Photography marketing can be a challenge for new and seasoned photographers alike. You might work alone or as part of a small collective of creative individuals, so you don’t have access to a large network or extensive resources. On top of that, there aren’t many well-known photography brands whose strategies you can mimic for success unlike other well-established industries, such as retail and hospitality.
The problem gets worse when you consider there are more than 54,000 professional photographers in the United States and thousands of additional amateur photographers that clients might hire instead of you. So how can you stand out from this crowd and promote your business — all while remaining as cost-efficient as possible?
Multichannel marketing is the answer.
What is multichannel photography marketing?
As the name implies, multichannel marketing involves investing in several different marketing channels simultaneously, allowing them to feed off each other so they ultimately become more valuable than the sum of their parts.
For example, you might invest in an on-site content marketing campaign, a search engine optimization (SEO) campaign, a social media marketing campaign, email marketing and digital advertising all at once. Your core on-site content will help you earn conversions, while also supporting your SEO efforts, serving as fodder for social media and even providing content for your email newsletter.
SEO might drive additional traffic to your website and social media, and your online ads might appear to people who have already seen your brand in another context, strengthening their image of you.
The benefits for photographers
So why should you take this approach for your photography marketing? Here are five clear benefits.
Not everyone finds a photographer through social media. Not everyone subscribes to email marketing. Not everyone runs to a search engine when they’re looking for a new photographer. Using multiple channels at once is a way to maximize your reach.
Using multichannel marketing can also boost your reputation. When someone sees your photography brand in only one context, such as online ads, they may or may not remember you. When they see your brand seemingly everywhere they turn, they’ll be hard-pressed to forget you. As long as you’re putting forth good content and are targeting the right demographics, multichannel marketing is going to make your reputation stronger and more positive.
Steady client acquisition
Multichannel marketing is also a way to hedge your bets and stabilize your rate of client acquisition. If one channel is running particularly dry, the other channels can make up for it. You won’t be invested fully in any one approach, so you’ll never run the risk of losing your main stream of new clients.
It might seem like multichannel marketing is more expensive than a single-channel strategy, but it’s actually more cost-efficient than you might think. You’ll be able to piece together several marketing tactics — each of which can be done on a limited budget — then slowly weed out the strategies that aren’t working. What you’re left with is the most effective combination of marketing strategies for your brand.
Different pieces in your portfolio are going to look better in different formats. Some might look fantastic in an Instagram feed. Others are better experienced on a standalone page with detailed information. Learning to harness the power of multichannel photography marketing means you’ll get to show off your best portfolio highlights in the context they deserve.
How to get started
You may feel intimidated to pull the trigger, since you’ll be working with multiple photography marketing channels all at once. Make it easier to begin by following these six steps.
1. Select your best work
First, you need to make sure your portfolio is up-to-date, since your photography is going to serve as the main crux of your marketing and advertising collateral. Go through your recent shots, and pick out some of your best work to present.
2. Start with a central hub
Nearly every multichannel campaign has a central hub that matters more than the others. Oftentimes, this is your main website, because it’s easy to funnel people there from other channels and then get them to convert.
3. Identify three key channels
Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to get involved with a dozen marketing channels at once. Instead, start by identifying three key marketing channels you think would be effective for your brand. Spend a few hours learning about each of them, or work with an expert to get them established.
4. Establish analytics
You won’t get far unless you can measure your effectiveness. Otherwise, you’ll be flying blind, and you’ll have no objective metrics you can use to improve your approach. Sign up for a marketing analytics dashboard, so you can readily see which of your strategies are bringing you the most leads.
5. Automate everything you can
You’re busy doing photoshoots, so the more marketing steps you can automate, the better. Most modern platforms, from Facebook to Gmail, allow you to automate simple tasks, such as sending out components of a drip email campaign or scheduling future posts on social media. Don’t succumb to a manual task unless you have to.
6. Measure, analyze and adjust
After a few weeks of consistent effort, start measuring your progress. Review your weak spots, and scrap any tactics that aren’t showing growth. This is also a chance to experiment. Try new things, and see how they impact your bottom-line results.
As long as you’re working efficiently on the best channels for your brand, you’ll end up with more clients, increased customer loyalty and a better reputation.
Of course, if you’re just getting started, you might need a little help — so consider signing up for GoDaddy’s online marketing services, which can help you through every step of the process.