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Your Content – Best Practices

Online marketing is indispensable when running an events venue. With such a diverse and competitive market for events – whether it’s a wedding, birthday, engagement or even a divorce party (yes, they’re real) – potential clients turn to an online search to find their perfect venue. Hidden City Secrets is the top venue aggregator on Australia. But once they’ve pressed the enter button on Hidden City Secrets, what makes them click on your listing, and what helps them choose your venue once they do? Here’s a rundown of what works, and what doesn’t, when advertising your venue online.

Examples courtesy of The Espy Hotel in Melbourne, as their listing does very well on the site.

 

Showcasing your venue through photos:

Marketing a venue through images is really important for clients to get an understanding on the layout of the venue, and the spaces they can work with when planning an event. Images are the first thing to grab attention when shopping around for the perfect venue. We find that listings with high quality photos tend to illicit more enquiries.

Empty venue photos or Blank Canvas photos – similar to that on a real estate website – draw more attention to the eye, as potential clients find it easier to picture their event with an empty venue laid out before them.

A mixture of empty venue shots and past event set up works well to help them see the space and the different way the areas can be utilised. We would suggest that no less than 8, and no more than 20 venue images work best for adverts. For the HCS platform, landscape photos only.

Multiple angle images work best, with an emphasis on the main function areas for hire. As with real estate images, when showcasing your venue through photos, think of your photo progression like a ‘virtual walk through’ where images start at the entrance of the space and make their way through to the end of the venue.  

Detailed oriented photos are not recommended, but one or two can be included if they help to elevate the marketing of the venue. This includes close up images of artwork, table arrangements, lighting fixtures and even beverage and food images.  

 

advertising image 2

 

 

Written content:

Secondary to the images is the written content for your venue. As a general rule, concise and descriptive wording works best, as well as informing potential clients of the benefits and unique propositions that your venue offers.

Find your venues biggest asset and make sure to sell it, whether a rooftop, courtyard, function space, beer garden etc. This will help to make sure your venue stands out.

Make sure to include other important features such as transport and parking, AV facilities, accessibility etc.

What works best is sub headings and shorter paragraphs which can be broken down in to the different rooms and spaces for hire and what they offer, or different types of events specifically catered for like corporate events, gala dinners, cocktail parties, baby showers etc. This makes it easier for potential clients to find what they’re looking for.

Please know your venue / space capacities and advertise accordingly.

 

advertising image 1

 

Secondary Listings:

A secondary listing is offered in conjunction with a function dedicated listing. Your venue will fall into the secondary category of Bar or Restaurant (or both). These secondary listings are great to drive enquiry to your function listing.

It’s important to understand that these listings are different and will offer different information. The imagery and the written content differ between listings. For a bar and restaurant listing, preferred images include general trade photos, which showcases how the space is utilised on a busy night. These spaces may differ from your function spaces, or will incorporate them. Blank Canvas shots can be used as well, in conjunction with drink images and food images.

Please note, an abundance of close up images of cocktails and food is not recommended. Potential clients are not looking for cocktails, they’re looking for a venue. Of course, if you make a mean cocktail, definitely mention it in your text. One or two images of drinks are great to showcase, which will enhance the overall vibe of your venue. Again, images will need to be high quality and landscape.

The information in the written copy will be geared towards the type of listing. For example, in a bar listing, it can be great to talk about the bar ethos, drink specialities, happy hours and even bar related events. Also good to include is information about the space, the number of rooms and spaces available to use, as well as ambience and décor.

A restaurant listing can include a restaurant ethos, food specialities and general dining information and options, table spaces, rooms available, ambience and décor. Please use concise and descriptive wording to really grab a reader’s attention.

 

 Contact Hours / Methods of Contact:

Method of contact is extremely important. This includes an email and a telephone number. Listings that do not offer both of these may be at risk of losing potential clients, as a method of contact could be a make or break for selecting a venue.

A bookings and enquiry dedicated email is suggested, to help keep all enquiries in one place and easy to track and manage. Emails may be a preferred way of contact of a potential client because all the information is written and easy to access at the clients or venues discretion.   

A landline phone number is also a great method for contact. Alternatively, a mobile number can allow for calls as well as text. Phone calls may be a preferred way of contact and can be beneficial to your venue, as they usually elicit an immediate action or response, and it creates the potential for an immediate booking.

Make sure your function availability is concise. If you offer function hire all day, write “Available”. If you only offer function hire after business hours, make sure you say so. If you only offer on the weekends, make sure that information is clear. Contact hours differ from availability hours and should be business hours, as well as during the weekend (venue depending).

 

advertising image 3

 

PDF & Extras:

Venue documents and PDFs are a great accompaniment to a listing as they usually provide more in-depth information than the text offered in the listing. Important documents to upload to a listing include:

Function Pack: Which details all the information for a function hire. Can include all spaces available for hire, including layouts of past events, in depth venue information, food and beverage packages, as well as potential costing and other pricing information.

Venue Pack: Which may include more information about the venue as a whole, floor plans, external preferred resources such as catering, dining, AV facilities, decorations etc (if your venue does not offer them in house).

Menus.

Drinks menu.

Promotional flyers or documents: Which may include any function package deals such as Christmas parties, long weekend events, NYE functions etc. Is also great if your venue is advertising for any public events or themed nights where bookings can be taken.

Generally, any type of extra document will be beneficial to your listing, as it creates the listing as a one-stop information advertising platform. Documents can apply to all listings and will be categorised as suited.

We can also include videos on to your listings (embed only).

 

Do’s and Don’ts:

Do:

  • Use concise wording for your listing, including descriptive words and important and unique information.
  • Include landscape only photos showcasing an empty venue with multiple angles of the space.
  • Have written blurbs about multiple aspects of your venue, either the different spaces for hire or events that you cater for.
  • Find your biggest selling point and make that the forefront, whether it be a rooftop terrace, courtyard, beer garden, menu, private dining area, private events etc.
  • Have a preferred email and phone contact number.
  • Include document attachments if you have them.
  • Find partners for catering, AV hire and decorations if you don’t offer them yourselves. It can be a great way to expand your reach and create partnerships.
  • Know your capacities.

 

 

Don’t:

  • Have low quality images on the listing. Iphone photos can be accepted if they are of decent quality.
  • Do not only focus on general trade photos or too detailed oriented photos. If your venue offers interesting décor it could be great to include, but do not rely on pigeonholed images of artwork, bathrooms or table arrangements to showcase your venue. Think of your listing as a real estate style advertisement.
  • Do not copy and paste text directly from your website on to the listing, nor take it from a review article as this is bad for your SEOs.
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