Should you create a listing on The Knot or WeddingWire? This is a question we at The Abundance Group get from our students so often. All of our members who have an account have had different experiences with these platforms.
Some people think it’s a necessary evil– that everyone is on there so they need to be, too. The Knot and WeddingWire both get an incredible amount of traffic. They’re known in the wedding world from an engaged couple perspective. Everyone who’s been getting married for the last decade knows what these platforms are. They have a lot of money to spend with Google and within their marketing team to make sure their SEO is fully optimized.
If you didn’t know, Ashley (co-founder of TAG) also runs one of the largest wedding planning companies in the country, The Simply Elegant Group (SEG), with 8 locations and a team of over 40 planners. SEG has had a listing on The Knot for years now, and sees great success with it. On average, SEG books about 200-300 weddings per year, and 90% of their inquiries come from The Knot alone. She recently went live in our Facebook group to talk all about big marketing engines like TK and WW, their pros and cons, her experience with TK, and some tips and tricks that we’re now here to share with you in this blog post.
Please note that this is a completely neutral opinion. In no way are we trying to say that you should or shouldn’t give TK or WW a try. We just want to make sure you’re able to make an informed decision before investing in either of these platforms.
Let’s first talk about big marketing engines, and then small, local marketing engines. With TK and WW, it’s a volume game. They get a whole lot of eyes on their platform. We like to use the analogy that it’s like casting a really wide net. You catch a lot of fish, but they aren’t always prized fish (i.e. your ideal couple).
Whereas when you work with smaller, niched, local blogs, they work with a smaller clientele, so the percentage of leads you get will be your ideal couple. Local blogs do a phenomenal job at getting the couples that they market specifically to. A lot of the smaller blogs go for higher-end couples or niche into smaller markets, so they’re very obvious in their branding.
Though, keep in mind that we aren’t saying one is better than the other, they’re just different. You have to look at your own goals with your business and decide what matters most to you. Some people are in a season of business where they just want as many leads as possible. Though, if you have 200 leads that you’re having to sift through, perhaps that isn’t a valuable use of your time. For some, it may be more about having better leads, not more leads.
Pros: Volume of inquiries, they’re known in the industry, they spend a lot of money to make sure they’re known in the industry, and brand exposure.
Cons: They’re going through a lot of changes, and when mergers or buy-outs happen, there’s a kind of upheaval. That has caused a lack of continuity in SEG’s listing. They’re a huge company so, unfortunately, you’re just a number to them. You aren’t going to get white glove service with larger engines.
Remember that they cast a large net. The Knot, WeddingWire, etc. sell access to their audiences, audiences that don't exist anywhere else.
In any marketing, you have to water the soil of the plant you want to see thrive. In other words, you have to put your effort in the marketing pillar that you want to have work. All the time, we see people buy listings and then never touch it again. It’ll sit there, a year goes by, and the wedding pro is frustrated that they haven’t gotten the leads they want. When you think of The Knot, you don’t necessarily have another account rep watching it for you. Those that aren’t seeing success aren’t focusing on it. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time updating your listing, maybe these platforms aren't a good fit for you.
Some of you may relate: You spend a lot of time on Instagram updating your grid, keeping it cohesive, and engaging with your audience, so of course you get results there. However, The Knot is an already less-engaged platform, so if you don’t apply those same efforts to it, you aren’t going to see the results you want. Ashley has a recurring quarterly reminder on her calendar to go in and update SEG’s listing, which we’ll dive into next.
Go in and look at your listing, and think about if that still represents your message accurately and the experience you want to relay to your ideal couples. We all go through different stages of business, and we can decide to pivot out messaging at any time, which is one of the great things about owning your own business. SEG makes sure their listing represents their stance on inclusivity and diversity, featuring weddings that are interracial, LGBTQIA+, multicultural, etc. Think of who your brand speaks to and make sure your listing represents that.
Your account rep on The Knot will also help you with updating your listing. While we’ve heard that there has been some stuff that has fallen through the cracks with some accounts, make sure you’re an advocate for your business, not just with TK or WW but everywhere.
It’s important to note that The Knot and WeddingWire’s job is to give you the leads. Once they hit your inbox, that’s no longer their job to take care of. We have to build that rapport and relationship in order to book. At SEG, we have funnels of nurture sequences that we take our clients to, we’re timely in our email communication, always ready to hop on a call with a potential client, etc.
Ashley also signs up like she’s a couple every year to see what they’re showcasing and to get the experience from the couple’s perspective. A feature that The Knot has added is, when a couple hits “request a quote”, you can send a canned response. Then, they ask if you would like to submit that same request to six other vendors. We struggle with that a bit because now, we’re 1 of 7 vendors instead of the 1 sought-after vendor. The feature is like Amazon's "If you like this product, you might also like these others". We know that this is a feature made to be convenient for the couple, though we don’t know that we love it. However, is it our job to sell well? Absolutely.
When you’re in the mindset of a potential couple, make sure your storefront is powerful and stands out. Make sure it isn’t all just the same images of couples– a kiss, bridal party shots, etc. Add some great candid shots as well.
This has to be the biggest tip we have. Get those reviews, get that social proof, and have it be part of your process. If you’re advertising on The Knot, people look for social proof. Think about it from a consumer point of view– if you’re deciding between two restaurants to go to, for example, and you’re viewing them on Yelp, you’re more likely to choose the one that has better reviews. When you’re on Amazon, you probably read the reviews before you purchase something. 90% of couples on TK and WW are reading reviews. Use the Review Collector tool on TK and WW.
4 things matter with reviews: Number of reviews, rating, recency, responding. On WW, only people with whom you have a contract and have received money from can post a review, which could be awesome for circumstances where you have a potential client who had issues with the contract and never signed because it prevents them from being able to leave a review.
TK and WW also both have a feature where you can highlight reviews, so you can highlight a great review from a couple that represents your ideal client. Just remember that once you've highlighted a review, it will stay there, so you need to revisit that every few months and highlight a more recent one.
Some vendors struggle with the amount of dollar signs to portray, for example. They may be on the fence of whether to put two dollar signs or three. If you’re updating your listing quarterly as we recommend, try two dollar signs for one quarter and three for the next. Test it out and see the amount and kind of leads you’re getting. Are they qualified? Are you selling and signing these couples? Some have tried dropping down the price point, and although they had more leads, they found they weren’t the couples they were looking for.
It should also go without saying that if you know your price point caters to high-end clients, don’t put one dollar sign for the sake of hopefully bringing in more leads. Not only is that distasteful and dishonest, but it will just create more headache and frustration for you.
We hope that we were able to equip you with enough information to make an informed decision of whether or not you should invest in these platforms. At this point, you should be able to weigh the pros and cons of using a large marketing engine like TK or WW, but also the pros and cons of smaller, more local blogs and marketing engines. If you have any more questions about either of these, always feel free to reach out to us in our DMs on Instagram!