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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old February 21st, 2007, 10:08 PM   #1
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Promoting wedding video business

Although this question is related to marketing, I am posting it under the wedding video forum because I am specifically looking for the opinions of other wedding videos.

So far I haven't done any advertising, I did a couple free weddings for friends and the rest of my work has come via word of mouth. Once a couple finds me, they usually tend to like my prices and the quality of my work... however, I feel word of mouth alone is not bringing me as many prospective clients as I would like.

I decided to bite the bullet and go aheand and spend a little bit of money on advertising. Already I have a google ad-words campaign, but it really is not generating too many hits for my website.

After thinking it over, I have narrowed it down to the following options and would like your opinions as far as what I should do-

First is partypop, whenever I do an internet search for wedding videos their site is the first site to come up. I have a free listing with them, but haven't seen any results from it.

Secondly I am considering printing up full color glossy brochures to distribute to local wedding venders to hand out on my behalf. To encourage venders to distribute my brochures, I would pay each vendor for every client who books a wedding video that they referred to me.

Third, purchase a TV or Radio spot. I can't afford that much, so my ad would only run a couple times.

Fourth is do nothing, just figure advertising is not that effective for wedding video business and save my money.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 10:32 PM   #2
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Adam,
I been watching (reading) your posts on getting started in the wedding industry.
I won't tell you what to do with your money but there are some things that I can tell you about either my own experience OR the experiences of others who are very good friends of mine. Then you can decide for yourself.

I frankly never heard of partypop but it sounds like WeDj which is a site for phto,video and DJs of course. I also have a free listing now but before I had a top line gold or whatever color it is listing that I paid for and got a large number of hits. I stopped because I'm cutting my schedule back. If you can see your way clear perhaps get a paid listing that will put you higher up on the list.

As for google ad words a friend of mine was doing that and was paying for the hits BUT he came up top 3 in videos in his area everytime someone googled wedding video AND he was booking jobs. He stopped at the end of the booking season and is starting up again soon or already has for this year.

A nice brochure is always a good thing-not too wordy and put together properly (looks wise) it can be a nice leadin to your website and bookings. It's my experience that brides today are letting the fingers do the shopping via the web and the brochure can be a great way to get them to your site. As for paying a commission be careful with that. If they actually book the wedding for you, well thats 1 thing but for merely a referral of that nature (handking out the brochure an hyping you) maybe a luch every now and then. If its a DJ or photographer that actually sells your service then by all means find a percentage or a fixed number to pay and go for it-they get greedy and want to make money and the only way too is sell your service. Just remember that YOU sell your service better than anyone so don't be surprised if it dosen't go at first.

As for radio and TV I wouldn't waste the money-same for newpaper ad. In my area it's cost prohibitive and frankly the return would be little if anything. A friend of mine tried all 3 for a while and almost went out of business do to the cost.

As for doing nothing, well here's an old saying. If you want something different then you need to do something different. Means doing nothing will get your business exactly that-NOTHING!

Sorry for the long post but maybe you can put something to use.

Don
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 07:50 AM   #3
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I'de look for a fifth option. think online advertising is where your money will be best spent, but I would go for something a little more popular or mainstream such as the knot. A good website is probably one of the best investments you can make as well.

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Old February 22nd, 2007, 08:01 AM   #4
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I have never done wedding videography, though I know a bit about marketing. When I start my venture I will use direct marketing approach by handing out business cards at the local register office, also leaving cards at wedding cake shops, hairdressers, dress hire shops, churches, etc. Also I will have a listing in local & online Yellow Pages. I won't touch newspapers or online advertising.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 10:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom
As for radio and TV I wouldn't waste the money-same for newpaper ad. In my area it's cost prohibitive and frankly the return would be little if anything. A friend of mine tried all 3 for a while and almost went out of business do to the cost.

Don
Don: regarding the TV ads that your friend ran, could you provide a little more info? What kind of ads did he run, and through what channels? I'm surprised that he didn't get results.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 11:24 AM   #6
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Well, I nevr saw the ads but I know he wasn't on a major station. Remembering in the greater Chicagoland area there are not only 3 majors but a 'super station' as well as about a half dozen local type staions. This doesn't even take into account the cable stations of which there are 2 different cable companies as well as the companies that suppy dishes so the choices are huge and varied.
IIRC he went on one of the local staions but due to costs he only ran a 30 sec spot for about 1 week and it ran fairly late. He might have gotten 1 or 2 calls. He didn't feel it was really worth the expense of buying the airtime to continue running the spot. He also tried various newpapers again there are 2 major papers and who knows how many 'others' although 1 of them is very big and covers many cities and counties but I believe he opted to go into one of the smaller local type papers. Again he might have gotten 1 or 2 calls when he ran the ad. He tried it on 2 seperate occassions for a week each time at the height of the booking season and just felt that the return wasn't enough to justify the expense.
His best marking efforts have come from various places and in no particular order they are; wedding shows, other vendors (specifically photogs and DJs) and the google thing in conjuction with a decent website.
Hope that answers your question.

Don
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 11:40 AM   #7
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How about a bridal show?
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 01:10 PM   #8
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He has always done well with the shows in the area. Keep in mind that none of these methods is for anything more than getting your name out to the buying public and while some may work better than others the only way to know which will work for you is to try them and decide for yourself. The shows while they are still fairly big draws are getting fewer attendees than in the past. He and I both agree this is due to the number of potential clients that are doing much more of their shopping on the net. These shows around here can cost a pretty penny not just for the space but all the ancillary stuff you need to have with you and frankly you don't get a lot of time to spend with people but they do get your name out and thats the name of the game. Exposure to the public-the more the better.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 02:05 PM   #9
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Thanks for the info, Don.
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Old February 26th, 2007, 12:54 PM   #10
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impressions

There is lots of research available to demonstrate that a viewer / listening needs to hear an add no less than 4-6 times before the register it as pertaining to them. It take that long before their mind pays attention and realizes that the add isn't just clutter and noise. Then it may take another 3 times of hearing the add before the listening / viewer decides to take action and respond / buy / call / etc.

So keep that in mind. Do your own searching on add impressions and effectiveness and see what information is out there.

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Old February 26th, 2007, 07:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Harjo
How about a bridal show?
Personally, i think bridal shows are a waste of time and money on a hope and perhaps a verbal promise. However, bear in mind the shows where I purchased display space were in a sparsely populated part of the country.

A lot of careful thought has to go into exhibiting at a bridal show. There is booth design. There is the issue of having a huge volume of potential customers and very little time to engage in conversation. You must have strong visual impact. You are there to attract business, but you won't get a lot of time to actually get a contract signed. You must have help dealing with potential customers.

There is a great potential to connect with other vendors in the industry.

Bridal shows cost a lot. If the total cost of a show can not be recovered with one wedding video contract, don't do it.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 11:11 AM   #12
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I have to agree on bridal shows - I just don't see it as being worth my time and effort. I will say though that the best marketing in my mind is networking with other photogs, caterers, reception venues, etc. I have become very good friends with a local photographer who shoots a great deal of hi end weddings. He was impressed with my work and I smoozed (? spelling ?) him and now he sends me a minimum of 1 wedding a month. And that is a minimum. And even better we have become good friends and we swap a lot of work outside of the wedding industry. Add those referrals with all the referrals from other vendors and I do zero marketing. I make it a habit to call my wedding vendor friends up once and a while to do lunch, send them an itunes card, or drop by with a demo. Works like a charm.

Just my two cents on marketing.
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Old March 10th, 2007, 11:04 PM   #13
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Advertising for videography is a tricky business. I would definately steer clear of radio/tv, especially on a small budget. You just wouldn't get enough play to hit the right people enough times for them to finally take notice.

We have 11 weddings booked so far this year and 3 booked for next year. All this without any marketing other than on the web (this coming from someone who works at an ad agency!). We have a free link on wedj.com and onewed.com plus a few others. Wedj & Onewed is where we get the majority of our traffic. Also, make sure you have a good website with great samples and that it's registered to the major search engines.

Have a great business card and hand it out to EVERYONE you talk to. When filming a wedding, make sure you give your card to the priest, organist, DJ, photographers, wedding planners, reception hall, etc. A relationship (even if it's just for the day) with these people will go along way. We have photographers that we've worked with that mention us to other brides they're booking just because they liked working with us.

If you still want to spend money on advertising, use it wisely. My town has a local wedding magazine put out by the newspaper a few times a year. This would be a great place to put an ad since the only people who buy it are future brides.

Good luck!
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Old March 11th, 2007, 12:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heather Darling View Post
If you still want to spend money on advertising, use it wisely. My town has a local wedding magazine put out by the newspaper a few times a year. This would be a great place to put an ad since the only people who buy it are future brides.

Good luck!
Good points from Heather. Regarding the newspaper supplimental publications, check to see just how many times the wedding "magazine" will be published. Heather indicates in her community the publication is distributed a"few" times a year, which may be a good option for your advertising money. In my local area the publications are distributed only once a year. Those magazines get discarded within a few weeks. A poor investment.

Purchasing website advertising with reciprocal links on the best known referral sites seems to me the best value. The Knot, WedJ, ONeWed all have good exposure. Quantity and quality of referrals are directly linked to to the package you select.

In any case, research your market area thoroughly before making a decision.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 11:44 AM   #15
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I have to agree with Waldemar. A good website with good video samples, is the best advertising you can do. 95% of my business comes from the web, and I advertise in several free sites tat were mentioned, as well as pay for advertising on a select few. I try a pay site see how it works out, and if I don't get good results from it, drop them before renewing.

Print doesn't do me much good as it doesn't let the client know what my video quality is.

And besides, most brides now days will look on the internet for their vendors, rather than log through piles and piles of magazines.

I don't know about you, but if I am looking for a service "like a plumber", I look on the internet first before I loook in my local yellow pages.

Also keep in mind to network with local vendors that you have worked with (photographers, caterers, dj's and bands, planners). Maybe send them a free short video highlighting their services, that they could use for advertising purposes. After all you are all working the same event, and have the video, so just put a small piece together to some music, showing their work.

They'll love it and think of recommending you before the next guy.
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