If you haven’t ever created a marketing content plan for your photography business before, but you know you want to become more organised, this one is for you.
Keep reading for my top content planning tips for photographers. I’ll share with you how you can finally get on top of your content creation with a strategic content plan.
Why plan your marketing content in advance?
Your photography business won’t promote itself. So, you know you need to be creating marketing content in order to maintain visibility online.
But, if done at the last minute, inspiration may fail to strike. You’ll end up posting something…anything…just to get it off your to-do list.
You’ll feel panicked and stressed. This, done on repeat, may lead you to dread creating marketing and promotional content.
You’ll put creating content off for as long as possible. When you do finally hit that publish button, you may not feel proud of your efforts.
The content probably won’t be doing as an effective job at promoting your business as it could have because it was rushed and not well-thought through. And, you’ll be annoyed with yourself because you know that if you’d planned the content better in advance, all of this could have been avoided! You just didn’t make the time.
So, rather than create content at the last minute, I’d urge you to take heed of the following content planning tips and to create a content plan.
Content planning tips for photographers
1. Start by determining what type of content, and how much, you’ll create
One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is about what format your content will take and how much content you can realistically, and consistently, create each day/week/month.
Do you prefer creating:
- written content (blogs, editorial comment pieces, text-based social media posts)?
- visual content (images, social media graphics, infographics)?
- audio content (podcasts or voice recordings)?
- video content (live or pre-recorded videos, screenshares)?
- or, a combination of these?
Whatever your preferred content type(s), choose what you’ll enjoy creating and stick to that. There is no need to try and do everything, and certainly not all at once. If you’re just starting out with content creation, start small and build up gradually.
If you can create just one quality blog post for your website each month consistently, great. Do that! If you can regularly commit to two per month, even better. One per week, brilliant.
For social media, posting consistently on a daily basis will help you more than posting sporadically when inspiration hits. The algorithm rewards those who create high-quality, consistent content that your fans and followers engage with.
2. Dedicate time to creating your content plan
With that decided, now you’ll need to set aside time for your content planning.
Creating your content plan for your photography business isn’t something that you can pull together in a few minutes. A fully-fleshed out content plan will take time to create initially, and you’ll need to consider one channel at a time – so, your blog, your Facebook page, your Instagram page etc.
But once it’s done, then you’ll have months of content already planned out which will make the whole content creation process so much quicker and easier in the long run!
3. Use a calendar template to map out your content intentions
A content plan can be in any number of forms. It’s ultimately just a simple planning document that allows you to map out the content you intend to create for the days, weeks and months ahead, for the various channels that you create content for.
You certainly don’t need any expensive planners, workbooks or apps to create a marketing content plan. Ultimately, the format of the content plan is completely up to you. Whatever works!
You may be an Excel wizard, or you may prefer using a Word document to create your content plan. Or, you might want to use an app such as Evernote or a list-based tool such as Trello or Asana. Or even good old-fashioned pen and paper would do.
Personally, I use both Trello and a printed calendar template, like the one in the picture below.
Having a calendar month-to-view layout works really well for me because I can see a full month’s plan on one page. And I can print out as many copies of the template as I need to cover off the different platforms I’ll be sharing content on.
I use Trello to store all my content ideas and put them into order by categorising them. Then, once I’ve finalised my ideas, I’ll use the printed template. I’ll write in my content intentions on the calendar, plotting them out against the dates I plan to publish.
Having a digital version of the final content plan in Trello is also really useful for those occasions when I want to view or edit it when I don’t have the printed copy with me.
If you’d like a blank 2019 calendar template – the version I use for my own content planning – you can grab a free copy (along with my other free downloads for photographers) by signing up here or clicking the image below.
4. Always focus on creating content that adds value
One of the very basic rules of content marketing is that what you create should serve your intended audience.
Related reading: How to define and market to your perfect photography client
Having a content plan is a great step forward for your photography business but do be sure that every piece of content you create is valuable.
It should be focussed on helping, supporting and serving those who have allowed you into their newsfeeds or email inboxes.
Promotional content is, of course, OK. But try to keep a good balance of value vs promotional content. Some suggest 80% value, 20% promotion.
Teaching what you know or answering your ideal customer’s questions about your services and products is a great place to start if you are short on content ideas.
5. Maximise efficiency by batch-creating content
With your content plan in place, the next step is to commit to your planning intentions and get creating content on a regular basis.
To make this process all the more efficient, I’d recommend that you consider batch-creating your marketing content.
Perhaps dedicate a half/full day once per week or fortnight to creating a load of content at once. Then, drip-feed it out over time. It’ll feel amazing to know that you have months’ worth of content already organised and ready to go!
6. Don’t be afraid to adapt and change as you go
Even if you create the most amazing well-thought-through content plan ever, you’ll still need to edit it as you go.
Despite the very best of intentions, things change. That’s just life. And so, your content will need to be a working document that is tweaked and adjusted over time.
Ideas may evolve, things may happen in your business or personal life that you hadn’t (or couldn’t have) anticipated. You may well realise you can create more or less content than you’d originally hoped. Some of your content will gain traction while some of it might not (see point 7), and you may need to have a rethink.
For all these reasons and more, I’d recommend that you make a plan but recognise that it will not be perfect from the get-go. Chances are, it’ll need to be revisited multiple times throughout the year and adapted to suit your business priorities and objectives, that may well change.
7. Measure what’s working
Finally, be sure to track your activity and the results you are achieving.
Measuring the impact of your content efforts will help you to identify what content is resonating most with your audience. By reviewing what content is most, and least, popular you can determine what content you should create more of and what you should create less of.
Use the insights from Google Analytics and from your social media accounts to identify which content and what channels are driving the most traffic to your website.
If something is proving popular, what additional content could you create around that same topic? Could you go more in-depth? Or create an ‘ultimate guide’ on the topic as a lead magnet to attract more people to sign up to your email list?
If something isn’t working so well, could you better optimise the content for search so it can be found by more people? Could the content be expanded upon, or more value be added? Perhaps you’ve not shared it widely enough?
Related reading: How to promote your photography blog and reach more people
Without tracking and measuring the impact of your content, you won’t have the insights you’ll need when it comes to planning your next month or 90-day’s worth of content.
Do you need help to plan your content?
Whatever month of the year you are reading this, if you’ve yet to get started with your blog content plan for the year ahead, I can help. I can help you gain clarity on what content you should create and develop you a strategic 12-month content plan to follow. I can also help with content creation, publishing and promotion. Get in touch to request my Pricing Guide and enquire about my current availability.
Also, come and join my free Facebook community, ‘PR-Savvy Photographers’. It would be great to have you with us.