The Last Thing Your Audience Wants From You is More Content

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Facebook recently announced some big changes coming to their newsfeed algorithm that impacts brands of all sizes. As the social ecosystem of “experts” broke down, blogged about, and summarized their thoughts on these changes, what surprised me the most was how many marketers that claim to be experts in this space were shocked to see these changes.

Facebook and other top social networks have been migrating toward a pay to play model for the last 3-5+ years.

For years we have been warning our marketers, brands, our clients and social media training academy students to stop building their business on rented Facebook land. It’s risky business.

It should be no shock to anyone that the social networks have no choice but to attempt to at least slow down the mounds of content overload and spam that is ruining the end user experience.

Will 2018 be the year that marketers and business leaders finally wake up and realize social media, content marketing, branding and digital marketing is not simply about creating more and more content?

Will it be the year that the majority finally learns that quality over quantity is what wins not only in the short term but also the long term? It’s not only about the current sprint on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram. Instead the focus should be on building a sustainable business and integrated platform that will endure the shifts and changes, big and small. – Read

What now for data-driven marketing?

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In a late-2017 Econsultancy survey, one in six brand marketers stated that “data-driven marketing that focuses on the individual” was “the single most exciting opportunity” for their organisation.

Following the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal, though, things have changed. Concerns about public sentiment now override maximizing the use of consumer data, leaving data-driven marketing with an uncertain future.

Brand marketers still have a job to do, though, and many still feel that they are better off using data to help, even though they know that they have to tread carefully.

So how should marketers proceed in the current climate? How can they continue with their data-driven marketing plans?

To find out, I discussed the issue of data-driven marketing in 2018 with Alex Sibois, Managing Director APAC at Lotame and came up with the following suggestions: – Read

7 Big Misconceptions about Content Marketing

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Gone are the good old days of traditional marketing. Today’s trends revolve all around content marketing.

Are we surrounded by content marketing misconceptions? If so, then let’s clear them all today!

1. Content marketing is an easy way to attract masses
The world is a big place. It is not only you and me who are blogging or promoting our contents, there are millions of them out there trying to do the same.

Out of the total number of websites worldwide, WordPress itself comprises around 30% of the content management system. – Read

 
“Content marketing is the gap between what brands produce and what consumers actually want.”

As a blogger you have to make sure to bridge this gap.

How marketing departments are transforming marketing from a Cost Center to a Revenue Driver

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All this technology, all this data, all this new thinking—all of it is transforming marketing both operationally and strategically. Whereas once marketing was seen as the fluffy stuff—or, in the case of one company I worked at, the place that sticks a logo on letterheads and merchandise (car phone chargers! headphones!)—now there is a real drive towards proving return on investment. And where there is ROI, there’s more clout.

So with all this technology, data, new thinking—marketing transformation—how is it that some CMOs are still trying to prove their worth? As the CMO reaches the top table, they must move away from vanity metrics and begin to think about more robust ways to drive repeatable, predictable, and scalable revenue. The modern marketing leader is in the business of driving revenue, not spending money with no returns. – Read

Should You Stay In-House or Outsource Your Marketing?

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Do you outsource your marketing? Or are you no-source … in-sourced … or co-sourced?

With a million ways to get help with marketing, how do you know which option is right for your company?

Mark Schaefer and I recently had a discussion on this topic at Social Media Marketing World 2018.

And while recent headlines will put you in a panic that everyone is moving their marketing in-house, that’s just not the case.

Here’s some fodder for you if you’re figuring your own situation out. – Read

How will inbound marketing change under the GDPR?

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The new EU data laws has come into practice, and while marketers will be adapting their outreach techniques, it’s important to remember that inbound marketing behaviours will also have to change.

Inbound marketing means prospects are looking for more information from you. It will be up to the individual user as to whether or not they will leave their information and disclose what they want in terms of further contact.

Besides creating content of value that will convince your prospect to stay a little longer on your site, the user needs assurance that they can trust you to handle their data responsibly. – Read

User-Generated Content: How to Rally Customers to Create Content with You

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People are generally wary of direct marketing messages from a business. That’s why many brands invest time, effort, and money to produce content that can overcome consumer skepticism and earn people’s trust.

But what if you could source a steady supply of this kind of content without having to create it all yourself? – Read

Best UK Wedding Venues On Instagram 2017

Instagram is home to stunning photography and social networking through a photographic medium. To-date over 40 billion photos & videos have been shared on Instagram! [1]

Wedding venues have a unique ability to take advantage of Instagram due to the very nature of their businesses.

Everyday 1,000’s of weddings take place across the UK, resulting in millions of photos that wedding venues can harness. With each wedding comes a unique new take on the location, providing an endless supply of ever-changing photographic content for venues to publish.

Below you’ll find 10 of the top wedding venues to follow on Instagram in 2017!

Aynhoe Park
1,024 Posts | 11,300+ Followers

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“A private family home embodying British eccentricity, just one hour from London.”

Got to be honest, I was won over by the silver tray croc, and that was before I saw the other incredible photos from this curious English wedding venue.

@AynhoePark

Calcot Manor
677 Posts | 2,400+ Followers

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“Celebrated country house hotel with world-class spa, restaurant, pub and meeting rooms set in 220 acres of Cotswolds meadowland.”

Calcot Manor are very active on social media, with beautiful promotional and ‘behind the scenes’ published posts.

@Calcot_Manor

Limewood Hotel
1,304 Posts | 19,500+ Followers

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“5 star luxury country house hotel and spa in the New Forest.”

Limewood Hotel is a fantastic country escape wedding venue that loves to celebrate their incredible culinary expertise. Lots of mouth watering imagery used in their posts.

@LimewoodHotel

Hedsor House
642 Posts | 8,700+ Followers

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“Tatler & Vogue’s dream wedding venue, filming & corporate retreat location.”

Weddings at Hedsor House are magnificent. With spectacular spaces both indoors and out, it’s easy to understand why it’s a dream wedding venue for so many brides.

@Hedsor

Woods’ Silver Fleet
695 Posts | 880+ Followers

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“Luxe river cruisers Silver Sturgeon, Silver Barracuda & Silver Darling.”

Ultimate luxury British wedding venue, a private yacht charter on the River Thames, Laurent-Perrier champagne in hand!

@Woods_Silver_Fleet

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel
1,505 Posts | 10,100+ Followers

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“Steeped in history, it’s one of London’s most romantic wedding venues.”

This hotel venue is an icon for London luxury. Instagram posts are elegant and artistic, but still with a sense of fun and excitement for this historic wedding venue.

@StPancrasRen

Hotel Café Royal
1,392 Posts | 23,700+ Followers

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“A British institution in the heart of London.”

Continuing the London luxury venue theme, Hotel Café Royal on Regent Street presents Instagram followers with images of high-end luxury, quality, fine food and British elegance.

@HotelCafeRoyal

Tunnels Beaches
72 Posts | 347+ Followers

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“A uniquely designed coastal wedding venue – accessed via a hand carved tunnel through the cliff”

Whilst not the most followed Instagram wedding venue, Tunnels Beaches makes our list simply due to its awe-inspiring location and photographic content.

@TunnelsBeaches

Great Fosters
602 Posts | 2,400+ Followers

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“A luxury hotel with 2 restaurants in a Grade One listed building set in 50 acres of stunning gardens.”

Hugely romanticised, this historic wedding venue gardens provide an idyllic backdrop for Brides & Grooms, even including a Japanese bridge.

@GreatFosters

Blenheim Palace
326 Posts | 35,400+ Followers

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“The Palace is surrounded by over 90 acres of Formal Gardens including the Water Terraces, Rose Garden and the Duke’s Italian Garden, which provide a romantic and charming backdrop for your special occasion.”

Who wouldn’t want to get married in a palace! Much of this wedding venue’s Instagram posts depict the stunning grounds upon which Blenheim Palace is found.

@BlenheimPalace

This is just a handful of the fantastic UK wedding venues using Instagram in 2017. For information on more locations take a look at Instagram accounts like:

TheWeddingVenueGroupRusticBarnWeddingWedding_VenuesUKWeddingVenues & ElegantWeddingVenues – or search #WeddingVenueon Instagram (618,000+ public posts, May 2017).


Does your Wedding venue use Instagram or other social media platforms to engage with potential Brides? If not, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity to be seen by young Brides & Grooms who are making their wedding location decisions online!

LeadDigital support wedding venues and hospitality brands with their digital marketing, across social and paid channels. We can help you devise the perfect strategy and support its implementation for maximum results!

 

Need Help Increasing Your Wedding Venue Bookings?

Contact Us Today

 

References

[1] http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-networks/139-facts-and-stats-about-instagram-you-should-be-aware-2017-infographic

Why are Venues Using Survey Software?

It’s 7am Monday morning. You wake up, grab a coffee and read an email from your senior events planner telling you how Saturday’s event at your venue was an incredible success.

At this point it would be very easy to think “job done” and go about the rest of your day. Instead you pause and ask yourself – how does my team actually know the event was successful?

In our experience, most venues get event feedback from just one source, the event organiser. Of course they’re going to give good feedback, it was their event, they planned it and unless something went dramatically wrong, it was always going to be how they wanted it. However, let’s say this was a corporate event for 300 people, what did the other 299 guests think of the experience?

For all you know, the food could have been cold for half the guests and one of your waitresses could have been incredibly rude – but if this isn’t being fed back, it won’t be corrected.

So what’s the solution? Our recommendation is the use of online survey software, and our preferred solution is SurveyMonkey. Below I’ll explain why, and how it can benefit your venue.

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Guest feedback is vitally important. It’s the key to understanding your target market, their wants, needs and expectations, and it can provide insights that shape future business and marketing plans.

Typically for venues there are three stages of event survey: Planning, Real-Time & Post Event

Stage 1 – Event Planning

Survey software helps decision making become quick and (reasonably) painless. Rather than lots of back and forth questioning over email or phone, you can obtain all the event information you need in a single form. This can be as simple or complex as required, from just confirming headcount to gathering info on dietary restrictions or individual requests.

Event planning surveys give you a head start on guest expectations. Used as a research tool, surveys provide insights that enable you to plan the perfect occasion. Collected data can also be saved for future sales and marketing efforts, such as finding out where they originally saw your venue.

Stage 2 – Real-Time Surveys

Also known as “mid-event” or “during-event” surveys, this stage is about two things, encouraging engagement and gaining immediate feedback. Here are a few examples:

  • An event includes a meal. Between the starter and main course, have servers use a tablet to conduct a short and sweet survey. This way, you can immediately make corrections there and then before the meal’s second half begins.
  • You’re running a corporate conference. Between speakers, ask attendees to quickly complete a live survey on their mobiles about the event so-far. This feedback can then be shared with upcoming speakers who can adapt their talk accordingly.
  • Guests want to access your free wifi during an event. When they try to connect ask them first to complete a poll including their email address. This way you’ll get live feedback and a possible future sales lead!

More often than not, venues only ever have contact details for the event planner. We 100% recommend obtaining contact details for all attendees whenever possible, and real-time surveys provide the perfect opportunity to collect this info.

Stage 3 – Post Event Surveys

Of all the stages, post event surveys are the most important to action. This is because, using a well considered email strategy you can reach event goers just a day or two after the occasion, and get fresh feedback on their overall experience.

If you only did one survey, we’d recommend this option, as information collected will encompass the entire event from start to finish. It is also the perfect opportunity to build a relationship with each event guest individually, which if incentivised, could lead to future bookings.

Why SurveyMonkey?

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SurveyMonkey report over 25+ million business customers worldwide, with 99% of the Fortune 500 using this survey platform and over 3 million survey responses collected every day [1]. Their mission states:

“We want to make it as easy as possible for you to get at the knowledge you need to make smart, informed choices” [2]

There are five dominant reasons we love SurveyMonkey:

  1. Ease of use. SurveyMonkey is a very accessible and user friendly platform. Whilst it can be made more complex, it’s not overly complicated to get up and running with a new survey. Their survey builder is logically laid out and offers many design features, although you need a paid plan to take advantage of all options available.
  2. Templates. They provide over 200 expertly written surveys covering pretty much every subject you could imagine. So whether time is limited or imagination is lacking, there’s probably a template available to help get you started.
  3. Tips & Advice. SurveyMonkey offer a massive amount of online support, with tips and best practices on everything from the dos and don’ts of question writing, to help analysing survey results and next best steps.
  4. Integrations. In this digital world it’s becoming vital that software can talk to other platforms, and SurveyMonkey does this brilliantly. For example: Integrate with MailChimp for your email marketing, Eventbrite to contact event attendees, SalesForce for enriched CRM data or select one of the many other integrations available.
  5. Reporting. SurveyMonkey provide advanced but understandable analytics data for every survey you create; meaning that not only can you share stunning surveys, you can also discover exactly how to use data gathered wisely.

Conclusion

So why are venues using survey software? It’s because they can collect vital information about their venue and organised events otherwise unavailable, that can assist in decision making across all areas of a hospitality business. It also enables greater greater levels of guest satisfaction, which can lead to retention, referrals and brand loyalty.

At LeadDigital we can help with all your venues survey requirements. Starting with an initial consultation to develop a strategy plan, we support survey designs, implementation, integrations with other platforms and results reporting.

 

Want to Speak to us About Survey Software?

Contact Us Today

 

References

[1] https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/event-planning-surveys/?ut_source=header
[2] https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/mp/aboutus/