Before landmark marriage equality legislation opened the floodgates to millions of couples who had long waited for their access to meaningful legal weddings, the market was so limited that almost any effort towards inclusivity was enough to get a business noticed.
Now that LGBTQ couples are asserting their consumer influence in greater numbers, there is significantly more competition, and the bar is set much higher. But for those businesses genuinely invested in serving this rapidly expanding niche, opportunities abound.
If you are serious about attracting couples from the LGBTQ community, here are some suggestions to help you get results:
Consider blog and magazine advertising.
No matter what segment of the wedding and events industry you serve, it’s hard to determine where to spend your precious advertising dollars. Even the largest promotional budgets are finite, and most of us simply can’t afford to be absolutely everywhere at once. You need to prioritize.
If the LGBTQ community is your interest, spend money with blogs and magazines that specifically target the demographic.
While most are pro-marriage equality these days, much of the general wedding content available is still very heteronormative, so for those who want to tap into the LGBTQ space, look for blogs that create beautiful inclusive content. Along with Love Inc., you might consider Catalyst Wed Co. and A Practical Wedding, as well as fantastic LGBTQ-specific wedding blogs like H&H Weddings, Dancing With Her, and Two Brides. If you want to focus on a more mainstream outlet, TheKnot has made great strides in inclusivity and has always highly valued the LGBTQ community.
Think about targeted ads.
Targeted ads are another great way to tap into specific niches. For LGBTQ users, think beyond weddings, targeting those who follow general LGBTQ content pages such as Buzzfeed LGBT, Huffington Post Gay Voices and OUT Magazine
Look at submissions to publications.
It’s always smart to have an understanding of a publication’s audience before you submit your work for consideration. Be certain that their audience aligns with your marketing goals.
Take a peek through the publication’s Instagram feed to see if they’ve published a lot of LGBTQ content and, if so, see how it did on engagement. Was it accessed mainly by other wedding professionals, or by actual couples? Determine if submission is worth your time and effort before you invest either.
Stress social media.
No wedding industry marketing strategy is complete without social media. Whether you focus on Facebook, Instagram or both, be sure that you feature images and content that are relevant to LGBTQ couples.
Know which hashtags draw the most traffic. Normally we advise against using terms like “Gay Wedding” and “LGBT Wedding” in client-facing marketing materials, but they are searched by LGBTQ couples. And they are effective, especially in Instagram campaigns.
When researching hashtags, look for those with searches in the 2,000-1,000,000 uses range. And definitely integrate popular LGBTQ wedding publication hashtags as well.
Tailoring your marketing strategy to attract couples from the LGBTQ community requires awareness, a bit of creativity and an honest desire to serve. Those businesses willing to put in the effort will enjoy access to one of the fastest growing, most dynamic markets around!
Brittny Drye is the founder and editor-in-chief of Love Inc., one of the leading equality-minded wedding blog and digital publication. Her inclusive efforts have been celebrated by the New York Times, The Advocate, OUT Magazine, Refinery29, NY Daily News, Cosmopolitan, and more. She serves on the 2018-19 North American Advisory Board for the International Academy of Wedding and Events.