Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Knot Your Average Bridal Network

The Knot is a bridal network that doesn't just target brides. When signing up for the network, you have the option of identifying yourself as the bride, groom, bridesmaid, groomsman, maid of honor, parent or wedding professional. After selecting your identity, you have the option of further identifying yourself. For example, if you select that you're the bride, you are presented with the following classifications:

  • No engagement ring yet
  • Ring on my finger, just started planning
  • Midway through my planning
  • Within weeks of my wedding
  • Married!
The social network targets everyone who is interested or involved with the wedding industry.

Members of The Knot enjoy access to 50,000 wedding photos, a free personalized wedding planner, deals and discounts, wedding vendor reviews and a free wedding website, (right).

Once you have registered for The Knot, you have the option of selecting your wedding date and wedding colors. Once you select your wedding date, every time you log onto your account, you'll see a countdown of how many days until your big day. 

Knot users have the option of creating a website for their wedding, creating a personalized checklist to ensure everything gets done before the big day, tracking their budget, creating a guest list, viewing local vendors, and creating a gift registry. Just like Pinterest, users can also view thousands of pictures from real weddings, and save their favorites to their account, (bottom, left) .

There are several ways that users are able to interact with one another on The Knot. Users can upload photos from their wedding, and other users can "love," comment on, or share the images on other social media networks. Knot users also can rate and write reviews on different wedding venues and vendors, which is helpful for brides and grooms trying to determine where they should hold their special day.

The Knot also allows brides to comment on different wedding-related boards, ask a wedding expert questions, and play interactive games like, "registry showdown" and "my inner bride."

The Knot is an important network because it's "the internet's most-trafficked one-stop wedding planning solution." Little girls dream of planning their wedding, but many don't dream of the stress that comes along with planning a budget and selecting who makes the guest list. The Knot helps to alleviate some of the wedding day stress, and keeps planning from turning into a nightmare. 

I signed up for The Knot before my fiance even proposed. My favorite feature of the network is the checklist because it allows me to check off everything I've done, and it gives me a visual of what I still need to do, and when I need to do it by. The network stands out from other channels because of all of its features, and its the go-to network for everything bridal. Brides don't have to wade through a lot of photos or vendors that aren't relevant to them, they can customize their experience to fit their tastes and needs, and that unique experience is what will keep them coming back to The Knot.

Social media plays a big role in the success of The Knot's Integrated Marketing Communications. The network has social buttons at the top of its page, as well as share buttons underneath photographs, linking users to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus. This allows users to not only find the network's social media pages that they may have been unaware of, but to share what they've found on the site with all of their friends, which could encourage their friends to join the network.

The Knot localizes its content by allowing users to search and comment on local venues and vendors. If marketers in the wedding industry were looking to include proximity marketing into their communications strategy, they could include themselves in map features, and offer those that check-in a percentage off of their product or service. This would entice more customers to visit the vendor, and if they're surrounded by a product, they're more likely to make a purchase

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