Wedding bells are ringing – what an exciting and busy time for happy couples and hotels! Wedding season is a great opportunity for hotels to capture content and refine their stories to attract future couples. Hotels need to be mindful that most people will begin planning their wedding a year or so in advance, so they need to create and maintain beautiful wedding-focused content year-round.
“90% of couples will go online and Google wedding-related terms” (Hotel Yearbook 2013) they are looking for a venue online before they even set foot onto your property. They’ll judge you based on whether you have what it takes to realize their vision and how well you communicate that to them.
Reflect on that for a minute, how are you communicating to this market year round? Are you leveraging the beautiful wedding stories that unfold at your hotel to appeal to engaged couples?
Wedding and special events clients have different needs from the corporate traveler or the leisure guest. Yet many hotels have one generic message that is intended to appeal to everyone. That is doesn’t work with this group.
If you don’t inspire wedding planners from the start, they will move on in their search. However, if you show them how you can make their day special and add a touch of magic, they’ll be more likely to choose you.
Using visual storytelling throughout your marketing, you can show future brides and grooms what your hotel has to offer. The possibilities are endless with visual storytelling. I suggest customizing your content, featuring newlyweds on social media and creating a short video of your wedding services to appeal to this target market.
1. Cater your content to engaged couples
It’s critical to demonstrate the hotel’s potential and ability to cater to guests needs in order to create their dream day. Inspire wedding venue shoppers by catering your marketing materials including website landing pages, emails and proposals to feature eye-catching visuals relating to weddings. Travel shoppers need to be pulled in by your rich imagery and inspired almost instantly, or else they’ll go to your competition. After all, they’re only a click away.
2. Feature wedding festivities on social media
Don’t miss the opportunity to feature happy couples that have hosted their weddings at your hotel on your social media channels. With their permission, share the couple’s wedding story through images that also highlight your hotel’s features and services. Show them couples and their guests enjoying the atmosphere your hotel has provided.
3. Show off your special touches in a short video
Videos are an effective medium if you want to engage guests and evoke emotion. When targeting couples, that’s exactly what you want. By taking the extra step to create a short promotional wedding video, you’re more likely to stand out from competitors and capture their attention. Express the ambiance that your venue creates and let your video show the details they value such as the spaciousness, privacy, parking, dining, drinking and entertaining areas (The Knot).
With so many beautiful weddings hosted at Barnsley Gardens Resort, there is an abundance of wedding videos on their property that clearly illustrate the unique ambiance.
Puneet Chhatwal shares that while “you may have stunning wedding property, we consistently hear back from brides who say the major influencer in their decision was the ease of communication with the venue” (Hotel Yearbook 2013). Keep in mind that communication starts at the first touch point, which today is most likely to be online. Be sure to use rich visuals and have a consistent message across all online channels.
Use this insight to your advantage, and strategize how you will communicate through content, visuals and videos to attract future brides and grooms to host their weddings at your hotel.