Many wedding venue marketers may bemoan the millennial generation with their quick, staccato, and often incomplete requests for information that then require near-instantaneous responses from you. But there’s also so much new opportunity for how to find and engage with today’s millennial brides. A one-size-fits-all marketing strategy has never been a great plan for wedding venues, but that’s particularly true today when appealing to millennial brides. And while no two brides fit perfectly into any one bucket, the four personas we’ve outlined below should sound familiar to anyone who has been involved in marketing a wedding venue. (For the record, we say bride, but this could just as easily be the groom.) Below, we share a particular marketing tactic to focus on when trying to reach each persona.
The “I’ve Been Planning My Wedding Since I Was 6” Bride
This is a bride who knows what she wants. Long before she said “yes,” she was browsing Pinterest, creating Instagram collections, and making notes at her friends’ weddings. She already has a vision in mind; the question is whether your venue fits that fairytale.
Marketing Must-Have: A Killer Website
As soon as she’s engaged, this bride will hit the ground running – and if your website isn’t ready for prime time, you won’t get a second look. The easiest way to catch her eye is a beautiful, thoughtfully designed website. The key ingredient? Photos. The copy will help tell a story, but gorgeous, carefully-selected photos help the bride see herself at the venue and can help you separate yourself from the competition. Be honest in your evaluation of your website: Is it slowing down and engaging brides, leading to site visits, or is it simply one open tab, soon to be closed before she’s onto something else?
The “I Don’t Want to Be Doing This” Bride
While this bride is thrilled with her pending nuptials and the promise of a happy marriage, planning the actual wedding has never really been on her radar. The components of the big day will come together piece by piece and, while of course, she wants a beautiful wedding, she’s likely to follow the path of least resistance.
Marketing Must-Have: Social Media Ads
This bride may not be browsing The Knot or Wedding Wire right after getting engaged, but she’ll still be on Facebook – giving your venue a prime window to reach her before others do. Facebook remains a uniquely powerful channel to reach customers online. For example, you can target couples who are newly engaged, fall within a certain age range, and live in a specific area (or areas), among many other options. And remember: Advertising through Facebook lets you reach people on Facebook.com, on their mobile apps, on Instagram, on their messaging apps, and on the Facebook Audience Network. If you’re not sure you’re up for it, we can do it for you.
The “Someone Else is Really Making the Decisions Here” Bride
This bride is happy enough throughout the wedding planning process, but she’s being steered by a trusted sibling, friend, or parent – making the question of who you’re actually selling to a little murkier.
Marketing Must-Have: Event Brochure
One of the main benefits of getting a bride on-site for a visit is that she’ll walk away with a brochure in hand, giving you a (small) foothold in her world as she weighs her decision. A wedding brochure should be doing many jobs for you, not least of which is making the case to friends and family who may not have been on the site visit. Yes, a strong digital presence is vital, but a brochure has a durability and focus to it that is perfect for sharing with others.
The “I’m on an Abbreviated Timeline, So Let’s Get This Moving” Bride
This bride doesn’t have a year to plan her wedding. Whether by personal choice or the forces of life, she needs to get married sooner and find a venue that can accommodate her and her partner.
Marketing Must-Have: Website Booking Calendar
If you don’t have one already, add a calendar to your website that shows the days the venue is available and already booked. This only works if it’s up to date, so make sure you stay on top of that, or you’ll have to deal with some unpleasant phone calls. We see three main benefits to hosting the calendar on your site: It can get brides thinking about hosting on Fridays and Sundays, you’re saving yourself one step in qualifying the bride, and seeing availability can prompt immediate action to scoop up that spot.