According to The Knot, 2.6 million couples tied the knot last year. As we move into 2023, the numbers are predicted to remain the same, and the hot trends are all pointing to either all natural or all-out luxe. This means that couples are looking for either outdoor settings with gorgeous views, or a luxe vibe worthy of a Bit City club scene.
How can your venue be at the top of the list for couples who are planning nuptials this year? Here are six New Year’s resolutions that will help you take full advantage of engagement season.
1. Show Off Your Strengths Through Photography
If a potential couple wants to be married against a breathtaking backdrop, your pictures should leave them with no doubt that yours is the most stunning. If they’re looking for a nightclub-style party, your photos should invoke exclusivity, fashion, and fun. High-quality photos are the lifeblood of wedding venue marketing, so we put together a list of things that anyone – even those of us who aren’t professional photographers – can look for and request to ensure the perfect venue photo shoot.
From the blog: “If your wedding venue recently had a big renovation, your old photos are looking a little tired, or it’s just been a few years, it may be time to hire a photographer to do an original shoot of your venue. These shots will make your marketing team’s job easier, as they’ll better reflect your property and be specifically composed to portray it in the best light, as opposed to a real event, in which certain elements are out of your control.”
2. Make Sure Your Brochure Is Worthy of Your Venue
When you have the right kind of wedding brochure, it’s doing a bunch of vital jobs for you – even more than showing off those pretty pictures of your venue. And whether you’re the hippest Gen Z venue in the area or a secluded mountain getaway, your brochure should make a potential couple flip through and say “This is the place.” Here’s a look at how to get the most out of your brochure.
From the blog: “Wedding planning is inherently social. We talk to our friends and family and bounce ideas around regarding the guest list, color scheme, food and beverage, and perhaps most importantly, the venue choice. The wedding brochure can serve as a talking piece and a focus for the couple’s conversations with others – both those who may have attended the venue tour and those who didn’t. When the bride describes the spot where she’s thinking about saying “I do,” she’ll be able to physically hold the brochure in her hands, pass it to a friend or parents, and bring it alive more fully by pairing her description with your visuals.”
3. Invest in Social Media
With just a small ad spend (and a management fee, if you’d rather we do it) you can reach newly engaged couples in your area and drive them to your wedding page. The ROI can be towering, but the key to success is doing your research to find out where your audience is online and meet them there. Here’s how Bluemont Vineyard – a location that’s nailed the “outdoor setting with a stunning view” vibe – used social media with tremendous success:
From the blog: “In just the first month of Bluemont Vineyard’s social ad campaign, they saw 24,005 impressions, 4,210 people reached, 210 clicks, and a whopping 31 leads (brides and grooms who filled out the site inquiry form on their website) – all thanks to a $400 ad spend, plus our management fees. All told, the first month saw a whopping 33x return on investment.”
4. Understand Exactly – Down to the Dollar – How Valuable Site Visits Are
While your brochure and social media drive top-of-funnel awareness, a visit to your venue is what really brings a couple’s wedding vision to life. They’re almost always a prerequisite to booking, so it’s logical that you should try to drive as many qualified venue tours as possible. But did you know it’s possible to assign a dollar value to those visits, making it easier to determine your marketing spend?
From the blog: “After answering just four questions, there are a couple of simple calculations you can perform to figure out how to put a dollar value estimate on each step in your sales funnel. From there, you can dive deeper to figure out how different marketing tactics for your wedding venue are performing, based on how qualified those leads are. The result is a simpler, smarter, more informed marketing plan that you can tackle, regardless of how much time you have to devote to marketing.”
5. When in Doubt, Use This Scorecard
The marketing tactics on the scorecard linked here total 100 points – if you tally up the ones that you’ve got covered, how close do you get to a perfect score? This is a quick exercise to see whether you’re on the right track and where you should spend a little more time.
From the blog: “Are you confident that you’re doing enough with your wedding venue marketing? We thought through the whole process – from that moment just before the newly engaged couple finds you to the point after the vows have been said, the cake has been cut, and the wedding is over – and took a go at giving you a scorecard to vet your current marketing efforts.”