by Claire Gould
The secret to successful wedding advertising
It’s important to work to clear objectives when advertising your wedding business. It can be very easy to place an ad in your favourite local wedding magazine and simply hope it will bring some orders in. That’s what I did when I started out – but it didn’t work too well for me.
Now I generate all the sales I need through my websites, and in quiet times I advertise online via a select few advertising channels (like Wedding Chaos) which actually work for my business.
Your wedding advertising objectives should be realistic, measurable, and flexible. It’s important to have a methodical approach to advertising. Plan carefully, monitor your advert’s performance and evaluate its success rate on a regular basis. Be prepared to make changes to your ads and you’ll know for sure what works for you, and that you’re not wasting your advertising budget on poorly performing ads.
Where to begin
While you read this article, think about your existing wedding adverts or any ads you’re considering. The process of setting objectives is easy to work with and will pay for itself.
Start with the basics: what are you advertising for?
Ultimately it should be to generate a profit from your wedding business. Your advert is a tool to help you achieve this.
Any wedding business advertising has to fit within your means. A small jewelry business will have a small advertising budget – that’s fine! In the case of my calligraphy business I know if I spend too much on advertising I’ll be turning orders away because there’s only one me, with one right arm and the ability to use one pen at a time. Setting objectives is important no matter how large or small your wedding business.
Objectives for internet advertising
The only place I advertise right now is online. It’s what I’m good at, it’s what I know and understand and most importantly it’s what I’ve tested and proved. I ran a series of ads over the summer on Wedding Chaos, testing an ad for a new product on a targeted page. (See the surprising results of my Wedding Chaos advertising experiment here.)
I planned and tested different advertising placements, creative and formats on the same page and measured these against objectives – it was a great exercise and taught me what really works for my business – and now I’ve set real long term objectives for my advertising strategy which allow me to rein in my spend and still get the conversions I need.
Advertising a wedding business online has its own set of unique challenges. To effectively advertise online you need to advertise on a page with very relevant content.
I advertised a calligraphy product on a web page focusing on Wedding readings and poems – highly targeted and relevant to my business. Website owners design their pages to attract a certain visitor, usually through the use of keywords. Their copy is designed to inform, persuade, educate or discuss a topic.
Wedding Chaos is a favourite advertising site for me as it allows you to choose the exact page and position for your ad, from information pages on all kinds of wedding related topics.
Finding an appropriate page for your ad is crucial. Then it’s down to numbers: I work to a click through rate of anything from 1% to 0.2% (so if a page gets 1,000 daily visits an ad should get between 10 and 2 clicks).
Measurable wedding advertising objectives
It’s nice to know your advert is doing “quite well”, or that you’ve had a couple of enquiries or an order. But it’s better to know exactly how many visits you’re getting per $ spent on your ad.
Think backwards: how many orders do you need to generate? This works for small businesses who process one order at once, such as a custom jeweller or florist. Does your advert need to generate 10 bookings to fill your diary for a month? Or if you’re selling a product, perhaps you need 1,000 sales to generate your $5,000 dollar profit target?
Taking the former example you can do a quick calculation: 30 enquiries might generate those 10 orders. To get 30 enquiries from your ad you’ll need 300 clicks. At a CTR of 1% your ad will need to be seen 30,000 times. Make sure the page you’re advertising on gets that many views in the right time period for you.
Measuring your wedding advertising performance
Never place an advert and simply leave it. You might as well make a tiara and jump on it. The internet is a vast advertising space with thousands of options for advertising, so do choose carefully and measure performance. Don’t expect to get it right first time either!
How to measure your wedding ad’s success
Measure regularly and in accordance with the size of your ad and objectives. This could be weekly for a small business or hourly for a large organization. If you’re spending $$$ on an ad, measure harder! Don’t take your eyes off that ad until you know it works!
Measure everything you’ve set out in your objectives: clicks, page views, enquiries and conversions. If one goes wrong it can create a domino effect and your whole ad will fail. (If you’re getting 100s of clicks and no enquiries, review your landing page for example.)
Measure your wedding ads across a period of time. For many of us our business is seasonal, so an ad will work less well in winter than in summer. But it may be the case that your ad performs best at weekends, or on rainy days in your state! With AdWords you can even turn off an ad for a day or two if you need that flexibility.
Review your wedding advertising
Whether your advertising strategy has overperformed or not met its objectives, reviewing performance is an essential step.
Just because your wedding advert didn’t generate the sales you needed first time round, it doesn’t mean you should give up. Look carefully at what worked and what didn’t. Adjust placements, creative or landing pages and try again. Compare one ad with another and you’ll get a picture of what works best for your wedding business.
Advertising on Wedding Chaos: further information
If you’re interested in testing your own ad on Wedding Chaos I’d definitely recommend giving it a go. It’s good value for money, the website is so well targeted and gets very high traffic – and you can sign up for a month for starters then see how it goes!
You can also check up on your advert’s performance at any time: the dashboard shows the number of clicks, and cost per click, over the previous 30 days (which is key to making those choices about what is and is not working). Then if you need to, you can change or remove the advert at any time. Credits are only deducted each day the advert is active.
Claire Gould is editor of English Wedding, the UK wedding blogs for brides and industry professionals. As an ex Marketeer and owner of several wedding websites as well as a full
time calligraphy business, she knows how the wedding industry works and is happy to share industry secrets with the world! Rose photo credit.