Marketing for Hospitality Professionals : Blogging

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.

Need help with your Marketing Strategy, reach out!

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Does Your Brand Need A Style Guide

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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!

BALANCE REVERIE RETREAT

JOIN ME AND SOME AMAZING WEDDING INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS THIS FALL!

Secrets of Social Media, SEO, & Marketing

Marketing expert J Sandifer guides us through creating a powerful social media and marketing plan, how to use social media to further business growth, and techniques for putting social media to work for you. J will talk about why and how to use Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and your blog.  As part of J’s class, invaluable worksheets, tips, and print outs provided by J Sandifer, Reverie Gallery’s professional bloggers, and Erica Powell will be provided. Mentor: J Sandifer Balance Retreat

JUST A COUPLE OF THE OTHER STANDOUT SESSIONS!

DREAMSCAPING

Dreamscaping allows you to think about your life and your business long term, find out what your dream life looks like, and figure out the reasons you are looking for success. Once you have a clear vision of your end game, Erica will give you strategies for redesigning your life to fit your priorities, as well as your personal and professional goals.  Mentor: Erica Powell

Elevating Your Business through Branding

Branding is much deeper than just a pretty logo, and can do so much more for your business than you can ever imagine! Luxury branding expert, Vanessa Kreckel, reveals what luxury level branding is, and how it can change everything for your business. Vanessa walks us through her professional branding process and shares practical and actionable tips for elevating your brand through a stronger online and offline marketing presence. Mentor: Vanessa Kreckel

The Power of Being Authentic

Abbey Kyhl shares the power behind being your true self and standing out from competitors, the process of creating a brand that reflects who you truly are and sticking with it, staying on the cutting edge and ahead of the crowd, and how having an authentic brand and online presence can attract the clients you want to work with most. Mentor: Abbey Kyhl

 

IF YOU ARE WONDERING IF THIS WILL BE GOOD FOR YOUR BUSINESS, PLEASE REACH OUT AND WE CAN TALK!