Andy Ebon has been on-the-road three of the last five weeks, speaking all over the map. Just last week, through this Monday, his agenda was bookended by two WeddingWire Mix & Mingle Events in Salt Lake City and La Jolla.
Fellow BSPI members were curious what was next on the agenda. His response, “May looks a little quiet, but I haven’t finished this trip, yet.”
And Monday morning’s email would bring a request from Carolyn Gerin; a friend from his San Francisco days, making connections at the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. Carolyn and Michael Cole are co-producers of the WedTech Summit, Monday, May 18th at the Kensington Hotel in San Francisco.
WedTech Summitbrings together the combined power of the wedding aisle, Silicon Valley and Madison Avenue. With this rare and potent blend of influencers, brand leaders, entrepreneurs and rock stars from the wedding industry brought together to attend, sponsor and speak, there is every reason why you should plug in to the wonderful world of WedTech.
Windy City Wedding Show serves brides and wedding professionals in Greater Chicagoland, Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin. 2014 is just the fourth year in business, and they are producing almost 20 shows, annually.
The business is operated by Keith ‘KC’ Kokoruz, a Chicago native. KC earned his wedding industry experience in the DJ Entertainment industry, operating two DJ Entertainment companies, Spinnin’ Discs, and now Keith Christopher Entertainment. Several years ago, he recognized some untapped potential for another bridal show production in the area, and set about making it happen.
Having a background as a wedding professional was helpful, from the point of understanding what wedding businesses want from a producer; however, it brought its own set of challenges, too. Being a ‘new producer’ draws both interest and skepticism from wedding businesses. This was particularly true in the Wedding DJ category, where some companies were skeptical that KC would take advantage of his bridal show producer role, in dealing with lead distribution. They would learn, in time, to believe in his ethics.
Some businesses jumped into KC’s first few shows and others waited to see results. In simple terms, results means drawing brides to each show, and managing the bridal show, from check-in to fashion to the show floor with, delivering all aspects, as promised.
Marketing is the Catalyst
Marketing options in the wedding industry are endless. Potentially, one’s promotions are seen by interested brides, wedding professionals (both prospects and current exhibitors), and media.
As well as traditional media, Windy City Wedding Showmade a commitment to social media. Not a dozen different social media platforms, but a few specific ones which KC, and staff member, Dena Wickland, felt confident would reach and engage brides, plus draw attention by professionals. One of their staples is Facebook.
Developing a voice and content strategy should be specific to every company. But in execution, consistency is key. Audiences develop an expectation for the frequency and timing of your updates.
The timeless advertising adage is “Repetition builds reputation,”
For Windy City Wedding Show, updates occur daily, and the content strategy includes both elements of specific, local interest, and the out-of-the-ordinary; both original content and shared content.
Their relentless execution has yielded a number spikes in the last year, in several cases reaching several million views. The main Facebook user activity is called Engagement: meaning Likes, Comments, and Shares. These three items that demonstrate INTERACTION, resulting from interesting, entertaining content.
The item was served (reached) to over 21 million views
Garnered over 20,000 comments
Received over 230,00 likes
Was shared over 152,000 times
… and countless new followers of the fan page
What do these results demonstrate and mean?
The post struck a creative nerve with brides, spontaneously triggering engagement.
Constantly reviewing which previous posts excelled, using Facebook analytics, creates a greater likelihood of success, going forward.
The 21 million people that were reached by the post is IMPRESSIVE. But what’s really important are the number representing is engagement: comments, likes, and shares… and the followers of the page.
It’s not being skeptical to note that Chicagoland brides number about 100,000 (1% of 10 million). It follows that Facebook engagement numbers for locals are a small percentage of the totals. On the upside, it’s reasonable to suggest that ALL the tracking is likely to be higher for Chicagoland, because the business local.
As a local Chicago Wedding Business, what should this mean to me?
It’s easy to dismiss this as ‘just dumb luck’. My evaluation is this:
Windy City Wedding Show‘s Facebook practices demonstrate consistency, fueling readership and engagement; occasionally with incredible success. I believe local wedding businesses who observe the ongoing activity will recognize a show producer’s overall marketing effort, not just the occasional grand slam.
If I were an exhibitor, I’d make sure my contracts for the year’s show commitment were signed and sent in. If I were a prospect, and wasn’t sold out, I’d be looking at the show schedule, and become an exhibitor.
What’s truly amazing is this success is being accomplished in direct opposition to Facebook’s latest algorithms (filters) which only serve your updates/posts to 6-7% of your followers. That is the ORGANIC REACH.
Any additional audience is achieved by spending money with Facebook to BOOST YOUR POST or…
ORGANIC ENGAGEMENT through LIKES, SHARE, COMMENTS.
This 21 million+ monster post reached those numbers WITHOUT SPENDING MONEY on BOOSTING THE POST.
OPINION and RECOMMENDATION: Don’t be confused… this isn’t a post about Facebook, specifically, or one bridal show producer or all bridal show producers. It’s a post about marketing decision making, consistent execution, and ongoing reevaluation by every wedding business.
Look outward at the companies you ask to help market your business, and look inward to develop and execute your plan. Part of your success-mission is to maintain constant awareness of the businesses that deliver your audience… your customers; like Windy City Wedding Show.
Andy Ebon The Wedding Marketing Authority The Wedding Marketing Blog