In May 2015 Burnham Grove Estate situated in Camden NSW begun it’s start-up phase. It was positioned as an exclusive and intimate country wedding venue, it also had accommodation for bridal parties and a reception marquee. The owners approached Ascend Digital looking for help to firstly build a great website and secondly to book weddings for the upcoming seasons. After the initial meeting and discussion with the owners and senior management a strategy was devised to kick-start the business. As the business was not yet functioning the first hurdle to be overcome was making sure the business appeared established enough to secure it’s first handful of weddings. Our recommended requirements for this wedding venue were:
- A fast loading mobile friendly website with business hosting.
- A modern & attractive design with high quality photography & video.
- Information and calls to action to attract advance bookings.
- Local & State SEO to rank high on Google Organic search.
- Social Media (Facebook) setup & website integration.
For competitive markets like wedding venues it is imperative that the website loads fast. Potential customers rarely hang around for slow sites to load before clicking the next on the list. We selected VentraIP which is an Australian company that handles the majority of our clients. Business hosting was selected rather than the cheaper options. WordPress was chosen for the CMS as it allowed easy updating (galleries, office hours etc.). A generic “Responsive” framework was installed allowing maximum design flexibility and customisation.
Professional photography of the venue spaces had already been acquired, this gave us the majority of the initial content. As no actual weddings had yet taken place “stock” photography would be used until the venue had some under it’s belt. The photos were chosen from the high quality selection at Adobe Stock. The website as you see it today uses no stock photography, real weddings have provided more than enough visual content for the website. It was a massive selling point to have a professional video of the venue made by Way Up High.The overall design was elegant and visual, a full screen slider was used for the home page for maximum visual impact. A custom font was used for the headings throughout. The site has been constantly tweaked since it’s first build, a great website never stands still!
Packages & Info
Basic contact information was added for various aspects of the business as well as a Google map. Brides tend to shop around and compare venues, because of this it was crucial to have comprehensive information and downloadable PDF brochures ready before launch. The “Wedding Spaces” and Wedding Collection” pages provide most of the information a potential customer would need. They are also very visual.
SEO (search engine optimisation)
Various local SEO techniques were employed both on-site and off. The target keywords were both service descriptive and regional. the venue ranked very highly in Google organic search for various high value keywords, a very good result.
Social Media Integration
Social media and wedding venues are ideal partners. Weddings are “social” events and sites like Facebook are a perfect way to be seen by those social groups surrounding the bridal parties, attendees or not. As of today Burnham Grove Estate has over 3,000 likes/followers, a huge captive audience providing free marketing opportunities. A Facebook feed has also been added to the website providing social proof for brides to be who may not know who to trust with their special day.
As of the first quarter 2017 Burnham Grove Estate is booked out into next year and beyond. The majority of bookings come from Google organic search. Then the website plays it’s part in selling the venue, finally the experienced team handle the enquiries and weddings themselves. As with most strategies in marketing the plan is simple, the execution is not.
“Thank you to Ascend Digital who created a very successful website for our venue. John was incredibly easy to work with, very attentive, and he had a wealth of knowledge for the set-up of google search rankings which has definitely assisted the increase of bookings!”
Gabrielle Wilson | General Manager | Burnham Grove Estate
Other Recent Wedding Venue Projects
After the marriage ceremony of his daughter on his property, the owner of Corcoran’s Plains Eddie Corcoran decided in 2016 to open the venue for weddings. Ascend Digital were called in to organise the venue website and online marketing as well as various other operational issues. Because the venue was in the start-up phase there were many gaps in the content that needed filling. Luckily after his daughter’s wedding we did have a very good album of photos from a local professional photographer to work with.
The branding for Corcoran’s Plains was developed by Ascend Digital in line with the venues intended positioning. The project begun with hosting/email setup and a website was designed to display the incredible country wedding venue at it’s best. The website is currently a work in progress with new content being added as the business develops. Drone footage was also added which adds immensely to the website’s immersion.
When starting a wedding venue initial marketing is the key to success. Google AdWords was used to stimulate bookings, this lead to a huge quantity of qualified website traffic, over 160 in the first month from the Canberra area. Facebook was also set up and a social media manger employed to work this lead generation channel.
As of 2017 the venue is well situated to receive bookings for the forthcoming season and into next year. The Canberra market has been tested and is very healthy.
“John from Ascend Digital was recommended to me from a close friend who was also a client. He helped me set up the website and kickstart the bookings using Facebook and Google AdWords, I would strongly recommend John’s expertise.”
Eddie Corcoran | Owner | Corcoran’s Plains
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