Blogging is more relevant today than ever before! Yes, other social channels are exciting and can certainly be more engaging, but I want you to own the platforms that you are spending your time and talent on! Can you imagine building a following on your blog and then deciding that only 6% of your followers are allowed to see that content? Well, that is exactly what Facebook has done! You spent your time, energy and, in some cases, money building a following there and now Facebook wants more money to give you access to the people who have already “Liked” your page. You can shake your fist at Mark Zuckerburg all you want, but the reality of the situation is that he owns the Facebook platform and can change the settings and advertising requirements as much as he needs to in order to have a successful business.
Instead of getting mad, simply refocus your attention on the platforms YOU own.
I want to encourage you to make your blog the center of your marketing because you own it. You control how the content is distributed, who your marketing reaches and when. You can update the design and functionality as trends change, and you aren’t at the mercy of another business who is trying to make money off of your user engagement. Your followers and clients have as much or as little access to your brand as you want.
Trust is a marketing tool that can’t be bought. When booking a night in your hotel, hiring a wedding vendor for a wedding, or booking an event professional, most people are flying blind. They know a little about what you do and your style, but they want proof in order to feel comfortable trusting you with their hard earned money. This trust can be built from the ground up with a successful blog.
1. START A BLOG: Many hospitality businesses are leery to start a blog, thinking that the time commitment is not worth the value they receive and at first that certainly seems so. As I speak to hospitality professionals about blogging, one of my favorite sayings is that it is a marathon, not a sprint (yes, this pertains to SEO as well). Blogging is about consistency and producing quality content that builds on itself over time. I would suggest 1-2 posts a week to get the most bang for the buck. There are a number of platforms, but Squrespace & WordPress are the easiest to use and customizable, so your site will reflect your brand.
2. CONTENT CREATION: Another concern that I hear a lot is that businesses don’t have anything to blog about. Once you get started you may have a hard time deciding what to blog first! We like blog series as they allow you to concentrate on a subject for multiple posts and they keep your readers coming back.
Creating great content for your blog also allows you to spread that content to other places, including Facebook, Instagram, and your newsletter. A blog also allows your ambassadors to help easily promote you through social media as well.
HERE ARE SOME IDEAS TO GET YOU STARTED:
• What are the most frequently asked questions that you get from prospective clients?
• What are some things to do in the area?
• Do you have recommended vendors?
• Has your business been featured in any magazines or popular blogs?
• Feature some images of past events you’ve participated in
• A what makes your business unique blog post series?
• Is your business offering any promotions?
Need more?… just reach out to us and we can help!
3. SEO: Blogging will have the added effect of drawing people to your brand through search engine optimization. Creating content that is specific to your wedding business niche and your geographic location will add to your PageRank with Google. This brings your site to the top of search engines when people search for terms related to you and your business. The title of the post and the first few sentences of the first paragraph are particularly indexable, so make sure to call out some key terms in these places.
4. PHOTOGRAPHY: Nothing is shared online more than images, so make sure to include an image in each and every blog post. To improve your chance of the image being found in a search, name the photo file with relevant keywords (yes, that means the .jpeg). Images draw a visitor’s attention and should be highlighting your unique style.
Make sure to feature all the events that you take part in and keep lists of the professionals that participated in each event. Photographers, be sure to share your events in a timely manner with the other vendors, particularly the hotel/venue. That way, they can post your images on their blogs and social media (with your logo of course). Use LulaWed to share your images with those vendors, and they’ll do the heavy lifting for you!
5. SOCIAL MEDIA: You’re producing content and pushing it out into the world; make certain that it is extremely easy for your site’s visitors to share your content with their friends and fans! We’ve used Shareaholic on a number of blogs and have found it easy to install and effective. Make certain there is a link on your blog to your other social media properties like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.