Photographers know better than most that we live in a digital age. Cameras have quickly veered away from film to digital technology that greatly expands one's creative possibilities. The same holds true for your marketing. Digital marketing campaigns give photographers an affordable way to connect with more clients around the world. They are also a powerful way to build brand recognition and to make a name for yourself.
But digital marketing is different for every type of profession. You need to find solutions that reach your target market and highlight your special talent. Here are four things professional photographers can use to create an effective digital marketing campaign.
1. Feature-Rich Online Portfolio
If you want people to take you seriously as a professional photographer you’ll need an online portfolio. It’s the hub of your digital marketing efforts and all of your various channels should point back to it.
The best online portfolio for photographers is specially made to showcase your work and help you sell it directly to consumers through a shop feature. It’s also important to look for a platform that will allow you to easily make additions and edits, preferably with software you already use.
Online portfolios can also be used to tell people more about you and your work, provide contact details and connect to your social media accounts.
2. Social Media
Speaking of social media, it’s a must for professional photographers. It’s virtually free (unless you opt to run ads) and billions of people worldwide use it. But not every social media platform is right for professional photographers.
The social media marketing trifecta for photographers is:
- Instagram: Given that Instagram is solely a collection of photos and short videos, it’s the perfect marketing platform for professional photographers. In addition to showing off your work, you can link back to your online portfolio, announce upcoming exhibits and promote the work of fellow artists that can do the same for you.
- Pinterest: Another social media platform that’s all about photos is Pinterest. People use Pinterest to save interesting photos and share them with others. It’s a powerful digital form of word-of-mouth marketing. It’s particularly useful for fashion, wedding and family photographers.
- Facebook: Facebook is still the largest social media platform in the world. Not only does it allow you to connect with followers and influencers who can promote your work, it also offers very affordable, highly targeted ads. If you can find a way to incorporate video (like a behind the scenes look at a recent photo shoot) do it. Statistics show Facebook videos get higher conversion rates and tons of views.
Email marketing may seem old-school, but it is still a highly effective way to market online. Plus, it’s free, so any business you gain through emails is 100% ROI. All you need is a list of contacts and you’re ready to put together an email marketing campaign.
To maximize your email marketing efforts:
- Create a plan for your email marketing campaign - come up with goals, decide how often you want to send emails and what type of content you will create.
- Use customizable templates to make emails more visually appealing. You can find high-quality, free templates at 99designs, ZURB Ink, and Litmus.
- Use emails to announce upcoming shows, new work, specials, and artist collaborations. You can also send clients a thank you email whenever they purchase a photo or photoshoot.
- Include a link to your online portfolio and encourage people to check it out.
4. Geo-Targeted PPC Ads
PPC, or pay-per-click, ads are great for some photographers for an important reason--geo-targeting. If you take family portraits, wedding photos or work locally, PPC ads can be used to get to the top of search results when users look for photographers in your area. Another benefit of PPC ads is that you pay nothing unless someone clicks on your ad.
Creating PPC ads takes a little more effort than the other strategies noted above. Google has a great AdWords guide that can help you get started.
Photographers should start with an online portfolio and social media accounts then continue to grow the digital marketing campaign. Remember, it’s an ongoing process, but it’s easy to expand and update your campaign as needed.