Maintaining an Intentional Marketing Strategy 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.

Creating Engaging Copy for your Wedding & Lifestyle Brand

With the pressure to maintain visual relevance in an age when Instagram has taken precedence, the importance we place on the written word can come secondary to a stunning photo.

But trust us - gaining the skills to write persuasive, thoughtful and inspiring copy is a worthy pursuit.

Oftentimes, small business owners are challenged by how to properly translate their brand’s vision and market differentiator through the words on their website, social media and press.

Working alongside clients to help them refine their own unique message, we’re here to share some of our advice to achieving captivating copy, so your brand is represented in the best light and you’re able to create meaningful business connections.

Identify your ideal client. Speak to one, attract many

Creating copy that engages and encourages growth for your end business starts with speaking to the client who you want to work with. Mentally creating a picture and list of characteristics of your ideal client is critical. For instance, the owner of a bridal boutique should understand the overall brand aesthetic of the shop, the designers and styles, and the ‘ideal’ bride who buys a gown. List out words and qualifying characteristics of who she is, where she shops for clothes, what she likes to do in her free time and what her wedding day vision may look like. How does she interact with others and carry herself day-to-day? Speak directly to her every time you write a caption for Instagram, or update your website language, or provide expert tips for an editorial story. Taking a personalized tone and approach to content will lead to more authentic connections with that bride, and others just like her.

Understand your competition + your key differentiator

Using the insights gained from an exploration of your ideal client, ask yourself this; If that client had to give a one-sentence description of your company, what would you want him/her to say? What makes your brand relevant and undeniably unique from the sea of other wedding photographers, planning firms or specialty vendors?

Take time to draft written content around these core concepts that reflect your business, from your approach to client service to how you translate your craft into something unique for clients. Then, go back and refine the words you’re using to describe those elements. Try to stay approachable but also true to your brand and the ‘ideal’ client you want to attract.

After your first draft of an Instagram caption, blog post or media Q&A, read through it again and ask yourself;

  • Am I actively connecting to my ‘ideal’ client?

  • Are the virtues of my brand being communicated the way I want?

  • Are there areas to eliminate wordiness and refine messages to be more clear?

Once you’re confident with the flow and message, consider integrating SEO key terms that will help boost the visibility of that content, as appropriate. This is especially useful when adding new messaging to your website or through your blog.

Make it personal

Be sure to put yourself into your work. This sounds simple, but after all of the editing and proofreading it’s easy to get caught up in making your text sound ‘perfect’ rather than authentically your own. If you’re a wedding photographer with a beautiful shot of the couple’s first dance, use the caption to describe what the moment was like, being in their presence. Organic, meaningful copy will always trump anything too formal or canned. After all, you are your brand’s voice, so be deliberate with how you communicate and connect with your audience.

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

We’re writers by trade, so if you need a bit of help in this area, reach out and say hello. We would love to get to know you.

Wedding Industry Marketing: SEO Strategy

You want to secure qualified client inquiries from clients who appreciate your vision, style and industry experience.

The answer? Market to YOUR IDEAL CLIENTELE with a layered approach; combining social media, press coverage and digital marketing.

This strategy ensures that your brand’s name will extend far beyond your immediate network of connections. One way to naturally strengthen your reach is to optimize your website. Implementing a few key SEO tactics will help your wedding brand rank competitively on Google, increase traffic to your website and generate qualified leads from the types of clients you want to attract.

Leverage Language: More words on your website certainly do not mean better. The key is to focus on quality. Be as detailed as possible in the headlines of your blog posts, image file names and website page content - including location, venue, industry keywords. Manipulate the search process a bit by using the key terms that are being searched for, and match that appropriately with the messaging you typically use to represent your brand. It’s also important to speak the language of your audience. For instance, if you’re a wedding photographer, avoid leading with too technical of a summary. While it may make perfect sense to an industry vendor, it may cause a potential client to lose attention.

Especially for wedding photographers who use their website as a digital portfolio, using Alternative text for your images is critical. The purpose of alternative text is to describe each photo in detail to search engines. This feature can be found in the HTML code of each image, and can be edited to a description that is more SEO friendly.

Rinse, wash + repeat. Over time, that steady cadence of rich keywords, highlighted throughout your website will push your rank number up higher, moving your website closer to the first page on a Google web search. Likewise, integrating more description into your social media posts and Instagram captions can attract new followers, encourage engagement and help further establish you as an expert.

Favorite tool: Google’s Keyword Planner - the beginning step to Google Adword campaigns, this will help you identify keywords related to those you already know you’d like to rank highly for, and other related key terms that may offer you the opportunity to rise above your competitors. Take a peek at a few of our other favorite small business marketing tools.

Give Love to Links: First, improve your anchor text (the words you highlight for a link).  by making that selected text more descriptive. Many of us would say “To learn more about our wedding planning services, click here to get in touch.” Try linking the first part of that call-to-action, instead. It’s not only a great way to improve SEO but also to keep visitors engaged and on your website, navigating from page to page with ease. Likewise, you can use descriptive links to link to your services page from within a blog post, when it’s appropriate and natural to do so. Helping your visitors along the acquisition channel may mean a few tiny adjustments to your website, but will be well worth the effort.

As with every marketing effort, it’s always great to pause and make time to analyze changes through Google Analytics. You’ll be able to see how receptive your website visitors are to these content changes and understand larger areas of opportunity to build and improve your SEO.

Interested in strengthening your small business marketing strategy? We can't wait to hear from you.