture from the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts. A suite of downloadable resources, tips and articles aimed at arts and culture organisations who wish to improve existing digital products and services or develop new ones.
The Digital Engagement Framework The Digital Engagement Framework helps you to identify the value creation opportunities of digital engagement for your organisation and develop the strategies, processes and technologies to structurally engage audiences. Created by Jasper Visser and Jim Richardson.
Government Service Design Manual A manual that details how the UK Government has been designing for digital transformation. This is packed full of useful guides and resources that you can consider and apply to your own organisational learning about digital change.
Understanding metrics for arts organisations – Arts Analytics and Arts & Metrics Two excellent blogs that focus on how arts organisations are thinking about their online activities through considering metrics. Written by Chris Unitt and Elena Villaespesa respectively.
Guardian Cultural Professionals Digital Full of useful insights and experiences from arts and cultural organisations responding to digital change
Useful links to projects that support cultural organisations
Let’s Get Real: Culture24 has been leading a series of dynamic, collaborative action research projects with a range of cultural sector organisations in the UK to help them define and measure their success online. Find out more about the Let’s Get Real Action Research projects and download and read the reports.
Audience Finder: A national audience data and development programme, enabling cultural organisations to share, compare and apply insight. It is developed and managed by The Audience Agency for and with the cultural sector, and is funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Audience Finder provides tools for collecting and analysing data in a standardised way which builds a clear picture of audiences locally and nationally. The results help organisations to find new audience opportunities. Organisations have access to a range of support, such as user-friendly reports, online tools, live workshops, and working in collaborative, data-sharing clusters.
Collections Trust: An independent UK Charity who through standards, services and professional know-how, help thousands of cultural institutions around the world face the future with confidence. They have a range of programmes designed to help their community secure their collections, reduce their environmental impact, manage their costs and embrace the digital opportunity. A few of the useful resources they have produced include: Digitisation: a simple guide for museums / A Guide to Online Collections / Copyright and Licensing
CultureHive is a free resource to help you discover and share best practice in cultural marketing. Featuring key case studies, toolkits, research, articles and more, it has the tools you need to promote art and culture. Resources have been sourced from across the UK and beyond – from cultural organisations, audience development agencies and consultants. It is produced by the Arts Marketing Association as part of Arts Council England’s Audience Focus programme.
Meet ups – real and virtual
List of arts and culture digital conferences in the UK, Europe and USA collated by Chris Unitt.
Digital Learning Network shares ideas and good practice in using digital technology to support learning in the Cultural Heritage sector.
Art of Digital London (AoDL) is a public event set up to discuss the influence that the digital is having on cultural engagement.
Drinking about Museums - check for upcoming meetings
The Museums Computer Group: connecting, supporting, inspiring museum technology professionals. Our e-mail discussion list is a lively forum for support and debate with your peers.
Blogroll and related links:
Labs at Bristol Museums Everything digital at Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archive service
V&A Digital Media Blog A great source for insights and opinions on the most recent developments in the ever-changing world of digital media.
BKM TECH - Technology blog of the Brooklyn Museum
The Knowledge Transfer Network’s Creative Industries Community supports the UK’s creative industries to exploit the potential of existing and emerging technologies as a driver for product and service innovation.
Google Cultural Institute: Google has partnered with hundreds of museums, cultural institutions, and archives to host the world’s cultural treasures online. With a team of dedicated Googlers, we are building tools that allow the cultural sector to display more of its diverse heritage online, making it accessible to all.
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