Since Chinese’s Millennial purchasing power has increased along with China’s growth, they are now able to spend money on their leisure. That’s why more and more families are interested in art, culture, and history now that they can afford it.

A Chinese Millennial addicted to smartphone

Most of the visitors come from the middle class, a growing class that should represent 1/3 of the population within 15 years. The revenues of the culture industry should, therefore, have a bright future. But in a society that evolves so fast and where entertainment is everywhere (subway stations, shopping centers etc). It can be more and more difficult to seduce by culture. How to continue to convince young people to go to a museum? How to attract an ultra-connected society to come to an exhibition? The key is digital marketing.

In order for a culture not to be perceived as old-fashioned and boring by the new generation, an adaptation to the expectations of today’s society is advised. Especially in big and developed cities, like Shanghai that already has a strong Western vibe.

How to attract an ultra-connected society to come to an exhibition?

The cultural field should, like any other field, keep up with the trends. Here are the several solutions:

  • More original content

Urban youth are accustomed to novelty and new technologies. It may, therefore, seem complicated to entertain them with traditional exhibitions. As a result, more and more museums are offering interactive tours. The visitor is no longer simply passive, but truly active through the visit. He can interact with the museum and the animations planned for this purpose. There was also a “Chinese Museum Culture Innovation Forum” where were discussed the best solutions for attracting new audiences through technological innovations. They must be original, modern and fun.

A study has shown that visitors are also willing to pay more for their tickets if the exhibition is interactive. This can include sounds, light effects, image projections, quizzes throughout the exhibition, the use of 3D, virtual reality… the means are numerous to offer the visitor a significant moment but also a unique experience. In addition, it can be a fun way for visitors to learn more about the work of the artist represented. It is easier to capture and hold their attention with modern means than with simple explanations written next to the art pieces. This is also a selling point for families with young children. This type of innovation can be very effective to avoid young kids to be annoyed during the visit, so the whole family can have a quality time together.

  • A transition to digital

No one can escape the digital revolution, not even cultural institutions like museums that are truly bricks-and-mortar. But digital is now unavoidable, especially in China where the population is hyper-connected. The Chinese Millennial are now used to do anything and everything on their smartphones, usually through apps. Changing their habits may not be suitable for them and it is safer to adapt to them. This is why several museums have already launched their applications. This allows users to know the information about the museum (opening hours, location), exhibitions in progress and even the possibility of buying tickets directly through the internet. Many foreign museums have also developed their own apps, but very few have this feature much appreciated by Chinese. That’s why tickets from some foreign museums are even sold on Taobao and Tmall, the two biggest websites for online purchase in China.

  • A presence on social networks

In addition to an app, museums must also have an official account on Chinese social networks. Mainly on WeChat and Weibo, the two networks most famous networks, Chinese equivalents of Facebook and Twitter. But creating the account is not enough, you also need to be active on these accounts, share interesting content, make people want to follow you and answer to the followers when they have questions or comments. It’s also a way to get free advertisement and to reach a wide audience. Even some foreign museums opened their official accounts on those Chinese apps, the Louvre for example. Another WeChat’s peculiarity often used by Chinese is the QR code. Those can easily be placed throughout an exhibition and could lead to an explanation or even an audio guide once scanned.

  • The use of KOLs

Attracting the interest of KOLs is the fastest way to gain visibility toward a large audience (mostly young people). If one of those posts an article, a photo or a comment about a place, then many of his followers will want to go there too. It is therefore wise to invite Key Opinion Leaders during openings, exhibitions or special events, especially when the press is also invited.

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