I'm looking into various venues for local advertising. While I understand each area is different, I was wondering what some of the most successful mediums of local advertising other wedding vendors have used?

I already have a good grasp on networking... what are some of your other favorites?

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What did you miss? I did Google Maps about a week ago & still haven't seen it post.
For our business, we have used the local community papers, fliers, mailers or anywhere we can post up a flier. Local radio shows FM and AM. Yes, there are still listeners on AM Radio believe it or not.

If your town has a hospital or a large insurance company that is great to post fliers.

This spring I plan on hosting some free seminars and having write ups on the free seminars in the local newspaper.

Online there is Yahoo Local and Google Local to ad your information there. Yelp and Citysearch because those have higher rankings online. Craigslist, Local.com, and Merchant Circle. Merchant Circle usually has high internet ratings as well.

Also, have you brushed up on your referrals? If you have a local company endorse your product that would be very good.

Those are just a few ideas off the top of my head since it is 1 a.m. EST for me. Let me know if any of those ideas work for you.
We are in the midst of making a flier and also widening our services, to make sure we cover all the bases that we can to expand our business. And there is always the cold call. Look up vendors and venues in the area and just call them. See if there is a give/take relationship to be had.

Happy marketing, the life of a self starter business professional!
People are very much online when doing wedding planning activities and there are ways to target online advertising specific to your local area. I would recommend looking into not just community wedding organizations but also hyper-local online wedding sites.
With regards to online, you can also use Google Adwords. They provide geo-targetting so you will only show your ad to people using Google within some physical area near you. Also, you could only bid on keywords that include your city so you know those people are already looking for "[your service] [your area]."
Do you know how much you paid for the google ad words. My WEB design person is going to be meeting with me regarding this and I had the impression it was very expensive.
The costs can vary quite a bit. It really depends on several factors:
1. the "quality score" of your website as determined by Google
2. the "relevance" of your keywords and ad copy
3. your history as an Adwords customer (things are typically more expensive for new customers but settle down in 2-4 weeks) and your historical click-through-rate
4. competition for your keywords

I'll hazard a guess. If you're going for very specific geo-targeted words, you can go under $0.20 a click. In my opinion, you don't find a lot of $0.05 good keywords these days. Again, it's just a guess! (I have never done any geo-targeted ad campaigns with Adwords.) Things totally vary. Long tail words are typically cheaper while the more obvious, more general words can be up to several dollars. However, long tailed words will give you fewer impressions than more popular searches. Adwords can be quite an art so I hope your web design person has some experience with it or it can really eat a budget through inefficient keyword testing. Plus, you *must* have a way of tracking conversion rates.

Also, Google tends to give out $100 or $50 vouchers for people opening new accounts. Check to see if your web hosting company has some. Or ask your friends who are with other hosting companies. I get these in the mail periodically but I can't use them so I give them away. Sorry I haven't got one for you right now!
I got a free $100 voucher when I was ordering business cards with vistaprint, since then I have been hooked to Google Adwords and it increased my business by 60% last year. But it is SUPER time consuming and it takes maybe 8 hours a week of testing and changes... Still.
I agree with you. I've had several calls, but no bookings this year. But at least this year I'm getting calls. When things went south in 09, I didn't have a single call for new business. Those who were expecting to get married in 2010 have canceled their weddings due to fiances. The DIY brides are killers for me. I've developed a DIY package so that I can hopefully attract some who want to use my 19 yrs of expertise and then I at least get some business, but this just isn't working.
We do a lot of letter sending and face to face appointments with venue managers. When our crew goes to a venue to set-up our services or products, we make it a point to meet the manager/banquet captain to introduce ourselves. When we are finished with that venue we try to send pictures back to them along with our flyers and cards to show their clients what their venue could like decorated. At the end of the year we send a letter thanking them for the referrals through the year and a fresh supply of business cards and flyers. Of course, because we don't own a reception site yet, we keep a venue list to refer our clients to also. Then those clients come back and book our services for that venue.

When we hear of a new venue opening, we call and make an appointment to go see the banquet facilities and of course take them our cards and flyers. There is NO substitute for putting a face and hand shake with a company name.

We also advertise on eventective.com and decidio.com for leads (our two main sites, of course there are many, many more...weddingwire.com, superpages.com, etc.). These are pay per lead sites and can be customized for your local area.

And don't forget, of course, your local event magazines and bridal/event shows. Or produce your own shows.

Just a couple ways we do our local advertising. Good luck.
I Google key words in the wedding industry and find lots of free listing websites. I register my business as many places as possible. I have also made my own poster and upload it on my emails that I send out. It looks just like constant contact without the fees.
Excellent way of marketing. There is nothing like putting a face behind the voice or in these days behind the emails.

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