In America, the average wedding cost is $33,391 and many couples spend a good portion of their budget on the venue. After all, the right venue can help to create the best memories.
But because the competition is fierce, local wedding venues often struggle to stand above their competition. Everything from entertainment, food, place settings, table fabric runners is under consideration.
Whether you want to know how to start a wedding venue business or you want to increase your sales numbers, you should begin with your marketing plan. Use these ten tips to create the ultimate wedding venue business plan.
1. Use High-Quality Photos
Your venue is your product, so make sure you have lots of quality visuals on your website. Start by considering the type of emotion you want to evoke. Everything from lighting to the camera angle has an impact on the way your photos make people feel.
Use a high-quality camera or hire a photographer to ensure the best results. Make sure to get pictures of your venue from various angles and include all parts of the venue that couples will use.
Remove any blurry, dark, or grainy photos from your website. You want your pictures to convey your venue in a clear and professional way. Consider taking seasonal photos and nighttime photos as well.
You should have the venue set up for a wedding but empty so couples can envision themselves there.
2. Take Advantage of Social Media
One of the first places many brides go when planning their wedding is to social media for ideas. So you should use social media when marketing your wedding venue to reach and appeal to your target audience.
Pinterest and Instagram are good places to post seasonal photos and artsy shots of your venue. Explore tags relating to wedding venues to get inspiration for your page. Add a few videos to your page for even more impact.
You should also make sure you have a business page on Facebook. Many couples check Facebook first to check out their venue options.
3. Create Unique and Relevant Hashtags
Knowing how to use hashtags is a must when marketing your business on social media. Create and use a branded hashtag in your posts along with other relevant tags.
Stick to tags that describe your business and your target market. But avoid copying and pasting the same hashtags in every post or your business might appear spammy.
4. Use Other Forms of Media
Photos are a great way to promote your venue, but you should mix it up and include other forms of media as well.
Videos capture more than pictures and also include sound. This means that it’s easier to convey emotions. Videos also allow people to see more of your venue.
Include behind-the-scenes videos to give couples an idea of how you set up the venue and what to expect.
Another option for your website is to include PDFs or an infographic about your services. Include information for the couple and a method of contact in case they need to reach out.
5. Offer Tours
No matter how attractive your venue looks in the pictures, it can’t compare to seeing the place in person. If possible, couples will want to check out your venue before the big day to envision their ceremony.
This is also a good time to meet the couple and answer any questions they might have. Hand out information and tell them about your online gallery of photos or social media pages.
You can offer tours by appointment or have certain days for an open house.
6. Make Connections
Making connections should be an important part of your marketing strategy. When starting a wedding venue in your area, you may not have access to many contacts and connections. That’s why you should take advantage of bridal expos.
At bridal expos, you can meet others in the business, learn from your competition, and connect with vendors.
7. Consider Offering Discounted Pricing
The most popular wedding dates are June, September, and October with Saturday being the most popular day. But not all couples are the same, and some are willing to change their date to find a better price.
Think about offering discounted pricing on certain days or in the off-season. A mid-week package discount is a good idea to entice couples on a budget.
8. Have an FAQ Online
Chances are that as a wedding venue, you get a lot of the same questions from couples. Planning a wedding is stressful and many first-time brides have questions or concerns. Having a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page on your website can help to answer some of those questions.
You should also include pages with detailed information including packages and vendor info. Use graphics and visuals to help illustrate the information and make it easier to understand.
Infographics are also helpful here because they’re easy to understand and share.
9. Create a Sense of Urgency
Creating a sense of urgency is one of the best ways to make sales. Creating a feeling of anxiety about limited availability is a great way to encourage people to buy now.
Make it known that you’re booking up during your busy season. Post on your website or social media pages that you only have one weekend slot left, for example.
10. Display Referrals
Referrals and reviews help to create a sense of professionalism and reliability. Customers usually look for reviews online before buying a product and selecting a wedding venue is no different.
Do you have referrals from happy couples? If so, be sure to display them on a section of your website. You also want to link to or show that you have online reviews of your venue.
One Final Tip for Marketing Local Wedding Venues
Marketing local wedding venues is hard work and you’ll have to put in a lot of effort. Start by adding these strategies to your marketing plan to create a unique wedding venue business model that works for you.
One final piece of advice is to take pride in your business and stay involved. If your brides have questions or concerns, handle them promptly and with professionalism. Make them feel confident your venue is the right choice.
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