Here’s a fun challenge for the wedding suppliers out there: how many of the top 10 wedding advertising mistakes have you made?! I’ll admit mine right now: 6 out of 10 ain’t bad… is it? See how you compare!
Despite the growth in on-line advertising and social media, print advertising can still be very effective. But only if it’s done well. To make the most of your advertising, here are the 10 most common mistakes to avoid:
1. Not measuring results.
Spending money on advertising without finding out how many enquiries and sales you receive as a result is pointless. Always ask customers how they heard about you.
Always proof read your advert and get someone else to do it too. Spelling mistakes make you look unprofessional. Errors in your contact details mean you have wasted your advert.
3. Making your business name the main headline
No-one cares what you are called – only what you can deliver to them. If you specialise in bespoke, vintage style accessories, say so.
4. Poor quality photos
Poorly lit and badly composed photos are worse than none at all. And remember that you need high resolution pictures for print – 300 dpi minimum.
5. Irrelevant photos
This one is obvious, right? If you’re a florist you have photos of your floral designs. If you’re a baker you show off your most scrummy cakes.
Apparently not. I’ve seen several examples of businesses using very generic “weddingy” photos which had nothing to do with their product or service or suggested something completely different. You only have a moment to catch the reader’s attention – make it count.
6. Agreeing to place an ad when a magazine rings you with a “fantastic offer”
Be warned – once you have advertised in one magazine, all the others will contact you.
Never book an advert without doing your homework on the publication. And be especially wary of new publications with no readership data (they often have no readers!).
However, it can be a good idea to set aside part of your budget for one-off features on your speciality – ask the magazines you are interested in to contact you when they are running these.
7. Accepting the first price they quote you
Magazines work to a rate card and their advertising sales people always have scope for negotiation. You will certainly be able to negotiate a discount for a series of adverts.
8. Choosing the wrong magazine for your target customer
If you are targeting the bride with a generous budget, don’t advertise in magazines which feature articles on DIY and cost cutting. However, this one isn’t always easy to predict. My DIY stationery business did well in magazines aimed at up-market brides.
9. Not following up editorial opportunities
Some magazines will send out lists of future features so advertisers can submit photos and get product mentions. Always follow this up – coverage in the body of the magazine is usually more effective than an advert.
10. Dismissing magazine advertising as “too expensive” without doing your research.
You could be missing out on a big opportunity. Remember that brides-to-be read magazines to look for ideas and suppliers – your advert will be in front of willing buyers.
Alison Wren founded DIY stationery specialist The Wedding Crafter in 2004 building it from back bedroom start-up before selling the business in April 2011. During this time she advertised successfully in many of the wedding magazines, despite making most of the mistakes listed above!
Alison currently edits Wedding Business Success (www.weddingbusinesssuccess.com). For more on wedding magazine advertising visit http://www.weddingbusinesssuccess.com/articles/marketing/36-bridal-advertising-1.html
So – whoever is still here: how many of the wedding advertising mistakes have you made? Which is your favourite! Use the comments form below or come with me… I’ll tell you mine over on facebook.