Zola is looking to be a one-stop-shop – of sorts – for couples when it comes to weddings, which are expected to make a big comeback this year after big day delays during the height of the pandemic.
The startup, known for wedding registries, has expanded its offerings, allowing couples to create personalized websites, search for vendors, create invitations and save the dates as well as plan honeymoons.
In support of these new services, the startup is looking to convey what makes Zola different with its advertising and marketing, according to Zola CMO Victoria Vaynberg, who added that a rebrand is in the works. “We’re the other partner in the relationship,” said Vaynberg. “We’re there for you once you get engaged, through your planning journey and even beyond.”
Zola allocated between 25-40% of its ad budget to television with placements during programs like The Bachelor to boost brand awareness. That being said, it’s tricky to showcase all of the various wedding-related offerings in a 30-second spot. That’s why the brand is also focused on high intent channels like search — i.e. showing up when someone searches for a wedding photographer or venue or other various wedding search terms — as well as trialing experiments with out-of-home, audio and TikTok.
“We’ve been testing into different channels since last year,” said Vaynberg. “We don’t have a specific allocation to each. [For example,] we’re testing podcasts and audio overall as a channel. We’re trying to see how true crime podcasts versus culture and lifestyle podcasts do. We value the importance of channels that are a part of people’s day-to-day life.”
It’s unclear how much Zola spends on each channel as Vaynberg declined to share specific allocations. Per Kantar, Zola spent $8.1 million on advertising in 2021, down from $28.2 million in 2020. Those figures don’t include ad spending on social media as Kantar doesn’t track social media spending. As previously reported by Digiday, the company pulled back on TV spending early on in the pandemic before slowly coming back as weddings returned.
Other wedding registry-turn-wedding services sites like The Knot are competitors for Zola when it comes to getting couples to plan their wedding with them. It’s a massive market this year, likely making it more competitive. The wedding industry expects 2022 to be a very busy wedding year with roughly 2.4 million weddings expected, up from 1.9 million in 2021 and 1.2 million in 2020, per Wedding Report data. And the wedding services industry is expected to generate roughly $57.9 billion in revenue in 2022, per research company IbisWorld.
When it comes to TikTok, Zola takes an organic and paid approach to the platform rolling out content on its own channels organically as well as putting paid behind content that’s doing well. The company’s in-house marketing team members as well as Zola wedding experts create content specifically for the platform where TikTok communities use hashtags like #WeddingTok and #WeddingPlanningTok to communicate and are already focused on all things wedding planning.
Rather than showcase extravagant weddings, Zola aims to differentiate its brand on TikTok by leveraging its wedding expertise to talk about the ups and downs of wedding planning as well as dole out advice, participate in memes and trends and foster a sense of community. Doing so has led the brand to have multiple videos hit more than a million views on TikTok, according to Zola.
That strategy makes sense to Mat Zucker, senior partner and co-head of marketing and sales at strategic consultancy Prophet. “The audience is there and will be there,” said Zucker, who added that all brands should have a budget dedicated to testing and learning on new channels. While much of Gen-Z is still too young to be wedding planning, taking a brand building and “long-term approach” to the platform will help make sure “TikTok is not too young for them,” explained Zucker.
Going forward Zola will continue to seek to build community via channels like TikTok to boost brand awareness and acquisition so that “when couples get engaged they’re already aware of Zola,” said Vaynberg. Boosting brand awareness will help couples so “they don’t have to question what the right brand is for them to help with planning” once they’re engaged, she added.
How Squarespace is marketing more directly to the creator economy
With new features and ads, Squarespace is the latest tech company to market more directly to creators
Member ExclusiveMarketing Briefing: With pressure mounting on Q4, some marketers are planning to roll out holiday sales early
Marketers are rolling out holiday marketing and sales early as economic uncertainty persists and pressure builds for the fourth quarter.
Member ExclusiveDigiday+ Research: Who will gain and who will lose when (if?) the third-party cookie goes away?
There is endless speculation about what the world without third-party cookies will look like -- or even if it will ever come to be. Digiday asked publishers, agencies and brands about who they think will gain and who they think will lose following the death of the third-party cookie.
Sponsored<strong>How marketers are responding to shoppers’ wants this holiday season</strong>
Matthew Tilley, executive director, marketing, Vericast With the holidays right around the corner, the economy may force some consumers to adjust their plans and stretch their dollars even further. While some shoppers may rein in their spending, others will still go all out despite a cloudy economic outlook. Given the current economic climate, consumers are […]
Why a sports betting company will brand the new train line to MetLife Stadium
As part of this effort, a variety of print and digital assets have been developed, as well as the official rebranding of all of the NJ Transit system's signage and advertising to accommodate the new rail line. A clear understanding of the financial agreement was not provided.
As the economy wobbles, advertisers and publishers at the top end of the market go more and more direct
Whenever markets are thrown into disarray, there’s usually a flight to quality and scale – the two things premium publishers pride themselves on.