My life changed forever recently when I (ahem, finally) got engaged. My fiancé dropped down on one knee in the middle of our living room one day in December and my wedding planning began shortly after! However, I did not realize all the things that went into weddings and wedding planning before that moment.

According to research data from The Knot, the average American wedding costs more than $35,000. Here in Kansas City, that number is closer to $26,000… while in New York City, it’s more than $78,000.

Today’s engaged couple is hungry for information on anything wedding-related, and will spend countless hours researching each and every detail before making decisions. And when they do make their decisions, they often aren’t afraid to shell out the big bucks. As a marketer, herein lies our opportunity.

Traditional Tactics

Traditionally, marketers targeted brides (and grooms) through bridal/wedding magazines and bridal shows, and these are still tactics worth considering.

When it comes to highly engaged consumers like brides, print ads with beautiful imagery can certainly be effective. Many businesses also use bridal shows as an opportunity to generate leads, which can then be added to an email marketing database for follow-up communication.

Tip from a bride: I recently went to a bridal show, bright eyed and bushy tailed. I had a great time, but over the past few weeks my inbox his been inundated with emails from vendors and people with whom I did not make contact at the bridal show, which has put a bad taste in my mouth about the show and about the vendors there.

There are ways to collect the information of brides and grooms who actually make a connection with your brand and your booth at the bridal show. Limit your email lists to those who specifically gave you their information.

Modern Tactics

Traditional tactics do have their place when it comes to marketing to the modern bride or groom. But considering today’s median age for brides is 29 and for grooms is 31, most of your marketing efforts should be modern and digitally focused (because millennials).

Invest in Content Marketing

Regardless of whether the engaged couple is planning a traditional or non-traditional wedding, there is so much to learn. Am I supposed to wear my engagement ring during the ceremony? Who sits at the head table during the reception and in what order? What color are the couple’s mothers supposed to wear? (These are actual things I have googled.)

Content marketing is your opportunity to position your brand as an expert and provide useful information, while subtly promoting your products or services. Read our last blog post for a deep dive on content marketing.

Let’s say you own a catering business. You might consider launching a blog and writing content on the following topics, for example.

  • How to choose the right caterer
  • 5 steps for choosing the perfect wedding meal
  • 10 non-traditional wedding catering ideas
  • 2018 wedding meal trends
  • The best vegetarian wedding dishes
  • Ideas for displaying your wedding menu

You should include example photos of past weddings you have catered, lots of keywords for SEO, links to more information on other parts of your website, and details on how to contact you.

Paid Social Media Works

When individuals update their social media profiles with personal information, it makes it that much easier for marketers to target them with content they like. Some people find it Big Brother-like, but others appreciate being served ads for products and services they actually find interesting, useful and relevant.

Because of this, social media is one of the most effective ways to reach brides and grooms. Once the newly engaged couple updates their Facebook relationship status, they put a marketing target on their backs.

Case in point: I only had to scroll through Facebook for a few minutes to find all of the following ads specifically targeting me as a bride. And I have to admit, the ads worked. A brewery tour party bus for my bachelorette party? Count me in. A DIY bouquet? Great idea.

And then there’s Pinterest. Every year, 40 million people use Pinterest for wedding planning and they save nearly 900 million wedding Pins. Plus, Pinterest says 81 percent of engaged Pinners start planning on Pinterest before they’re even engaged!

Tip from a bride

No piece of wedding-related information is too much information, or too trivial for me. I will take any quiz about where I should honeymoon, or read any article about what my zodiac sign says about the type of wedding cake I will have, or click any link that tells me the top 10 things I need on my registry. Almost any wedding content is good wedding content.

Everything mentioned above simply underscores the fact that content and data is king. Having the right content and the right list and/or targeting can put your message in front of people who need it, when they need it. Consumers want a relationship with their brands and if you’re able to position yourself as the content expert and thought leader, you just may be able to put a ring on it.

Hillary Hodges

Author Hillary Hodges

Hillary is an Account Supervisor at InQuest Marketing. She helps with strategy, communication and project management for client accounts. Her favorite things about her job are that no two days are the same and she's always on some new learning adventure. Hillary loves to hang out with her dogs and eat popcorn for dinner when her husband isn't home. She describes her spirit animal as a mixture of each character from one of her favorite shows, Parks & Recreation.

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