Getting gardens digital
The Candide Visitor Solutions team exists to support gardens with digital transformation, whether that’s supporting with online ticketing solutions or providing marketing or social media training.
In autumn 2019, Candide surveyed more than 65 partner gardens to find out what the biggest challenges facing the garden sector were. Over 40% of responses sited that lack of marketing skills or lack of budget as some of their main issues. In March 2020, as the Covid-19 crisis began, digital content creation became increasingly crucial as gardens wanted to share what was going on in the garden during the period of closure. In addition, many marketing staff had been furloughed, and staff who had never before been responsible for marketing were asked to engage their visitors online.
Candide set about creating video guides for gardens to enable novice videographers to capture clips, tours, and ambient videos of their stunning gardens to share with their community.
For garden owners and staff who had limited experience sharing content online, Candide worked on a one on one basis providing virtual consultation. Working over the phone or via video call, the Candide team was able to talk gardens through the basics of social media and e-marketing, tailored to the gardens specific needs and gaps in knowledge.
One garden who benefitted from marketing consultation was Hookshouse Pottery and Gardens, a small family-run garden in Gloucestershire.
"We needed help with navigating digital platforms, notably facebook - understanding the specialised terminology and cutting through the plethora of options to find the route to where I wanted to get to. I just needed to learn how facebook etc. actually works, which often seemed to me far from intuitive.”
We booked in a 2hr session with owner Chris White to run through the basics of social media. Uploading images, types of content to share, and responding to messages were key points on the agenda. Using video conferencing and screen sharing, we were able to navigate the garden's social media platforms and provide training as we went.
“The training session with Lauren was fantastic! I learned SO much. How brilliant to have help tailored to my own particular areas of ignorance! An invaluable resource.” Chris White, Hookshouse Pottery & Gardens.