Congrats to Hardy Farm for their 100th wedding!

We have been working with our client, Hardy Farm, for the past 3 years. We are really excited that they are celebrating their 100th hosted wedding in just two weeks! The owners, Deborah and Greg Link, have done an amazing job of making capital improvements and continuing to move the vision of the property forward. The farm has received national recognition from Martha Stewart, Country Living, The Venue Report, 100 Layer Cake and many more, which speaks to the quality of experience that couples have when getting married there.

The first 100 wedding events is just the start, 2017 is already booked out and couples are already securing prime 2018 dates. Hardy Farm has a bright future and we are looking forward to continuing our valued relationship!

Fun to look at our case study with them that we put out 2 1/2 years ago!

marketing a b&b

Hardy Farm is nationally ranked among the top 11 rustic wedding venues by Martha Stewart Weddings:  Martha Stewart 11 Rustic Wedding Venues to Book

Hardy Farm is nationally ranked by Country Living magazine among the top 30 most beautiful barns for weddings:  Country Living's 30 of the Country's Most Beautiful Barns for Weddings 

Hardy Farm is nationally ranked among the top 22 barn wedding venues by The Venue Report:  22 Incredible Barn Venues

Hardy Farm is nationally ranked among the top 10 Barn Wedding Venues by 100 Layer Cake: Top 10 Barn Wedding Venues 

Marketing to Engaged Couples : Social Hubs

What is a social hub?

Through blog posts, photos and tweets, consumers are engaging brands in conversation. In response, smart marketers are utilizing these conversations as a marketing tool by inspiring social savvy consumers to co-create and share authentic content about their brands. Many brands are moving away from marketing at their customers and are embracing the opportunity to market with them. Think of your customers as potential influencers, brand ambassadors, and join the conversation. See a wedding venue social hub in action an how it can bring your companies website to life!

Millennials spend 18 hours consuming media every day

Millennials are a generation accustomed to constant communication and instant gratification. According to Kana, individuals between the ages of 25 and 34 years old check their smartphone, on average, once every 9 minutes and 55 seconds. Always connected, these media mavens are the most voracious consumers of content and use social media to stay connected to friends and family, news and pop culture, as well as industry trends and brands.

Millennials engage with user-generated content 5 hours out of every day and site peers as their biggest influence

So what are millennials doing when they’re checking their phone every 10 minutes? They’re engaging with content created by their peers. Millennials spend about 30% of their total media time on content created by their peers and say they trust peer reviews and input from friends more than they trust professional reviews, according to a study conducted by Crowdtap.

The average American millennial has a Facebook friend group of 360, according to Statista. On average, a wedding has 144 guests, each with their own personal cameras and sharing devices. Assuming each guest has 360 friends on Facebook, one unique photo or status tagging your brand from every guest has the potential to be seen by a total of 51,840 potential customers. This kind of content exposure is called social reach and these numbers are hard to ignore.

The content created by your customers and potential customers is called user-generated content and is arguably the most powerful marketing tool that you can leverage. Your blog and social media presence humanizes your brand, but user-generated content humanizes your brand through the mouths of your influencers.

People are already talking about your industry and your brand – Join the conversation

Search the hashtag #wedding on Twitter and you’ll uncover hundreds of tweets by brides, guests and wedding vendors. These are conversations that you can join to increase brand awareness. Try searching for other related industry terms, especially ones that are relevant to your core customer base. You may find that some of these conversations already mention your brand!

Monitoring conversations about your brand and your industry is called social listening and it’s imperative to interacting with customers and partners. It’s one of the best ways to learn more about your customers’ wants, needs, reservations and motivations.

Simplify social listening by collecting all content in one place

Leveraging a social listening platform makes it easy for brands to monitor industry related conversations, particularly ones that mention their brand, in one place. The goal is to identify what sparks influencers to become brand advocates - talking up your brand to friends and family - then to partner with those influencers to create more authentic content and drive conversations that have the opportunity to influence a more targeted customer base.

Tide Creative is excited to announce that we’re offering a social listening platform to wedding vendors! No need to scour Facebook, Twitter and Instagram separately. Our platform enables you to monitor user-generated content surrounding your brand in one place. We call this a social hub and we’re offering two different packages.  

Social Hub:  $1000 setup and $20/month

Social Hub with Geo-Targeting:  $1000 setup and $40/month

For more information or to set up your social hub, contact us at: info@tidecreative.com

wedding venue marketing

wedding in maine

Love & Lobster

We are passionate about coastal weddings around here and well, we would love to have you join us on our directory for Love & Lobster!!  We have seen how the industry is moving from large corporate planning sites to more niche and regional blogs, L&L is a great example of a both of those. We feature coastal wedding inspiration from Cape Cod to Bar Harbor with posts 3-4 times weekly! We would not only love to have you as a advertiser, but also contributor. We know your talented and would love to have you share your wisdom with our readers. Please reach out to hello@loveandlobster.com to get featured.

maine wedding inspiration
maine wedding inspiration

The Importance of Mobile-Friendly & Responsive Design

<Originally published on June 3rd, 2015 - have updated some number and republished today> A couple of weeks ago, Google announced that mobile search finally surpassed desktop search. Recognizing an obvious trend, Google announced that it is now ranking and promoting sites based on how "mobile friendly" they are. This means, at the very least, your website should be mobile friendly. Best case scenario? Your site employs "responsive design".

So what the heck is the difference between mobile friendly and responsive? According to Signal Fire, "Mobile friendly refers to a site that displays accurately between your desktop/laptop computer and a mobile device...While it will appear smaller on a phone and may not work perfectly on a touchscreen tablet, a mobile friendly website will be perfectly functional." Responsive design is very similar, however rather than a smaller design that works fine on any device, each page is designed three different ways: one for desktop, one for tablet and one for mobile, with the end result being a perfect experience no matter where viewed.

While mobile-friendly is fine for now, responsive design is more easily adapted to future technologies (yes, eventually we will all have to learn yet another technology!). As you can imagine, it takes work to make your current site mobile friendly, and a whole new site to incorporate responsive design, but the importance cannot be emphasized enough.

Google will rank a mobile-friendly or responsive site significantly higher than a website that only works on a desktop computer.

Still not convinced? The average American citizen surfs the web on their phone at least 2 hours and 42 minutes per day! That equates to 41 days each year! We can guarantee this trend is only moving upwards, so if you're not mobile friendly, it's time to jump on the band wagon.

Wondering if your wedding website is mobile friendly? Google has made a helpful tool for us all to test our sites: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

You can also Google your business name on your mobile device and you should see the "Mobile Friendly", see image below. wedding mobile sitesFor some awesome examples of websites employing responsive design, check out: http://www.fpmaine.com/, http://www.cairnevents.com/, http://www.thefritzfarm.com/. A great example of a mobile-friendly designis: http://www.loveandlobster.com/

 

Ready to take the plunge into updating your site? Tide Creative is here to help! Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!

Any Place, Any Time and Any Device

  Today's couples are connecting to your business on all types of devices. How your website appears on a smart phone, tablet or desktop will determine if you get their attention - this can be a huge opportunity, or it can be where you lose business to a competitor.

Are your ideal clients finding you on a Galaxy Tablet, iPhone 6 Plus, or their work computer? A responsive website will reformat images and copy, making it easily accessible and viewable on different devices - regardless of screen size. Savvy web developers are even able to cater the experience to the specific device sizes (fine-tuning what is seen on a mobile vs. a tablet, for example), further driving a great user experience.

We've mentioned this before, but it's worth repeating: Google favors responsive design! Responsive web design serves the same HTML code on the same URL regardless of the users’ device (desktop, tablet, mobile, non-visual browser), but can render the display differently (i.e., “respond”) based on the screen size. Responsive design is Google’s recommended design pattern.

mobile friendly wedding websitesYour potential clients should be able to look at your brand any time, any place and on any device. Allow us to create a web presence for you with a responsive site that will cater to each of those experiences and represent you the best! Booking that ideal wedding client takes more than just being good at what you do today - you must also present yourself in a manner that creates trust online...we can do that for you! Contact us for a free consultation.

Why Your Brand Needs A Style Guide

With branding, consistency is key. Establishing a visual brand identity gives your company a voice in the world. That voice should sound (and look) consistent across all media platforms, not only to make your brand easily identifiable, but to also to build up trust between your business and the consumer. The easiest way to keep things visually consistent, especially as your business grows, is having a brand style guide. Listing all of your basic brand elements and acting as the singular point of reference for any future design projects and the designers that might be work on them. Having a style guide can save everyone time, money and frustration.

What’s included in a branding style guide can vary a lot depending on the size of the company.  Most small businesses can benefit greatly from just having a simple, visual one-page reference, while larger companies require more robust corporate identity guidelines.

At the most basic level a style guide should include these elements:

Your Logo & Tagline/Slogan

Include all versions of your logo: color, reversed, black and white. Also include any approved alternate logo arrangements such as stacked vs. one line, or a shortened or iconic version used for social media perhaps.

Color Scheme

The colors used by a brand should be spelled out with as much detail as possible. That means offering up not only hex codes for web use, but also equivalent CMYK and even Pantone color values for print projects.

Fonts

Every brand should have a consistent set of fonts being used in all of their marketing materials, online and off. Listing out these fonts, with examples and character sets, is hugely important. This should include the fonts used in your logo, font’s that should be used as header/body copy and any suggested web fonts.

Photos, Textures/Patterns, Icons, and Other Imagery

Here you will want to include any custom textures, patterns or graphic elements that have been designed to be used in association with your brand as backgrounds or highlights through places on your website and/or marketing materials. You could also include any specifics about the style of photos and imagery that you would like associated with your brand. That way if any stock imagery is needed for marketing down the road it will have the same look and feel as the rest of your imagery does. We are happy to give your existing brand a style guide of it’s own or help you with a whole new branding package! Take a look at our work and contact us today!