By Ciara Feely
Meeting Planners don’t believe traditional marketing material any more. They don’t even respond to “a Sales Pitch” and are indeed put off by it. They believe their peers, other Planners and what delegates are saying on social media. They need to feel Trust before they will engage with you. I have a number of different strategies to incorporate “TRUST” into your overall marketing plan; strategies that ensure the Planner is listening, believing and wanting what you are promising.
I am all about making life easy on the Sales & Marketing Department. I have put together some quick and easy ways to market your Conference and Event Space without spending a cent!
Instagram is emerging as one of the most useful social media platforms for marketing in the hospitality business. It holds a massive opportunity to engage and promote your hotel. Almost 100 million monthly users can be reached and 40 million photos are shared every day. Yet there are less than 800 hotels in the world active on Instagram!!!
The Instagram audience loves photos of food, travel, pets, quotes and luxury. Hotels and venues can tick a lot of boxes with that list. Using the medium of “sharing” this marketing strategy turns your clients into marketing machines and photographers for you.
Here are some top tips from Bespoke-Marketing.com/au on how to use Instagram to market your Venue.
This is what not to do!!
a.Do not use it for traditional advertising purposes. No sales pitches, brochure content, specials or rates.
b.Do not upload standard hotel brochure pictures and expect to gain followers and engage with instagrammers.
c.Use a creative slant of a room – choose an aspect, angle or feature to highlight something unique (don’t just show bottles of water and stationery on the table!)
d.Show off your surroundings – the new dessert Chef has created for a conference menu, a creative display of food, a sun set from the VIP suite used for Conference Planners, a client’s logo displayed in food, a new cocktail designed for an upcoming event
e.Go behind the scenes – show them what is behind the doors for “Staff only”. Instagrammers are curious – show them the kitchen, the Chef in operation, a spa therapist preparing the room for a luxury massage, the local farmer delivering the produce – or indeed go to the farm and show them who your suppliers are
f.Highlight your location – geotagging is a standard option when you share on Instagram, Make sure you use it to promote your destination
g.Caption all Images – captions are the equivalent to a title and are essential. Don’t use a caption as a sales pitch but write something about the shot itself, the food, the view, the location. A question works also to encourage comments.
h.Use popular hashtags, people follow #hashtags
#Eventprofs #Assnchat #Meetingprofs
i.Put your brand somewhere on the photos to create instant recognition
j.Engage – like other photos – especially of the people you want to follow you
k.Show employee interaction – staff having fun setting up for an event, the chef preparing amazing food and deserts, meeting and conference delegates having fun!
And here are a few of my own tips….
l.Create a gallery on your website of your guests Instagram photos – look up The Standard Hotels as a great example- check out their Gallery link
m.Use positive emotions a lot more than sad emotion. People want to be happy and for you to make them happy. Planners definitely want their delegates to feel happy at your venue so show them photos of happy delegates having fun at your hotel or venue!
Here are some great examples - @Morganshotelgroup, @Thompsonhotels, @hamiltonisland
The common denominator of all these effective marketing mediums is NOT TO SELL! Most meeting Planners do not respond to being sold to. It is a lot more effective to build trust and your credibility with them first. The best way to do this is by building your Tools of Trust – Your Sales Tools. I am running webinars this week where I share with you the best way to build trust into your Proposal, I will give you plenty of tips to write a Proposal that WINS! By changing just one aspect to your proposal, it can transform your results.