May 25, 2013
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> Marketing for Weddings
Marketing for Weddings
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Regular readers of my blog would be forgiven lately for thinking that its a skiing blog and not much to do with wedding photography, but I'm pleased to say that a lot of marketing has been going on in the last months and its now paying off. I'm not a professional marketer but I've been around business for long enough to have picked up a few things that make sense and I've been steadily applying these tips over the past months and years. One thing that's important to understand is the value of channels. Now, to photographers, especially digital practitioners, channels refer to the colour models we all use in Photoshop but to marketers channels refer to the segments of the market from where you get business and so you need to have a presence in multiple channels to make sure you cover your bases.
I've been using Google as a major channel to the weddings market for some years now and that experience has reaped rewards. Word-of-mouth and personal recommendations plays a part as does building partnerships with other weddings suppliers. There are specialist print publications, websites and on-line directories all of which offer something to couples getting married and looking to buy products and services. Towards the end of last year I had an interactive advert published on the BRIDES CD-ROM and that yielded a good range of enquiries. This Spring I've bought a half-page advert in Best Scottish Weddings magazine which will be published, on sale and distributed around all of the Scottish Wedding fairs that serve couples looking to get married in Scotland. For a few years I've also subscribed to a few on-line specialist directories for photographers as well as local, general on-line directories such as Gumtree.co.uk and FreeIndex.co.uk which have all provided a range of enquiries.
This year so far has seen a higher quality of enquiry coming in and has led to more conversions to bookings than I've ever had at this time of year. For the first time I've got bookings out to Autumn 2013 for premium packages. I'm a bit of an analyst, always wanting to understand what it is about my service that couples like and why some enquiries fade to nothing while others convert to bookings. Feedback from my new customers tell me that they like my website and they like the style of images that I produce. Also, I feel this year more so than others, I've got my pricing right and that too is borne out by an increase in bookings.
The perennial challenge of marketing is feedback; understanding what it is that makes people buy or look elsewhere. Print advertising is difficult to analyse return on investment - the total value of bookings made versus the cost of the advert - because its impossible to survey what readers are looking at and what it is about one advert they like and another they don't. Print, especially large chunky quality magazines, can hang around in salons, homes, libraries and coffee shops for months after publication and someone could see your ad many months after you've stopped measuring its RoI. But photogs still buy print ads because they work and the magazine channel is an important one.
Google though, has burst through onto the marketing stage because it offers the kind of feedback about the on-line experience that no other marketeer can offer. And its free. Google Analytics is a major tool for anyone who uses on-line as a route to market and I've found it invaluable these past years. I've tweaked and changed things on my website as a result of feedback collected from visitors and to give you an idea of what a difference its made here are some statistics that compare the Spring 2012 to the same period last year:
Number of Visitors
Number of Page Views
Average Page Views per Visit
Average Time Spent on Site
So, visitors are up nearly 300% with 3 times the number of pages viewed and more time spent on the pages. Visitors are spending more time on the site and are investigating more content in-depth. The bounce rate - the percentage of visitors who leave after visiting only one page - is dropping. The increase in enquiries has driven an increase in bookings and this is shown by the website statistics. One thing about these stats is that there is no direct correlation between a visit and a booking. Visitors to the site are researching options, prices and styles. Those who return to the site - about 20% of all visitors - are seriously interested but may return 2 or 3 times before deciding to get in touch or may not get in touch at all. Ultimately, I've asked my new customers where they found the site and what they liked about it. A third of new customers had heard of me (word of mouth) but two thirds had begun with a search on Google. Every customer had visited the site, even those who had been recommended to me.
So, 2012 and 2013 are shaping up to be my best ever. Now that I seem to have got my marketing messages right and I'm delivering them to channels that provide a return I intend to invest more money in more marketing because its working. Finally, a mention must be made to Andrea Barrett. I attended one of her marketing seminars last year and what I learned there has made a difference. Adverts and websites will only give you so much; you have to talk face-to-face with your brides and you have to get on with them. If you do, you'll get the business, if you don't you've wasted your money and time.
25th February 2012
This is the website and blog site of professional photographer, Brian Wilson, LSWPP. Brian has attended the Scottish Wedding Show as well as other wedding events in Scotland. Brian wants to provide his brides with the best Scottish wedding experience possible. There are many Scottish wedding directory sites listing other wedding services including wedding make-up, hairdressing and beauty, wedding dresses, wedding cars, wedding flowers and bouquets, bridal shoes and bridal accessories to wear on your wedding day. Brian has included on this site short blogs for many of the other wedding professionals he has worked with over the years.
Streetlife Photography Weddings by Brian Wilson LSWPP is an accredited wedding and portrait photographer in Edinburgh, Scotland, serving clients in Scotland, Scottish Borders, Lothian, Central, Fife, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Clackmannan, Ayrshire, Dumfries, Galloway, Argyle, Clyde, Forth, Highland, Tayside, Angus, Aberdeenshire, Northumbria, Cumbria, Yorkshire, Lancashire, North East England and North West England. Brian provides all types of photography including commercial, editiorial, sports, travel, lifestyle, urban, city, cityscapes, landscapes, fashion and art and serves towns and cities including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Falkirk, Livingston, Queensferry, Linlithgow, Bo'ness, Grangemouth, Dunfermline, Aberdour, Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes, Cupar, St Andrews, Kinross, Perth, Crieff, Dundee, Blairgowrie, Forfar, Carnoustie, Dunbar, Haddington, Gullane, North Berwick, Peebles, Melrose, Galashiels, Kelso, Biggar, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Coldstream, Hawick, Biggar, Langholm, Gretna, Longtown, Carlisle, Hexham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Brian photographs all aspects of weddings and civil partnerships including engagement, pre-wedding, boudoir, preparation, dressing, make-up, hair, manicure, ceremony, cake cutting, formal, informal, reportage, traditional, contemporary, fashion, reception, speeches, toasts, dancing and evening. Post-wedding services include trash the dress, dvd slideshow, album, prints, on-line, social networks, Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, You-Tube, MySpace and others.
Brian has photographed couples in venues such as Caledonian Hilton Hotel, Balmoral Hotel, Prestonfield House Hotel, Oxenfoord Castle, Aberdour Castle, Famous Grouse Experience Perth, Crieff Hydro, Marlins Wynd, Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, Parliament Square Edinburgh, Calton Hill Edinburgh. Brian has photographed brides wearing couture wedding gowns from Edinburgh bridal shops such as Emma Roy, Butterflies Bride, Jane Davidson and Susan Gregory.
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is site are Copyright Streetlife Photography 2002 - 2010 unless stated otherwise. Site design based on the Rocket Theme Panancea Joomla! template. Site design by Streetlife / BigFrontDoor, 2010. Menu icons kindly provided by brsev from the Token Light scheme. See brsev.deviantart.com