In today’s world, as the LGBTQ+ community rapidly increases their spending power, marketing to this specific demographic has become a skill in itself.
Whilst we would suggest a similar approach when marketing to any other audience—”stick with what you know”—it’s this very notion that seems to catch a lot of people out.
And getting criticised for your marketing efforts can have a profound effect on any business moving forward.
That’s why, when marketing to the LGBTQ+ community, we would always suggest consulting with the community – whether that’s within your internal marketing team or by using an external agency like Monumental – to ensure that it’s done correctly.
One mistake that we see time and time again is marketing materials becoming tokenistic and performative.
Similar to how getting it wrong can be catastrophic, getting it right can work wonders.
One audience in particular that can be very beneficial is LGBTQ+ couples. Specifically, those searching for wedding businesses for their dream wedding.
Whether you’re a wedding venue, wedding photographer, or any other wedding service, getting your marketing and advertising right is paramount to securing that booking for the special day.
Below, we’ve broken down some of the ways marketing professionals can ensure that their activity towards this community does it respectfully whilst, most importantly, making that sale.
1. Use inclusive language on your website and marketing materials
The LGBT community is constantly looking for affinity with brands and businesses that understand them and speak to them directly.
By using inclusive and gender-neutral language, it’s a great way to showcase that you care and accept everyone, not just straight couples but same-sex couples and other LGBT couples too.
“Bride and groom” will instantly turn away a couple who doesn’t fit into that category, whereas simply saying “couples” will include everyone, no matter their sexual orientation or how they identify.
A simple change will make all the difference – referring to “partner” over “bride” or “groom” is a natural, subtle and easy way to showcase openness to marriages between same-sex couples.
2. Include photos of same-sex couples
Same-sex weddings are on the rise since places all around the world are becoming open to accepting them as a form of marriage.
Another simple way to market as a gay-friendly wedding business is to include photos of same-sex weddings within marketing material and website copy.
Chances are, you’ll probably already have these images, so you should be displaying them properly. And, what’s more important, is that there’s little chance of alienating straight couples as they typically support marriage equality and will probably be more likely to book your services, too, as a result.
If you don’t have access to photos from your own same-sex weddings, there are several different stock photo websites where you can find them.
Or, you can even ask your photographer friends whether they have any to include with image credit.
3. Ban words like “traditionally”
According to a Wedding Pro survey, 50% of couples had a friend or family member conduct their wedding ceremony.
Modern weddings are always changing and growing, which is both a truth and a beauty. This is especially true for couples that identify as LGBTQ+.
The sooner you abandon any sense of what is “normal” or “conventional,” the better you will be able to collaborate with and accommodate LGBTQ+ couples planning their perfect wedding.
We must retrain the brain!
If you want to extend and grow your business, you must alter your thinking and avoid making assumptions about each and every pair with whom you interact. The more you learn about your couples, the more you will be able to design their ideal wedding day.
In summary, rules no longer apply to weddings – embrace the new
4. Guest blog on popular local wedding websites frequented by same-sex couples
If marriage equality is something you support, then write about it!
There’s no better way to appear as an ally than by actively voicing that you are.
Simply, Google specific keywords where you want your services to appear – for example, ‘gay-friendly wedding venues’ – and take a look at the results that show up on the first two pages. These websites with content spaces can make good opportunities for guest blogging.
Write some helpful content on the topic – it might be a budgeting help guide or advice on choosing the right venue – and offer it to those blogs that rank highly for the terms you’re aiming to target.
By writing the article for free, you offer it in exchange for credit and a backlink to your website.
This allows search engines to recognise that your website is associated with the keyword “gay-friendly wedding venues” and will push you up the rankings for this search term.
5. Connect with other wedding professionals
What is the best way to get gay wedding leads? Build relationships with other wedding professionals, especially venues and photographers, to showcase just how much you are doing to support marriage equality.
These wedding pros could make all the difference to your business as they could suggest prospective couples within the same-sex wedding market to help appeal to more in the future.
This kind of partnership comes across as authentic, inclusive and supportive, meaning it will appeal to couples searching for a same-sex marriage service that understands their needs and demands.
6. Advertise at expos and websites for gay weddings
Just like you do when targeting a straight couple, it’s important to focus marketing and advertising at events and on websites where same-sex couples will be visiting for information.
We suggest focusing on a local-level preference over national marketing as you’re probably only going to be appealing to people who are within travelling distance of your services. Being hyper-focused means you can really target the audience and ensure that every single step we’ve outlined above is covered and done correctly.
However, if you are looking for national exposure, there are websites to collaborate with that share the same sentiment for same-sex weddings.
Pink Wedding Venues is the only directory in the UK where the sole focus is on recommending and showcasing “gay-friendly” wedding venues.
There are many different signals that LGBTQ+ couples are looking for when hiring a wedding service. And these signals need to be completed properly to ensure that it doesn’t come across as tokenistic or just to make a profit – it needs to be done with purpose and heart.
Get in touch with us if you’d like to hear more about marketing to same-sex couples.
Or if you’re still thirsty for more information, check out our blog on ways to authentically market to LGBTQ+ customers.