There are plenty of major marketing challenges wedding vendors face, like confronting a constant stream of new clients instead of establishing a repeat customer base and the long buying cycle of couples who are often engaged for a year or more. Weddings are once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and that means your business needs a detail-oriented approach to maximize your success; understanding what engaged couples want is the first piece of the puzzle when it comes to effectively marketing in this competitive (but rewarding) industry. Here are a few ways wedding vendors can market their services more effectively:
- Focus on what sets you apart. The couples you’ll be working with have a lot of potential vendors to choose from, and they want to know what makes your product or service different from everyone else’s. Be sure to feature what makes you stand out in your promotional materials and on your website, so it’s one of the first things clients see about you. Whether it’s your organizational system, photographic style, handmade rustic decor, or innovative platform for ordering custom bridesmaid dresses without ever having to set foot in a boutique, you’ve got something one-of-a-kind to offer engaged couples, and you should highlight that as much as possible to attract their eye.
- Use content marketing. Traditional advertising is not nearly as effective as it once was; people can sniff out a sales pitch a mile away. That’s why content marketing can be a more successful approach since it works to build long-term relationships with potential customers through original, relevant, authentic, and interesting content. People like content that is actually useful—like how-to videos, wedding hacks, featured weddings, and the like—and they want that useful content to be short, sweet, and to the point. Content marketing professionals are solutions providers, not advertisers; they generate consumable, shareable content that engages their audience to keep their brand in customers’ minds.
- Social media networking. When it comes to social media marketing, most wedding professionals already know you need a Facebook account—some wedding planners report that up to 60-70 percent of their new business comes from Facebook. If you’re going to use social media to network and meet new potential clients, make sure your Facebook page is well-developed, organized, and maintained. You should be posting on your social media platforms regularly, including Instagram and Pinterest, since these apps are especially popular with brides-to-be who are scoping out recommendations and ideas for the big day. Be sure to do your research and know which hashtags for Instagram will help you target your customer and network most effectively.
- High-quality photos and videos. Brides want to see exactly how their wedding might look, so whether you’re a venue trying to increase bookings or a boutique trying to focus on bridesmaid dress sales, having high-quality, original photography is critical to your marketing success. Implement quality photos and videos across all your social media platforms and develop stunning materials in PDF form to send out to prospective couples when they express interest in your services. If possible, have professional seasonal photography and represent as much diversity as possible so each bride can see her unique vision in your brand.
- Be inclusive. One concern LGBTQ couples face when planning their wedding is the anxiety of contacting vendors who may or may not be receptive to servicing their event. It’s important to market yourself as a diverse and inclusive vendor. To do this, take a moment to reflect on your website and other materials: Do the photos feature a diverse clientele? What type of language are you using? Traditional phrasing like “bride and groom” may be unintentionally exclusive, so opt for phrasings like fiance, the engaged, the couple, or partner. If you’re a vendor who coordinates with other preferred or recommended vendors, it may be worthwhile to ensure they are inclusive so you don’t lead any of your customers astray.
- Have a consistent voice. No one wants to feel like they are talking to a robot. Yes, it’s important to be professional, but you also need to be genuine, relatable, and natural. And while it may sound obvious, make sure your voice remains consistent across all your platforms—social media, blogs, websites, email campaigns, printables, etc. You want your brand’s style to be true to who you are and what you have to offer; it makes it that much easier to keep things consistent when you’re being your authentic self.
When it comes to the wedding industry, it’s important for vendors to consider the human element in all marketing efforts; remember, you’re working to make someone’s special day even better. In the end, you don’t get customers from your marketing strategies so much as through them. The information you offer through your marketing may draw contact, but it’s what you do to nurture that connection that really determines whether you earn their business.
What marketing strategies are working well for your wedding business? Share your insights in the comments.