Photography isn’t an easy market to excel in, especially with the rise of high-quality cameras on mobile phones, and apps that make editing a stroll in the park.
As a photographer, you now have to find a place in the industry and build yourself up from there. We won’t try and claim that it’s easy – just like with every business, you need to advertise yourself to find clients.
Content marketing is a really great way to bring attention to your website, find leads and attract new clients.
Here are ten content marketing ideas, that might just prove to be beneficial to your photography website.
What is content marketing?
If you’re only just entering the world of business, content marketing might not come naturally to you. In its basic form, content marketing is the process of creating and sharing unique and valuable content, with the purpose of advertising your business.
Unfortunately for photographers, pictures are passed around the internet all the time. However, there are ways to highlight your work to people and create valuable relationships.
Content marketing can be anything from blogs to podcasts. It encompasses a broad range of content, which can be both daunting and profitable to you.
To make the most of content marketing, you should utilize everything that you’re already doing. As a photographer, you already have tonnes of content that you can use.
1. Social media is your friend
As a photographer, you might have had a bad experience with social media. With Instagram filled with people claiming to be a photographer, #photography being tagged on every slightly artistic photo, and, of course, photographer’s work being shared for free, without consent.
Undeniably, it can seem like a nightmare for photographers. However, social media has the potential to be really advantageous for you.
The best way to use these platforms is by teasing at your skills. Perhaps you can film a video of your editing skills, or show a before and after picture of an artistic shot. This will show your creativity, skills, and passion for photography, without just giving social media users free rein to your work.
Don’t forget to include links to your website on all your social media platforms and in tweets and posts. Otherwise, your hard work is going to waste.
We’d say use an automated social media platform, this way you don’t get distracted by social media, and you can ensure that you post regularly, and at the right times. It’s a win-win situation.
You could also potentially look into influence marketing. This is where you pay influences on social media, who have a large following, to promote your website.
2. Blogging is essential
Your website might tick all the boxes, but to keep it fresh and help it rank higher on Google, you need to keep publishing content. Blogging is, we’d say. One of the best content marketing techniques you can use.
The good news is, with photography, you always have fresh content, and thousands of blog ideas that you can use.
Don’t be afraid to make your blog posts picture heavy that is your whole business anyway. Just try to make your blog posts have at least 1,000 words – Google favors longer posts.
Blog posts can be anything, from a more journalistic approach to a personal style piece. Our one piece of advice to you when blogging is to create pieces that your clients will want to know.
Sure, what you had for breakfast might be necessary, but is it bringing in new clients? For instance, if you are a wedding photographer, you can publish content hints and tips to making a wedding day perfect (they don’t have to be photography related). This way, brides searching for wedding day hacks will come across your website, and might just feel compelled to use you as their photographer.
Blogs will also give your clients a little insight into you as a person – something that profoundly influences their decision to hire a photographer. Providing your future clients with information will help them to value you, and see you as somebody with authority and knowledge.
Don’t forget to share all your blogs on your social media too – this fills up your newsfeed, provides you with content to post, and advertises your site to a broader audience.
3. SEO for blogs
Making sure your blogs are SEO optimized is highly essential. It could be the difference between your post getting a handful of clicks, to it receiving hundreds.
To optimize a blog post, you have to do keyword research. Use these keywords throughout the post, and also consider a long tail keyword.
Long tail keywords are approximately three to four-word extremely specific phrases. These are much easier to rank due to the low competition around them.
For example, if you are writing a blog post on prom photography, long tail keywords could be something along the lines of, “prom photography poses,” “prom photography camera settings” or “prom photography Vancouver.” All this depends on your services and the blog post that you have written.
There are multiple tools online that will help you find keywords, as well as helping you find long word keywords. This will undoubtedly help you rank higher on Google.
Other SEO tips include choosing post titles well, using internal and external links, and writing a meta description.
4. Email marketing
It seems to be wrongly overlooked in the marketing world. However, email lists are a really wonderful way to get more clients and bring more people to your website. You should start creating an email list, now.
No, stay far away from buying an email list – these are completely useless and a waste of money. You need to organically build up an email list, and target the people who are interested in you and your services.
Email lists are amazing for one reason – they have willingly given you their email address, and so they must already be interested in you to a certain degree.
Don’t worry about the number of emails you have, consider the quality. A list of just one hundred can book a full week’s worth of work. You just need to make sure you’re using email lists in the right way.
At the absolute minimum, you should be sending out basic newsletters from time to time. However, to really make the most of your email list, you should use it to its full potential and post weekly newsletters, as well as new deals and services that you are offering.
You can use mailing tools and platforms for free, or you can pay a service fee for more premium tools. You just have to consider if it is worth your money – we’d say it certainly is.
5. Run contests
We would never suggest that a photographer gives out free work. However, in regards to a competition, it could be worth it.
Perhaps you should offer a free photo shoot to one of your lucky followers. This will help boost visibility, and expand your business. Don’t expect a photography contest to bring in much new business, instead consider it as an opportunity to spread the word, and give back a little bit.
It could be your chance to help out a couple, who’s wedding budget is very low. Perhaps you want to help a new parent capture their baby’s beauty? Sometimes, it’s about more than earning more money.
The best way to use a contest to benefit your business is to reach your target audience. Don’t run a competition that will attract a group of people, that can’t or won’t make the most of your services.
6. Get featured on other sites
You have fantastic photography – you just need people to see it. Lucky for you, there are tonnes of websites that would love to feature your work, which would ultimately promote your work.
Wedding and portrait blogs are the big two, both of these types of blogs gain tonnes of traffic every day – and if your work shines through, you might just gain a few clients.
Don’t forget to share these guest posts on your social media and website yourself. There’s nothing wrong with praising yourself and reminding your clients of just how great you are. That’s the power of content marketing.
You could also consider writing blog posts for other sites. This technique is called guest posting and is a wonderful way to bring attention to your site. You could also include your photography in the post. Think of it as the equivalent of a flyer or billboard.
Don’t forget to only guest posts on sites that are relevant to your business, and reach your target audience. This way, you won’t waste any time.
Also, don’t forget that you need a text to accompany your work. If you’re not a very confident writer, get in touch with an editing or writing service to help you out with that. Businesses like Wowgrade hire niche writers and editors, who can work some magic on your written content.
7. Consider other forms of content
Video and podcasts are becoming huge – perhaps you can use them to your benefit.
You might be wondering, how can a photographer, somebody who snaps still photos, use videos, and audio as a content marketing technique. It’s an entirely different form of content.
Let’s consider video – tonnes of people are attempting to be great photographers. Why not make videos, highlighting the photography basics? This will bring in viewers, and throughout you can showcase your work, your website, and your services.
In the videos, you can talk about lighting, positioning, and editing. Obviously, don’t give too much away, as this is your craft, but bring people to your site, and perhaps gain some clients.
Now for podcasts – this is a little bit of a more tricky one. Especially considering your site focuses heavily on visuals. However, it isn’t impossible, and there are tonnes of examples online for successful photography podcasts.
PetaPixel Photography Podcast is a bi-weekly podcast, which focuses on photography – including humor, news, and real-life stories. It’s a really fantastic podcast that has gained tonnes of popularity.
Another example is The Digital Story. Professional photographer Derrick Story publishes photo tips, useful techniques with a focus on photography in the age of smartphones.
These are two great examples of how you can use other forms of content, to bring attention to your website.
E-books are another underrated form of content marketing. Especially when it comes to photography services.
The main selling point for any content is what the user gain will from it? That’s the main reason why blog posts work so well – the user searches something that they want to know, and they find it. Whether it be a product, service or information.
You’re in the right market for this – not only do people want your services, they want to know you do it, too. That’s where e-books come in handy.
Let’s use an example – people search “How to become a photographer” on Google. They come across your e-book. To receive the free e-book, they have to provide their email address. From here, you can enter their mailbox with deals, your services, and blog posts. It’s a great way to increase traffic to your site, and build your email list.
E-books are really easy to create, and you can even use online platforms to make them. Our favorite is Canva – it allows you to be creative, use your own brand’s colors, but takes the stress away a little bit.
Don’t forget to showcase your own photography in your e-book. Advertisement never hurts.
Of course, this is your area of expertise. It’s a little bit of a challenging one, as you don’t want to give your work away for free – the best thing to do is to add a watermark to your pictures, perhaps even include your website.
Visual content marketing is a strategy that should never be ignored. Photo galleries especially. Why? Well, people respond better to visuals, which is where your job as a photographer really shines through.
A gallery on your site can really attract visitors. Try to bring attention to it in every way possible, and perhaps even create series.
For instance, maybe you’re a travel photographer – you can have a Thailand series, a Norway series, and a London series. Again, tease about these photos on newsletters and your social media.
If your shots are really beautiful, people might just share them around. Hence why the watermark is so essential.
Obviously, pay close attention to how your photos are displayed. Yes, they might be outstanding in themselves, but if they aren’t presented well, they won’t attract the traffic.
Don’t shy away from showcasing your work online – you can always chase people up who are using your work royalty-free.
10. User-generated content
Last but not least is user-generated content (UGC). It might sound like a marketing buzzword – but it is so much more important than that.
UGC is the umbrella term given to all content that has been created and published by unpaid contributors. This can be anything from tweets, blog posts, reviews, and videos.
Think of it as your users promoting a brand, rather than you promoting the brand. It’s understandably compelling – you’re more likely to trust somebody else’s opinion of a brand, than the brand’s own opinion.
Take Burberry’s Art of the Trench campaign as a great example of UGC marketing. Burberry asked its fans to upload their own pictures, of them, wearing the iconic trench coat. Burberry didn’t have to do much – just pick their favorites to showcase.
As a photography website, you might be wondering how UGC can benefit you. You can rest assured that there are many more ways to use UGC, even if you create the photos.
The number one way is reviews – you’ll already know how important they are. If you see a service has a bad rating or no rating at all, you’ll be hesitant to use them. Comparatively, if a service has excellent reviews, you’ll more than likely use them.
Get your users to make content for you, whether it’s with a campaign or reviews. Ask your users, we promise that they won’t mind.
Here are some other suggestions, that will help make your content marketing tips all the more worthwhile.
Know your target audience
As a photography service, this is mainly your “ideal client.” We know it’s a little bit tricky to pinpoint, especially since people want photos for many different reasons.
As an example, if you’re a wedding photographer, your target audience would be brides, grooms and wedding planners. With this in mind, your blog posts, videos, and podcasts should all speak directly to them.
However, it’s more than just a general target audience. You need to dial in on who you’re really trying to reach. Do you specialize in a specific wedding theme, or do you have a niche that will only appeal to a particular type of person?
Don’t sell to your audience
At least not immediately. You need to make your content marketing efforts seem authentic, and people don’t like being sold to.
First and foremost, with content marketing, you need to feed your audience a great deal of valuable content. This will build trust with your audience, and then you can begin to sell to them. If you immediately jump into sales type of posts, you won’t gain confidence with your audience.
Make it sharable
Content is excellent in all forms, making it sharable makes it all the more beneficial. This expands your reach and potentially brings in a new client to your website.
When deciding on your content strategy, always have “is this sharable?” in your mind. That’s precisely why blogs that answer questions or provide information are the best types.
If you can’t think of new, quality content, just try repurposing your old content. There’s nothing wrong with this, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it. Remember, quality is better than quantity.
Create broad content too
Yes, we talked about your target audience and creating content that appeals to a specific niche. With the risk of contradicting ourselves, you should also create generic content, too.
Creating valuable content, that anybody can read and share can prove to be beneficial – you never know who might stumble upon your site.
Don’t be afraid to expand
As a photographer, you can expand into other areas. Perhaps offer online courses, or explore the world of video.
When your website starts generating traffic, and your social media following increases, the limits are endless. Content marketing has the possibility to expand your opportunities.
Content marketing might overwhelm you, but once you begin, you’ll start to reap the benefits. Start creating your content strategy now, and get creative. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box, and be patient with the results.
We hope these hints and tips help you with your photography business journey.