We're Erica + Jon, professional photographers, Mr + Mrs and Mom + Dad. We like to share insights into our industry, behind the scenes and stories about our life and chips + salsa obsession.
One of the most frequent requests we receive as branding photographers are photo sessions specifically aimed towards social media marketing plans. Yes, we shoot for print advertising in magazines and have photographed book covers, but the overwhelming majority of our clients are looking for fresh imagery to use in their online presence.
While both print and social media advertising have their own set of difficulties, in our opinion, social media marketing is much more difficult, and for one primary reason. Digital content has to be equally as professional as content in print, but refreshed on a daily basis. Print ads run for months at a time, while digital content has to be delivered daily in an ever engaging and creative way each time.
As branding photographers, we find so much joy in helping our clients plan, style, and create their social media imagery. Our sessions often leave our clients with enough photos to plan out a quarter’s worth of posts, but there’s another piece to social media that can be just as difficult – and intimidating – to master.
Whatever you call them, putting text next to those amazing photos can seem challenging. It’s important to make sure that your message is clear to your clients. They should understand who you are and what you do from your social media pages. But it’s not just a place to show off work or make cheesy sales pitches. Those types of posts rarely create the powerful engagement that you hope for.
In our experience, we’ve found that we create the atmosphere for the most engagement when we post on educational topics, personal topics, or behind the scenes looks at what we do. The bottom line goal is to bring those viewing your content value in everything you do!
Nothing can create an opportunity to build trust, position yourself in a place of authority, and generate value for your readers than educational information. We live in an age of information overload – so much so that finding the information we want from a trusted source can be difficult. If you become that trusted source by delivering relevant educational topics that your ideal client is interested in, you create an instant bond that will bring your clients back time and time again and look to you for their future needs.
For us as branding photographers, we share education like this blog post for brand owners and marketers! If you’re a baker, that might be education on trending styles or how to properly store and serve a cake. If you own a yoga studio, that could be information on practical benefits of regular yoga or tips for how to get a quick yoga routine in when traveling. The possibilities are endless and literally applicable to every single business.
Depending on your business structure, content based around personal topics can take different shapes. As a small business owner, or if your brand is built around an individual’s personality, it’s much more straightforward. People want to know more about you than just what your brand represents. They want to know about your interests beyond work, your family, and your favorite things.
If you represent a large brand, this will look a lot different – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t doable! Instead of focusing on an individual, (let’s face it, your CEO may not be your ideal marketing personality!) focus on the ‘personal’ aspects of the business as a whole. In other words, share about charitable fundraisers the business take part in. Talk about community involvement or how the company goes out of it’s way for it’s employees. Another way to look at it is to let the brand have it’s own personality!
We usually find this is one of the easiest topics for us to talk about! Our number one priority in life is not our business. Our family wins that every. single. time. So it’s natural and easy for us to talk about our kids and the fun things we do as a family!
Everyone wants to be able to peek behind the curtain, right? You know that feeling you had with the VIP backstage passes you won to the Carrie Underwood concert?! (<— Actually happened to Erica!) Everyone wants to feel that way! And we guarantee you felt more connected with the brand/personality/musician/you name it after that experience. We know we do! After photographing the Chicago White Sox at their stadium and crawling all over the ball park, we felt completely bought into their team and their brand. We still watch White Sox games religiously!
People need to experience that with your brand to build an even deeper connection. And while creating an in-person experience for everyone isn’t practical, you have the power to create the next best thing at your finger tips. We find most businesses overlook this simple concept, mostly because they feel like their is nothing magical about what they do. We have news for you – to those who don’t do what you do, there’s magic in it! If you produce a product, show behind the scenes looks at the manufacturing process, packaging, or delivery. If you have a service based business, show your people in action and on the job. Show the tools they use and how your process makes your service different than the next. We promise what seems like everyday stuff to you will be engaging to those outside of the industry!
We hope these tips help your content become that much more engaging and powerful for your marketing, friends! If this type of education is helpful for you, will you let us know? We’d love to hear and see examples from those of you who put these things into practice, because we’re sure of the positive results you’ll see!