marketing a wedding business
When it comes to marketing your wedding business it can be difficult to know where to start!
With so many options on the table – how do you know where to use your time and money.
Wedding business owners often tell me that nobody seems interested in their products or services. Whenever I have this conversation I always turn it round and ask them where they have been marketing themselves.
9 times out of 10 they say, “I put a post on social media but nobody was interested so I haven’t done any more!” You can’t expect someone to see one social media post and be queuing up out of the door. Marketing takes time, effort, and consistency.
When making a purchase it’s unusual for a customer to just buy from you without knowing anything about you. You may have heard it said before that a customer needs to Know, Like, and Trust you before they will be willing to part with their cash.
When I worked in radio advertising we talked about the 3 OTH (opportunities to hear). The idea is that someone needs to hear your radio advert at least 3 times before they will remember it or be impacted by it. With the current social media bombardment of adverts, it’s thought that now the number is much higher – perhaps 7 or more.
Your client needs to see your business in multiple places and multiple times before they are likely to even reach out and make an enquiry.
The good news is that the opportunities to market yourself are easier to access than ever before and are often even low cost or free. So where should you start?
Where is your ideal couple hanging out?
When you are getting started with your marketing you need to have your ideal couple in mind. I spoke in detail about this in my How to Start a Wedding Business Guide so go back and take a look if you don’t have clear understanding of who they are.
Once you have your couple clear in your mind, you need to work out where they hang out and also where they are planning their wedding. Are they spending their time on Instagram or pinning ideas onto Pinterest? Which wedding fairs are they attending – the national ones, the traditional venue showcases, or the more eclectic shows? Are they reading online blogs – if so which ones? Do they use Facebook groups to plan their wedding or are they taking advice from a wedding planner?
I recommend doing some old-fashioned market research at this stage. It’s important to find people that fit your couples’ profile, not just anyone who’s engaged. When people do enquire with you then ask them questions casually over the phone to try and discover where and how they have been planning their wedding.
Working out where your ideal couple is spending most of their time and energy is going to help you as you start to make your marketing decisions.
Social media is an obvious place to start. You are probably already using it and it’s free to create a business profile. When it comes to your wedding business I would set up accounts in the following priority order:
Although you may not want to be active on these 3 (or other social channels) straight away I highly recommend you set up a profile on each of them right at the start just to secure your username.
It may not be possible to run all of the different social media accounts successfully. I recommend starting with one or two and learning how to do them well before introducing any more.
I would still set up the basics of the other social channels, just in case people are looking for you there, even if you don’t plan to post to them. You can always pin a post on your account on Twitter for example that says “I’m glad you found me, I’m not a regular Twitter user, but come and follow me on Instagram instead.”
Instagram is huge right now for wedding business owners. With a young, active user base many brides and grooms are turning to Instagram for help planning their wedding.
The Instagram grid should be a window into your business. Your best images and products should be showcased here with high quality photos. A couple should be able to come to your Instagram grid and immediately know what you do and what kind of wedding you specialise in. You should be showcasing a dream that a couple can step into and see your products or services at their wedding.
When posting on Instagram, the caption and choice of #’s is going to be just as important as the image itself. Are you giving people a reason to stop, or to comment on your post? Are you asking them a question or just offering up a statement?
Are the #’s you are choosing being used by couples, or just by other wedding business owners? Are you using a variety of #’s and using them on all of your posts?
You need to be posting consistently on Instagram and engaging with other Instagram accounts. If you can, try and post to Instagram every day, if that’s not possible then aim for at least 3 times a week.
Instagram stories are becoming increasingly popular and it’s important you make use of them. Unlike your grid which needs to look like a portfolio, the stories give you the chance to let people into your world and to build your Know, Like, and Trust factor.
You can use your stories to show the behind-the-scenes of your business, talk to people about what you are up to, or promote your products and services.
You can encourage your audience to be interactive by answering poll questions or asking you questions. The more people interact with your stories, the more of your content they are going to see.
links on instagram
It’s difficult to move people from your Instagram over to your website. You can’t post clickable links in the same way you would on another platform. If you want to get people to you website you need to tell them to head to the link in your bio.
You may have seen people asking you to swipe up on their Instagram stories in order to go to a link – unfortunately this feature is only available once you reach 10,000 followers or pay for advertising.
Facebook is still a huge player with millions of people still using the platform. Although you may not feel that your ideal couple are active on the platform, they probably do still use it passively.
You will need to set up a Facebook page for your business. Make sure your cover photo reflects what you do (not just a giant logo) and that you have a good quality profile image – either of you or your logo.
When it comes to Facebook, engagement is key. You need as many people liking and commenting on your posts as possible for your page to be seen by more people. Don’t make every post you put out a sales post, people will just stop looking fairly quickly. Use your Facebook page to share inspiration, ask for opinions, and educate people on how to plan their wedding and for fun. Break up your sales posts with videos or polls. You need to give people a reason to want to follow you and to interact with your posts.
There are numerous Facebook groups for brides planning their wedding. If you decide to join these don’t just spam the page with your sales pitch. Stand out from the crowd and share an insightful blog post that you have written – if they like it they will come back over and start to follow you. Be wary of spending too much time trying to sell in Facebook groups unless you are aiming at the lower cost end of the market. In my experience there are a lot more price shoppers within Facebook groups than anywhere else.
Couples love to plan their wedding on Pinterest – so it’s great if your business can be part of the conversation. If you blog or sell physical products on a site such as Etsy then you should definitely be on Pinterest.
One of the great features of Pinterest is that it actively encourages it’s users to click over to your site – which makes it a great way of gaining new traffic to your website.
There is so much to tell you about Pinterest that I have written a full guide on how to use it for your business here.
Wedding shows, open events, and exhibitions are definitely worth exploring. They give you the chance to meet with couples face-to-face and showcase what you do.
Finding the right shows
You need to start by researching the shows that are out there – as there is a huge choice! Don’t be afraid to reach out to the organisers and ask questions about expected footfall and the types of couple that usually attend.
Remember to only attend shows which are suitable to your ideal couple – just because there’s a cheap stand going at the hotel show down the road, doesn’t mean you should take it.
Wedding shows will involve some investment and can range hugely from £50 for an evening stand through to over £1,000 for a full weekend exhibition
On the day
You need to consider what your stand will look like on the day. You want to ensure your stand represents your business well and stands out. I encourage you to make your stand as interactive as possible – give people a reason to stop and speak with you, don’t just stand their awkwardly ready to make a sales pitch.
Find a way to collect people’s details or book appointments so you can easily follow up with couples after the day. People need a compelling reason to give over their details – a competition prize, an upgrade deal, or an appointment.
There are hundreds of different wedding directories for you to list your wedding business on, some are free and some charge for inclusion. The three big players when it comes to directories are Hitched, Bridebook, and Guides For Brides.
Bridebook – at the time of writing it is free to list your business on Bridebook, so you should definitely be on there. Make sure your listing is well written and attractive. Include plenty of good quality images and try and get some reviews onto your page.
Hitched and Guides for Brides – both of these platforms will charge you to be featured and they have a variety of prices depending on your preferred listing. If you do invest in a directory make sure you speak to them about how to optimize your listing for success. If you have had no enquiries after 3–6 months get back in touch and ask them how you can improve your listing.
I highly recommend you add a blog to your business website. Not only is blogging great for your overall search engine optimization but it will also show your couples that you are an authority in the subject.
When thinking about writing blog posts for your website – don’t think of it as a diary – people are not interested in hearing about what you have been doing. Instead use your blog to answer people’s frequently asked questions, to share ideas, or to give inspiration.
Blog posts can help couples find you in Google for different search terms and also give you additional content to post about on your social media channels.
I recommend you aim to blog at least once a month.
Magazines and Blogs
Printed wedding magazines and publications are still in existence and you can pay to advertise in them. Many publications also have an online offering to go with them. Where possible I recommend that you try to get an editorial piece in a magazine rather than an advert. Taking part in styled shoots can be a great way to be featured in wedding magazines or blogs and also get credited for your work.
Most wedding blogs will accept guest editorial pieces. Do your research and look at the kind of articles they have featured before and see how your ideas would fit in. Once you have come up with an idea you can reach out to the blog owner with a one-line pitch. If they like your idea they will come back to you and you can work on writing the full article. Some blogs will give priority to their paying advertisers so do bear that in mind.
You may not consider networking as a form of marketing but it definitely is. Within the wedding industry, referrals are happening all the time and you want as many other wedding suppliers referring couples over to you as possible. Get out to local industry networking events and start to meet other business owners. Use online groups to meet other people in your area and make sure you follow and engage with other businesses. Wedding shows are a great place to meet other wedding business owners so make sure you take some time away from your stand when the show is quieter to go and introduce yourself.
There are so many options when it comes to marketing your wedding business and it can feel overwhelming. Remember to prioritise the places where you think your ideal couple is hanging out and don’t try and do everything at once.
If you would like further training on all of the different areas then you might want to consider joining my Wedding Industry Membership. Members get access to a full library of training videos and new content is added every month. Find out more here
Take a look at our other free guides:
Set yourself up on the path to success
How to Use Pinterest for Business
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