Archive for the ‘marketing’ Category
Monday, April 22nd, 2013
Are you using Instagram yet? You should.
Instagram is a free application that lets you add effects to images and save them to Facebook. Since being acquired by Facebook, millions of users have used Instagram to turn their Facebook accounts into channels to show off their artistic photography. In fact, Instagram has about the same number of users as Pinterest and Twitter!
So I’m sure you’re thinking, “I use good equipment and Photoshop. Why would I want to snap a low-res photo on my iPhone and add a cheap effect to show potential clients?”
The answer is, from a marketing point of view, your style and posting frequency is just as important as your equipment. Because it is designed to work with low-res smart phones (iPhone or Android), viewers don’t expect Instagram photos to be perfect – they just expect them to be interesting. With Instagram, instead of lugging your DSLR around, you can easily expand your subject matter to pets, animals, street scenes and local events with whatever camera you happen to have in your pocket at that moment.
See something cool on the sidewalk? Snap a photo, edit it in Instagram, and post it to Facebook in about a minute. If you take good photos, your friends and fans will share them with their friends. That kind of viral posting is what can make social media work for you.
Need some other ideas? Check out the Instagram for Business blog.
Like Pinterest, Instagram gives you a perfect opportunity to show off your strength – photography – using social media. The combination should be irresistible to you.
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
My Facebook posts are terrible. Very few of my friends see them, and even fewer comment on them. Then I posted this:
“If you see a free plane tickets post from a “friend of a friend” on FB today, delete or ignore. Virus.”
Suddenly hundreds of people were looking at my post. I felt like I’d single-handedly saved Facebook. In fact, it was the most-read post I’d ever made, and it had nothing to do with photography!
Looking at the post now, it seems obvious why this post went “viral”. It was 1.) useful information, 2.) emotional/scary, and 3.) it made my friends who shared it feel like they were doing a favor for their Facebook friends.
So that got me to thinking, are there any universal rules that all viral social media posts have in common?
Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
One of the benefits of using a Facebook business page instead of a personal page is that you get an additional page called Insights. This gives you an idea of who is viewing your Facebook posts. The information can be helpful in 2 ways: first, to analyze the content you put on Facebook that is attracting clients, and second, you can learn a little bit more about your audience.
1. Analyze Your Content
Facebook Insights collects a lot of data about your page, from visits and reach to engagement and demographics. On your wall just above the wallpaper (click “show” if you can’t see it) you can see an Insight box that shows how each post you made in the last 30 days connected with your audience. You can get a snapshot view of how many people have seen each of your posts (“Reach”) and commented or liked or shared (“Talking About This”) matched against the times you’ve posted.
What you should see is that the more you post, the greater number of fans you should be connecting with (see example). If the purple dots (posts) are not making the graph higher, you need to work on creating better posts.
Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
Over at the PPA discussion group on LinkedIn there is currently a lively discussion about “What to Offer at Silent Auction Charity Events.” If you haven’t checked it out, I would encourage you to read it.
As someone who has attended several charity auctions over the years – and purchased a couple of items too – I believe a charity event donation not only supports a worthy cause, but can be a great form of marketing for your studio.
Here are a couple of tips to make an auction donation work for you:
Monday, March 4th, 2013
Alyson Shontell, provided by
Teenagers are a good measure of what’s “cool.” Observing which apps they use and how they interact with technology can help the rest of us spot budding trends.
And lately it seems teens have grown tired of Facebook.
Adam Ludwin recently launched a social photo album app called Albumatic. Before its launch, he showed the app to a focus group of 20+ people under the age of 25. Most told Ludwin they didn’t like how reliant the app was on Facebook.
“They gave me the typical teenage response: ‘We’re bored with Facebook,’” Ludwin told Business Insider.
Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
Video is the next big thing in social media and marketing. But if you’re like most photographers, you probably don’t have a clue what you’d actually make a video about. That’s why I’ve taken the time to find 8 good examples of videos you could make – probably with the video features on the SLR you already own. Here are a couple of notes:
• Except for a 3 professionally shot videos, most of them are 2-3 minutes long. Experts agree this is the best length for holding someone’s interest and making the video easy to watch on a smart phone or ipad. It also makes it easier to do a couple “takes” until you get the video just right.
• These are low-res videos posted to YouTube. Your clients don’t expect HD quality for a video that will only be 2-4 inches tall on a screen.
Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
When I was a boy, I remember surfing through the channels on TV and stopping on an interview with Prince Charles, who was at that time assumed to be the future king of England. I stopped at the exact moment the interviewer asked the prince, “When will you get married?”
What Prince Charles basically said was this: “As the future king, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with presidents, kings, philosophers and some of the greatest minds of our generation, and they’ve all said the same thing: wait until you’re 30.”
At that moment, somehow through my addled brain, a single, clear thought emerged: “This is great advice. I’m going to follow it.”
I thought of that story again when I read that IBM had recently spoke with 1,700 CEOs worldwide and asked them, “What are the most utilized customer interaction methods today, and what do you predict in the next 3-5 years?” This is the largest survey of its kind ever taken.
The answers were not surprising. Click the graphic to see the results.
Here are some highlights:
Monday, January 28th, 2013
When Google first started to list businesses on its website, it didn’t take long to discover that a “trick” to getting on the front page was to have a website name with keywords in it, i.e. that matched what people were searching for. A few years ago, a smart wedding photographer in Detroit would have named her website something like detroitweddingphotography.com. or detroitphotography.com. Today, both of these website names are for sale! Google figured out the trick, and no longer ranks websites higher because a keyword is in a website name. Instead, branding your studio name is more important. The word “photography” in your website name doesn’t matter much anymore.
Then some smart national marketers figured out that they could build a website that was a collection of links to lots of other pages, get their website on the first page of Google, and sell space on it. Except for specialty sites like theknot.com or weddingwire.com most “list” websites like Yellowpages.com or Manta.com are only on the front page when Google can’t find enough popular local photographers to fill it.
A year ago, one of the best ways to get on the front page was to get your studio on all the “review” sites like Yelp.com, AngiesList.com, or even Facebook.com These are still VERY important – and your studio should be on all of them – but as consumers begin to trust Google+ reviews over time, Google will push these other review sites off the first page. It’s already happening.
So what is working today? (more…)
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
With up to 80% of consumers reporting that in 2012 they searched for a service online before calling, strengthening your web presence as part of your total marketing plan is more important than ever before. Here is a checklist of 5 items you need to stay competitive in 2013. If you’ve done them, great! If not, they should go to the top of your to-do list.
1. Make your Studio easy to find. You should already be listed in Google Places, Yahoo, Bing and more. Search for yourself as though you were a potential client. If you aren’t easy to find – or if your online contact info is out of date – this should be the top priority on your list.
Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
Here’s a little experiment: Go to this website, and look at the square image ads about half way down the page. Chances are that if you’ve searched for any product or service on Google in the last 30 days, an ad for them will show up here. This website hosts Google ads because it makes a small commission each time a user clicks on one of them.
If you’re a wedding photographer, wouldn’t you like this to be your ad? It can be, using 2 features of Google Adwords: Google Display Ads, and Remarketing.
Here’s how it works. Instead of creating a text ad to show up on Google search pages, in the Adwords manager you can create a Display (image) ad. You can create your own, or use the step-by-step tool with templates provided. You can use Display Ads in one of 2 ways: