From One Photographer to Another: Invest in Long Term Marketing

July 20, 2022

Not too long ago I was listening to this podcast about the difference in how our marketing has changed over the years…specifically for photographers! The algorithms and everything on Instagrams has changed – you have to be sure to post at the right time, post with the right frequency, and have the right amount of engagement on your posts in order for your ideal audience to see your content. We’re already seeing a decline in how many people are liking photos and even seeing the photos on their feed! If you spend a few minutes scrolling on your Instagram, you’ll likely be able to recognize how video content is taking over your feed. Right now on Instagram, video content is being pushed so much more than photos, so Reels are huge. If you’re not creating Reels, it’s likely that your photos are getting lost. For a photographer, that can be really detrimental because we take photos and want to be able to market our photos. In the past, we could count on Instagram to push our photos and help us grow our businesses – it’s how we grew and gained clients and generated income and supported our families! Because of this large shift, we have to adapt and maybe even refocus where we spend a lot of our energy marketing. 

As I’ve learned and grown, I’ve come to realize that the best places to have long-term marketing are Pinterest, blog posts, and an email list. I’m not a total expert on all of these, but I’m learning and thought it would be beneficial for other photographers to start to learn as well! I’ve recently started being a lot more intentional with my long-term marketing strategy in these three places and have really been enjoying it. 

Pinterest for Long-Term Marketing

Using Pinterest as a marketing tool has been a conversation floating around the creative industry for a while now, and I’m just now starting to dive in more fully (give me a follow!). Pinterest is actually less like Instagram, and more like Google. Let me explain! Pinterest functions as a search engine. Users go to Pinterest to solve problems or to be inspired, and the content they see first isn’t the most recently published content, it’s the content that will best match what they are looking for and could totally be several years old! As a photographer, creating a business Pinterest account (so you can track analytics) and filling your Pinterest boards with your own optimized content will allow your work to be seen frequently and for a really long time. Think strategically about what your clients are searching for, and use those terms in the pin titles and descriptions as well as in your board titles and descriptions. Think about your engaged couples who are looking for inspiration for their wedding day, posing ideas, wedding DIYs and so much more.

Pro tip for a simple start with Pinterest: Curate 5-20 photos from a shoot and use these to create an Idea Pin to start gaining traffic. Idea Pins are a collection of slides (almost like an Instagram story) but right now, they’re gaining more views than standard Pins! You’ll want to put up a handful of Idea Pins each week for best results! 

Once you’re ready to get serious about Pinterest, you may want to consider using a scheduling tool like Tailwind and upgrading to the pro account. Then install their Chrome Extension and be amazed at how simple it is to take the existing content off of your website and turn it into standard Pins for days! 

Blogging for Long-Term Marketing

Now that we’re starting to talk about using content off of your website, it’s a good idea to make sure you actually have long-lasting content on there to begin with! This is where blogs come in. Blogging, when done well, is amazing for organic traffic to your site. If you’re offering tips or solutions, what will people be googling when they face the problem? Keep this in mind as you title your blog and write headings throughout the post. Not only do you want your blogs appearing in Google searches, but you can also allow others to search for your content on Pinterest by linking your blog posts to your Pins. This will allow your content to be easily searched by the people who most definitely need what you have to offer for years to come! 

Some photographers use blogs as a way to share a large amount of photos highlighting a specific session or location or wedding. These photos can easily be turned into simple photo Pins, and when optimized with keyword titles and descriptions, you’ll be drawing attention to your work! Other blogs can be more article based and offer tips, solutions to problems, or tell stories. Maybe you want to educate engaged couples on why they should or should not consider having a private first look on their wedding day! You’ll include several photos of couples in either scenario and share your thoughts with the readers. These blogs may include some photos throughout that can be used as Pins, but the best way to gain readers would be through creating graphics that have a large, easy-to-read title, for you to Pin and link to the blog post. This will draw in readers and allow them to learn from all you have to offer! 

This is all about bringing people to your website, gaining their trust through what you have to offer, and turning them into potential inquiries. And hey – if you have a few relevant affiliate links you may even earn a little commission here and there. 

Pro tip for blogging: Your blogs will be there forever and will continue to be searched and read; however, it isn’t just about long-term-marketing. Use your blogs as resources to give to your inquiries and clients. Link to your blogs in your emails so they can continue to learn from you and be served by you. Planning for their engagement photos? Link to your blog post all about what to wear for engagement photos!

Email Marketing for Long-Term Marketing 

Finally, a third way to be super intentional with your long-term marketing is by using an email list. This is another way that you can repurpose the content you already have, but it will allow you to connect with your audience on another platform than social media. You can simply send weekly emails with links to a new post, pin, or blog you created. Or you can have a #ThrowbackThursday and reshare something you created a while ago that you still love and that others may find value in. An email list gives you a way to continue to connect with your audience without relying on the algorithms of social media. It doesn’t have to be intimidating – if you’re putting the effort in to write captions, create blogs or create pins, you can repurpose that material and send it directly to those who want to hear from you! 

I personally love using FloDesk for my email lists. They make it so easy to design beautiful emails that I love! You can sign up for mine right here if you want to stay in the loop on all things Mikayla Jean & Co!