Are you a wedding business owner who is struggling with marketing? Luckily for you our very own Managing Director, Mark Tillison recently participated in the For Better For Worse #WeddingHour, sharing his expertise. It was packed full of helpful insights about blogging, Google algorithm updates, SEO and social media. Mark really enjoyed answering the industry’s burning questions.
If you missed the Q&A, don’t worry we’ve got everything covered in this blog. With a number of helpful tips, this is your handy guide to digital marketing for your wedding business.
Why your wedding business needs digital marketing
As a wedding business marketing is a great way to grab the attention of couples looking to plan their special day. Digital marketing helps you show people how great you are and how you are going to give them the most special day of their lives. Word of mouth is great. However, not all businesses can rely on that, and that’s where marketing comes in. So let’s have a look at what Mark had to say.
How important is marketing for a business and is there one form that’s more effective than any other?
It’s widely accepted that marketing has a key role for any successful wedding business. There are a huge range of tools and techniques at your disposal to generate new wedding enquiries and bookings, to name a few;
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Pay per click advertising (PPC)
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Digital PR campaigns
While all are useful opportunities for a wedding business, there is no single answer as to what is the most effective for you. Depending on your objectives, some may be more applicable than others. You may be looking to drive more traffic to your website and boost search visibility. In this instance, you could decide to go with a well-targeted paid advertising campaign or produce quality content and optimise your site for SEO.
It’s entirely possible to combine strategies. For example, you can utilise social media while optimising your site for SEO and boost your visibility in the search results. We’re going to break down some ideas you can do right away, to make this vision a reality.
What are the benefits of blogging as a wedding business?
There are a number of reasons why blogging has proved so successful for wedding businesses. A well-written piece will demonstrate your industry expertise and show that you know your stuff. It is important that your articles answer common questions and trends in order to captivate and grow an audience.Sharing content on social media will help keep your followers engaged, building your authority in the industry and boosting brand awareness.
Linking back to SEO, done the right way, blog content can rank well on Google – driving couples directly to your website. Internal linking throughout your article to sales pages will help build the authority of your site with Google, increasing their search rankings. Truly great content may get picked up by other websites, attracting external links. This goes a long way in boosting organic search rankings.
If you’re struggling for new content ideas, there are a number of tools you can use. Google’s Keyword Planner and paid platforms such as Semrush are great help in looking for terms that your target audience is searching for. These terms form the basis of your blog and can be used throughout your copy to enhance your search visibility.
We’ve seen there are new Google updates, can you explain this a bit and what it means for businesses?
Google is continually pushing out new updates, so we should always be prepared. However, there is a big one coming up in May – the inclusion of Core Web Vitals. This is all about how a user experiences your website. It will penalise the things that annoy visitors, such as page speed and a poor mobile experience.In addition to relevant content, Google is now valuing user experience more than ever This is something we all need to be paying very close attention to. A poor user experience will not only hamper conversion rates, but will mean a drop in search rankings – missing out on leads and bookings.
How important is social media for a business and how often should they be posting?
Any wedding business concerned with building brand awareness, gaining trust and generating interest should be looking at social media. When we talk about platforms, there a number available to use; Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and, more recently, TikTok – the list goes on.
Jumping on popular Twitter trends is a great way to share your content with people interested in a certain topic. One big activity wedding businesses should look to get involved in our Twitter chats. These are fantastic in demonstrating your knowledge, interacting with the industry and building relationships – all key in generating new leads and referrals.
Instagram gives you the visual freedom to showcase what a great experience a wedding day with you is. Brides-to-be are known for search popular hashtags such as #weddingstyle, #weddingideas or #weddinginspiration. Using these in your posts will prove hugely effective in getting your social media content in front potential clients.
Building a strong following on Facebook will go a long way in getting onto people’s news feeds. You can also join free pages and forums specifically for newly engaged couples or people planning their weddings. Sharing your content with these groups will help drive visitors to your website – although it is worth noting that some will limit advertising opportunities.
If someone isn’t sure where to start with SEO can you offer some advice of where to look to get some basic training?
Make no bones about it, the very concept of SEO can be very daunting for our friends outside of the digital marketing industry. It can be a while for results to take effect so patience is key. Luckily, we at Tillison Consulting offer excellent training courses that go through every aspect of SEO. Our bespoke sessions coach clients the keyword research process all the way to writing excellent content that will rank well on Google.
Not only that, courses go through more technical aspects – such as optimising your site structure. Want to improve how you appear in the local pack, we will walk you through how to optimise your Google My Business listing.
All of our digital marketing training courses are personalised and will go at your own pace, building your knowledge. This all goes a long way in helping you produce excellent results.
If you could give one piece of advice to wedding business owners what would it be?
Going back to the start, there is no one-size-fits-all approach you can take to digital marketing. That said, aside from optimising your conversion rates, it’s important to understand the importance of local SEO and the Google Local Pack – critical for those ‘near me’ search queries. Having your own listing is completely free and controlled through the Google My Business platform.
Google My Business
Once verified, it makes you a part of the local pack and displays your business alongside the organic search results. The local pack is a section of Google’s search results that shows the local business related to your query. GMB is great for local searches if you’re trying to attract engaged couples in your area. An optimised listing will help boost your local search results (‘near me’) – critical for your wedding business. Here’s an example of how your GMB listing would look in the search results and the local pack:
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Recap on what we have learnt so far
Digital marketing for your wedding business is a great way to engage with your clients and gain more enquiries. Make sure to dust off your content plans and create relevant blogs regularly that build an audience. Updating your social media as often as possible will improve your exposure in the industry. These platforms are great places to share your blogs and drive traffic to your website. Signing up to Google My Business will boost your search visibility; by having a profile you can reach more newly engaged couples, boost brand awareness, increase visits to your website, and gain more enquiries.
Take a look at your competitors; what are they doing that is successful? More importantly, what aren’t they doing? This is some free market research for you and probably a big hint on what you should and should not do, saving you time and resources on trial and error. Most importantly, what makes you different? This is your unique selling point and the right marketing will generate enquiries and bookings.
Additional thoughts from Mark
COVID-19’s impact on business
It has been a turbulent time for everyone over the last year, and it’s the mixed marketing by businesses that reflects that. While sectors such as home improvement have profited others haven’t had the same fortune.
There’s been an attitude by some that they “can’t do anything because of COVID”. However, it is the more proactive, smart businesses that have taken this time to reinvent how they engage and stimulate their audience. It’s also given businesses the chance to complete long overdue chores’ that are usually put off due to busy schedules.
Generating more sales for wedding businesses
By working on your sales proposition and conversion rate optimisation (CRO) you will generate a higher quantity and quality of visitors to your website. This process will help increase the percentage of users or website visitors to take desired actions, this could be to sign up to your monthly newsletter or book in a consultancy to discuss wedding ideas.
Gaining more social media engagement
Videos are a great way to interact and engage with your audience, especially if you are in the wedding industry as it allows the bride or groom to emotionally engage with the storytelling and music, letting them envision how their big day will be. Live streams are also effective as you can see your audience interacting with your post.
Images make your website and posts look stylish and colourful. Engaged couples want an insight into what they are paying for. The best way to do this is through post videos and engaging with the comments and shares.
Make sure you are continuously engaging with your replies and comments sections – this is where you’ll be able to generate more enquiries
Where to get free marketing advice
YouTube and Facebook groups are great for free marketing advice. They are a haven for terrific marketing content to get key industry insights.
It’s important to be careful when signing up to free courses and schemes that you make sure the material is right for your customers and business.
Buying and selling online
It’s important to decide whether you are using the online platform to support your offline products and services, like events for example, or whether you are going to use it as a driving force for your marketing strategy. It’s important to do some research on what each eCommerce platform has to offer and which is best for your business and service.
Which social media is best for wedding businesses?
Think about where customers are most likely to be. It’s better to stick to one platform that is great for engaging your target audience and you are comfortable using than stretching your time over lots of them and missing opportunities. For weddings, platforms with visual elements are the best. These Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and even TikTok as many soon-to-be brides are scouring these platforms looking for inspiration about their big day.
Digital marketing is proving its use for any business, let alone those in the wedding and events industry. Taking a proactive approach during these difficult times will see you jump leads and bounds as opposed to simply using COVID-19 as an excuse. While social media has its use, it’s worth exploring every avenue open to you – is it in line with your goals and objectives?
Remember, we’re digital marketing experts at Tillison Consulting and are ready to be a part of your success. Get in touch for a free consultation today.