Are you using Instagram Marketing For Your Wedding Photography Business?
Ten years ago I was able to launch my wedding photography business with the significant help of social media. But it was actually Twitter where I spent most of my days – chillin’ out, maxin’ and relaxin’ all cool, shooting some weddings outside by the pool. Okay, rhyme time over, but through social media, I was really able to connect with wedding vendors, and I even booked a wedding from Twitter. I immediately saw the power of social media and how it could catapult my photography business.
The wedding industry then began using Facebook business pages to connect with potential clients and fellow vendors. I never liked Facebook as a business platform, but I finally gave in and launched my page. A few years followed, and the bridal world was introduced to Pinterest, which quickly became the mecca of wedding planning and inspiration boards.
Now, it’s 2019 and gone are the days where your Facebook business page was booming and where brides spent all of their wedding planning on Pinterest. Brides today are still using Pinterest to scout and save inspiration, but more and more are using Instagram to find their wedding vendors. My sister recently got married, and she discovered almost all of her wedding vendors on Instagram. So here are my top tips on how you can book brides from Instagram.
Instagram Stories for Photographers
If you’re not already using Instagram Stories for your wedding photography business, then this should be your very first step. The wedding day is an excellent opportunity to show behind the scenes work, your processes, as well as some wedding inspiration to potential brides. After all, it seems as if Instagram is quickly heading in the direction of becoming more horizontal than vertical. Furthermore, video isn’t going anywhere, so it’s time to join the party. Here are some things to keep in mind when creating stories:
- GeoTag Stories – When you post on IG stories, make sure you always choose a location – especially when shooting at a cool wedding venue. By geotagging, you can show up on the wedding venue stories and have potential future brides who will be getting married there stumble upon your stories.
- Following on from geotagging, take an extra step and use a hashtag of the venue or city. This way you can massively increase the chances of your story showing up in that hashtag, potentially increasing your video views double fold.
Bonus Tip – Contact the venue and find out what is the main hashtag they typically use. This will allow you to start a relationship with the wedding coordinator – plus it can increase the chances that future brides researching that venue to find you.
- Add captions – Many people watch videos on silent mode. Perhaps they’re sitting next to their fiance who is watching the game, or maybe they’re bridal planning while at work. Either way, they can’t use the volume, so if you write text on your IG story, they are more likely to keep watching and not merely skip your videos.
- Don’t fear the boomerang – Many of my favorite Instagrammers who use stories do this brilliantly. They mix boomerangs with captions, and I feel it makes their stories much more personable. You can showcase your pre-wedding game, some bridal party fun, and of course some of your impressive dance moves. Couples also love these and will most likely repost them to their Instagram stories, giving your account free advertising.
I loved these 2 examples by Jen & Ro from J&R Photography. They used user-generated content from their clients plus asking engaging questions.
3. Use Instagram live for all big reveals, like album designs or new product announcements. These posts can stay up for 24 hours, and it becomes an amazing way for potential brides to engage with you. Plus, you can save these videos and repurpose them on YouTube or on Facebook.
4. Ask for the engagement – don’t just expect it. This is a tip I learned from Instagram expert Tyler McCall. The Instagram algorithm is so obsessed with engagement that we, in turn, have become obsessed with engagement. We may throw our hands up in the air and complain about the algorithm left and right, but do we do anything about it? Are we creating conversations and asking for engagement? I know it’s not easy. I get unmotivated when folks are not engaging, so I have to continually remind myself to be consistent and to keep going.
Start asking more questions on Stories, even if no one in answering. You need to be consistent, so people become comfortable engaging with you. Tyler always suggests to ask folks to DM you for a link or should they have questions. This is a great will create a space for conversation to occur.
Photo and feed by Danielle Honea.
I built a whole wedding photography business simply by being found by those who searched for the venue first. What’s changed since then? Many brides now go to places like Pinterest and Instagram, as these photos also rank in Google Results.
So how can you get your pictures to show up? The first thing you should do is add the geolocation of the wedding and tag the venue when posting to the feed. Venues are always looking for great imagery that showcases their location. Because of this, you can be a walking billboard for wedding venues – they will be more than happy reshare your beautiful work if you tag them. This is what is known as “user-generated content.” Venues and brands are always looking for content they can reuse because marketing from someone else is just more powerful. User-generated content gives them not only professional photographs but also social proof that their venue is the ideal wedding location.
If you need help with Image SEO and want to learn more about how you can add metadata to your photos online, then please sign up to my Free Image SEO Course.
Before you take the course, however, here are a few useful SEO tips for Instagram:
Hashtag Research for Photographers
One of the major reasons why I love Planoly (simply the best Instagram scheduler) is that it allows me to save different groups of hashtags so I can automatically use them in my captions. Let’s be honest: I suck at typing on my phone (I type with one thumb, and I’m not even great with that). Because of this, I would have to type the content on my desktop, and then email it to myself – It just made the process much longer than it needed to be!
So, how do you hashtag research? Here are a few tips:
Determine the wedding categories you will post about. Here are several examples:
- Wedding decor
- Wedding inspiration
- Wedding details
- Wedding flowers
- Getting ready
- Wedding reception
Location-related wedding photography hashtags (these can include cities, venues, or even the wedding itself)
- Find a group of four-to-six hashtags for each category and save it in Planoly. Then when you are planning your content to post you can decide which hashtag group to use.
- Plan out your content. The great photographer Carrie Swails plans her days by themes. So, for example, Monday can be getting ready, Tuesday can be wedding details, Wednesday can be bridal portraits, and so forth. Having a set plan will help you get organized, and you won’t have to worry about running out of ideas to post.
- Engage with your audience. You never know who is watching, commenting or tagging their friends. Always make sure you heart comments and answer any questions anyone may have.
4. Follow like-minded vendors and engage with their content. There is such power in joining together as a community to help market each other. If a fellow professional tags you, be kind and tag them too. Just like I tagged vendors and venues on Twitter, you should do the same with Instagram – which is a much more powerful platform.
5. Post videos as posts as well, since IG is always promoting video. If you are using IGTV, Instagram just rolled out a feature where they are instantly posting the IGTV videos you create to your feed. This feature has already helped businesses increase their IGTV video audience tenfold! The great thing about IG is you can easily create video clips to use as posts.
6. Always have a call-to-action as your URL and encourage brides to contact you via DM. Have you created unique content for brides? Perhaps you created a guide that you give away or even a video where you share tips. It’s essential that your bio link is one that leads them to land on your brand, which in turn increases the chances for conversion. We don’t just want to be found on Instagram – we want to get booked!
7. Use the bride’s hashtag so clients can find you. Gone are the days of handing out business cards at weddings, as guests now just ask for your Instagram handle. If you’re using the hashtag the bride created, this will help more people like your posts, which in turn pleases the algorithmRepurpose your Instagram stories of the wedding as IGTV videos. Create a small intro using your phone, edit the video in iMovie, add a short call-to-action at the end, and VOILA, more ways for people looking to get married at that venue to find both you and your business!
Bonus tip – Take your IGTV video and upload it to YouTube for YouTube SEO. This can help you increase your chances of having a video rank in Google results along with your images.
The power of your photographs gives you a distinct advantage over other wedding professionals. Because of this, you should always use Instagram as part of your marketing workflow. Want more photography marketing tips? Then join my free FB group.