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Top tips for a ‘No budget’ reopening campaign


Need to start thinking about telling your visitors you are reopening but have little or no budget put aside for marketing? By using existing resources and planning ahead it is entirely possible to run a small marketing campaign with little or no budget. Here are some top tips on how to do that:

Ensure your website is up to date

This might seem obvious but if your site is not up to date you could be missing a valuable opportunity to communicate with your existing and potential visitors. All of your communications should link back to your site. We will also be linking to it as part of our Reopening Campaign via our Google map.

Consider adding a ‘Know before you go’, page to your website to inform and reassure your visitors, clearly detailing that you are open, along with your opening times, what people can experience on their visit, as well as the health and safety procedures that have been put in place. See examples of this: Auckland Museum and National Gallery of Australia.

You can also explore the option of creating a Visitor Information video that you can add to your website, to show the visitor what to expect when they arrive. Here is a good example from Gairloch Museum.

National Museums Scotland have also pulled together a useful FAQs list, based in visitors enquiries they have already received, that you can also add to your website.

Also ensure you have signed up for the We’re Good to Go cleanliness standard and that you display the mark prominently on your site.

Connect with your visitors on social media

It’s not about who is the loudest or posts the most, it’s about knowing your audience and creating engaging content. Now is the time to start preparing your potential visitors for your reopening. Be personal and welcoming. Tell them what to expect, help them dream first, travel later.

Post-opening, share all the wonderful visitor experiences, encourage your followers to do this same.

Remember to use our campaign hashtag #MuseumsAreGo

To save time schedule your posts, using Buffer or Hootsuite, so that you can then spend your time engaging with your followers. Use and adapt assets you already have such as images or short films, or even content such as blogs. Canva is a free tool that can be used to create very simple social media assets. 

You can find more social media tips from Digital Pathways. VisitScotland also has a handy video on social media tips. Scottish Heritage Social Media Group is a support peer group and resource for those looking to improve social media. ​

Be "discoverable"

It’s all very well having a super website but you need to make sure you can be found by your target audience when they are searching online for a museum or visitor attraction in your area. With a few simple actions you can improve upon your discoverability.

Your website:

Search engine optimisation (SEO) if you want people to discover your website through search. Think about what people might search for to find your museum. From this, you can define a few keywords to include throughout your site.

‘Content is king’. Ensure you have relevant, up to date content on your site that relates exactly to what you offer. It’s good to have a mix of evergreen content (content that continues to be relevant) and fresh, new content (news stories).

Claim your google listing. On a google map this is the part that comes up when you google a place. You can have your website details and opening hours on that listing. There is a very handy guide here.

Make sure your website address is accessible on your social media platforms.

Engage with local media

We will be distributing a consumer press release to national and regional titles with local examples of those museums and galleries reopening. However, it would still be a good idea to get in touch with your local media directly, offer them the opportunity to speak with you, or you can provide a quote.

Here is more information on ‘engaging with the media’.  

Work with your destination marketing organisation (DMO)

DMOs represent a destination and help to develop travel and tourism strategy. It would be worth reaching out to your local DMO to explore any opportunities for joint marketing. Here is information on working with DMOs as well as other tourism organisations.

Get involved in MGS’s Reopening Marketing Campaign

Ensure you have passed on your reopening details to the Marketing and Comms team at MGS, so that you can be part of the Scotland-wide Reopening Campaign that will be taking place from July-September. Find out more information on the campaign here.

Related guide

Reopening Marketing Support and Campaign For The Sector

Find out more