A guest blog from editor and founder of Wedding Sparrow, Sara Russell!
This topic of conversation is a hotly disputed one and I often see photographers and vendors alike asking for feedback in photography discussion groups whether or not wedding blog advertising is for them. “Does anyone advertise with X blog? Is it worth it?” “I haven’t seen any return or bookings and they haven’t even promoted me once on their social channels!” is often the response we see.
It’s a little heartbreaking to see that some blogs are under-performing for their vendors and that as a result, other blogs are judged on the same level with misconceptions. Ultimately advertising is a personal decision for any small business and we certainly have to consider what our reasons are for marketing in this way.
Trying to reach a new audience? A new niche/price point? International market? You need to know why you’re investing in a specific publication and what they can offer you.
Looking to book clients via your Instagram channel? Does the publication you’re looking to invest in have an engaged following? Will they utilize their social channel to promote you regularly? Have a plan in place and communicate with your chosen publication on what you’re trying to achieve.
Who is their audience? Is it a wide reaching audience and therefore has a wide range of budgets? Or is it a niche blog and is very specific on the type of bride it attracts? Is it a publication that mainly appeals to peers in the industry and less brides? Knowing the publication and what it offers you is key to your success with any marketing method.
Image by Greg Finck
At Wedding Sparrow, we outline from the very beginning that we operate a 50/50 relationship with our vendors and we need them to work as hard as us to get the best results. Why? The advertising model of “parting with money for a banner or listing and having no contact with the blog/publication for 12 months until renewal comes around” simply doesn’t work. It leaves frustrated vendors with little or no return and no communication with the publication along the way as to why this might be. Opportunities to change strategies or try new things with the publication’s platforms are ultimately missed as a result.
Our Account Managers at Weddings Sparrow are borderline stalkers on social media, seeing what our vendors are up to at all times and encouraging them to maintain a close relationship with us. How can we work harder for you? How can we get you in front of our 500,000+ social media audience? With the shift of readership moving more towards mobile devices and social media, we need to move with the changes as publications ourselves. We are an extension of your small business and should be utilized as such!
We’d love to hear your thoughts on advertising with blogs and publications (good and bad!) as we all love to learn and grow using the feedback from the industry.
Sara Russell, editor and founder of Wedding Sparrow