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Venue hire is a broad and generally competitive sector. Lots of businesses offering lots of different types of venue, for almost any reason, occasion, or event that you can imagine. Whether you run a pub with a small room out the back for family gatherings, or major conference centres that can host largescale conventions with delegates from around the world, the principle for the owner remains the same.
You want the client to choose your venue rather than your competitors.
Which means you need to generate interest, raise the profile, and drive traffic to your website, and ultimately, to your venue.
To do that, you need a robust and effective marketing strategy. In this article, we’ll examine some methods that you can employ to help market your venue, encouraging new clients to your booking system, and filling up the diary months in advance.
Online marketing gurus are always banging on about understanding your niche, especially when it comes to search engine optimisation (SEO). For the simple reason that it can make a marked difference to your online success.
It’s no longer enough to think that simple, generic keywords and phrases will be enough to boost your search rankings. The market is too full, and customers search habits have become too specific. If you’re simply marketing yourself as a ‘Function room in Plymouth’ then you’re battling with every venue in the area. It’s all too easy for yours to be lost in the internet crowd.
Think about the types of service or event that your venue typically hosts. If Bar Mitzvahs are your thing, then market to those who may be searching for them. If you’re a multipurpose centre, consider a landing page for each different event you wish to attract.
Create content that showcases your venue in its most favourable light, while enhancing the view that you know exactly what’s required to ensure that an event is a roaring success. If you’re a wedding venue, for example, consider a series of blogs that will help a bride and groom in their planning. The kind of article someone might just be looking for online.
Simply crafting a landing page with relevant key words contained within well-crafted content will help your online visibility, but the application of sound SEO methods is still applicable to your venue marketing.
Robust on-site SEO should be a consideration. Ensure, for instance that those beautiful images of your venue are correctly formatted and tagged, so that the page loads quickly (visitors soon give up on slow-loading pages) and that the search engines know what’s contained within.
There was a time when you could link your site just about anywhere to help with your rankings. SEO has become considerably more refined since then. Link building is still an important part of your organic online marketing, but those links need to be relevant to your site.
There are hundreds of online directories, for instance, which offer exceptional link building opportunities. Furthermore, correctly listing in these directories offer additional opportunities for your venue to be found.
Pay per click advertising – those sponsored ads you find on the top of Google, or Bing, or contained within your Facebook feed, for example – can provide a powerful means to gain online visibility. Which can be particularly valuable if you’re marketing a new venue, for which you want to gain quick exposure.
Be aware though, that you need to understand how to get the best value from your PPC campaign, otherwise you can end up spending money for little reward. But done right, and your hit rates can be high. Just ensure your keywords and target audiences have been thoroughly considered.
Word of mouth has traditionally been seen as the best form of marketing. After all, if someone you trust tells you something, or somewhere, is great, then it has an impact.
Well, word of mouth is alive and well when it comes to online venue marketing.
This is the era of social media and online reviews. And, no matter who your target audience may be, they will almost certainly have a presence on one or more social media platforms.
The key is selecting the right channel that fits in with the profile of your venue, and that of your target client-base.
Data capture has never been more important in the delivery of successful online and offline marketing strategies. Not only opening a channel of communication between you and enquiring partners, but a means of gaining greater insight and understanding of buying habits and client needs. All of which feeds into a more targeted approach to your sales and marketing in the future.
This is where compiling a database of existing customers and enquiries can bring such value to your venue marketing, and a reason to invest in customer relationship management systems or booking systems that securely store essential customer data and booking histories.
Networking events have long-since been a means for professionals to gather and make connections to boost their business. And they always need a suitable venue to happen.
Is a networking event perhaps something your venue could host? A chance to showcase the service and space that you have to offer, for prospective event organisers in attendance.
The obvious example may come from the network of compatible services working together for weddings. If you’re marketing your site as a venue for weddings, building up a partnership or strong relationships with photographers, chauffeurs or similar professionals can help deliver mutually beneficial results.
Building similar rapport across professional venues, meeting rooms, or anywhere else will serve equally positive purpose. Working relationships with catering companies, training providers, or your local chamber of commerce can help raise your profile and be a consistent source of new enquiries.
Planning and booking venues and events can be hard work and stressful, with lots to consider. Any hassle that you can remove from the process will likely garner real value from your clients. You may have the ideal venue for a client’s needs, but if they have to plot a minefield of information, or jump through numerous hoops to make the reservation, then chances are they’ll take their business down the road.
Simplify the way you work with your clients, from the way they communicate with you, to the ease of navigation on your website, and a booking system that’s simple, fast, and encourages your clients to make that reservation.
Posted by Gareth Hill on
20 September 2017 at 11:00 AM
conference and events, marketing guide, online booking, room bookings, venue hire
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