The number of social media users increased by 10% in 2015 giving a total of 2.31 billion, and according the smart insights, this grew again by 21% over 2016! This mass audience needs to be acknowledged and engaged with in order to bring new clients to your venue from local and international locations!
Social marketing massively extends the audience in which you can target and allows you to engage with customers on a personal level. It is important to create a customer response strategy so you are able to reply to your customer’s questions, queries or thanks regarding your service. 27% of the population are active mobile social users and the average user spends 1.72 hours a day on social media – this demonstrates users are active and available 24/7 and will be expecting a response quickly! Use this opportunity to build a personality and engage with clients.
Build relationships with high profiles in the event industry to stay front of mind! Keep in touch with previous clients and reach out to event companies, PA’s, big corporate businesses, any organisation that is likely to hold events and make sure you keep in regular contact. Email and direct marketing campaigns are a great way to keep your client base warm and aware of events your venue is holding. This will not only increase the likelihood of those individuals using your venue but will also encourage them to recommend you.
Listen to your market! What did they like, what didn’t they? What does your target market want and need? If you listen and understand what your audience wants, and develop the strategy to deliver this successfully – you need to shout it from the rooftops! Understanding your customers perspective, what platforms they use and what’s important to them in the decision making process will enable you to make your marketing campaigns extremely effective.
It is critical to keep up with other venues in your region. What are they offering? How are they developing their venue? What marketing strategies are they implementing? What clients are they reaping? It is critical you are constantly developing your venue and staying ahead of competitors in order to keep your venue in demand.
Do you offer your clients any benefits? If you do this is a great feature to promote through your marketing platforms. Offering member benefits will increase the number of repeat sales (providing they are happy with their experience) and encourage potential clients to use your venue over competitors.
Invest in a photographer to come and take quality photos that really show your venue off. Take photos of different types of event to show the venue’s diversity and demonstrate all of your offerings. Take some in the day and some at night to inspire customers and help them imagine how their event will look. If you have key features such as an impressive entrance, a grand hall, modern bathrooms, something unique and special to your venue, it needs to be visible. Additionally, the accessibility of the venue is often a factor considered when choosing a venue so if there is disabled access, public transport close by, taxi services, shuttles, whatever it may be – take a photo and display it in your album to reinforce the ease of access. Include the desirability of the location, if you’re venue has popular landmarks or tourist attractions close by; use them to market your venue.
If you have had big companies use your services or have received positive feedback, use it to your advantage. Many people feel reputable venue providers should be able to provide plenty of strong references, so rather than waiting for them to request these, have them visible on your website and use them within marketing campaigns. Before looking for a venue most individuals start the search by asking for recommendations – this is why you need to be at the front of people’s mind, so they recommend you to others and to ensure you are their first choice.
More than 80% of the success of any event, meeting, conference or any type of event is dependent on the choice of the venue itself. Event planners will be aware of how crucial this is, so when they are searching for their next venue it is vital you ensure your marketing strategy is powerful and presents all the relevant information clearly and effectively.
Katrina Whitehead, Senior Marketing Executive, Foundation Recruitment