Getting the Best out of Wedding Venue Directories
When it comes to marketing your wedding venue there are many different options to consider and different areas to cover, one way to promote your venue is via wedding venue directories.
Advertising on Wedding Directories
For couples, these types of websites allow them to browse and search wedding venues that match their criteria as well as being able to compare their preferred ones. It is important to be visible on sites of which your potential wedding couples are browsing. There are many out there, whilst you certainly don’t need to be on every single one, you need to ensure you are on the right directory or directories that reflect your venue.
Pick the right sites for your Venue
With your marketing budget in mind, it is imperative that you are promoted on the right sites to ensure you don’t waste your budget and receive the best ROI.
When considering which sites and venue directories to work with think about; the type of couples you wish to appeal to, their style, their budget and their location. Some sites are focused on local areas or regions which would allow yourself to be promoted to engaged couples in your desired location.
Review the sites from your perspective. Take into account; what venues are listed, if the venues are local to you, the style and quality of venues and importantly establish whether this site would reflect your venues brand positively. Remember a poorly designed and navigated site will not reflect well on your brand and ethos.
Many venue directories will direct you traffic and enquiries but it is paramount to understand that quality is much better than quantity. If the directory attracts clients of a different style or wedding budget to what your venue has to offer you will end up having 100’s of unsuitable enquiries. This is a waste of not only your valuable time and money but misleading for couples on their search.
Do your homework, look into all aspects of wedding directories and what possibilities they have available to you. Article features and good promotion across their own successful social media platforms is a real bonus.
If you are still struggling with choosing the right site, getting feedback from couples who have recently booked their wedding with yourself could be invaluable. Ask them if they initially used any directories and their general thoughts on them.
Review your Profiles
Once you are set up on a directory don’t just leave it and forget about it. It is important that you check in and review things, if you have some new photos you can upload from a recent wedding be sure to add them. Ensure all your details are correct, telephone number, social media links etc. Keeping your profile looking up to date and fresh is more appealing to potential couples.
When reviewing your page also review the analytics and work out how the page is performing. Maybe swapping the main photograph will work better for you by gaining more attention. Review your venue description, perhaps adding more detail or making it more concise will engage more couples.
Think about the link that directs back to your website, this is often overlooked by many venues. By directing to a specific wedding page on your site rather than your homepage couples can be instantly directed to the relevant information. Even a FAQ page can be successful just make sure you have strong call to action buttons making it easy for couples to contact you.
Share your Venue Page
When you set up or if you already have a directory listing, share it on your social media platforms. The more people that see your listing the higher the chance of a booking. Share it with previous clients and ask them to leave a review.
Promote your Open Days
Depending on the directory you may have the option to promote your open days and wedding fairs, as well as late space or special offers. Don’t ignore the chance to use these functions, if you have an open day coming up, go through the sites where you are marketing yourself and see if you can add the open day to your venue page or promote it on the directory site.
Getting the most out of your directory is vital. Once you have added this information to your profile this could be then shared via the platforms social media channels.
ROI and is it working?
Tracking your return on investment (ROI) from wedding directories is not a simple equation. Calculating direct enquiries from a directory listing is vital but doesn’t equate to the full story into whether it is working.
Firstly, understand how many bookings you would need to make a year for the ROI of your annual fee for your directory listing. Depending on the amount you are paying each year and your average wedding package price this could be 3 bookings or as little as 1. For example, if you are paying £500 to be featured on a directory site, work out from the profitability of your average wedding package how many bookings it would take to cover this £500.
Once your listing is set up it is important to keep track of direct enquiries. Some directories may have a dashboard to manage this information by recording the amount of enquiries and finally the number of bookings. Review these numbers annually.
Calculating direct enquiries and understanding their quality and if they establish into a booking is pretty straight forward and just needs to be recorded efficiently however in-direct enquiries are more complex.
Understanding where all leads and enquiries come from for your venue is paramount in deciding whether a directory is working for you. For example, if a couple view your profile on a directory site and then google search your wedding venue resulting in an enquiry from your own website, this is an in-direct enquiry. The process began from the directory site however the first contact was made via your website although not clear and obvious you already have had a ROI without being able to track this.
To record this information ask clients when they enquire or attend a viewing how they heard about you. Were they; referred by a friend, google searching, on a wedding site, a venue site and if so which one. On your website contact form you could also have this as a drop down option and make sure you list the names of the individual wedding directories you are featured on for more accurate data.
Alternative data to consider would be how many views your directory profile is receiving and how many clicks through to your own website or your social media platforms are being generated in a particular time frame. Some directories may have dashboards with this information or if not don’t be shy to ask for this data.
If you are not receiving any profile views, click throughs or enquiries you need to review your profile or the suitability of your venue on that particular directory site. Make sure you are reviewing the data after an adequate time frame, a matter of weeks is a bit eager but 6-12 months should be sufficient.
Then it’s down to you
Once you have a lead, it is then over to you to turn this into a booking. Ensure you reply to the client as soon as possible. By inviting them in for a viewing you can elaborate on the potential your venue has to offer and how you can make their big day memorable.
- Review your current profiles, ensure they are accurate and up-to-date
- Upload images from recent weddings regularly
- Ask couples to leave a review on your profile page
- Promote any offers or open days you have via your directory
- Monitor and review every few months
Wedding directories are a small piece of a larger puzzle, they are excellent for getting your venue in front of the right people and generating relevant leads. They are just one step in the sales process, ensure you do this right alongside your others and your wedding venue bookings will increase.