The rumour mill is running hot in the run-up to the royal wedding on Saturday. From speculations about whether Elton John will perform at the wedding to if Meghan Markle will be able to stop venting her disdain for Donald Trump after her “I do,” the press is seemingly under threat of running out of ink with all the things to report.
But if you’re among the entrepreneurs who plan to kick back on the day in front of the telly with champagne in hand and your best Union Jack flying in the garden, you may want to reconsider. Because – as millions around the world tune in to watch Prince Harry and Markle walk down the aisle – there will be plenty of opportunities to boost your brand and profits.
Indeed, new research from Direct Line for Business, the SME insurance company, has revealed that Brits plan to spend over £500m during this regal occasion. Moreover as about nine million people across the UK will join the celebrations despite not being among the 600 invited guests, this is a great opportunity for small-business owners to make some dosh, which the research showed is exactly what 1.6 million SMEs plan to do.
Commenting on the research, Carly Menken, head of trading at Direct Line for Business, said: “Royal events are a great opportunity for innovative British small business, which can provide a real boost to their bottom line if they can capitalise on this national event.”
And it seems as if she has a point. For instance, Julian Nowak, content manager at WeCompareCasinos, the casino comparison site, argued that the nuptials present local businesses with a great opportunity to get more people into their shops. “With geo-targeting, they can reach people in a number of ways, with Facebook ads, Adwords, local SEO, etcetera,” he said. “If you can offer a special deal to anyone within a certain proximity of your store, this can be pushed out and can bring people to your store or business.”
Valencia Simpson, founder of The Kupcake Kitchen Café, has certainly noticed a surge before the event. “This weekend is set to be another busy one, as the nation gears up for the royal wedding,” she said. “At the Kupcake Kitchen Café, we’re hosting a live screening of the wedding and will be selling cupcakes with pictures of the happy couple’s faces on, which have already been a hit with our local customer-base.” Moreover, in the weeks before the wedding, the business has seen a 10% sales increase for its takeaway afternoon tea offerings. Clearly, the Brits plan to celebrate in style.
That being said, Corinne Card, co-founder of Full Story Media, the media consultancy, advised SMEs to tread carefully with their marketing efforts. ”For many businesses the royal wedding does present an opportunity to market your products to an engaged user base,” she said. “But you need to be honest with yourself about whether there’s a real opportunity. For example, journalists won’t take kindly to a press release about a cordless drill, where a tenuous connection has been made with the royal wedding. However, as a jeweller, you may be able to provide a newsworthy story around a ring you stock which is similar to Meghan’s.”
Another great idea is to get social. “Twitter reported 300 #RoyalWedding tweets per second during the royal wedding in 2011, so there is a huge opportunity to take advantage of this audience,” said Emma Thompson, head of strategy at Visualsoft, the e-commerce digital marketing agency. “Businesses should pay attention to relevant hashtags across all social channels and use trending topics such as ‘Harry & Meghan’ to target and promote relevant products to consumers.”
Additionally, while the wedding is a perfect opportunity to boost brand awareness for potential customers, it could also be a way to beef up your staff morale. “SMEs can use the royal wedding as a way to engage their teams with fun activities, competitions and special lunches,” says Linsay Gould, the career and success coach. “They could offer to air the royal wedding in the workplace on TV if they have employees working on Saturday.”
So, unless you think the wedding is a total spoiler for season nine of The Crown, then there’s plenty of reasons to stay tuned on Saturday.