Do you have a marketing content plan for your photography business? Kudos to you if you do. So many photographers don’t.
As a PR and marketing content consultant to photographers, naturally, I’m a big believer in content planning.
Without a content strategy and a plan to follow, you can so easily fall into the trap of only making time for marketing when you aren’t busy. But let’s be real…even if you aren’t completely fully booked, you’re always busy! You can always find a reason to procrastinate on marketing your photography business.
Why you need a content plan for your photography business
Without a content plan, you have no schedule to follow, and so are much more likely to drop the ball with your marketing content. Then, before you know it, you’ve done nothing to promote your photography for weeks and enquiries begin to dry up!
I’ve worked with enough photographers over the years to know that marketing isn’t generally their favourite thing to do. Yet, without regularly marketing yourself and your photography, you run the risk of becoming invisible – unseen and unheard, forgotten about even!
In contrast to this, the ideal scenario would always be top of mind so that your ideal clients think of you when they’re ready to invest in photography. Let’s not beat around the bush. Competition is rife, so you need to be regularly creating content and staying visible. To do so consistently, you need some sort of content plan!
Common content planning mistakes photographers make
So, let’s just assume that you’re on board with the idea of having a content plan and already are using one. Even then, there are still many mistakes that you may be making.
Whether you’re new to the photography industry or a seasoned pro, it’s important to be aware of these common content planning mistakes so that you know how to avoid them.
In this blog, I’m going to mention eight of the most common content planning mistakes photographers make and will suggest how to fix them.
1. You have a content plan but you don’t have a content strategy
A content strategy is essential. Photographers who want to maximise the impact of their marketing need a content strategy because, without one, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture.
A content plan is not just an editorial calendar filled out with random content ideas. The aim is not just to post something (anything) each day to stay visible. You need your content to be working much harder for you than that. You need a strategy to inform your content plan so that the marketing content you are creating is going to help you grow your photography business.
Among other things, a good content strategy should:
- define the goals and objectives for your photography marketing content,
- identify target audiences and the topics you’ll be covering,
- and determine how the content will be distributed and promoted.
A content strategy can help you stay focused and ensure that your content planning is aligned with your overall marketing objectives.
If there’s one key thing I’m keen for you to take away from this article is that an effective content marketing plan is one that delivers on the strategy. You cannot have an effective content plan without a content strategy!
2. You’re relying on a single platform
Another of the most common mistakes professional photographers make when planning their marketing content is relying on a single platform.
It can be tempting to focus all your efforts on one platform (perhaps you love Instagram but dislike Facebook or loathe LinkedIn) and ignore other options, but that is a mistake. When creating a content strategy, it’s important to include a variety of platforms and channels in order to reach a wider audience.
Remember, not every one of your ideal photography clients spends time in the same place online that you do. So, you need a multi-faceted marketing plan to reach people on different platforms.
For example, you may choose to focus all of your content marketing efforts on Instagram, believing this will generate the most engagement for your photography business. But if you don’t also use other platforms such as YouTube or reach out to people via email, you could be missing out on potential customers who may be engaging with content there.
By diversifying your marketing content across various channels, you can increase your reach and potentially attract more customers to your business.
Now, I’m not saying that you need to be everywhere. That’s a recipe for burnout! But, what I am saying is that a good content strategy should include an analysis of which platforms work best, and this will be unique to your unique photography business.
I always advise professional photographers to research which platforms their target audience is using the most, and what kind of content seems to resonate with them. That way, you can create a photography marketing content plan to suit.
3. You are not creating content in a variety of formats
A further mistake that professional photographers make when it comes to content planning is not diversifying their marketing content, and instead sticking to just one or two types of content.
Gone are the days when Instagram marketing was all about posting photos. Video content is now king (although interestingly, Meta has recently announced (February 2023) that photos will be ranked more highly once again, following a recent tweak to their algorithm).
In 2023 and beyond, a content strategy for your photography business should involve a variety of different types of content. I’m talking about written content (for example, blog posts and email marketing), social media posts (photos and videos), and also even audio content (such as YouTube videos and podcasts).
By creating a variety of content formats, you:
- can ensure that your reach a wider audience (since you’re on more than one platform)
- provide your followers with options (some people prefer consuming written content, while others would much rather watch a video or listen to a podcast)
- catering for all preferences also means that you are likely to get views and engagement with your content (you’re creating the content that people want to consume)
- plus, you can use your various content types to nurture followers into clients. (For example, an Instagram post or Story might be used to draw attention to a new service you’re offering, while a blog post that you link to from that post or Story could be used to provide more in-depth advice and answer frequently asked questions).
Content planning is essential for photographers looking to create an effective marketing strategy, and diversifying your content is an important consideration.
4. You are not promoting your content
Content promotion is just as important as content creation.
While a content plan helps to keep you focused on what content to create, a common mistake is to assume that once you have followed the plan and created that content, your work is done. Sadly, that’s not the case!
You’ll want to spend just as much time on content promotion as you have on content creation, if not more!
Now, I realise that this may be a hard lesson to learn. If you’ve just spent three hours working on a blog post, or an hour creating a Reel for Instagram, the last thing you’ll likely want to do is spend that same amount of time again promoting it and getting it out there. But, truthfully, this is what is necessary if you want your content to work for your business.
If you don’t promote your content, then potentially very few people will see it or engage with it, and all the hard work you put into creating it will be for nothing.
It’s essential to actively promote your marketing content in order to ensure that it reaches your target audience. When you promote and share your content, you are giving it the best possible chance to be seen, and you are maximizing its potential to help you grow your photography business.
Content promotion is also a great way to keep your audience engaged and helps you to repeatedly remind them of how you can help.
People won’t likely book you as their photographer the first time that they come across you online. You will need to keep reappearing in their social media feeds and in their email inbox. It’s believed that people need up to seven touchpoints with a brand before they buy. As a general rule, your followers need to be nurtured towards a sale, and this process can take time.
Therefore, it’s important to continuously post new content that’s relevant to your followers, while also promoting the older content so that it remains visible.
Don’t think that sharing your content once, or a handful of times is enough. Reuse and reshare your content to ensure that you stay top of mind and stay visible.
5. You are not repurposing your content
Unfortunately, many photographers don’t take full advantage of the content they’ve created.
I’ve already stressed the importance of reusing and resharing content, but there is also the opportunity to repurpose content which many photographers don’t do well either.
Repurposing your marketing content into different formats is a great way to get even more out of your content marketing efforts.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel each time you need to create a piece of marketing content. You can create multiple pieces of content from a single piece of photography marketing content that you already have!
- if you have a video tutorial, you could repurpose that content into a blog post, or even a podcast episode.
- If you have a library of blog articles, you could record yourself reading those out for a podcast or video channel.
- Equally, you could get audio or video content transcribed and convert that into a blog post or chop it up further to make a series of written social media captions.
The opportunities for repurposing content are endless really, and if you do this, you could potentially reach new audiences and spread your message even further. This will help you to grow your online following and hopefully generate more enquiries and bookings.
Repurposing content is an effective way to increase the reach and visibility of your content, so be sure to take advantage of it! It’s a key part of any successful photography marketing content strategy.
6. You are not measuring your results
When it comes to content planning and marketing content, measuring your results is essential in order to ensure that you are achieving your goals.
Without measuring your results, you won’t be able to tell what kind of impact your photography marketing content is having, which will make it difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of your content strategy and make improvements.
It’s important to measure results on a regular basis – this could be weekly, monthly or even quarterly depending on your goals. This data can be used to measure how effective your content is at increasing traffic and engaging viewers, as well as track the success of specific campaigns.
You can also use this data to create better content by understanding what topics are resonating with your audience. By understanding how your content is performing, you can tweak your strategy and plan based on those results. You’ll discover what types of content and what topics seem to be of most interest to your audience.
7) You are not consistent with your marketing
Consistency is essential when it comes to marketing your photography business, yet too many photographers treat it as something to do when they have the time.
It should be a non-negotiable in your business, and something you do every day.
Investing the time and effort into developing a content plan is the first step, but to maximise your success, you’ll need the self-discipline to see the plan through.
You will need to make marketing your photography business a habit – something that you make time for, even when you don’t feel that you have the time, or you don’t feel like it.
8. You are not up to date with current marketing trends
If you want to be successful with your photography marketing content, staying up to date with the latest trends and changes is important.
Social media algorithms are constantly evolving and they will literally ignore your content if it doesn’t align with the type of content they want to prioritise on their platform. Stick to doing things the old way, and your content won’t get pushed out as much into your follower’s newsfeeds.
Equally, Google will ignore your website/blog content if you’re not working hard to create value-packed, original and helpful content. The Helpful Content update (announced in August 2022) makes clear that Google will only rank content that it considers to be among the most valuable results in the world for a particular search query.
If you don’t stay up to date with these changes, your content marketing won’t be as effective as it could be.
While you don’t need to resort to dancing around on TikTok or creating Reels pointing to text on Instragam just to stay on trend, you should ideally aim to be aware of what type of content is working right now. This is the type of content that is most likely to be seen by your audience.
Staying informed about the latest trends and changes in the world of content marketing isn’t always easy, but it can make all the difference when it comes to creating effective photography marketing content.
Use the tools yourself to stay on top of things. You should also keep an eye on industry blogs and educational resources, subscribe to newsletters, and attend webinars or events related to content marketing. If you do, this will help you stay up-to-date and you’ll then be more likely to know what content to create.
Are you making any of these common content planning mistakes?
It’s important to remember that effective content marketing takes time and dedication. Marketing isn’t quick or easy, but it is something that you will need to do in order to keep your photography business visible.
Running a photography business is just as much about business as it is about photography!
If you’re making any of these common content planning mistakes that I’ve mentioned, don’t worry too much. Just aim to tweak what you’re doing a little and over time, hopefully, you’ll have soon established some positive habits and more efficient ways of working, that will generate even better results for you!
Want my help with planning out your marketing content?
If you would like to get my help with your content planning, and get feedback on your content ideas as well as get my eyes on your content plan, book either a half or full-day consultancy session.