Instagram Advertising for Wedding Photographers - The Ultimate Guide
Are you trying to attract more wedding photography clients? If you are not using Instagram advertising, you are leaving a lot of unhappy brides and grooms in the dark. You are the best at what you do, we get it. But if you don’t incorporate a systematic approach to your Instagram marketing, you will continue to lose clients to flimsy photographers.
Why should wedding photographers use Instagram ads?
Instagram makes its money from advertisers, and as more users jump onto the platform (1 billion monthly active as of 2018), space on the feed has become more valuable. Naturally, to protect their financial interests, Facebook and Instagram give priority to users who pay for reach. Many of our wedding photography clients often worry about their engagement rate dropping. Previously they would get 2000 likes per picture and now only 900. This engagement drop has nothing to do with their account quality, instead is the natural result of the platform’s growth. You might have experienced something similar with your account. The clear solution to flourishing on Instagram (home to millions of your potential clients) is to invest in Instagram ads.
In this article we will outline Instagram advertising strategies to attract more wedding photography clients, together with advertising strategies to gain more followers.
If you are interested in a blueprint for how to grow your wedding photography business on Instagram.
Why most wedding photographers don’t get clients with Instagram ads
The most common strategy we see used by wedding photographers goes like this.
- Create a generic ad showing your photography.
- Send people to your website and hope for the best.
The reason this strategy doesn’t work is because you are not building rapport. The bride doesn’t know who you are, and trust cannot be built that easily. Keep in mind there are hundreds of other wedding photographers clamouring for her attention.
We suggest you take a different approach. Provide value upfront to build the relationship before you start promoting your services. Remember, people are more likely to buy from you if they like you. This is especially important when it comes to the biggest day of their lives. You are not just taking pictures; you are creating memories.
Wedding photography advertisement Strategy overview
The first part of the strategy is setting up the ad. There are a few different ways to approach this, however this is what has worked best for our clients.
Boost button vs Business manager
The boost button allows for easy and quick experimentation when creating Instagram ads for wedding photographers. It’s a feature created to allow average users to benefit from ads. The button does not utilise all the powerful features of Instagram advertising. To do things properly we suggest you run your ads through the Facebook business manager. If you are unsure how to set this up you can read Facebook’s guides here.
Setting up your campaign objectives
There are several objectives one can use in the business manager. To best attract wedding photography clients through Instagram we suggest using the Traffic objective.
In the adset level you can choose your targeting specifications. Enter your zip-code in locations. Then drop a pin on your location and select a radius in which you will be comfortable travelling. Instagram will show your ads to the people in these locations. For example, if you lived in Sydney, Australia, you could drop a pin covering an 8-mile radius around your suburb.
Ad targeting for wedding photographers
This is the section that allows you to get more specific about who you want your ads to reach. Target women between the ages of 20 and 40 as they are most likely to be getting married. Women are usually the decision-makers on wedding logistics such as the photographer (If you follow our instructions it will be you!) In the detailed targeting section you want to select the ‘engaged’ relationship status. The option will ensure your ad is shown only to people who are engaged and awaiting their wedding day.
Some things to know about targeting:
- Generally, the smaller and more specific your audience the more expensive the ad.
- Certain interests can make your ad more expensive due to Facebook’s bidding structure (depends on size of audience and number of advertisers bidding).
- You can use the audience insights feature to find relevant interests to target.
Once you have finished with the audience feel free to save it for future use.
Untick everything besides Instagram and keep either story, feed, or explore. We prefer to focus on story ads as they tend to be cheaper and more engaging.
Budget and schedule:
Optimize your ads for landing page views allowing Instagram to target people most likely to view the landing page. Optimizing for link clicks or impressions can increase the amount of clicks you get on your ad, simultaneously lowering the amount of people who load your page. Remember, there is no point in someone clicking your ad if they are not going to view the offer.
Choose a daily budget you are comfortable spending. We suggest a minimum of $5 per adset. You might be thinking,
“Aren’t Instagram ads expensive?”
For a typical wedding you should be making at least $2000 for your services. Following our advertising strategy correctly should attract new clients into your pipeline well before you spend $1000. It makes sense paying for exposure if you are making a nice ROA from the pursuit.
Be willing to lose money in your initial experimentation. It will be well worth it once you find a winning formula that sends new clients to you efficiently.
In the identity section select your Instagram account – this will allow Instagram to display the advertisement as if it was coming from your Instagram business account. This is important because it gives people the option to tap on your profile if they are not comfortable with visiting your site. If you don’t know how to connect your Instagram account to your business manager, you can read this guide.
At this stage you can select the ad you want to use from your library (exactly what type of ad you should create shall be revealed soon).
Link your website landing page URL and select your Facebook pixel (yes, yes, we will explain this too.)
Finally, publish your ad. Once approved you can let Instagram do its magic!
Lead magnet for wedding photographers
To catch big fish, you need to use the right bait; same thing with catching the bride *winks*. A lead magnet is something of value people would willingly disclose personal information to receive. Lead magnets are used by marketers because they work! Humans have a reciprocation bias which means we tend to give back whatever we receive. If someone is rude to you, chances are you won’t be kind to them. If someone is nice to you, you will likely reciprocate that energy. As a wedding photographer you need to start your relationship with your future client on a good note.
Give them something special so you can hold a special place in their heart. Other wedding photographers are just spamming them with marketing that screams “ME ME ME ME ME” – a strategy that never works!
Think outside the box about what you could give a bride-to-be to get here ready for her wedding day. Like a fairy godmother.
Here are examples of attractive baits:
- ‘Important things most brides forget on their wedding day’ checklist
- Wedding planner timeline
- Wedding vow worksheet
- Tips for choosing the right wedding dress
- Wedding budget calculator
- Bridesmaids gift ideas
Any one of these can convert like crazy! Try stacking a few to add more value and make the offer extra juicy.
Landing page and not your website!
Here is a little marketing secret for your wedding business. Your website probably doesn’t convert nearly as well as you think. This is because potential clients can easily get distracted from the task at hand…and detour to check your Facebook page or blog articles.
We suggest using a landing page to capture all your leads. Luckily for you we already have a pre-built funnel that gives our clients crazy conversions. It’s hosted on Clickfunnels – a funnel builder that allows you to create webpages easily via drag and drop.
You can try the service free for 14 days when you download our pre-built funnel.
Email Marketing autoresponder for wedding photographers
If you are lucky, some of the people you attract will have weddings in weeks. Often the wedding date will be in a couple of months, in some cases years. Therefore, it’s important you have a long autoresponder sequence to keep your name in the thoughts of your future client.
An autoresponder is an email marketing device that lets you send out pre-written emails in a scheduled manner. This means you write the emails once and every person who enters your autoresponder will see them. The cool thing is you can time the spacing of each email.
You can send an email a day, once a week, or even once a month. These emails allow you to stay relevant in the bride’s mind so when her wedding day rolls around, YOU are the one she will choose to capture every moment.
Autoresponders are crucial for smart wedding photographers! Clickfunnels has an autoresponder when you purchase the full suite. For a cheaper alternative to funnel building and autoresponders we suggest GetResponse which is our favourite email-marketing provider.
What type of emails should be in your autoresponder series?
The emails should be casual in nature. We suggest following this pattern:
Email 1 – Value email
Email 2 – Value email
Email 3 – Value email
Email 4 – Share your work + pitch
(Repeat x as many times as you want.)
Your value emails should give small tips to help the bride on her wedding day (plenty of these can be found online, you will never run out of ideas).
The pitch email should share examples of your work and have a call to action for the bride to contact you and book your services.
The wedding photographer who makes the most money isn’t just a wedding photographer. They are the wedding expert and the bride’s best friend.
Ad creative for wedding photographer ads
It’s finally time for the fun part. The ad that will attract new clients. Once again, we suggest using story ads because they are more engaging and allow for easy retargeting later. Look at this guide to get the right dimensions for your video. The video duration limit for Instagram story ads is 15 seconds (anything over that will be cut off). The creative should be engaging and grab the viewers’ attention within the first 2 seconds.
Take a glamourous approach where you focus on the bride. Don’t forget to show your lead magnet at the end of the ad so people can swipe up and visit your landing page. Look at the examples below for creative ideas (remember you want your ad to be a video story ad not a static image).
Wedding photography ads examples
If you are looking for general inspiration to create awesome video ads, check out our article ‘9 Instagram story Ad Examples – Winning Psychology’.
Don’t know how to edit videos? You can easily hire someone from Fiverr or Upwork to help with you. Ideally, you want to test several ad creatives to see which one performs best.
Below is an example of a story ad we created for one of our clients.
Wedding photography ad copy
Although you are using a story ad you still need to have persuasive copy to attract prospects to your landing page. We suggest using emotive words that create vivid imagery. In our ad we used the following copy,
“Don’t mess up your big day SWIPE UP & get your perfect wedding checklist.”
The copy is effective because it plays on the fear element of ruining your wedding by forgetting something important. The ad copy also gives a clear call to action ‘SWIPE UP’ and outlines the benefit (having a ‘perfect wedding’).
The importance of a Facebook pixel
A Facebook pixel is a piece of code on the backend of your website/landing page. The pixel tracks the visitors who come to your website, allowing you to retarget them with other ads on Facebook/Instagram. This is incredibly important because people usually do not buy the first time they see your offer. Re-targeting them with ads exponentially increases your chances of closing new clients.
Retargeting also allows you to look omnipresent giving you more credibility.
Read this guide here to learn how to set up your pixel on your website/landing page.
Once the audience know you and has transitioned from being cold to warm, you can pitch your services more bluntly. Your retargeting ads should be like your initial lead generation. However, the call to action should be to book a call or send you a message. These ads should highlight your work and have very clear instructions on the next step the prospect makes to hire you.
These are the ads people usually show the public first before building the relationship. You will have much more success because you will be pitching after delivering value.
To retarget you need to create custom audiences from:
- Website visitors (tracked by pixel)
- Email leads (collected from your lead magnet)
- Video viewers who watched all 15 seconds of your story ad
- People who have interacted with your Instagram page in the past 60 days
This audience will be your hottest prospects and the ones likely to hire you. Spend your advertising dollars trying to convince them to buy instead of strangers who don’t know you. If you want to learn how to create these custom audiences, check out this article.
Need help marketing your wedding photography business?
We understand this can be a lot to take in, especially if you are new to Facebook/Instagram advertising. We tried making this guide as detailed as possible, so you might feel overwhelmed. If you are looking for a done-for-you solution, or just a consultation for guidance, apply to work with us here.
Through Investing many months into understanding w Instagram marketing for wedding photographers we have simplified the process with this guide.
We have helped hundreds of wedding photographers become the bride’s best friend and get the best seat at her wedding. You are next.