5 tricks that will boost the use of your audio guide

The making of a guide takes research, expertise and commitment. It often also involves the contribution of sponsors who aim to reach a broader audience, so it’s important for you to make sure it’s widely used by your visitors.

Thanks to a study conducted and published by The British Museum, we can provide you with the 5 key factors that influence the take-up rate, and the related tricks to leverage on them and  increase the use of your content.

 

1) Time

Visitors tend to believe they don’t have enough time to complement their visit with an audio guide. Even when they intend to spend 3 or more hours in a museum, they recon the audio guide would actually take more than what they’ve planned.

What can you do? Indicate the estimated time for the guided visit together with the rest of the information about your tour. Place this information in a clear, visible place on posters, flyers and cards.

 

2) Confidence

Do visitors really look for help during a visit? According to the British Museum they don’t. On the contrary they are extremely confident they can navigate the museum on their own, especially when they are in their home country. Many visitors, indeed, declare they only take audio guides when they visit foreign countries.

How can you leverage on this?

Make sure to give a catchy title to your guide, presenting it as a collection of interesting stories, that has got nothing to do with the info on labels and panels. Offer your guide also in English or in another popular language, in order to meet the needs of the majority of foreign visitors.

 

3) Authority

As a matter of fact, some visitors are happy to be guided, while others prefer to explore on their own. While taming “free spirits” might be too challenging, positioning yourself as a trustworthy source for those who want guidance, is essential to win the challenge. How can you do that?

Make sure to curate your PR, especially online. Did you know that more than 75% of travellers declares to be influenced by reviews online? Actively promote your content on social media and keep a close eye on the ratings and reviews of your audio guide.

 

4) Tools

Most visitors rely on tools like maps and books during their visit. Currently, smartphones are visitors’ favourite tools, and they are mostly used to …take pictures. Many of the British Museum visitors were actually caught photographing the map of each floor to use it as a digital guide through the rooms!

The good news is that your guide is already available on every mobile device for free! All you have to do is make sure you highlight this properly, and communicate it not only includes stories, but also pictures, texts, directions and more.

And please, make use of the photo-navigation feature, and spare your poor visitors the trouble of photographing floor plans!

 

5) Motivation

Many first-time visitors know exactly what they want. They have heard of the most well-known objects and arrive determined to see them. At the beginning of the visit, personal motivation can be so strong that people kindly “refuse” the help of an audio guide. Within the first hour though, visitors become less focused and start just “browsing around”.

How can you turn this into an opportunity?

Don’t limit the use of promotional materials to the ticket counter!

Give your visitors more the one reminder along the trails they are following during their visit. In addition to that, place numbers and Qr codes next to the artworks that are part of your guide and you will surely gain their interest back!