Six digital marketing tips for photographers


Want to get more from your online platforms? Shane Nolan, Director UK & Ireland SMB at Google, shares top digital marketing tips for freelance photographers.

1. Set Digital Goals

Understand what you want your digital marketing efforts to do, maybe, for you, digital is about showcasing your photography to a wider audience and maintaining your existing client base. If this is the case, you should focus on learning more about email marketing and social media to amplify the reach of your images and keep in touch with valued customers. Digital marketing covers a broad spectrum but once you understand your digital goals, you can start your digital journey by focusing on a few initial steps.

2. Embrace Email Marketing

Email marketing builds customer loyalty and engagement without breaking the bank and it’s particularly effective on mobile. Free and affordable services such as MailChimp and Constant Contact are easy to use and allow you to design attractive layouts that will compliment your photography, while building-up valuable subscriber lists. Plan your email campaign carefully however. Do your subscribers simply enjoy seeing a new image from you each month or would you see a rise in email open and click-through rates if you were regularly inviting them to photography exhibitions, photo-walks, offering discounts on buying images or sharing tips on how to take the perfect photo? 

3. Be More Social

Social media is a cost effective way to give your images greater reach. To be successful on social media, you need great shareable content. What could be better than your striking and beautiful photography? Remember, some of the most popular accounts on photo-sharing platforms are filter-free, while showcasing your portfolio on a social network may be a cheaper alternative to building a website. Social media is a platform that lets you talk directly to your customers and prospective customers alike, share your great content, get involved in conversations, build brand trust, reach more people, grow your sphere of influence, and ultimately understand your customers better.

4. Protect your images online

Sharing photography online to boost your brand awareness doesn’t have to mean risking your copyright. There’s a stack of great free apps that will allow you secure and protect your photos with watermarks, logos or signatures, while letting you easily share your protected photos straight from the app to social networks.

5. Make sure your website is more than just photography

Sometimes it’s easy to forget all the reasons why someone would go to your website when you’re focused on building a site to showcase your images in the best light. For example, can online visitors buy a print, understand how to book you for a shoot or even just contact you? How many times have you visited a company’s website for a phone number, only to discover that contact details are impossible to locate or even worse - there’s a form to fill out with a vague promise that someone will get back to you?

If you rely on customer engagement for new business, make it easy for your audience to find and connect with you. A ‘Contact Us’ page should be prominent on your website and a phone number needs to appear in a visible location on every page of your site.

6. Understand how potential customers can find you online

The success of Portuguese photographer Carlos Veloso Photography is largely due to Carlos’ commitment to increasing the relevancy of his online exposure, via Google Adwords. “We went from a small, virtually unknown company to one with huge exposure,” Carlos says. He even managed to break into the international market when foreign companies organising events in Portugal began contracting out to him. The increase in workload and the reduction in advertising costs have led to an 80% increase in revenue for his business. AdWords allows you to bid for ad placements based on the most relevant keyword searches and has helped thousands of small and medium businesses just like Carlos’ launch into marketplaces and attract more traffic to their sites. Organic Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and paid Search Marketing (PPC) have some of the highest returns on investment for your marketing spend. If you’re trying to reach more potential customers who are searching online for wedding, event, portrait, wildlife or any other type of photography, you need to understand where your business is showing up on search pages and how to make it appear in more relevant search environments. You can use Google Keyword Planner to understand exactly what terms people are using when they are looking for a photographer.

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