This post was written by Brian Lawrence, one of the industry’s foremost authorities on marketing in the wedding industry. Brian has consulted with many wedding professionals and wholesale suppliers at www.brianlawrence.com. Brian also owns Local Traffic Builder, a nationally-known web design, marketing and social media firm serving the wedding and event industry. He is the author of “The Wedding Expert’s Guide to Sales and Marketing” and “The Invitation Business Report” and has helped thousands of industry professionals with his marketing insights through personal consultation, books, seminars, blogs and articles, and speaking engagements at leading industry conferences.
While many wedding professionals think that marketing and advertising are one and the same, there are important distinctions between the two. Advertising is a strategy for getting your business in front of as many potential clients as possible, while marketing is a strategy for making sure your business stands out from the competition. Both are necessary to reach and book wedding clients.
For your advertisement on WeddingWire or other online listings, your business should focus on:
- Clearly communicating your products/services
- Images and/or videos of your work
- Consistent and recent client reviews
- Pricing and/or any deals or discounts you offer
But for your marketing strategy, consider the following as ways to distinguish your business from the other listings the couple passed before you:
- A well-written About section that describes who you are and why you’re a good choice
- A website that provides more detail about your business and why you’re unique
- Text on your website or blog that speaks their language to connect with potential clients
- Strong calls-to-action that guide potential clients through the inquiry process
Both advertising and marketing are about pulling clients towards you, not pushing them to book you. The aforementioned tactics will help you drive potential clients to take action – whether the action is as small as clicking your ad or as big as signing a contract. When a bride sees a photo that she can imagine herself in, or a couple sees a review from an authentic client, they’re compelled to take action.
Just remember that your wedding service or product isn’t going to be for everyone – there will always be consumers who aren’t the right fit because of taste, budget, or a variety of factors. But the magic of today’s online world is that couples no longer have to cut out your ad or pick up the phone to call a friend to contact your business! You have more opportunities to reach couples than ever before, so take advantage of today’s technology and trends to reach modern couples.
And don’t forget: When the service you provide is so fantastic and remarkable, it influences the client to talk about it. This turns your buyer into a brand advocate for your business. The more word-of-mouth and customer referrals your business receives, the less time and money you need to devote to your advertising and marketing strategy.
How do you view your advertising and marketing strategy? What’s worked well for you? Let me know in the comments!