This article was originally published by in Insider

The Knot, a digital marketplace for engaged couples, hosts an annual gala to display wedding trends for the upcoming year.

The Knot Gala compliments the company’s Wedding Trends Report, which details what its experts are seeing couples gravitate towards for their nuptials.

The 2020 Report was just released, the day after the event took place in New York City, and Insider spoke to The Knot’s editor-in-chief Kristen Maxwell about the biggest wedding trends you can expect to see everywhere next year.

Lindsey Taylor Photography

In 2020, couples will be using florals for more than just bouquets.

“One of the things I’m loving is this idea of using florals in sort of unexpected ways,” Cooper said.

“They’re incorporating edible blooms into food, into drinks,” she said of 2020 couples. “Or they’re even using their florals to sort of create textures and shapes in a monochromatic way.”

For instance, couples are color blocking their flowers to create stunning decor, which The Knot demonstrated through massive floral blocks at its 10th annual gala in New York City.

Eco-conscious wedding decor is also becoming more common. For instance, The Knot showcased streamers made of recycled T-shirts at its gala.

Perry Vaile Photography

Perry Vaile Photography

Eco-friendly weddings are becoming more popular.

Cooper told Insider that “sustainability is top of the line” for a lot of 2020 couples.

Eco-friendly weddings are becoming more common, with couples intentionally avoiding Styrofoam flower holders or giving flowers a second life through additional decor.

They’re also composting flowers and food after the event, decreasing waste.

Cake by Yummy Nic Nacks | Photo by Enchanted Weddings

Couples are choosing to create customisable menus, keeping their guests in mind at every turn.

Customisable menus allow all guests to eat how they want to at a wedding.

Whether guests are vegan, gluten-free, or just picky, customisable menus allow couples to better cater to their guests and add personal touches to the food they serve.

The Swig Rig SD Photography

Don’t be surprised if you see mixologists at weddings in 2020.

“We’re seeing them really lean into things that are exciting to them, and adding personalised moments,” Cooper said of the 2020 couple.

Mixologists can create this kind of moment, turning the line at the bar into a luxury experience.

Photo Credit: The Melideos

Photo Credit: The Melideos

Self-service bars are also becoming popular, with guests grabbing their own beverages.

“The reception itself is no longer about sitting down, having four courses, or whatever it is,” Cooper said. “Couples are really looking to get their guests in on the action and have them take part in some fun, unexpected things.”

A self-service bar can create that kind of moment, giving guests something to do at the reception. Cooper said they’re popular for signature drinks, and some couples even go as far as to have a conveyor belt of drinks for added fun.

“Oftentimes, it allows them to have one less bartender,” Cooper said of self-service bars as well, which can make a wedding more affordable for couples.

Bride and Groom pouring champagne fountain at NC wedding reception bartending services in Raleigh Durham NC Katherine Miles Jones

Katherine Miles Jones Photography

Couples are creating more show stopping moments at their weddings than ever before.

The 2020 couple pays close attention to all the details of their wedding, making show stopping moments out of basics like the bar.

For instance, The Knot featured a bar made entirely of ice at its gala.

Love those lights! | Stunning Bali Wedding | Terralogical | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog

Terralogical Photography

Statement lighting can set the mood for weddings.

“We think about uplighting as the classic wedding lighting, or you’d just use the lighting that they have at the venue,” Cooper said.

“But as we see couples lean into more unconventional venues — whether it’s a brewery or a pop-up barn — a lot of times they have to bring in their own lighting, which can really set the vibe for a celebration,” she told Insider.

Hanging lanterns, string lights, LED signs, or even chandeliers can be used for decor. The Knot Gala, for example, featured colour-blocked lighting.

Sass Studios Photography

Interactive moments, are going to be big at weddings in 2020.

“The average guest count has been decreasing over the past year, but we’re seeing the spending-per-guest increase,” Cooper said of current weddings. “What it means is that couples are really thinking about the guest experience.”

Magicians, sketch artists, or tarot card readers can all increase the fun the guest has at the wedding, making it a priority for couples. The Knot refers to these moments as “amenity basket upgrades.”

“You gotta do it all for the ‘gram,” Cooper said of the trend, highlighting that big moments like this can make weddings more photo-worthy and memorable for guests.

Pops of colour are taking the place of all-white gowns.

JLM Couture

Colourful wedding dresses are becoming more popular.

“Wedding fashion is not so prescriptive right now,” Cooper said. “Couples are really looking to their own personal preferences and their own personal style to reflect what they’re wearing on their day.”

For some brides, that means wearing a colourful dress instead of the traditional white.

“Floral dresses are something that we’re seeing a ton of,” Cooper said.

Green_Wedding_Shoes.jpg

Photo Credit: Green Wedding Shoes

Floral Wedding dresses will be popular in 2020

“It’s just a little bit whimsy,” Cooper said of the trend.

Some brides are choosing to wear dresses that are completely floral, while others are wearing white dresses with colourful flower appliques.

“We’re also seeing more jumpsuits,” Cooper told Insider of 2020 bridal fashion.

 

Carolina Herrera Photography

Pants are becoming a popular bridal look.

“We’re seeing a lot of pants,” Cooper told Insider of the 2020 bride. “Whether it’s separate pieces or a jumpsuit, pants are always a really popular option for the reception.”

“Or they’re wearing it to a rehearsal dinner, a bridal shower, or a bachelorette party,” she added.

Brides are going for unique looks when it comes to all of their wedding events, and pants are a great way to switch it up.

Grooms are getting creative with their suits.

Grooms don’t have to wear all-black suits anymore.

The days of grooms only being able to wear traditional black tuxedos are gone, as more men play with fashion on their big days.

Cooper said grooms are “choosing bold footwear or maybe even changing jackets for the reception.”

The event planner for The Knot Gala, Jove Meyer, showed off some of the ways grooms can play with wedding fashion at the event, wearing white pants, a silver jacket, and matching sparkly heels.

Ben Simpson Photography

The big sleeves commonly seen in the ’80s are making a comeback in 2020.

“It’s a little bit reminiscent of the ’80s,” Cooper said of the trend. “We saw a lot of these ’80s and ’90s trends and details on the runway.”

“They’ve sort of been reinvented for today,” she explained. “It’s not like the Princess Diana sleeves that we’re all thinking of, but they’re sort of ruffly and they may be off the shoulders. Something that’s a little bit more romantic, but definitely has this ’80s feel.”

“We’re seeing one-shoulder dresses coming back in full force,” Cooper added.

“The style sort of went away, but now it’s coming back,” Cooper said.

Couples are rocking matching jackets during their receptions.

Matching jackets create a sweet and fun moment for couples during their nuptials.

Celebrities are influencing this trend, as Kim and Kanye sported matching jackets at their wedding in 2014, and Zoe Kravitz and her husband did the same in 2019.

“A lot of luxury lines were doing it, and then it came down to mass,” Cooper explained. Customisable jackets can be purchased on Etsy today.

Photo by Collin Pearson

Photo by Collin Pearson

Veils are still popular, but brides are getting creative with their hair.

“Barrettes and combs are really having a moment,” Cooper said.

“The veil isn’t going anywhere, but we’re really seeing brides lean into the barrette over something like a tiara,” she went on to say.

Photo Credit: Karmacurrency

Couples are making registries more personal than ever.

“This next generation is the most diverse generation to get married,” Cooper said. “So I think that the exciting challenge for these couples is figuring out how to incorporate different cultures, ethnicities, or religions into one event.”

One way couples are handling this challenge is through their registries, where they’re taking the opportunity to raise money for things they really want instead of just home decor items. Some use it to raise money for honeymoons, a down payment on a house, or even IVF treatments, according to Cooper.

Getty Images

People are embracing unplugged honeymoons.

“For a while, everything was on social media as soon as the couple said ‘I do,'” Cooper said of modern weddings. “But then we started seeing a lot of couples asking people to put their phones away during the ceremony.”

“Now, we’re seeing that extend to the honeymoon,” Cooper said, with people choosing to use their honeymoons as a time to debrief and really be alone with their partners.

This article was originally published by in Insider

The Rise of the Warehouse Wedding

A challenger to the barn wedding—the reigning template for chic, relaxed celebrations—has emerged.

This article was originally published by Ashley Fetter in The Atlantic.

Amy Jones, a wedding planner in Connecticut, has seen the past decade of wedding trends play out both at work and in her own family. During what she describes as the most frenzied years of the “barn wedding” craze—the first half of the 2010s—she got married in a barn, and when her brother, seven years her junior, got married last year, his first choice of venue was a warehouse.

Photo credit: Kait Photography.

As the barn wedding graduates from quirky, rustic trend to mainstream venue choice, a new aesthetic is growing in popularity among marrying couples: the “industrial-chic” warehouse wedding. It’s like a barn wedding for city dwellers, with exposed brick and lofty ceilings, plus beams bedazzled with hanging greenery and/or naked Edison light bulbs.

According to survey data from the wedding-planning website the Knot, 14 percent of wedding receptions in 2018 took place at “historical buildings or homes”—many of which are old factories, warehouses, or other industrial spaces, according to Alyssa Longobucco, the site’s senior style editor; “urban lofts and rooftops” accounted for 3 percent. Longobucco told me that she’s seen an uptick in the popularity of warehouse weddings in the past two to three years, coinciding with a drop in the popularity of venues such as banquet halls and hotels, and considers it a trend that will only get trendier.

Warehouse weddings are in keeping with the two dominant forces shaping the aesthetics of 2010s weddings: personalization and casualization. The two trends combined to give us weekday weddings, friends as officiants, self-officiated ceremonies, “bridesmen” and “groom’s gals”—all departures from wedding traditions that have lasted generations. So as wedding ceremonies have become more casual, intimate expressions of their relationships, it makes sense that couples would ditch banquet halls and hotel ballrooms for something more offbeat that will let them signal what kind of people they are. To Amy Jones, a warehouse’s open floor plan and high ceilings create a sort of “blank canvas” such that couples can “walk into the space and sort of make it into their own.” Jones also points out that warehouses have far more places to hang lighting than a hotel ballroom, which is an additional bonus given that the Knot identifies dramatic lighting as one of the top wedding trends of 2020. (Jones, who owns a company called Amy Champagne Events, says she rarely plans a wedding these days that doesn’t have a lighting designer.)

Photo credit: Scott Surplice Photography.

Jones started to notice a rise in the use of industrial spaces as wedding venues about six years ago, and demand for them has existed longer in big cities than elsewhere. That’s probably because big cities simply tend to have more well-preserved old industrial spaces than rural or suburban environments do. Additionally, because the warehouse vibe has been a popular upscale interior-design aesthetic for some time now, those spaces are more likely to have been transformed into functional event spaces in recent years. Outside big cities, in other words, it can be much harder to have a wedding in a space that feels like an old, abandoned warehouse, because in many cases it is quite literally an old, abandoned warehouse, rather than a warehouse turned event space. “In some of these places you’d have to, like, ask them to turn the power on for you,” Longobucco said.

Indeed, when Jones was helping her brother scout locations for his wedding in 2018, they discovered that his first choice—an appealingly antiquated factory in Connecticut—was in fact so antiquated that it violated several building codes. “It would have been the coolest thing in the world,” she says, but ultimately, “you don’t want to spend your wedding budget on making sure the place isn’t going to catch on fire.”

The barn-wedding craze looked similar in its early days: According to Longobucco, when couples started wanting to have their weddings on a farm or in a barn, guests were in for encounters with some of the dirtier and less glamorous aspects of actual farm life, and many of the costs and duties of converting the existing structure into a suitable wedding venue would fall to the couple getting married. Today, farms all over the country now function as full-service wedding venues, offering amenities such as catering, bar options, and accommodations for guests, not to mention bathrooms that aren’t porta-potties.

Photo credit: Motta Weddings.

Longobucco and Jones predict a similar evolution for warehouses. In some places, owners of warehouses and other industrial spaces have already started renovating. Chicago’s Morgan Manufacturing, for example, which opened in 2015, and Boston’s Warehouse XI, which opened in 2013 and expanded into a space that could house weddings and receptions in 2017, have both become popular wedding venues. And this isn’t just happening in big cities: Kaitlynn Lamie, a wedding planner in Lansing, told me that throughout the state of Michigan, “we’ve seen an uptick in both couples looking for this kind of space and the availability of industrial spaces [as wedding venues].”

Longobucco told me she could imagine a scenario in which the warehouse wedding becomes the new barn wedding, enjoying both high demand and high supply. Jones agreed, and added that guests who came to expect mason jars full of wildflowers after the past decade can probably expect to see crossbeams and cement floors in the next few years.

This article was originally published by Ashley Fetter in The Atlantic.

The Most Hated Wedding Trends of 2019 Prove We Are A Bunch Of Cynics

This article was originally published by Katy Harrington in Refinery 29

It seems mean spirited to bag on someone’s big day, but let’s face it – weddings can be kind of annoying. From the organized fun at the $200-a-head hen do to the black tie dress code and never ending speeches, weddings don’t always make you feel like your heart is about to burst with love. In 2019, weddings have gone into overdrive, now costing an average of $22,715 USD each and the most elaborate they become, the more we eye-roll at OTT invites and excruciating choreographed dances.

Research by the British jeweler Goldsmiths asked 1000 people in the UK how they really felt about wedding trends from the traditional to the newest crazes and it turns out a lot of us find the same things awful, even if we are too polite to say in public.

© Getty

Perhaps the most surprising finding was that despite the fact that you know at least one guy who insisted on a three-day “epic” stag in Vegas, a fifth of men stated that they strongly dislike stag dos and would prefer not to partake at all – due to the ever-increasing costs (flights, hideous t-shirts, strippers) and the extravagances (and broken limbs) that often come with them.

The survey also found that while more than half of the married couples they asked had a church wedding, they would not consider themselves to be religious in the slightest. Maybe they just really like stained glass windows and hymns.
The stuff we all hate most though are complicated hashtags (43.5%) which we can all agree are pointless, closely followed by doughnut walls (37.2%) and confusing poems in the invite (37.2%).

© Getty

As for the stuff we love at weddings – good food, obviously. 17% of those asked say dessert tables were by far the best part of the big day (can’t argue with that) and people really appreciate a food truck (31.8%) too. We also like fireworks, photo booths and wedding favours apparently.

Finally, the nail in the coffin that proves we really are a bunch of hard-hearted cynics, cake in the face style photos do not go down well and having your pet as a ring bearer was deemed to be one of the most hated wedding trends, with 36% of those asked not even able to muster a little joy when they see a dachshund in a tux coming up the aisle.

This article was originally published by Katy Harrington in Refinery 29

LinkedIn advertising is quickly gaining ground as an integral part of the digital marketing landscape.

For many years, there’s been a range of social marketing channels (Facebook, Instagram, and email) that have provided businesses with ways of communicating with large audiences. But these platforms are better suited to providing content about our personal lifestyles.

linkedin Advertising

Linkedin Advertising Connects Directly With Business Professionals

As a result, investing in advertising that connects directly with business professionals is a critical component in all digital marketing strategies.

This is why LinkedIn has a major advantage over other marketing platforms: it enables you to communicate with businesses, employers, staff and potential customers.

Depending on your campaign’s objectives, most platforms offer versatile advertising formats – from text-based to image and video.

Additionally, these channels enable you to widen your reach through their direct sponsored messaging options.

LinkedIn’s unique capabilities extend beyond the shared characteristics of various social network outlets.

This article outlines 5 ways Linkedin advertising is different from other social platforms.

linkedin Advertising

Linkedin Advertising Offers Unrivaled Targeting Options

LinkedIn advertising stands out from the crowd on the strength of its valuable audience and its unrivaled targeting options for each ad format and marketing goal.

Taking into account the long-term benefits, investing in LinkedIn’s advertising platform can yield excellent results despite the higher initial investment.

Attention social media account managers: the new Instagram Creator Studio is here to help you manage all of your Instagram posts, get insights from desktop, monetize your content, and more!

A recent update to Facebook’s Creator Studio has added a highly requested feature for Instagram power users and marketers: the ability to natively schedule Instagram posts and IGTV broadcasts ahead of time.

 

The news spread across social media marketing channels earlier this week, but has remained somewhat quiet on the rest of the Internet. Yet, this update is definitely a big deal, removing a major pain point for professional photographers who use Instagram to market their services and spread the word about their brand.

Facebook updated the Instagram API to allow scheduling by third-party applications last year, but all of the current third-party solutions are limited: capable of doing some things but not others. Facebook’s own implementation obviously has none of these limitations.

Instagram Scheduling Via Facebook Creator Studio

In an in-depth breakdown on their blog, Later.com explained exactly how the IG scheduling process works. To use the feature, you’ll need to have an Instagram Business account that is linked to a Facebook page. From there, simply click on the Instagram icon at the top of the Creator Studio dashboard and you are given an interface for managing, posting, and scheduling all of your Instagram and IGTV posts.

You can select a posting date and time, add tags and locations, crop your images before posting, and even upload multiple photos to a carousel post. Just like scheduling Facebook posts, Creator Studio will show you all of the posts in your queue so you can change plans after the fact.

If you’re using Instagram casually, this update won’t make much of a difference to you, but we have a feeling professional photographers who use Instagram to find clients and increase the visibility of their business will welcome the update. Assuming they can get past this most recent privacy scandal, that is.

It’s a phenomenon witnessed across the whole restaurant industry – Friday and Saturday nights are busy, but the rest of the week is a slow crawl. Here are our tips on how to boost your restaurant’s midweek trade and weekly takings with on-trend marketing activities.

Make Every Night Special

The simplest way to bring people into your venue is with regular promotional events. Whether it’s value-added promotions, special nightly menus, pop-ups, or live entertainment, creating a weekly deal or a point of difference is an effective way to bring in customers.

Once you’ve made a roster of events and specials, promote them with in-house collateral to notify your regulars, and digital channels to engage a specific wider audience.

Mobile Applications

Leveraging the large audiences of mobile applications like Claim & Clipp are an easy way to get your restaurant in front of new and active customers. Entice prospective customers and stand out from the competition by promoting attractive weeknight deals on these applications.

Social Media Advertising

Social media is a powerful tool that can be used to reach a wide, engaged audience. While the reach of organic posts is on the decline, sponsored posts are an effective way to reach ideal audiences to boost mid-week trade. For best results, schedule mid-week advertising campaigns across your social channels, like Instagram and Facebook, and trigger them on and off during key trade periods.

Social media advertising is also a great way to communicate with existing customers, and incentivise them to host milestone celebrations at your venue.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is an effective and affordable way to communicate with your audience, actually offering the highest return on investment for all paid marketing activities.

As you develop a database, segment them according to interest and behaviours, and market to them with specific content. Discounts and other incentives are an easy way to motivate your audience to join your database.

Audit Your Marketing Strategy

If you’re looking for ways to boost your midweek revenue, request a free audit from Australia’s hospitality marketing experts at Merge Digital.

 

Developing a marketing strategy for your function venue often requires a steep learning curve. But once you get rolling, the strategy can be easily scaled upwards. That means you can spend more time focusing on the important stuff: catering for your clients.

As Australia’s leading marketing agency for function venues and events services, we’ve compiled a guide to help you assemble your marketing strategy. This guide is based on our experience in marketing for a wide range of Australia’s top function venues and includes actionable tips to boost your function enquiry rate by as much as 200%.

How To Create A Marketing Strategy for Your Event Venue

A few steps need to be taken before we dive into our marketing campaign. It’s important to set clear goals, identify your audience and set up measurements for success. Each of these points have been outlined below in greater detail.

1. Determine the types of events your venue wants to host

A clear understanding of your preferred event categories will enable you to profile the types of people who are most likely to make a function enquiry.

Assess your venue’s capabilities and determine which event types are best suited to your function spaces. Most events types can be classified according to three major categories: weddings, corporate and private events.

Weddings

Corporate

Private Parties & Celebrations

People within each of these major categories usually share similar demographics. For example, people looking for wedding venues are likely to be females who are engaged. Corporate function enquiries are often made by people who are employed in corporate industries and their job descriptions may include ‘Event Managers’ or Social Convenors’.

Your marketing strategy should aim to communicate directly with each audience depending on their interests, needs and demographics.

Brides are aren’t interested in hosting weddings at ‘corporate’ venues and corporate event hosts are less inclined to host conferences at ‘wedding venues’. Most function venues can be adapted to cater for both event categories, so it’s important that each audience receives messaging that is specific to their interests.

2. Define your marketing goals and create measurements for success

When setting goals for your business, it’s important to remember that function enquiries can be received across a range of channels, including phone calls, emails, website enquiry forms, social media and more.

Some event types are more likely to enquire through particular channels whether it’s online or offline. Events with longer lead-time may be likely to enquire via email or online forms – whereas events with short lead-time are likely to reach straight for the phone.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Expert Tip

Measuring your campaign performance involves tracking enquiries across online and offline channels. Venues looking to achieve the best results from their marketing strategy must be able to do the following:

3. Devise a clear marketing budget

When planning your marketing budget, it’s important to remember that some event types require up to six communication touch points before an initial enquiry is made. Spending your entire budget on one form of media may not be appropriate for all venues.

The type of marketing strategy that you employ is affected by the budget that you can afford. Some forms of marketing, including broadcast or print media, are more expensive than others.

A monthly marketing budget should include costs for the creation of regular website content, photography, video, graphic design, email marketing and advertisements (online and print).

 

Expert Tip

Venues looking to keep costs to a minimum may benefit from digital marketing, including search engine optimisation or online advertisements through Google Adwords and Facebook. These platforms allow businesses to advertise their services for as little as $5 per day.

4. Review your marketing efforts and optimise your marketing campaign

Your marketing report should indicate which enquiries are converting and provide an estimate of the cost per acquisition for each event category. A consistent, monthly review process will help to eliminate wasted spend so that you can capture more enquiries for your function venue.

A range of free reporting tools are available to help you review your marketing efforts. These tools can provide comprehensive reports that indicate the exact number of phone calls, emails or enquiry form submissions were made through your website each month.

 

Expert Tip

Two essential components should be included in your monthly marketing review:

Despite being reported by Google Engineer Matt Cutts as a “minor change”, this update opened the door for major brands to become more prominent within the search results.

SEO experts believe that the long-term implications of this minor update have had a profound effect on the search results, as this allowed established brands to employ SEO tactics such as private link networks that would normally result in a red flag from Google.

In his article, How 16 Companies are Dominating the World’s Google Search Results, Glen Allsopp explains how 16 companies have grown to dominate the world’s search results. Their domination of the search results affects all major consumer industries including cosmetics, gaming, whitegoods, technology, music, finance and more.

Allsopp believes that the domination of search results by major brands is going to get much worse as each company plans to spread their online presence across their own private link networks.

See More: Read the Full Article

Marketing is a necessity for any business, particularly in an era where competition runs rife and potential consumers are overrun with messaging across all platforms. Effective marketing enables you to stand out from the white noise and get your brand into the mind of consumers. This industry is constantly changing, which means you need to be changing alongside it. Get ahead of your competitors by utilising these four emerging social marketing trends of 2018.

Facebook Messenger As An Alternative To Email Marketing

According to some digital marketing specialists Facebook Messenger will soon be used as an alternative strategy to email marketing. Many professionals in Digital Marketing understand how difficult it can be to create a successful email marketing campaign, with open rates of EDMs remaining universally low. This trend towards Facebook Messenger as a key communication platform could drastically change customer relationships as mobile messages are proven to have a much higher open rate than email. Furthermore, Facebook Messenger offers a quicker response rate to customer enquiries, boosting your customer communication flow.

The Use Of Chatbots

Managing customer enquiries in a timely and relevant manner is increasingly difficult, particularly as an organisation continues to grow. Streamlining your communication channels and creating an automated response system allows you to reach customers at the right time, in the right place and with the right context. It is for this reason that Chatbots are increasingly relied upon for online communications with both current and potential customers.

On Facebook Messenger alone there are more than 100,000 chatbots currently being used to gather information. The most important thing to focus on when using a chatbot is that it comes across as relevant and human. If your chatbot can’t stimulate a real and helpful conversation with customers it will have an adverse effect and end up isolating them further from your business.

Becoming A Multimedia Company

The digital world is continually evolving and adapting to new trends, which means as a business, you need to be doing this too. It is no longer enough to have a good website. Your business needs to be present across a number of platforms. We all know that a strong social media presence is a necessity, however, this alone is not enough. Videos now attract the highest engagement from target audiences which means, not only do you need to have a great website and social media content, you should also consider posting vlogs and promotional videos. Podcasts are growing in preference as well, with many young consumers preferring podcasts to music and the radio when commuting to and from work. To make your business stand out in a sea of online communication, a versatile multi-media marketing strategy is a must.

Prioritising Online Reviews

Positive reviews are becoming increasingly important for your business. 50% of people under the age of 50 will check online reviews before making a purchase. It’s not all about the social proof either, Google considers reviews to be a good indicator of a business’s legitimacy and will take a rating into account when ranking your website in its search engine. Facebook’s new City Guide [link] feature uses reviews in their algorithms when deciding what local venues to promote to visiting tourists.

More Tips From Merge Digital

The world of marketing is an ever-changing landscape. Keeping on top of every trend and marketing avenue is almost impossible, However, remaining educated on the latest marketing trends and updates will help your business get one step ahead. If you want to learn more about the industry and how it can benefit you, head to our blogroll for the most relevant marketing tips and tricks your business needs. If you have any questions or are interested in help with your marketing campaign feel free to contact our team below.

Weddings provide restaurants and function venues with a great opportunity to boost revenue.

It’s the bride and groom’s special day and many couples want to host an extravagant celebration they will remember for a lifetime. Promoting your restaurant or function space as a wedding venue requires planning and taking time to do this properly could be rewarding for your business.

Things To Consider When Planning Your Strategy

Before you start planning your marketing campaign, it’s important to consider the following points:

Peak Season For Wedding Enquiries

The number of people searching wedding venues reaches a peak in January each year. As a result your campaign must be up and running during this period. The demand for weddings is lower outside of the peak season, in response to this some venues may consider offering incentives to drive enquiries during the middle of the year.

1. Social Media Marketing

The social media presence of a wedding venue has a strong impact on its perceived credibility. Social media is also the platform where a wedding venue can accurately communicate its branding and imaging, attracting brides with similar styles. Your Instagram account should be regularly updated with images of the venue, catering and examples of weddings or events held on location.

The Instagram story tool can be used in a variety of ways, particularly now with the pinned stories function. These pinned stories are another way to showcase your venue and can be used to:

2. Facebook & Instagram Advertising Campaigns

Facebook’s advertising platform offers businesses a variety of ways to target potential brides. The detailed targeting system provides the opportunity to reach people who are specifically interested in weddings or actively looking to plan a wedding.

On top of targeting specific geographic locations, genders and age groups, the following demographics and interests may help your venue to generate more wedding enquiries:

3. Google Ad Campaigns

Google is another platform that is effective in driving more leads for your wedding venue. There are two key channels for advertising on Google: the display network and the search network. Using keywords that suit your venue, your ads can be set up to appear as:

Using Google Ads with correct keywords ensures your venue is placed directly in front of users who are searching for wedding venues and reception ideas.

4. Wedding Open Day

Wedding open days are an excellent form of experiential marketing. This is an influential way to convert potential clients who are in the process of planning their wedding.

Open days will give you an opportunity to partner with industry suppliers who will further promote your business to their networks. These suppliers may include photographers, stylists, makeup artists, celebrants and entertainers.

Incentives can be used to drive attendance for your wedding open day. These incentives could include package upgrades, discounted services from suppliers or venue hire offers. Exclusive promotions can be provided to couples who attend the open day. These offers can expire within a set timeframe following the open day to encourage bookings from potential brides.

Data from the open day registration forms can then be used to re-target customers with follow up EDMs or digital marketing campaigns.

5. Wedding Directories

Adding your venue to wedding directories will help you to get in front of brides and grooms who are actively searching for wedding venues online. Most directories already rank highly in search engines and have their own databases, which will help to drive traffic to your venue. On top of this, having multiple backlinks to your site from relevant, high-quality wedding directories will help boost your own SEO.

6. Collaborative Photoshoots

Staged photo shoots are an excellent way to promote your venue. Collaboration with suppliers, stylists, florists, designers and models will provide your venue with a library of images that can then be shared across media channels of all brands involved.

7. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

The final aspect to consider when marketing your venue is the Search Engine Optimisation of your website. Optimising your content for search engines will result in a better placement on Google and other important search engines. Boosting your organic rankings will lead to improved visibility from brides and grooms.

To ensure your website is correctly optimised, consider the following: