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We’re making our way into spring and summer, which, alongside the promise of disappointing weather, means only one thing – it's wedding season.
Whether this fills you with glee or gloom, there’s no doubt it’s an area some people are very interested in. With the likes of Topshop recently launching its first bridal collection, it presents big business opportunities for retailers.
Now it appears publishers want a slice of the cake too. Many more are launching wedding-related content to engage users, with some even expanding into the world of commerce to increase revenue.
Here’s just a few examples, as well the reasons why it’s proving to be a profitable move.
According to data, 10% of all engaged Americans have visited Cosmo.com. Up until recently, Cosmo has consistently written about the topic, choosing to ramp up activity ahead of and during the summer months when readers are most likely to attend events.
After seeing an increase in traffic to this bridal content, the publisher decided to launch it as an official vertical all year round, giving ‘Weddings’ a dedicated category on the main site alongside ‘Style’, ‘Beauty’, ‘Love’ and ‘Video’.
For Cosmo, the aim is to meet the obvious demand for wedding content, as well as draw in readers who would otherwise turn to standalone wedding publications like Brides.
To ensure it doesn't alienate anyone who isn't getting married, the new vertical will offer a range of wedding-related content, including articles about bachelorette parties, as part of a wider strategy to reach a millennial audience.
Last year, InStyle expanded its online presence from just fashion to include the verticals of home, entertaining and, you guessed it – weddings. It was partly done to help engage a wider demographic (which is naturally interested in a more varied subject matter), but also to increase the potential for advertising revenue.
InStyle readers reportedly purchase an average of seven items based solely on ads. That’s more than any other competitor, even the likes of Vogue which famously includes a hefty amount of advertising. Adding weddings into the mix is only likely to increase this spend, especially when you consider the fact that InStyle has the highest number of readers with an annual household income of more than $100,000.
With the average American wedding said to cost $35,329, this type of content is bound to appeal to InStyle’s more affluent demographic. What’s more, it aligns with the publication’s decision to become more of a luxury lifestyle title rather than a straightforward fashion mag.
While the aforementioned publishers use wedding content to increase readership and ad revenue, rival bridal site The Knot has ventured deeper into the world of commerce.
In 2015, it acquired event marketplace Gigmasters in order to allow users to search and book venues, photographers, planners, hairdressers and more.
By fusing content with commerce in this way, its aim is to reach users at every stage of the wedding process. From providing initial inspiration to help with finding a photographer and inviting guests – even a honeymoon when the wedding is over – the idea is that there’s no need for users to seek help or advice anywhere else.
With its own retail component, The Knot also allows users to directly shop the items featured in its print and online magazine.
Another publisher that has dipped its toes (or should that be fingers) into commerce is Brides – Conde Nast’s popular wedding title. Instead of an online marketplace on its own site however, it has partnered with a number of other retailers to launch products that have the Brides brand stamp of approval.
These include a line of engagement rings called ‘In Love by Brides’ sold at Walmart, ‘Modern Bride Jewelry’ for JCPenney, plus a custom stationery line called ‘Brides Fine Wedding Papers’ sold in a number of US stores.
Using data to delve into the interests of readers, Brides discovered that a large proportion were interested in more affordable or budget-friendly weddings.
By partnering with retailers like Walmart it has been able to deliver this, offering readers the chance to invest in more than just content.