» A Match Made in Heaven: Video and Social Media

february-premium-webinar-tileWebinar recap!

Videos are a great way to capture the attention of your audience. In fact, videos account for almost 70% of consumer Internet traffic! But how do you create and distribute videos to best showcase your work if you don’t have video expertise? 

During this month’s webinar for Premium members WeddingWire Education Experts Alan Berg and Andy Ebon offered their their tips to easily use video combined with social media to attract and impress your audience even if you’re a video newbie.

Here are some of the webinar highlights:

  • Try out new Instagram features. Instagram Stories and Instagram Live videos are great tools for showing ‘behind-the-scenes’ videos of your work. Posted Stories are available to your followers for 24 hours, which can drive a sense of urgency for your audience. Live videos are only available while you’re broadcasting so it can be helpful to notify your audience in advance if you plan to go live.
  • YouTube is critical to video efforts.. As the second largest search engine after Google, YouTube is a vital component of any video strategy. In fact, 80% of 18-49 year olds watch YouTube each month. Product demos make great videos — just remember to keep videos under three minutes to hold your audience’s attention.
  • Optimize your YouTube videos. In addition to posting compelling video content, make sure to use best practices when creating your YouTube video posts. The right taglines, titles, descriptions, and calls-to-action can help your videos get discovered and viewed.
  • Use Facebook Live to engage followers. Facebook Live videos are an easy way to engage your audience in real-time. Check your phone’s connection before you go live to ensure your stream isn’t interrupted, allow enough broadcast time so that followers can join your live feed, and get creative with your ‘set’ to make your video more visually engaging.

For more tips and additional details about how to leverage these recommendations, watch the full webinar! Don’t forget that past webinars are available within Premium member’s accounts to view anytime.

» What Are the Best Media Outlets for Me?

WeddingWire Education Expert

Meghan Ely

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding PR firm OFD Consulting. As a highly sought-after speaker in the wedding industry, she is the exclusive Wedding PR Education Expert for WeddingWire as well as the national Communications and Marketing Director for WIPA

When describing wedding public relations, the basic tenet is this: you have a message you want to get out to your target audience (or audiences), and you want to disseminate that message through the appropriate media channels. The question is, which media outlets are the right ones for me?

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Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to discern the right outlets from the wrong ones.

Are my prospects reading it?

This is an essential question for anyone whose main goal of PR is to increase brand awareness and, with that, their business. One of the first questions I ask any prospect is, “Where are you looking to get featured?” Inevitably, a large percentage answers with, “I want to be on [insert national morning show here].” I find myself explaining that, while getting national coverage like that is great, if your target audience is composed of millennials (which make up 90% of engaged couples), do you really think they are going to be watching those shows on weekday mornings? The answer is no. So, how do you find out what your target audience is reading? Polling your clients is a great way, whether it is through a survey or an informal discussion during meetings. If you find that you’ve done a great job attracting your ideal couple, then you’ll surely see a pattern.

Are they open to submissions?

This seems pretty obvious, but before submitting anything to anyone, be sure that they accept the type of content you’re sending in. For example, if you’re looking to submit a styled inspiration shoot but the blog only features real weddings, then you’ll have spent time on something that ultimately won’t come to fruition.

What kind of content are they currently featuring?

This is where you’re going to have to do a little research. Once you’ve narrowed down some of the outlets you think would be a good fit, take a look at their recent work. What kinds of weddings are they featuring? What type of articles are guest bloggers writing? If your work and expertise are complementary to their content, then it’s likely a great match.

Do they have a presence on social media?

It’s wonderful to land on a media outlet with eye-catching editorials, but if they aren’t following through with promoting content on social media, then you’re not in front of your target audience – and isn’t that the goal? Be sure that your chosen media outlet is regularly posting on its social media channels before jumping onboard.

Now that you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to start your research. Ready, set, get published!

» WeddingWire Hits 1 Million Facebook Followers

We’re excited to announce that WeddingWire has reached a huge milestone:  1 million Facebook fans! It’s an honor to see so many engaged couples turn to us for inspiration and advice as they plan their weddings. As the first wedding brand to utilize Facebook Live, over the past year we’ve seen a 39% increase in followers and an 87% increase in engagement.

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Our Facebook posts range from articles full of expert tips to make planning fun and easy, to real wedding galleries and quirky, uplifting stories to provide some relief for couples from the sometimes stressful situations planning can bring.

Here’s a look at some of our most popular posts from the past year:

Our Facebook presence is a critical part of how we connect with our couples to offer fun (and timely!) content throughout their planning process. Much like you may use different social media platforms to share your content, our broader social media efforts span multiple social media channels and include customizable social tools like Snapchat geofilters and wedding hashtags.

Make sure you’re following WeddingWire on FacebookInstagramPinterest and Twitter to see all the latest trends, inspiration and wedding planning-related content. And don’t forget to follow WeddingWireEDU on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest news and content to help inform and grow your business.

» I Run the Company: What Does That Look Like?

Banner-ProToProInsights

Jennifer Taylor, Taylor'd Events Group

This post was written by Jennifer Taylor. Jennifer Taylor is the owner of Taylor’d Events Group, a planning firm that specializes in celebrations of all kinds in the Pacific Northwest and Maui. She is also the creator of The Taylor’d Plan, a self-administered class for wedding planners who are new to the industry and looking to grow and develop their skills.

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When you start your own business, it can be a bit of an adjustment to figure out your workflow. Since you’re running the show, you have to handle a lot of the administration and business development, and it’s essential to find a happy balance in your day-to-day work.

For me, running my company means that I’m not a major part of the event planning and team management. I don’t go into the office to work on weddings, as I now have other projects that I am working on, so my time is spent working on ways to further grow the company.

One of the biggest lessons to learn when running your own business is the art of delegation. When you have a team that you can trust to handle the routine work, it makes your life that much easier, and you’ll find that you can be more productive spending on business development. It’s really difficult to grow and expand if you’re always in the trenches.

Having a solid team is the key to being a great business owner. Your goal should be to have at least several full-time employees who can handle the bulk of the work and assign additional tasks to part-time employees and/or interns.

With that said, it is still necessary to check in regularly with your team. Their work speaks to your company’s brand, so take some time to stay up-to-date on what everyone is working on and make sure that you are reachable in case of emergency. We have regular staff meetings where everyone discusses their current projects – these are a great way to ensure that we are all on the same page.

Outside the office, use your time wisely and look for resources to help maximize your time spent on business development. New projects can sometimes be overwhelming, so employ to-do lists and block scheduling to simplify your tasks and stay organized. Consider sharing your techniques with your team as well – leading by example is one of the best ways to create a cohesive and streamlined environment for all.

As a business owner, you’ll find that you have a number of new responsibilities as you leave behind some of the more routine tasks. While it can seem stressful at times, it can also be quite a fun challenge – it is your brainchild, so have fun with it!

» Announcing the 2017 WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards®!

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We’re excited to announce the winners of the ninth annual WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards®! Honorees represent the top 5% of wedding professionals nationwide for their excellence in quality, service, responsiveness, and professionalism within the wedding industry.

We are proud to honor these award-winning professionals for their exemplary work and the outstanding reputation they’ve established among newlywed couples as demonstrated through their excellent reviews. Winners are chosen based on the quality, quantity, consistency, and recency of wedding reviews they received from clients in 2016.

Engaged couples use the award as an indicator of legitimacy and reliability when selecting their team of wedding professionals. The badge demonstrates to our couples that a wedding professional is committed to providing the highest quality service throughout the planning process and on their wedding day. According to Casey Clark, Marketing Manager at Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel, a seven-time Couples’ Choice Award winner:

“Couples definitely pay attention to our awards and badges, and they know what those badges represent.”

WeddingWire hosts more than 2.5 million reviews – more than any other wedding site. We’re honored to recognize the 2017 Couples’ Choice Award winners for their accomplishments and for their dedication to excellence within the industry.

See the full list of the winners in your region or category.

Congratulations to all of the 2017 WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards winners!

 

» Invest in Yourself: Attend WeddingWire World!

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As you think ahead to your business success next year, it’s important to prioritize your industry knowledge.  Whether you’re new to the wedding industry or a seasoned pro, you can always benefit from learning the latest tips for marketing your services, communicating with clients, and growing your business.

Lucky for you, WeddingWire World will bring the latest education and top speakers to both the East and West coasts in 2017. WeddingWire World will be held on May 1st-2nd in Los Angeles, CA, and on August 14th-15th in Washington, DC.

Time is running out to get your tickets before prices increase on January 1st!

Choose the location and date that works best for you, and register now to lock in our 2016 pricing! Don’t delay – the low rates of just $149 for standard tickets and $299 for VIP tickets are only available until December 31st.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Informative Presentations: Learn from industry experts, business leaders and top performing wedding professionals, and leave with actionable ways to set up your business for more success.
  • Personalized Education: Enjoy a variety of breakout sessions based on your business needs, and meet one-on-one with an experienced Customer Success Manager for custom account support.
  • New (and Renewed) Connections: Make new contacts and reconnect with industry colleagues during structured networking opportunities over two fun-filled days.

Learn more about WeddingWire World and stay tuned for more details on speakers and conference agenda — coming soon!

» Top 10 Business Tips from 2016

december-premium-webinar-tileWebinar recap!

As 2016 comes to a close, it can be helpful to look back on your business success over the past year and consider what learnings you can apply in 2017.  

During this month’s webinar hosted by WeddingWire Senior Director of Customer Experience Ashley Conway, we reviewed her seasonally-themed top 10 business tips based on conversations with numerous wedding professionals this year.

Here are some of the webinar highlights:

  • ‘Tis the Season. Update your Storefront and website with seasonal imagery to keep your photos fresh and capture newly engaged couples’ imaginations.
  • No re-gifting. Avoid showcasing duplicate content on your website, WeddingWire Storefront and other sites, as having identical content in multiple locations hurts your SEO.  Make sure to differentiate your copy, images and reviews across your online presence.
  • Pack on the #s:  Use hashtags strategically in your social media posts to increase your visibility.  Consider adding hashtags as comments on your Instagram posts to reduce clutter in your original posts.
  • Better to give than receive:  Always reply to reviews, regardless of whether they are positive or negative.  Remember that your reply will be seen by potential clients — it’s another chance to impress them.
  • Make a list, check it twice:  Put together a price list, then compare it to your competitors’.  Don’t inadvertently confuse potential customers by offering similarly named packages as other wedding pros that contain different features.

For 5 more tips and additional details about how to leverage these recommendations for success in 2017, watch the full webinar! Don’t forget that past webinars are available within Premium member’s accounts to view anytime.