At the start of 2020, the Barn on the Pemi in Plymouth, NH had been open for 18 months. It had also exceeded its total financial projections by 40%. How? A website precisely designed for the Barn’s target customer and a digital campaign that generates thousands of qualified leads each year. Here’s how we made that happen.
New venues – whether hotels, restaurants, or event spaces – all face three key challenges in digital marketing:
- Launching a website that inspires sales leads long before the venue exists
- Evolving content strategically to keep pace as the venue development evolves
- Once the venue debuts, implementing a high-octane marketing campaign with enough staying power to shepherd success past the “new venue buzz” phase and well into sustainable growth
When the folks launching Barn on the Pemi asked us to build and then market their new website, we took one look at the architecture and design plans…and we drooled (it’s pretty gorgeous). Then we wiped the drool, rolled up our sleeves, and implemented a timeline with military precision that went like this:
Jan 2018: Debuted thebarnonthepemi.com (after extensive brand positioning discussions to craft the appropriate vibe and tone) with area visuals, design drawings, inspirational descriptions, and sophisticated RFP tool.
Feb – April 2018: Launched thoughtful digital campaign to foster search traction and visibility for the site, while also adding regular enhancements to content: construction updates, new photography, event opportunities.
April – May 2018: Enhanced the site fully with breathtaking inspirational photography showing styled detail and vignette shots of the venue in “soft opening” mode, along with staged “wedding scene” photos. Escalated intensity and reach of digital marketing campaign.
June 2018: Barn is fully open and hosts first few weddings…a system is immediately put in place to get consent from couples and photographers to use their event images on the website moving forward. Also, a comprehensive digital marketing campaign is launched, which includes an integrated three-pronged strategy for generating referral traffic, organic traffic, and paid advertising (PPC) traffic…with a strong focus on sales lead generation and RFP completion.
Fall 2018: Quarterly analytics review drives decision to build and launch more robust online gallery, and orchestrate year-long shot list to diversify images by season, style, and special features.
Dec 2018: Barn ends the year with 1,200 qualified leads coming through the RFP tool, 44% more weddings than projected, and revenue projections exceeded by 40%.
2019: Continued targeted digital strategy in place, with consistent focus on growing reach with the three-pronged approach. Quarterly analytics review discussion with the sales team aligns planned strategies with evolving business goals, and aligns messaging with emerging business patterns.
And where did things stand as 2020 arrived? Here are some stats for you geeky types:
- Traffic to the site was up 25% year-over-year
- Bounce rate was down 15% year-over-year
- Lead generation was up 32% year-over-year
- Sales projections for 2019 were exceeded by 40%
Fast forward to late 2021 – ahem, skipping over “the pandemic months” – and Barn on the Pemi is in its strongest position to date. In fact, Wednesday Weddings are now “a thing” because the venue is booked every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and most Mondays and Thursdays as well.
And stay tuned because we’ll be unveiling a completely redesigned website for the Barn in early 2022!