The Painless Guide to Online Marketing for Photographers
You may not think of yourself as a marketer. You're a photographer. An artist.
Advertising, web development, lead generation - this stuff is as foreign to you as F/5.6 aperture is to me.
The thing is, while me not knowing about depth of field isn't affecting my livelihood at all, you not knowing how to design a cohesive online marketing campaign might be.
This article will endeavor to change that. I'll introduce you to some key concepts of online marketing and show you some examples I've created specifically for the photography sector.
We'll take a look at…
- Website design: How to create a site that is simple but optimized to receive traffic you send to it.
- Facebook advertising: Why Facebook Ads work well for photographers and how to create an audience and ad creative that delivers results.
- Landing pages: The background of an optimized landing page and how they work in combination with a Facebook ad campaign.
- Online promotions: How to drive new sales and repeat customers with a simple coupon code.
- Popups: Why popups work for the photography industry, and how to implement them without annoying your site visitors.
- Email marketing: How to create a simple, email marketing automation drip campaign to turn prospective customers into loyal ones.
There's a lot to cover here, so let's get started.
Your website is the face of your business. As a photographer, you know how important it is that you get that face looking great.
You need three main pages within your site: a homepage, a gallery page, a reviews page and a contact page.
Something like this:
With Wishpond, you don't even need a Wordpress account. To dive right into using the site template you see above (without signup or credit card or anything), click here.
What makes this page work:
- Features your talent with a large background image
- Keeps it super simple and clean. Nobody's here to be beaten to death right off the bat with reviews or 8,000 images from a baby shower.
- Makes "Contact Us" or "Get a Quote" your primary goal right off the bat. Unless your primary selling point is your low prices, don't list pricing. Prompt a prospective customer to give their email address and "you'll be in touch!"
- Mobile-optimization is key. You can see how this website looks on mobile as well as on desktop. Particularly if you're targeting weddings (predominantly the 18-40 age group), a large proportion of your prospective clients will be viewing your site on their phones. Be sure it doesn't look horrible there.
Facebook advertising is a great way for photographers to reach their target market - even if those people aren't actively searching for a photographer (which a Google Adwords campaign relies upon).
Facebook ads are built around an incredible targeting capability. For instance, an ad audience of engaged men in the greater Seattle area might look like this:
The ad creative for that audience might look like this:
You could also create a broader ad audience, targeting men and women between the ages of 22 and 40, with an offer like this. Even if they're not getting married themselves they may know someone who is, and a promotion like the one above is easily shared on Facebook. And using Facebook simply for brand awareness (use "Cost-per-Impression" for that) can also be incredibly useful, though is harder to track.
To learn everything there is to know about Facebook Ads, check out my 2016 Guide to Facebook Ads (a free resource).
The most important part of any ad campaign is not, it turns out, the ad itself. It's the page that ad directs people to.
You want that page to match your Facebook Ad in terms of design, messaging and call-to-action. Cohesion in a marketing campaign is just as essential as cohesion within your portfolio, perhaps more.
A landing page is, essentially, simply a page of your website focused on a single objective. Usually somewhat independent from the rest of your site, it has limited navigation (focusing on that objective) and is optimized for conversion, rather than education or anything else.
I've created a landing page which would be built in combination with that Facebook Ad audience above:
To learn more about Facebook Ad and landing page combinations, check out my articles 5 Facebook Ad and Landing Page Combinations Critiqued and 3 Examples of Landing Pages Optimized for Facebook Ad Traffic
To check out another great photographer-specific landing page, take a look at this one (it scrolls, by the way)…
And click here to start using this template for free right now.
Offers and promotions are a big part of a successful photographer's online strategy. Why?
Because it's hard for you to stand out.
Other industries have selling points like "fair-trade organic," "working leather since 1873," or "the only option for taxis in Cody, Wyoming."
You have talent, sure, but so do your competitors. You have a great personality and are a joy to work with, but so are your competitors. It can be tough.
Offers, referral promotions and limited-time sales are essential to get you initial clients and start spreading your brand by word-of-mouth.
Here's an example of a simple referral promotion you might put out to your existing email list as well as prospective clients.
Referrals are far and away my highest recommended kind of promotion for the photography industry. They spread the word better than any other strategy. It's particularly effective for wedding or baby photo photographers, as your target client likely has numerous friends, colleagues or family members who have a similar need for a photographer.
For more on how to run an online promotion, check out "How to Run an Online Contest as a Photographer"
You might not like popups very much, but there's no denying they work for online marketing. When used carefully and kindly, they can be an incredibly effective way to generate email leads.
The popup you see on the right took me about 2 minutes to create with a Wishpond template. I'd set it as either an entry popup or a timed popup to ensure site visitors see it.
Everybody who converts on this popup is automatically added to a "subscribers" segment within our email platform and an email is sent to them (again, automatically) welcoming them to the subscriber list and giving them a coupon code worth $20 which they can use to purchase a package online, over the phone, or even in person.
I'll show you how to set up the automatic welcome email below.
Here's the simple advanced settings. Literally everything you have to do to add this to a page or campaign within your website:
And here's an example of a click popup which would be activated when you clicked the button in the middle of that promotion page above:
Drip Email Campaign
So let's say someone subscribed on that entry popup I created above. I already mentioned they're automatically added to a "subscribers" list and sent a "welcome" email with their coupon code. But how does that work, and can we do more to take those subscribers and ensure they become clients?
Bear with me, because we're going to get the slightest bit complicated. But this is super powerful, so it's worth it. And remember, you can always ask questions in the comment section below.
Step 1: Select "Create a New Automation Workflow" from the Wishpond toolbar and choose "Welcome Email":
Step 2: Set the conditions which must be met for your automatic marketing action to occur (the email being sent). This one's simple, just "Converted on Subscriber popup":
Step 3: Set the actions which will be triggered by your workflow conditions being met. In this case "send Welcome Email":
Step 4: Edit the details of your welcome email, for example...
Step 5: Edit the content of your welcome email, for example...
Email marketing automation like this might look a bit confusing, but trust me, it's actually super easy, and saves you hours of time.
Alternatively, if you already have a favorite email marketing platform (like Mailchimp, VerticalResponse, ConstantContact etc), you can automatically send new subscribers to that platform through an integration.
Wrapping it Up
Hopefully this article has given you a bit of insight into the power of online marketing for photographers.
And, given that I essentially created a campaign as an example just for this article, perhaps you can also see how easy it is as well.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out in the comment section below.
- Email Marketing: An Introduction for Photographers
- Landing Pages Reviewed #3: Photographer Examples
- 5 Social Media Marketing Tips: Photography Studios and Services
- An Ideal Landing Page for Photographers
- How to Run an Online Contest as a Photographer