Event businesses and venues are amongst those lucky enough to have access to lots of great visual content. Photogenic businesses of all kinds have a huge advantage online with platforms like Instagram and Facebook lending themselves particularly well to visual content. Whilst this can be great for keeping your existing social media audience engaged, it will not necessarily bring new paying customers to the door.
Content Marketing is the perfect form of inbound marketing for event venues and those involved in the hospitality market. Whether you are a venue which caters for weddings, conferences or parties, event venues have wonderful opportunities for storytelling and creating compelling visually attractive content which potential customers are sure to be interested in. It also has the advantage of being much less expensive and more immediate than more traditional methods like print advertising and producing brochures.
Our blog this week looks at content marketing with a specific emphasis towards event venues with tips and advice on how they can make the most of the opportunities content marketing offers.
Remember - Your website is never closed
Your website is like a 24 hour sales person for your event business and it goes without saying that it has to look great. It also needs to be able to answer potential customer’s questions and provide them with reassurance that your venue is the perfect place for their event. With people often looking for the venue for their event online first – your website presence is vital. A quick Google will tell you that there are a huge amount of venues to choose from, all vying for attention online – so adding value to your offering is one way of elevating yourself above the competition.
Write for people, not algorithms
The key to successful content marketing is writing with your user in mind, not simply writing to appease search engines. Thinking about customer personas can help with this, who are your customers and what are their priorities? Once you have identified your target market and who you are writing for, you can start to anticipate the kind of information and content they will be interested in and find valuable.
A well researched blog post – whether that is looking at ‘how to choose a wedding photographer’, ‘things to remember when planning a perfect party’ or a piece on budgeting for your event have a two-fold effect. Firstly, they will help with your sites SEO and lead people to your venue website when they are still in the initial planning stages and looking for information more generally. Secondly, it allows you to demonstrate your understanding of your customer’s needs and desires and answer questions, building their trust. Your customers wants to know that you are there to help them to make their event a success, that you understand their concerns and that your venue and staff have the experience and expertise necessary to host their event. In short, they need to trust you.
Keep it fresh
Adding fresh, regular content to your site is also extremely helpful for SEO, with Google using the ‘Freshness factor’ of content as a ranking signal. Static content becomes less potent in terms of SEO over time so it is important to keep the content coming regularly. This also shows your customers that you are an engaged and active business. Think about how off putting it can be to see a ‘latest news’ item which is 6 months old or a special offer which has expired.
Our tips for getting it right
- Plan and schedule – Having an idea of what you are planning to post, when, is invaluable if you are short of time. Make a list of post ideas for the months of the year and you will find it easier to get going. The time of year can help you think of topics - Christmas parties, wedding season etc.
- Keep it Evergreen – Try and make sure your content will still be useful next year, and the year after. Avoid writing about anything too topical if it is unlikely to age well. This also means that you can re-purpose your content.
- Don’t overdo the promotion – The point of content is to provide information – remember that people trust experts more than adverts. Of course you need to mention your venue and services but keep it relevant to your subject matter and resist the temptation to use your blog solely for self promotion.
- Reflect your personality – What kind of venue are you? Traditional, rural, eco-friendly, luxury, budget? Using content marketing to reflect your business’ personality allows you to demonstrate your position in the market and can help with generating the right leads for your business.
- Quality is important – Make sure your content is providing value – good quality content needs to be engaging, informative and relevant. It is also important to make sure that it is well presented, has good visual elements and is well written. If spelling and grammar are not your strong point – use an online editor like Grammarly to check your work.
- Consider your keywords – Again, don’t overdo it and stuff your text with keywords, it will seem awkward and contrived. Content which passes the quality benchmark should be naturally keyword optimised, if you are writing effectively for your audience. Do think about how you are using those keywords in your writing though, both in titles and in text as this is where much of your SEO benefit comes from.
If you only find the time to blog or add to your website infrequently, it is worth considering outsourcing digital marketing activities, like content writing, to a professional. Many hospitality businesses find it easy to keep on top of social media by adding photos and small posts regularly, as this is less time consuming, but sadly neglect their website. This can lead to a slow decline in online visibility over time. Creating quality content which is worth reading takes time, and time, especially in busy periods, is often in short supply. There is nothing stopping you adding additional content on top of a pre-agreed schedule when you are able but handing the responsibility for regular posts to an expert allows you to get on and run your business.
For more information on Content Marketing and Digital Marketing more generally, have a look at our website and download our ‘top ten tips’. If you are interested in our content creation service, get in touch for a free initial assessment and recommendations.