Why photographers need to pay attention to Facebook Marketing
Facebook is NOT dead
For years in the photography industry we always wanted lists of the seniors graduating or we wished we could put ads just in front of wealthy clients that loved photography. Now we can.
If you haven’t looked at the stock price of Facebook, it seems to go up almost every day. The reason why is because social networks themselves are not the goldmine for investors, but Facebook has found a way to collect super accurate data on you and build one of the most efficient highest return on investment ad platforms the world has ever seen. Yea, that’s what I said. The best ever.
So let me back up for a second and explain exactly why Facebook’s data is better than any other data assembled by any other company or government in the world. Every day, (on average, 14 times a day), you get onto Facebook and you tell FB exactly what you “like” and what you’re interested in. You’re telling FB these things by hitting the like button. FB is scanning every piece of content put onto the platform and then linking you to other people who like that content and running really fancy algorithms on it to determine exactly what that content is and why you like it. They then run other similar content in front of you to see if you like that as well. They constantly re discover what you’re interested in and making their profile view more and more accurate every single time you interact with it. So, its not just the “like” button that you’re hitting to tell them that you like something. They also track what you slow down on and read, as well as what articles you click on. If you’ve ever noticed on your phone, when you click on an article, in FB, it doesn’t open the article in a separate web browser, it just opens it in FB, where they also can track what you read or clicked on. So, like I said before, you have been telling FB for years now exactly what you’re interested in.
Here’s the next level of crazy. Marketers now are installing FB pixels/cookies on their websites. This is allowing FB to even track data on you when you’re not in the FB platform and you’re browsing the web. You’ve seen this in action. Have you ever gone to Amazon and looked at a product, then left, and ads about that product seem to follow you all over the web? This is FB pixel in action. Disclaimer; it may be google’s pixel or a third party, but same technology. So think about this from a marketing standpoint. People are helping FB take over the ad world and enjoy doing it. They’ve created a company that the users tell them what they want to see and marketers help spread the word. My mind is blown every time I think about this.
Let me take a minute to tell you why this isn’t scary. First of all, they don’t share any of this information with anyone else and over and over, they’ve shown that your privacy is the first thing they’re worried about. Secondly, it actually makes your FB experience better every single day. Without this data, you wouldn’t love FB as much as you do.
Why is this important for you as a photographer? Because if you run ads in FB/Instagram to people, FB has tons of data on these people so they target the exact people you want. For example, you can target parents with high school kids with a net wealth of over 1 million dollars who lives in the XYZ subdivision and likes decorating their house and is a high spender, early adopter, who carries an American Express black card. No joke. You can target these exact people. The joke in the marketing world is that if your ideal client is human and has a pulse, they’re on FB. You need to be using FB ads because all of these tools that used to cost thousands of dollars are available to you for free in FB. If I told you that you could track people’s behavior on your website, market to only people who have visited you website or only people interested in photography, and you knew you weren’t going to waste a single penny because the data is so accurate, why wouldn’t you take advantage of this tool? That’s the crazy thing, is that I see photographers complaining all the time that they don’t have enough business, but they don’t want to use the most powerful marketing tool in the world. Let me put it a different way; that’s like a photographer wanting to run their photography side of their business with a point and shoot. That’s exactly what you’re doing on the marketing side of your business if you have a website without running FB ads to it.
You also want to be the second post people see when they log into FB. If you’ve ever noticed, the first post you see when you log in, is typically an extremely close friend or family member and the second post is for a business that you’ve shown interest in or should be interested in.
Here are the results we find at our studio: we are booking clients on average for about $2/client using FB and Instagram ads. We can book a client per 1000 unique impressions on FB. So, if I look at my calendar and I know I need to book 5 people, I know I need to give FB enough money to get me about 5000 unique impressions of my ad, which in turn costs about $10 for my market. For example, if we need to book 10 clients, we give FB more $, they give us more impressions, and we book more clients. It’s scalable.
This past slow season, I did a test. Could I really scale our business during the slow time and get clients to book with us when we had open spots? I was a little worried because I knew FB ads worked extremely well during our busy months when people are looking for photography but I really wanted to test and see if it would work when people weren’t looking for photography. The results have been that we booked our calendar full all the way through the slow months and have had the most profitable year in our business ever. Gone are the days of losing money in January-March and now is the first time we’ve actually had cash flow coming out of our “slow” season.
So why would you not want to do FB ads? If you do not want to scale your business and you’re happy with the clients who randomly find you, then FB isn’t for you. FB is so powerful that you can easily grow you business 10-20% simply using FB ads.
So where to start? I have created a free PDF “The Photographer’s Guide to Powerful Facebook Ad Targeting“. Download it for free and see how powerful Facebook really is.