What first impression are we making?

First Impressions

First Impression? According to a study by Missouri University of Science and Technology…“when viewing a website, it takes users less than two-tenths of a second to form a first impression”.

Are you acutely aware of the first impression you make on your prospective couple when they see your site for the first time? Are you sure you are making the best possible impact? I ask these questions because we know couples today are doing extensive research online and vetting your venue IN DETAIL on a variety of platforms. Your online presence is absolutely vital to impress prospective wedding couples and drive enquiries.

Here are my thoughts on how to WOW in the first instance:

First things first. Put yourselves in the shoes of a prospective, newly engaged couple and take the actual customer journey on your own website, so you can gauge the first impression.

Here’s three things key to consider:

1. Usability – is your site mobile responsive?

As of Feb 2021 56% of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones. (Source: Oberlo)

It is vital that your website is easy to use on mobile devices – try clicking around and filling out forms, or clicking the phone number – does it dial straight through?Image shows hands with tattoos on the arms scrolling a mobile phone

2. Navigation – how easy is it to find the wedding section and send an enquiry or book an appointment?

83% of users expect a flawless experience whenever they visit a website on mobile, which can be difficult to achieve. (Source: Business Service Weekly)

61% of users will never return to a website if it is not mobile adaptive, so you don’t want to turn people away. (Source: Impact BND)

The Millennial generation make up the core of today’s wedding market and have a need for instant gratification – we are just not prepared to wait for things anymore! For instance, if the info they need is difficult to find or they are unable to send an enquiry/book an appointment easily and in the way they want (online) they are likely to move onto another venue.

A first impression is all about simplicity.

•How easy is it to find the wedding section on your website?

•How many subheadings and clicks are required to get there?

•Is it clear how to make an enquiry?

•What if they want to come in for a viewing?

Attention spans are short these days so you have to make it as EASY as possible for them to USE and NAVIGATE through your website.

3. Content – what first impression will make you stand out from the crowd?

24% of couples say that an “impressive wedding coordinator” was an important part of their decision making process when booking a venue (Source: WeddingDates Industry Report)

How can you offer more to couples and share your experience/knowledge of the wedding industry? As we know couples are likely to be overwhelmed and confused so using your expertise can help position you as a trusted source of information.

It makes sense that the person who they are dealing with is up front and centre on the venue website and on any listings you are on.

Using photos to introduce the team is one way that you can help couples to begin to get to know you

Consider alternative terminology for your job titles that will help you stand out from other venues. How many times has a couple come across a ‘wedding coordinator’? Could you use a different one that conjures a sense of emotion?

A great example I have seen is the ‘Director of Romance’ at Washingborough Hall in Lincolnshire. This wording instantly creates a sense that planning a wedding here would be something special – a great first impression!

The Power of VideoImage shows a women holding a video camera which can help build a first impression

Video is an AMAZING way to show off your personality and at WeddingDates we are big advocates for using video to communicate with clients.

A few stats relating to video that I find interesting….

The human brain processes visuals 60,000x faster than text according to Hubspot, which is an opportunity for your venue. 

The Positive emotions that are created by watching a video can actually impact your viewers’ buying decisions. (Scheibehenne)

Also, Videos are usually presented as stories, and stories are 22x more memorable than facts alone. (Jennifer Aaker, Stanford)

Use Video to introduce the team and answer FAQs. It does not need to be formal.  Weddings are about relationships. Thus, you have more opportunity to build relationships through your communicating with couples than you would have with corporate bookers.

If professionally filmed videos are not an option for you right now could you film using your mobile? Consider creating an Instagram highlight reel that you can direct couples to where you introduce the venue, share some past real weddings or answer FAQs.

  • What have you done to help make a strong first impression?
  • Have you ever been on a customer journey on your own website?
  • Have you used video to help tell your story?

I would love to hear your thoughts and experience in the comments.

This article was inspired by our Lunch & Learn webinar series from March this year and first published on Linkedin.  You can watch the webinars back via the links below.

Alix Matania-Allerton

Wedding Industry Expert / Speaker & Webinar Host / UK Sales Manager / Key Account Manager (WeddingDates)

 

You can download a copy of the 2021 Wedding Industry Report:

UK Report HERE

IE Report HERE

Image credits:Priscilla Du Preez,William Bayreuther

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