In an increasingly digital world traditional businesses can find themselves drowning in a sea of hashtags, backlinks and SEO. The wedding industry is in no danger of sinking being worth more than 10 billion a year in the UK. However, with industry success comes immense competition between individual brands fighting for custom like bridesmaids over the bouquet. We have put together a few pointers to help your bridal brand marketing catch the eye of potential customers and woo them to the alter of conversions.
Hook onto a trend or movement
During recent years, the focus in the wedding industry has shifted from “doing what you should” to “doing what the hell you want”. Traditional white weddings, familiar set ups and predictable itineraries are a thing of the past. It is recognised weddings can be as individual as the people who are to be married. Ariel Meadow Stallings hooked onto this idea early with her Offbeat Bride wedding blog. The site refers to itself as “the world’s most popular website dedicated to non-traditional weddings”. Now, the site can boast of one million monthly readers and over 200,000 social followers.
Being controversial is always a risk, but it is great when your aim is to get people talking. If you already have an established brand and personality, try representing yourself from a different angle. If you sell classic style wedding gowns for example, perhaps invest in a quirky photoshoot that shows how adaptable a dress can be for different wedding themes.
In the UK, founder of Rock n Roll Bride Kat Williams, saw a gap in the wedding planning market for unique wedding inspiration, guides and ideas. Known as “The Ultimate Guide for Alternative Brides”, Rock n Roll Bride’s manifesto states “Don’t let the wedding industry define your day, let you define your day.” Focusing on uniqueness and creativity Kat is enjoying huge success and is inundated with requests for features and partnership proposals.
If you’re starting out, identify those gaps in the market, the sectors screaming for something different and get involved. Personalisation and individuality is huge in almost every industry right now. David’s Bridal launched their “Be Your Own Bride” campaign earlier this year. New York based creative marketing agency YARD produced their TV ad including the taglines “Be Bold”, “Be Sweet”, “Be Wild” and “Be Your Own Bride”.
Make connections and partnerships within the industry
As we said earlier, the wedding industry is massive. That means there is ample opportunity to make friends with like-minded brands for mutual gain. Get yourself some bridal buddies, those who are willing to engage and not afraid to help each other out. Of course, we’re not talking about direct competitors, but those companies who are a part of the same industry and are thus targeting the same audience.
Take just one bride as an example. She will need a wedding dress, a wedding cake, a wedding venue, a wedding ring… the list goes on. If you’re in the business of providing one of these products you may be able to forge a relationship with other companies that can offer the other products on the bride’s shopping list.
Make recommendations for suppliers, knowing they will do the same for you. This could be simple as exchanging business cards and leaflets to advertising products on each of your website and shouting out to each other on social media. You may even choose to set up some form of affiliate system – where if you sell a partner’s product or service alongside your own you take a cut of the profits.
One popular bridal brand marketing strategy is partnering with other businesses is to have an area on your website where you can make recommendations such as “Our Friends” or “Our Favourite Suppliers”. If you are a wedding photographer, perhaps you could suggest venues, make-up artists and caterers. Much like Nick Walker photography does here with his recommended suppliers section.
Make the digital marketing world work for you
Wedding planning is still deeply rooted in the traditional and physical process – like the long journeys to venue viewings and endless wedding dress appointments. Its only recently that brands are looking to create ways in which this process can be done digitally. Can the trying out of your product be done online? Perhaps with virtual technology for trying on dresses or accessories. For venues, maybe think of creating a video tour or an interactive exploration interface.
Floravere presents an innovative concept for modern brides, whereby they can simply order their chosen dresses and a “Bride Box” then arrives at their home in order for them to create their own try on party with their friends. They even have a personal online stylist who can be available for their session. Floravere have recognised a planned trip to a wedding dress shop may not be so easy for those with busy lives, so uses an online platform to advertise and distribute its dresses.
Social media can be another area of potential when it comes to bridal brand marketing. You want to aim to have an active presence on social channels and perhaps use platforms such as Facebook to advertise your products and services. But there are those brands who are going the extra mile when using the latest social media trends and technology.
Meldeen specialises in creating luxury wedding stationary. The brains behind the brand, Kaleigh Wiese, came up with Pixel for Snapchat after recognising the “growing social need to document location as an event.” Wedding guests use Snapchat to show fun, food and their surroundings. Pixel is a bespoke graphic design service which creates a personalised Snapchat filter, so guests and friends can brand their own photos.
Make use of ready-made content and case studies
There’s no industry quite like the wedding industry when it comes to an abundance of content to dip into. If you supply any product or service for a wedding it is bound to be photographed numerous times on the big day. Some of these images are likely to end up on social media, so be sure to encourage the guests to tag you in their photos with perhaps a small card beside your product. Importantly engage with those who share photos to encourage more of the same.
If you’re in need of images to use on your website or in your portfolio, most people will not object to their images being used – in fact, they will most likely be flattered. The professional wedding photographer may require a fee – but with a photoshoot ready-made and essentially paid for by the couple this is a small price to pay.
The same applies to case studies – each wedding you cater for is a case study with accompanying images, personalities and testimonials. Most bride and grooms will be happy to feature on websites and give a few words of recommendation. Take advantage of this! Australian bridal brand Grace Loves Lace regularly features real life weddings to showcase their French lace wedding dresses.
Write a blog as part of your bridal brand marketing strategy
Hosting your own blog on your brand’s website has countless benefits. Not only will it boost your SEO and help you to build a professional reputation, it can act as platform to showcase your case studies and potential area for partnership work. Discuss key trends, changes and news in your industry. Feature real life weddings. Showcase another supplier’s work all as part of your bridal brand marketing strategy.
The exploration of wedding ideas and inspiration is a business in itself. Something Emily and Jessica of Bespoke Bride know all too well due to the amazing success of their wedding blog Bespoke Bride. Colourful, bright and like nothing else out their this bridal blog present unique and creative ideas as a feast for the eyes!
Similarly, Rock My Wedding is a beautiful scrapbook of “achievable and unique big day inspiration”. Now one of the UK’s most popular planning resources the site sees 330,000 visitors a month. Of course, if you sell a service or product a planning site isn’t where you’re aiming to be. But dipping your toes into the conversations and trends of the industry will only add more trust points and may gain you more website traffic.
The digital marketing world is ever evolving, so it’s always a good idea to keep up to date with potential traffic driving, conversion making opportunities. Start out by trying these 5 tips for bridal brand marketing in the digital world. If you’d like more information or help with bridal brand marketing for your wedding business, Fifteen can ensure you grab the digital marketing world by the hand and skip romantically down the aisle towards your happily ever after.