Building a Social Identity Your Followers Will Crave

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Have you ever sat staring blankly at a blinking cursor just waiting for the perfect witty response to surface? Welcome to the club.

We have so much control over our brand’s visual identity, almost to an overwhelming degree, that finding our authentic voice is not only essential - but rather a means for social media survival.

Millennials favor brands that deliver content in bite-sized, digestible pieces. The copy doesn’t have to be overworked - just something that your audience can connect to.

Consider captions like an asterisk that serves a greater purpose - a deeper explanation and personal reflection of what the naked eye may not catch. You’ll start to build a network that anticipates each of your posts, shares your content and self-identifies with your brand.

Bring Followers Value

Even while you’re selecting the next photo to post on Instagram, you can start crafting your captions internally. Ask yourself: why does this post matter to my audience? Does this photo show more than just a pretty scene? And, how is this post - both the photo and the caption - serving my community? Feeling confident in those few areas will help crystalize the intention behind your voice.

Transport your audience

Focus on giving followers a level of 'surprise and delight' with each short narrative - something new and captivating. What’s the story behind the scene? How does your unique approach as a creative drive that design or experience? Provide a sense of place and invite curiosity from your audience (which we will get to next). Videos are on the rise, and should be used liberally when you have the right content.

Encourage Curiosity

However brief, captions should be the appetizer - not the full meal. Always try to encourage your audience to go beyond the double-tap and further into your world, whether leading them to a blog post on your website, a media placement online or to your stories. Without this push, your followers might just casually scroll through your feed, rather then go on the journey that is your brand.

So, let’s get down to it - a few examples

Standard Caption: Florals by @flowerbud were so pretty!  Couldn't believe how everything came together for this wedding.

Revised Caption: With the creative artistry of @flowerbud, we transformed an otherwise minimal backdrop with a jaw-dropping display of budding lemon trees. Our clients spent three years traveling around Europe and remember fondly a sense of peace in a place that was covered in these earthly trees - the Island of Capri along the Amalfi Coast. We transported guests to that serene haven with a nod to A+J’s travels, through a multi-dimensional design that felt uniquely personal. See our stories for more.

Standard Caption: Just finished our fourth wedding of the year, what a crazy journey!

Revised Caption: We just returned from a special wedding weekend in Nantucket - one that was a true testament to many creative minds at work. At the start of our journey together, V+B had already selected a beautiful venue to host their celebration. But as the design process got underway, it became clear that the space didn’t feel totally right. Thanks to the gracious flexibility of our team, we moved things to a private estate that would allow for us to execute their vision without limitations. And the result was more memorable than we could have imagines. We’re so thrilled to share this celebration, now featured on @brides [link in bio]

Many of us share the struggle of communicating what’s going on inside our imagination, on paper. Here’s a helpful post we wrote a few months back about developing engaging copy for your brand. It’s not going to happen overnight and it may mean some trial-and-error. But shifting your approach in favor of a more compelling narrative is something your followers won’t be able to get enough of - trust us.

*This post was conceptualized by Rachel Trahan, a valuable member of the In Good Company team

Need a helping hand crystalizing your brand's marketing strategy? Email us - we'd love to chat

Maintaining an Intentional Marketing Strategy in the Busy Season

 wedding PR and marketing in the busy season

As our clients head into the busiest season of their year, we understand that marketing may take a back seat to design plans, site visits and weekend-long productions. To help, this actionable guide is designed to help you maximize your marketing efforts during the course of the next few months.

You'll continue to build a dialogue with your network, giving them an even deeper understanding of your work that will sustain you long past the height of wedding season.

Pre-plan Instagram

Instagram remains one of the strongest marketing channels used in the wedding industry, primarily funneling new client leads and maximizing brand awareness (despite the ever-changing algorithm - more on that here). Remembering to post continuously and often on Instagram can seem like an uphill battle, especially while juggling tastings and client meetings during the busy wedding season.

  • We suggest clients take 2-3 hours every week to pre-plan content using a scheduler like planoly or later. These platforms allow you to upload images, visualize your grid and draft captions. You can easily re-arrange the look of your Instagram grid all in one sitting, and not have to worry about continuously posting in real-time.
  • Once you schedule the post, you’ll be instantaneously reminded to post on that day and time (making it super easy to do while in the middle of a project on-site, for instance). A few platforms have also enabled automatic publishing for those who want a totally hands-off approach.
  • We still encourage clients to make an effort to engage on Instagram, liking and commenting on content from other industry creatives to help contribute to an active community.
  • Stories are a way to post real-time content quickly while on-site at a wedding, to show your audience your creative process.

Whether you set aside a block of time every week or small breaks during your day, establishing an efficient process that works with your unique schedule can help you nurture and build your audience even during your busiest season.

Reflect in real-time

Traveling affords us a bit of extra time to read those bookmarked pages of our favorite magazines and blogs - take advantage of that time and get reacquainted with the media world. Take note of tone, style and types of features being published in your favorite publications. Are there projects you’re working on that could fit in nicely? Anticipate the weddings you have coming up that you think may be exceptionally 'noteworthy.’ Consider reserving one afternoon after that celebration (or on the flight back home) to reflect on the most notable aspects, still fresh in your mind, that can be later submitted alongside a thoughtfully curated collection of photos. That simple strategy will help you shape a narrative for the editor when you finally have bandwidth to sit down and submit the entire package for editorial consideration. Keeping with the shift towards efficiency, this will save you time down the road when you may be trying to remember the small, unique details that made a celebration so special.  

Utilize your blog as a megaphone

Maintain your blog, even at a basic level. Instead of simply posting a wedding recap, focus on more observations from the field that you’re noticing while on-site, working with other partners. What are the changes in design that are developing? Are there new venues of note, and what makes them special? Are there new specialty vendors or products that may align with your style? What are new ways you’re seeing other leaders deliver a memorable experience for guests? What has been inspiring you over the course of the season - from travel and design to culinary arts and culture?  Collect your thoughts into a brief post that will take your audience along the journey with you through this wedding season. Then, share that content with a post on Instagram and Facebook or through an email newsletter (if part of your strategy) to maximize its impact.

*This post was conceptualized by Neeka Bardi, a valuable member of the In Good Company team

Our consulting service helps brands gain clarity on marketing objectives and establish a strong strategy for growth. Contact us if you are looking for that perfect partner.

Instagram for the Wedding Pro: Mastering the Algorithm & Maximizing Impact

 instagram social strategy wedding industry

In our modern world, we are challenged to strike a happy balance between quality and quantity, particularly on social media. Instagram is always changing and one of their most recent algorithm adjustments have followers frankly confused, searching for answers as to why their posts aren’t gaining the momentum they once did. How do we as an industry combat things? Today, we are sharing a few of our go-to Instagram marketing strategies to maintaining a strong, consistent presence (while keeping your sanity).

Spend More Time Engaging

With Instagram, engagement is key. The Instagram algorithm favors posts with high engagement. Your feed will be automatically curated by what you engage with most and the relationship you have with that user. Meaning, the closer relationship you have with your followers, the more likely your content will actually show up in their feed. Avoid getting your content buried with a few tactics:

  • Respond to all post comments, even if it’s just liking the comment with the heart feature on Instagram. Taking time to engage will reinforce your commitment to followers, and  strengthen your future posts visibility.
  • Prompt questions from your followers in your captions. Encourage a conversation. When you start to create a relationship with future clients and fellow industry leaders, you’re creating champions for your brand, beyond just followers.
  • Optimize your posting schedule, pushing content at high-traffic times of 5-8 pm and around the mid-afternoon lunch break at noon.
  • Boost posts with intention. If you have a beautiful professional photo of your work that has performed well organically, considering boosting it to a targeted audience to maximize exposure (i.e. newly engaged brides in Southern California).

Utilize The Full Bench of Features on Instagram

It is important not to ignore the new features of Instagram, like live video and stories. When a user interacts with your brand beyond posts, your Instagram profile gains authority on their feed. Live video and stories can be used like a virtual consulting and education platform - encourage followers to ask you questions about a variety of topics (like designing a simple, seasonal tablescape for an at-home bridal shower, or even how to build a beautiful welcome box for guests). Your followers will quickly come to think of you and your brand as the true experts, and will start to look forward to the content you deliver them. Utilize stories as a complement to post, tying one to the other, encouraging followers to visit both.

U P D A T E : J U N E 2018

There have been some significant changes to the Instagram algorithm as of June 2018. Instagram will continue to show posts in order of who you engage with most regularly, but also based on four other key factors: (1) your perceived level of interest based on past behavior on similar posts, (2) the timeliness, favoring those recent posts, (3) your relationship with the profile / person, and (4) usage - the more you scroll, the deeper into Instagram's content archive you may get.

Our suggestions? Encourage others to tag your brand in their posts, not just in the caption. Also, a few times a year do a 'purge' of those accounts that you may have been following that aren't relevant anymore. Then, you'll start to see more from those you care about. Also, share a variety of content - both owned and curated - to ensure you're achieving a balanced approach and can engage in different kinds of conversations within your network.

 

*This post was conceptualized by Neeka Bardi, a valuable member of the In Good Company team

We help our clients build a stronger social media presence and nurture their brand for the long-term. Let's design your personalized strategy together - contact us

Wedding & Lifestyle Marketing Resources To Inspire a Successful 2018

Wedding PR & Marketing Resources 2018.png

Time for a reality check. Truth is, we are conditioned to continually push ourselves past base camp, even after a full year of climbing uphill. But as one year comes to close and we prepare to ring in 2018, it’s important to first toast to our monumental successes. Whether you’re a wedding planner who just wrapped a busy season of destination events, a photographer who has expanded your shooting team or a venue that has undergone a major renovation - take a moment to appreciate the unending commitment you have to your business.

A great way to establish a strong start to your New Year is to first assess your goals at face value, and acknowledge how they may have shifted or evolved over the last several months. Are there opportunities for growth in one area more than another? How are your objectives serving your business best?

It's also a great time to start playing around with few new tools that can be utilized for more effective workflows, and then integrating them into your blueprint for business growth.

To give you a head start, we’ve designed a guide with a few of our favorites (and take a peek at some of last year’s best marketing resources for wedding & lifestyle pros, too)

To keep your sanity and your team aligned: Asana

This online and mobile tool helps you track multiple projects and business tasks all at once -You can see the status on any given project at a glance without needing to schedule a call or shooting them an email. This is a great tool especially for those creative business owners who have remote team members or contractors. The clean dashboard allows you to see all of your tasks in one window along with their categories (ex: blog, client, etc...), due dates, and who they’re assigned to if you’re working with multiple people. Asana also integrates with Google Drive which makes it easy to keep all of your resources in one place. The mobile app means you can access things while traveling, too!

To flex your graphic skills: Canva

You don’t have to hire a professional designer for smaller graphic needs when you use Canva. You can upload your brand’s colors and fonts to ensure all graphics you create stay cohesive with your overall aesthetic. Overlay wording on top of a photo for a creative Instagram post. Mock up a new Facebook cover photo. Design a client presentation, promotion flyer or invitation to your next business event. It’s so versatile and a bit easier to use than Adobe InDesign (which can’t be beat if you’re working with more complex web design projects). Plus, learn tons of design principles and strategies with Canva’s Design School - a blog with a plethora of resources to help you create great visual content.

To make your website work for you: Yoast

Give your website a fighting chance to stand up against the competition with a plugin that can help you optimize your content to better attract new business through Google. Yoast is a great tool to install on your website that will give you tips for strengthening meta descriptions and improving overall search capacity. Check out our guide to understanding SEO here!

To protect your rep: Google Alerts

An oldie but goodie - Google Alerts is a great tool to keep a pulse on your brand (and others) through an easy and effective daily notification. Google Alerts enables businesses to review mentions of their brand name, track competitors or simple keywords about their industry - like ‘destination wedding planner’ or ‘interior design trends.’ It’s particularly helpful when your work is featured in various wedding blogs and magazines, or articles online - keep track of your presence in a measurable way without spending time scouring the Internet.

To execute a defined Instagram strategy: Planoly

Save yourself some time and schedule Instagram content for the week, month, or next year with this desktop site and mobile app. Planoly is aesthetically-driven so it has features that allow you to visually plan and curate your account layout in a way that aligns with your brand. You can also track and reply to comments as well as track your account analytics. These features allow you to view your followers’ activity with your account and determine which posts do best in specific time frames to help you adjust for the future. For more tips of crafting a social strategy that works uniquely for your business, check out some helpful social media marketing tips here.

Cheers to a prosperous 2018!

Interested in learning more about our customized public relations partnership, social media marketing services or a consulting engagement? We would love to hear from you!

A Guide to Developing Your Ideal Client Persona

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How well do you know your ideal client? More importantly - are you reaching them effectively? Are they interpreting your wedding brand the way you intended?

Understanding your ‘ideal’ client ensures that your marketing approach is rooted in research and is positioned to help you attract qualified, promising business leads (the kind you look forward to working with most).

With the wedding season coming to a close and holiday engagements approaching, leverage the opportunity to reflect and reinforce your brand positioning and marketing strategy.

For example, say you’re are a wedding dress boutique owner in the suburbs of Connecticut. Your private shop has won a few local awards and has a strong referral base from many happy brides. You’re ready to take on a few new designers that you hope will draw in a new clientele with a more distinguished style. Getting back to your ‘ideal’ bride - who is she? Time to develop a layered persona of your ideal client.

Grab a notepad and get started. Begin with the basics but get beyond traditional demographics (age, location, economic status, job, etc…)

Think about her personal style and characteristics first, and her behavior second.

  • How would her friends describe her personality?
  • What does she wear on a weekday, running errands? Where is she shopping or what brands does she covet most?
  • How does she spend her weekends?
  • While planning her wedding, is she browsing wedding magazines or blogs? Which ones match her style?
  • What brands does she follow on Instagram?
  • Where is she vacationing?
  • What is she reading on the flight there?
  • What music is playing in her earbuds?

Then, determine what makes your business the perfect place for that bride based on her pain points. How can you fulfill her needs in a way that no other bridal boutique can? Is she working a 60-hour week and has limited time to spend on the weekends shopping? Does her budget pose a challenge? Is she having trouble identifying her unique style? Has she had a negative experience shopping thus far?

Take a look at that notepad you’re holding - it is full of valuable insight. Identify commonalities, connections and attributes between all your notes and begin to shape the persona of your ideal client. By creating that profile with specific attributes, behaviors and traits, you can identify any gaps in your marketing strategy and leverage opportunities to communicate with that ideal client more effectively.

The bridal shop owner found that “Marissa” is a 31 year old marketing director who lives in Connecticut with her fiance and dachshund. She reads two things every morning over green tea on her iPhone: The New York Times business section and a lifestyle newsletter covering current events and culture. She commutes to Manhattan in her Jeep (which also takes her to and from the Hamptons where her family has a summer cottage). Her workday ends with a Vinyasa yoga class in the city. She grabs a latte at a local shop that brews fair trade coffee before heading home for the evening, listening to Spotify's indie-rock lineup. She has always dreamed of a week in London spent getting lost in old bookstores and having afternoon tea. She has planned a wedding for 120 closest loved ones at a historic garden estate in upstate NY in June.

Being able to visualize “Marissa” at the core of her marketing efforts, this boutique owner can better position her brand to attract brides just like her who represent other qualified buyers.


This exercise is one many marketing professionals have encouraged clients to consider. Take time to deeply understand your ideal client from multiple viewpoints. You can also use these insights to influence the content you post on social media and the messaging on your website.

*This post was conceptualized by Samantha Spica, a valuable member of the In Good Company team

Our consulting service helps brands gain clarity on marketing objectives and establish a strong strategy for industry growth. Contact us if you are looking for that perfect partner.