A Guide to Marketing Your Wedding Business in 2020
Let’s face it, marketing in 2020 is complicated. As a consumer, it may feel like ads are inescapable. You see them on your social media, see them while watching your favorite shows, hear them on the radio, or even pass one by when you’re driving around town. The reality is, ads are an integral component of running any successful business. Without an effective marketing campaign, you could end up wasting hundreds if not thousands of dollars, and potential customers may never even know your business exists! While creating an effective marketing strategy may sound incredibly daunting, we hope this guide provides the information you need to get started creating effective advertisements that will help grow your wedding business.
- Develop your target market strategy
You might be asking yourself, “what is a target market strategy?” Put simply, it is your plan of action to reach the people that are most likely to buy your product or services. Developing a target market is essential because without it, you would be marketing to everyone. While it may seem like a good idea to cast a “wide net” it is ultimately very ineffective and you end up wasting precious marketing dollars in your budget. Even in the wedding industry it might be easy to think “well that’s easy, my target market would be couples getting married.” However, you can still narrow your market down even further for more effectiveness. So how do you find your target market? With data. Lots and lots of data. Data is a pretty broad word so lets break down what we mean by data. If you are a new wedding business owner, the best way to gather this information is to set the market you desire to reach and run some advertisements. This might sound like a complete shot in the dark but with the tools provided by Facebook and The Knot, you will be pleasantly surprised how targeted you can make those ads. For businesses that might have little more experience and some data from their CRM software, this process might be a little easier. You can see trends in couples that have purchased your services, such as, date, age, price range, venue, and geographical locations. This information is invaluable because it allows you to take a more precise approach to advertising. Imagine this: you are a florist based out of Orlando, Florida and you are looking back at the previous year of bookings. To your surprise, you notice that a lot of your clients are coming from the Tampa area. With this information you can now begin to target ads to that area and assess the outcomes of that marketing campaign. Did you obtain any leads from that campaign? Who is viewing your ad? As time consuming as this may sound, it must take precedence in your business plan, because without a target market, you are essentially throwing a dart at the wall blindfolded, hoping for a bullseye. With a successful, data backed target market, You should be able to identify your customers by age range, geographic regions, what their struggle points are, and why they want whatever you are offering them. Spreadsheets will become your best friend, but more on developing your target market in a future article.
- Educate with your creations
I am willing to bet you this isn’t the first time you’re hearing this, but I cannot emphasize the importance of providing value to your leads in the sales process. Why should they book you? What are you going to do for them? Now, for those that don’t know what I am talking about, what do I mean by educating with your marketing material? This could be putting a blog post together about “things I wish I knew before I book (insert service)” or creating a video on tips for the best wedding. Whatever is most important to you and your niche. While education seems to be the quickest and most effective way to provide this value, it doesn’t always need to be education. Providing value could simply be creating a short highlight reel of your past weddings, or sharing an incredible review. Let your leads see you, how you operate, and get to know you before you ever meet in person. Whatever approach you decide, the question you should be asking yourself when you’re considering creating media for a marketing campaign is “will this provide value to my potential clients and will this continue the sales conversation.” A good mix of various types of media, including blog posts, photos, and videos, is the most effective way to really create value for your audience (in my humble opinion). Not to mention, the opportunities for SEO.
- Make your marketing message meaningful
Personalizing your marketing message may be one of the most challenging or easiest tips depending on if you have developed your target market strategy. If you have not developed a target market, then creating a meaningful marketing message is going to be extremely difficult because you have no idea who you are tailoring your message to. For example, if your target market is couples between the ages of 21-25, that marketing message is going to look a lot different than if you were targeting an age demographic of say couples who are 35-40 years old. These details matter and it could be the difference between booking the business or not. That is why it is vital to know what to look for, what the greatest difficulty is for these demographics and market to those specific needs. It is also important to customize your marketing message and not get stuck in a repetitive narrative. I’m sure you’ve seen a marketing message that is commonly used in your industry. More often than not, these messages are used and repeated by other businesses because, well, they were effective. However, these types of messages may come off as disingenuous or tacky simply because of how frequently they are used. If you can, try to break away from these types of messages. It can also be helpful to put yourself in the bride or groom’s shoes. “If I was getting married what would I want to hear?” Your marketing message should be unique to you and include your own personal flare. While it might be easy to rip off a trite message, use your target demographics to create something unique that will appeal to them that also ties in to your business identity and mission.
- Expand your social network
When you hear social networks, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For me, it was Instagram and Facebook. While those might comprise some of the modern social networks, it is also important that you are creating person-to-person relationships in your area to expand your social network as a wedding business owner. Social media is a phenomenal tool, but as a wedding business owner, we all know we are in the people business. To increase your social network and ultimately your exposure, collaborating with other business owners is a great way to build real relationships and strengthen the industry in your area. Guest blogging or appearing as a guest on a podcast are both phenomenal ways to collaborate with people while growing organically. All of the aforementioned marketing tools are fantastic and by all means should be a part of a business strategy, but advertising in a vacuum (especially in the wedding industry) is a recipe for disaster. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and meet new people. It might seem difficult at first, but communication is a powerful skill that will serve you well not only in business, but in your day to day life. Joining local communities, Facebook groups, and other forums are an excellent way to get your foot in the door. As the old adage goes, it’s all about who you know.
- Prepare for the future
Preparing for the next breakthrough in marketing is easier said than done, but it will serve you well when that technology takes off. Take social media for example. Understanding social media advertising 10 years ago before it reached the popularity it has today was a valuable asset for businesses and still is today. However, being a first mover into an ad space is a very real and powerful marketing strategy. We saw that with Google, Facebook, and Instagram. I am no marketing expert, but I do believe these types of trends will continue to surface through the years, so do your research. According to Paige Arnof-Fenn, CEO of marketing consulting firm Mavens & Moguls, “brands that can improve their branding skills with more customer friendly ads and less invasive advertising are going to see huge payoffs in the future.” She also suggests that technologies like voice assistant and augmented reality are going to reshape how we think about marketing in the future. Technology is becoming ever more powerful and sometimes it can feel difficult to keep up with, but as a wedding business owner, these new technologies might be the key you need to unlock a new market segment you never thought possible.
As a disclaimer, I am not a marketing expert by any means, so please take this with a grain of salt. However, I have noticed a tremendous amount of success implementing these practices into my own business. For more articles and our previous Facebook Livestreams check out weddingbusinessgorwth.com and be sure to join our Facebook group of wedding business professionals. Best of luck in your business journey and thanks for reading. 🙂
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