There are a number of traditional print advertising options for wedding businesses, and each can serve to help get more leads to your company (albeit some more effectively than others.) Below are some of the more common types of print advertising for local vendors, and the pros and cons of each.
Sadly, traditional yellow pages have become all but obsolete in many areas of the country, especially in more urban areas. It may be worth doing some basic research to find out what kind of rates and reach your local yellow pages offer and whether they might have any promotions for new advertisers, but beyond that we wouldn’t recommend this type of advertising for most wedding vendors.
Local newspapers and town publications often have a featured bridal section at least once a year, and are worth looking into for both new and established wedding professionals. If you can’t afford the big publications just yet, start small and try out a small ad in one of the local circulars available around town. Even if you book only one job from an inexpensive ad placement, the advertising cost can often pay for itself.
Tip: If you can’t afford advertising in your local newspaper, you might try offering to write an article about your area of wedding expertise that they can print in the next bridal edition. This works particularly well with smaller publications, as they are generally eager to receive new, well-written articles from local professionals. If they do print your article, you should also request that they also include your company’s name and website URL alongside the article.
Bridal publications including magazines and bridal show guides are arguably the most expensive form of print advertising for wedding vendors, but their use shouldn’t be discounted for that reason alone. Large national bridal magazines have a huge readership, and one well placed ad can generate a lot of traffic or calls for your business. The key is that you don’t spend so much on expensive advertising that the return on investment is zero or less.
Tip: If you do use traditional (print) means for advertising, make sure to ask new prospects how they found you when they contact you. Keep a spreadsheet or log of where your leads are coming from – you will likely find that some publications are not worth the money you’re spending on advertising!
“You have to spend money to make money” is the old adage, but be aware that there are other, less-expensive ways to generate leads than traditional print methods nowadays. Online advertising is one of those methods.
In fact, there are many wedding sites that offer free basic listings for wedding vendors—and you should list your business in as many established directories as you can while you research different advertising options. Just as there are numerous offline bridal publications, there are even more choices available to you for online ad placements. You may, in fact, need to experiment with advertising in different online wedding directories until you determine which work best for your business.
Bottom line for all methods of advertising: establish an advertising budget for both print and online ad placements, test as many different options as your budget will allow, and regularly review what is working and what isn’t so that you can refine your ad spend going forward. An annual review well in advance of the upcoming wedding season is a great time to do this.