In the wedding industry, we like pretty things- obviously. But along with that, we also tend to get caught up in the outward appearance of things and forget to look at the inner workings. For example- have you ever purchased a bottle of wine based solely on the label, only to open it and discover it’s not quite up to par? Sadly, I’ve seen this same concept applied to where marketing dollars are spent- in fact, I’ve even experienced it myself.
All this to say that over the years, I’ve found there are a few things you should consider when advertising your wedding business online. Now yes, full disclosure- my income is derived from advertising income. But this information is important to know before you spend money advertising your business, and it’s my hope it will help you make an educated decision when it comes to spending marketing dollars for this coming year.
5 Things To Consider When Advertising Your Wedding Business Online
Knowing an audience involves some decision-making for your own business as well as defining the audience of a potential advertising avenue. On your side, you want to know who your ideal couple is- who you want to reach. This involves defining their wedding budget, style of wedding, what they like to do in their free time, what they wear… everything really. Do some digging and take the time to define your ideal couple if you haven’t already.
On the side of a potential advertising avenue, you need to determine who their audience is. It breaks my heart when I see wedding professionals investing their time and money into a place that doesn’t have the audience they’re trying to reach. The thing is, this isn’t always entirely clear- especially when dealing with a more general, non-specific avenue. The audience of an avenue would include similar aspects that you used to define your ideal couple. Just as you looked at the couple you want to attract, an advertising avenue defines who they want to attract. You can of course just ask about the target audience in your conversations with the publication, but you can also look at a few different things too:
– Types of weddings featured: Are the weddings DIY weddings, or weddings that use professionals? Budget weddings, or a little above-average weddings? Boho weddings, or elegant weddings, or a mix? The weddings that are being published are drawing in the brides that are looking for those types of weddings.
– Other non-wedding posts: What kinds of other features are being done on the publication? DIYs and how-to tutorials? Or posts on why they should hire vendors to help them with their wedding? The message that posts send is a huge part of the audience that a publication is attracting.
– Features of the site: What kinds of features of the website are highlighted? Is there a vendor guide or a place for printables? A highlight of the DIY weddings on the main page?
The audience is, in my mind, one of the most important things to look at when deciding where to spend your advertising dollars. Because as much as you want to it to work, if you’re advertising with a site focusing on DIY brides, but your price range is outside of the typical DIY bride’s budget, then you are most likely not going to see success.
Yes, the number and reach of viewers should definitely be considered when spending your money advertising online. But definitely don’t put the greatest amount of importance on it. The numbers of a publication are definitely directly correlated to the audience that they are aiming to reach too. For example- a publication that has a specific audience focus, like weddings in a specific location or vintage style weddings, definitely is not going to have comparable numbers to a nationwide publication or publication that features weddings of all styles. I will be the first to tell you that for my site, I don’t have the same numbers that other national sites have because I have a more specific audience. And I’m okay with that, because it means I’m staying true to my mission (see #4 below).
This is similar to the audience, but location is an important factor on its own. Some publications will have a specific location as their focus- these are known as regional publications. I actually highly recommend advertising with your regional publication if you’re looking for local couples, as they have the best local audiences. However, some nationwide or worldwide publications will also have specific locations that they tend to get more traffic from. Many will include this in their information sent to you, but if they do not, don’t be afraid to ask what their reach is like for your location.
Just as you and publications have a specific audience to appeal to, a publication will likely have some kind of “mission” in what they’re trying to achieve. Sometimes it can be found in a tagline on the site, or on the About page. Other times, it’s more an “unspoken” mission. Either way, I encourage you to pinpoint this. For me and Every Last Detail, my mission is to educate brides about weddings and in turn, encourage the hiring of professionals. My mission started that way and it’s evolved a little bit over the past few years, but overall it has stayed the same. Other examples of publications’ missions: helping brides planning a wedding the mountains, brides planning a budget wedding, and brides planning a vintage or handmade wedding. These missions are a big part of the audience too- are you noticing a trend yet? 🙂
And finally, because we like pretty things and great design, the appearance of a potential advertising avenue is a factor that should be considered. You of course want to be a part of something that presents a professional and clean look and is easy to use. This of course can be different for every website, so I encourage you to use appearance to encourage just a very small portion of your decision.
As you can see, all of these things tend to go hand-in-hand, and it’s incredibly important to look at them as a whole package. Sure, looking at the above factors separately is fine, but the key to getting the most success out of your advertising is to look at the full picture and make sure that it coincides with what you want for your business. Above all, the audience is the most important factor to consider, and I encourage you to be truthful with yourself about determining this. Make an educated decision based on the facts and based on what works for YOU and your business. Don’t feel pressured to advertise somewhere just because everyone else is there or because they have loads of traffic.