Consumers turn to Google when they want information about a business or to find a service or product. A Google search is usually step one, which is why getting your business to show up at the top of the search results should be the main focus of your wedding venue marketing strategy.
When someone is searching on Google for a wedding venue, nine out of ten times it’s going to be a local-based search. Let’s use a 50-mile radius as a starting point for this example. With the majority of searches being in close proximity to your venue, it makes local SEO such an important component of your marketing effort.
There are always going to be industry-specific marketing opportunities, like local bridal shows and cross-promotions with other wedding industry vendors and companies, but a bulk of your potential prospects are going to begin their search on Google.
Accumulating Google reviews is part of an intelligent local SEO campaign for two reasons. First and foremost, they are a major local SEO signal — they not only help you show up in the search results, but they also impact where you are ranked in those results. Second, they directly impact decision making. Most consumers trust online reviews — even if left by complete strangers — and put a lot of weight on high ratings and positive reviews.
Racking up positive Google reviews will help your wedding venue attract more interest online with improved visibility and they will also help you sign more customers, making it a component of your wedding venue marketing strategy that deserves a lot of focus and attention. Here are simple ways to help you accumulate more reviews on a consistent basis.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
This is one of the most common sense approaches to attracting positive Google reviews on a consistent basis. A wedding is a very stressful day for those all involved — even the smallest things you can do to make the experience at your wedding venue more enjoyable and stress-free, the more appreciative your customers will be.
One of the easiest ways to have five-star Google reviews coming in without even having to ask is to deliver outstanding customer service. Every business should have this approach, and as a wedding venue you will want to focus on making it a very enjoyable and frictionless day. Do that and your customers will be eager to leave you an amazing review and share their first-hand experience on your Google My Business profile.
Respond to Every Single Review (Power of ‘Human Element’)
Before a potential customer contacts your wedding venue for a quote or to see if a particular date is available they are going to read through the reviews on your Google My Business profile. This is a big decision, so they aren’t going to just skim through them — they are going to read them thoroughly, including your replies.
Taking the time to reply to every review, whether it’s a glowing five-star review or a four-star with a slight complaint, shows potential customers that you care. This goes a long way and allows you to leverage the human element — someone looking to book a wedding venue is going to connect with a business that displays a hands-on approach.
It shows you care and instills consumer confidence. If someone feels that you are going to give their event your full attention it puts them at ease. The time required to leave genuine replies is nothing compared to the impact it will have on your business long-term.
Send a Hand-Written Card with a Request
We live in such a digital-first world these days. Emails over letters. Text messages over phone calls. Taking the time to write a hand-written ‘Thank You’ card to all of your customers is a little old school wedding venue marketing strategy that you should do, not only to attract Google reviews, but also to create a pipeline of referrals.
This is not only a great referral marketing strategy, but it also gives you the chance to ask for a review, and likely receive it almost instantly. Knowing that you took the time to write out a ‘Thank You’ note will make your customer feel almost obligated to leave you a glowing review.
Create a Review Page on Your Website
You’re going to generate more leads for your wedding venue by having a dedicated page on your website for all of your reviews. This will increase your conversion rates across the board because your visitors won’t have to leave your website in order to see your reviews.
On this dedicated page you will want to pull all the major review feeds — Facebook, Yelp, Google, etc. There are plenty of plugins that will do this. It also gives you a page on your website that allows previous customers to quickly access your profiles to leave a review.
For simplicity, make the page URL simple. Something like www.YourWebsite.com/reviews works perfectly. This also allows you to easily direct past customers to the correct page, like outlined in the hand-written ‘Thank You’ card example above.
Ask Previous Customers to Leave a Review (Don’t Forget to Follow-Up)
What is the easiest way to get something you want? Ask.
Yes, it can be that simple. You can deliver the “ask” via email or you can call up past customers and see if they would mind doing it. It’s important to stress that your customers are very important to you and without them you would never be able to grow and improve your wedding venue.
If you make it a point to explain how much they mean to you and how their opinion and feedback (their review) will help you create a better experience for future customers, and not just be used as a way to advertise your wedding venue, the more receptive and willing they will be.
If you want to be more hands-on, then the phone route is the way to go. If you want more of an automated process, you can set up an email campaign that sends an automated message a couple weeks after the event. This should include a very heart-felt message and ask, along with links to your Google business profile.
You can then set up automated reminder emails that follow up in 15, 30 and 45 days. Any customers that don’t leave a review after that many “touches” should be called. Again, the personal touch might be all it takes to get the review.
Use a Review Management Software Platform
There are a lot of software options to help you manage your reviews, from Google Maps to Facebook and Yelp. You are able to monitor reviews and respond to them all from one convenient dashboard.
Some of the available options also have automated outreach built-in, which works to attract reviews from your past customers. It’s a great low-cost tool to help you market your wedding venue.See More Helpful Tips