With more than 41 million photographers in the U.S. alone and a market value pushing $82 billion, the photography industry is ever-expanding. Competition is fierce, to say the least. How will you grow your business and thrive in such a saturated market?
Your website is a key means to reaching new customers, and one of your primary web-related focuses should be on building targeted traffic through a combination of quality content and influencer outreach, both of which are relatively new and evolving types of marketing. Here’s a brief guide to creating your own content and sharing it with influencers to drive traffic to your site. The idea may sound overwhelming, but it’s entirely doable when you consider the framework.
How to Create Quality Content
Writing blog content is undeniably time-consuming, but the results can be remarkable. If you look at other photography blogs, you’ll see that the most popular ones provide tons of useful and valuable information.
But simply creating content is no longer enough. In an SEO-driven space, search engines and humans alike need more – they need quality content. What defines quality content? Here are the essentials:
- Well-written. Adopt a friendly yet authoritative tone.
- Resourceful. Some of the most popular types of blog posts are lists, guides, and infographics.
- In-depth. You don’t have to write 2,500 words, but any topic you write about should cover everything the reader may need and answer any question they may have.
- Attention-grabbing. If you don’t hook your readers in with a punchy headline, even an epic piece of content will be lost in the digital noise.
- Rich in media. Using images and videos to reinforce your written content is a proven way to increase reader engagement.
For reference, here are a couple of photography posts that have been shared tens of thousands of times:
- 10 More Killer Photography Tips the Pros Won’t Tell You (38,900 shares)
- How to Shoot Dreamy Photos Using This Trick (36,300 shares)
Your content should be so impactful that people will not only read and learn from it, but share it with others so they can gain the same value. Looking at the above examples, what if you provided 50 tips instead of 10, or even 100 instead of 50? Of course, you would have to be sure that you had the insight and time to create a post of that length.
Not experienced with blogging? Feel anxious just thinking about it? Neil Patel’s simple blog post creation plan is a great place to start.
How to Find Photography-Related Influencers With Buzzsumo
An influencer is someone who has a well-established audience in a given industry. Your ultimate goal is to convince photography influencers to share your content. Otherwise, it could take you years to amass the following of an influencer through the organic blog-and-publish method.
At this point you’re probably thinking, “Well, where do I find these so-called influencers?”
Enter Buzzsumo, a search engine for popular content. Buzzsumo enables you to identify highly shared posts, and the influencers who shared them.
Now, we realize that as a photographer, your target market is not other photographers. However, writing in-depth content for your industry helps you to establish credibility, from which your reputation and visibility will grow.
To find influencers, try a free trial of Buzzsumo Pro. In the meantime, we’ll walk you through the process of conducting a search for ‘photography tips.’
In the screenshot above, you’ll see a list of highly shared blog posts related to photography. Click on View Sharers next to any relevant post. You’ll see a list of people who have shared the post. To see the top influencers, sort them by the number of followers:
For each influencer with 10,000+ followers, make a note of their name, website and Twitter handle. These influencers shared the content because they knew it would be of value to their audience. That means you have a chance at gaining their attention by creating similar content.
Go through each relevant post, noting influencers in the process. Try to build a list of 50–100 influencers to start.
How to Get Influencers to Share Your Content
The next step is to contact each influencer from your list. To find an influencer’s email address or contact form, visit their website. You’ll want to put together a template email introduction to send to each influencer. This message should be brief, unimposing and professional. Mention your blog, and tell them you have a piece of content that you think they would be interested in and would love for them to share.
Here are a couple of posts detailing how to craft the perfect influencer outreach email:
- 10 Things Every Outreach Email Needs to Have and Every Influencer Wants to See
- How to Write Emails to Influencers (That Will Get Opened and Read)
The harsh truth to influencer outreach is that most influencers won’t share your content. They’re busy and typically receive hundreds of emails per day. That said, it’s a numbers game, just like anything else. The more people you reach out to, the more likely you are to receive shares. Don’t get discouraged! Rejection is a part of running your own business and pursuing your entrepreneurial visions.
Generating and converting traffic into clients is an ongoing challenge for photographers. But by creating quality content, you can begin to establish yourself as a thought leader within your industry. Sure, it takes time and effort, but it can certainly pay huge dividends in the long run. And, it gets easier as you go. Once you get in a rhythm of creating and pitching content, you will begin to gain traction until you finally land that breakthrough viral article.
Have you had experience with building photography-relevant traffic to grow your reputation, brand and sales? Tell us about it in the comments section below!