Re-energising your wedding venue marketing plan
Marketing Your Wedding Venue
Marketing Your Wedding Venue
Adding focused energy to your wedding venue marketing plan
As I write this feature, we are starting to appear from the pandemic lockdowns (in the UK anyway), with a different vibe and energy. The wedding sector is expecting a busy, joyful summer ahead. Hurrah! Hospitality and event teams are rebuilding and reforming which is so exciting to see and you’re starting to be able to look more strategically at your wedding venue marketing plan to grow your venue bookings again.
Out with the same old same old wedding venue marketing plan
This is a time for shaking it up, truly refreshing that wedding venue marketing plan and how you drive new enquiries and new business into your wedding venue. This is not a time for just defaulting to what you did before, to a plan that you inherited from a former colleague, to the way it always was.
Take the time to really look at your marketing plan (and what’s in it). Don’t be afraid to question it. Just because you’ve always listed with a certain wedding directory doesn’t mean you have to stick to that this year. Just because you’ve always created content for Facebook twice a week does not mean it’s a forever thing.
As you move forward with taking your marketing steps you want to work with a plan that you love, that excites you with opportunity, that you feel passionate about delivering. Not a plan that you feel half-hearted about. If you feel half-hearted, your audience will feel half-hearted about seeing/hearing it. Trust me I’ve been there…
Get clear on what you’ve got
Before you adjust and make changes to your wedding venue marketing plan though you need to get clear on where you’re marketing weddings exactly. What you’re spending and when any renewals and contracts are due.
Some businesses are super organised and have a plan in one place (summarised on an Excel spreadsheet for example). But for smaller businesses growing organically, sometimes that marketing sort of evolves a bit more hap hazardly at the start. It doesn’t necessarily have a dedicated marketing team member overseeing it and can be harder to track.
If that sounds like your venue or business, consider this a reminder to organise your marketing spend into something that allows you to review it at any time and to keep on top of renewals and opportunities. That way, you have space to consider options ahead of time and truly start to understand what’s bringing in the results for you as you move forward.
Good old “Return on Investment”
I talked about shaking up your wedding venue marketing plan. To help you with that, it’s really important to look closely and without bias at your returns from any marketing investment you’ve made before. I’m not saying that all returns have to be financial/sales driven gains. I’m a big believer in longer-term brand & relationship-building strategies as well as quick win ones too. BUT reviewing what all of your activity is doing for you is super important.
Enquiries that convert
The above said, in exchange for much of your marketing spend you’re looking at enjoying a tangible increase in good quality enquiries into your wedding venue. With the resulting sales that your team will convert into happy couples hosting their celebration with you.
Now is the time to get the microscope out on what different components of your wedding venue marketing plan have produced over recent time periods. It’s not necessarily comparing like for like (say comparing one wedding directory with another). But rather looking at that investment on its own. Is it reaping you the kind of enquiries that you want? That you really, really want? I feel a Spice Girls tune coming on here…
Depending on the campaign, Google Analytics should be able to help you with stats and data on website traffic and visits relative to some of your marketing. I’d highly recommend that’s complemented by your own systems that log and track enquiries in and how a couple moves through the sales process.
Where to find the gold
Ideally, you want your venue’s systems and software to be able to log and track enquiries from different sources so that you can easily access reporting on that at any stage to show you not just how many enquiries you’ve had from a particular source, but which ones have converted to showround, which to event sales and therefore which sources are producing you the right wedding enquiries.
This is an area that I work closely on with my private clients as a consultant as one of the biggest challenges is for venues to find the RIGHT clients for them, to find those enquiries that convert, that don’t ghost, that don’t go silent and to build that into the bespoke wedding venue marketing plan.
It’s tempting to focus on volume (and sure some volume is important). But it’s much more rewarding in all its forms to focus on aligning, niching and getting less but more of those spot-on wedding enquiries.
So in summary, as you take your steps to rejigging, refreshing or even creating your first proper wedding venue marketing plan:
- Let your past stats & results guide you (and start to track these even if you haven’t before)
- Don’t be afraid to shake it up, throw things out and freshen it up
- Less can often be more when it comes to attracting enquiries. It’s not always about having the highest number of enquiries
And most importantly, are you enjoying delivering your venue’s marketing? Are you having fun?
Because we are all overdue some fun after the past year, both businesses hosting weddings and couples planning their celebrations.
And if you need some expert support in creating a fresh strategy then do get in touch to discuss our bespoke consulting plans for wedding venue businesses.
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