Photographers and Instagram are a natural pair — it’s a social networking site all about photography, after all. But there’s more than that simple connection to inspire you to start an account (or dust off an unused one). Take a look at some reasons why you should be using it to market your photography business.
You need to go where your customers are. And while there are great reasons to market on other social media sites, Instagram, with a growing audience of more than 600 million users, warrants a look. And of those 600 million, 50% follow at least one business, and 75% take an action after viewing an Instagram advertising post, “like visiting a website, searching, shopping or telling a friend.”
Six million people are a huge market just waiting to be tapped into, and businesses know it. The number of businesses using Instagram is expected to double this year. And with photographers like Ana Brandt sharing how Instagram revolutionized their businesses, you know at least some of your competition uses it, too.
A video posted by Ana Brandt (@anabrandt) on Jun 6, 2015 at 11:18am PDT
Instagram is a great hub for photographers to see what their peers are up to. Every genre is represented, from the biggest names in the business (hey there, Mario Testino!) to photographers just starting out. It’s a community that can help you find your own style or refine it, help you connect with other photographers for advice and support, and help feed your soul with inspiring images.
A photo posted by MARIO TESTINO (@mariotestino) on Feb 18, 2016 at 9:03am PST
Visuals make an impact. They end up in our long-term memory instead of short-term, and so they stick around longer. Studies show, while we’ll remember only 10-20% of what we hear or read 3 days later, we’ll hold onto 65% of visual information.
So what’s that have to do with Instagram? The social media site creates a gallery-like space that reduces clutter and text, and focuses on what your audience will remember — visuals. Images and video are the point — everything else is secondary, which is the best-case scenario for a photographer. Bonus? You don’t have to write much if you don’t want to — your photo or video is the star.
Because Instagram is so visual, photographers have an innate advantage. You can post photos from sessions, behind-the-scenes video, and everyday shots that help show your personality. And all that content can help you get found by clients.
Instagram users are photo-savvy and know how to search for photographers using hashtags that focus on location and specialty (check out this Fstoppers post for more details on how to find the right hashtag for your photography business). In fact, posts with at least one hashtag have averaged 12.6% more engagement than posts without.
You can also tag clients, just as you would in Facebook, to reach their audience and expand the number of people who see each post. The combination of hashtags and tagged posts can give you a broader reach. You can see how this works in the post from Jerry Ghionis below.
A photo posted by Jerry Ghionis (@jerryghionis) on Mar 25, 2016 at 7:52am PDT
Instagram wants to be your social media site of choice — and is working harder than almost any other site to get your business. They’ve increased the possible length for videos to one minute, let you format photos and videos horizontally or vertically (not just square anymore), added the Snapchat-like features Instagram Stories and Instagram Direct, let you save drafts of posts, and created more controls so you can like comments or turn them off altogether (among other things).
Instagram also lets you create ads using the same tools and features found in Facebook (you can find tips from Susan Stripling on how to get started), and is looking to expand the number of businesses using their site by adding more value in 2017. That means they’ll be building more features that make it easier for you to manage your account, target new clients, and market your photography business.
Are you using Instagram to market your photography business? If you’re also sharing Animoto slideshows or videos, you can use hashtag #myAnimoto. We’ll re-gram our favorites.