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Wedding Marketing Advice With Mark Tillison

Author: Mark Tillison

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For Wedding Hour on Wednesday 14th April we were joined by Mark Tillison, Managing Director of Tillison Consulting to share his marketing knowledge and advice for wedding business owners.

Mark Tillson Wedding Hour

Tell us a little about you and how you became the MD of @TeamTillison

It grew over the year and it’s been a pleasure to work with such a great team and some awesome clients over the 14 years. #ProudMD

How important is marketing for a business and is there one form that’s more effective than any other?

For growth and sustainability, it’s critical for most businesses. Awesome if you can survive on word of mouth, of course, but most can’t. All digital channels are effective in their own way. It really depends on the objectives of your campaign.

Is Facebook the best channel for generating bookings for a wedding venue? No. Not directly. However, using Facebook or Instagram paid ads to create awareness and desire for your venue IS pretty damned amazing.

Getting engaged couples along to your open day, or along for a tour, yes, awesome – those are the top of the funnel. Getting ranked in the local pack (Google maps), in the paid ads, and/or organic are much better at attracting customers that are looking for a venue… …a dress, a band etc. right now. Group those together with a website that loads fast, looks awesome and converts traffic and you pack a hell of a punch, but remember that they all work TOGETHER.

What are the benefits of blogging as a wedding business?

Quite a few, actually:

  1. It gives you something new to share on Social Media to keep your audience interested.
  2. It should HELP your customer, which is very rarely a bad thing.
  3. It gives you a stack of credibility – you know your stuff!
  4. For SEO, done the right way, it helps build the authority of your site and by extension, those sales pages you really want to rank on Google
  5. Researched and written well, your blog content ranks on Google in its own right and delivers brides and grooms to your website month after month. Awesome content and resource also attract external links – the juice that powers organic rankings. Link building is hard work, so earning them for free is a wonderful, wonderful thing.
We’ve seen there are new google updates, can you explain this a bit and what it means for businesses?

Google is constantly revising the algorithm, they say, and rarely announce big core updates. There’s a BIG one coming though, Core Web Vitals. Oliver on our team wrote a great piece on this recently.

Google is valuing user experience now more than ever. From May, page speed and mobile presentation will be even more important for ranking – this is a good thing, in my opinion.

The issues it penalises are the things that annoy visitors to your website and harm your conversion rate – those issues literally cost you leads and sales, so why wouldn’t you focus on those things?

The most important thing to consider with the algorithm and ranking is to optimise for humans – your customers. The best answer to a question will always rank well.

Who inspires you and why?

I’m going to cop out and say @TeamTillison – they never cease to amaze me with the results they produce for clients. We recently increased conversions on a client site 3x over a period of 6 months or so, investing in A/B testing of header images, buttons and text.

It’s totally geeky stuff, but blows me away. We’ve a had a couple of occasions recently with some big-spending clients where improvements literally mean £1million+ in annual revenue, from just ONE test/improvement.

What would you say was the best way to increase open rates on email campaigns?
  1. Clean your list. Dead email addresses don’t open emails.
  2. A/B Test subject lines and make them interesting – we’re tuned to WII-FM (What’s in it for me?)
  3. ALWAYS make your email useful and interesting. When it’s always awesome, people open more often.
How important is social media for a business and how often should they be posting?

It depends on the business and your strategy. If “top of funnel” is critical for your business to earn trust, create interest and awareness, then yes, it’s critical. Most Wedding businesses would fit that criteria, do you think?

How often? As often as you can, but focus on engaging with people. It’s SOCIAL media. If you’re going to do just one thing, engage in a Twitter Chat every week – it’s likely to produce way better relationships, more leads and referrals than blindly posting content 6 times a day.

If someone isn’t sure where to start with SEO can you offer some advice of where to look to get some basic training?

Here comes the plug!

We work one on one, coaching clients how to research keywords, write great content and structure their site and even how to optimise your listing in the local pack (Google My Business).

If you could give one piece of advice to wedding business owners what would it be?

I only get one? Wow. That’s tough. Aside from CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) which is the pivotal point of everything, get found locally. The Google Local pack is critical to local business. Optimise your listing, post regularly, add common questions and answers (you can do this yourself with a simple spreadsheet, you don’t need your Mum to post fake questions!) and get as many reviews as you can beg customers for.


Written by

Mark Tillison

Fast-talking, snooker cue-wielding Managing Director, Mark Tillison is the founder of Tillison Consulting and the driving force behind its development and success. After years of working in digital marketing, Mark shook the shackles of employment and branched out on his own in 2007 and he’s never looked back. Not only does Mark roll his sleeves up and get involved with…

Learn more about Mark Tillison