Facebook Ads for Photographers: What’s Working in 2021

Hi! I'm Kylie.

Brand & Digital Marketing Strategist, Educator, AIPP Master Photographer and Superstar Mum of two gorgeous boys.

I help businesses grow with Conversion Driven Websites, Marketing Automation and Traffic Generation.

What if you could grow your photography business into the empire of your dreams?

Growing any business requires mastering the art of marketing. So in order to really grow your photography business, you need to master social media marketing.

Social media platforms such as Facebook offer great advertisement options to help any business reach more customers than ever before. Unfortunately, many photographers don’t know how to get the most out of these ads.

Are you ready to take social media by storm and expand your photography business? Keep reading to discover our comprehensive guide to Facebook Ads!

Guide to Facebook Ads: Know Your Audience

 

Our guide to Facebook Ads covers many aspects of your Facebook advertising journey. But the first step is perhaps the most important: you need to know your audience.

And this goes beyond basic demographic data. You need to understand what your audience’s desires and fears are, as well as the challenges they may face and the pain points they are experiencing.

Ideally, you should even know what kinds of brands they buy. This can help you craft ads that fully line up with your audience’s lifestyle, aesthetics, and expectations.

Facebook Ads lets you customize your intended audience and really narrow things down. But the technology can only go so far: it’s important that you know exactly who you want to reach with each ad campaign before putting anything out there.

An Offer They Can’t Refuse

How is being a great photographer a bit like being the Godfather? Like this: it’s important to make your target audience “an offer they can’t refuse.”

If no price is listed for your services, customers may be wary of the costs. And if the price they see is too high (basically, anything that is $100 or higher), they are less likely to click on your ad.

The best solution is to offer some kind of introductory rate. This may be a complimentary session or a session at a lower price (such as $49).

Once you wow them with your services at a discounted rate, they are more likely to become regular customers.

The Best Images

 

One of our best tips for your Facebook Ads is very simple: you must use the highest-quality images to help advertise your business.

While most businesses use images as part of their ads, you are in a unique position. That is because the quality of your photography within an ad directly reflects the quality of your business. In other words, you need to bring your “A” game to each ad!

On the technical side, keep in mind that editing an image can sometimes reduce its overall quality. By starting with very high-quality photography, you can make sure that the final product still looks great.

Split Test Images

How can you know if your advertisements are doing well or not? It all comes down to the unique click-through rate.

Generally speaking, you want a rate of 2% to 4%. We’ll discuss this more later, but these numbers are good performance indicators for your ads.

If you want your Facebook Ads to be even more effective, the trick is to upload a batch of images (6-10 at a time) and see which ones perform best.

This process is known as split testing. And doing this regularly is one of the best ways to get added value out of your Facebook advertising.

Call Out the Target Audience

Most users will encounter your ads while they are scrolling through Facebook on their phones. That means your mission is simple: you need to get their attention right away.

A great way to do this is to “call your customers out” in the first line of your ad. For example, if you want to advertise wedding photography services, you might include a first line that reads, “Hey, pregnant mommas, looking for a wedding photographer?”

It may sound a bit blunt, but it gets the target audience’s attention right away. And it also instantly tells them what your value proposition is–in this case, your ability to be their wedding photographer.

Use Emojis

In your own life, you may or may not use many emojis when texting your friends and family. But when it comes to your Facebook Ads, it is crucial that you include emojis.

There are two primary reasons to include emojis. The first is that they help draw the audience’s eye. You can do this to direct your audience to parts of the image or text that are particularly important.

The second primary reason is that emojis help to create tone and context for what you have written. Tone doesn’t always carry over text (just ask anyone who has a heart attack after their partner ambiguously texts “I’m fine”).

By adding emojis, you can instantly set the tone and get their attention all in one move.

Keep Your Targeting Narrow

As a photographer, you are probably an expert in all kinds of photography. And at first, you might be tempted to advertise all of your different services to many different audiences.

It’s good to start by focusing on one area of interest at a time. And even after you become a Facebook Ads veteran, we recommend not pursuing more than five interests at once.

Additionally, you should be very mindful of who you target. Some of your most effective campaigns may come from retargeting your warmer audiences. This includes those who have visited your site, engaged with your Facebook page, or those who are part of your client lists.

The Power of Video

By this point, nobody can really deny the power of video. From Youtube to Netflix, audiences everywhere are captivated by video content.

And this works in terms of advertising as well. While a photographer’s first temptation is to use their own photography for advertisements, you should consider creating video advertisements as well.

Simply put, video advertisements will catch your audience’s attention more effectively than any still image can. And as an added bonus, video ads tend to have better conversion rates as well.

Going Cross-Platform

As great as Facebook is, it doesn’t have to be your only platform. In fact, many of the most successful photographers in the world promote their content across multiple social media platforms.

Obviously, each platform has its own tools and its own quirks that help you make the most out of your advertisements. But it’s very easy for you to take core content (such as photographs you take and content you write) and share it across as many platforms as you want.

And you don’t need to keep track of everything on your own. A good digital marketing coach can help make your marketing consistent and persuasive across different platforms, allowing you to focus on your actual craft more than you focus on marketing.

Making Headlines

 

As a photographer, most of your time and attention will likely centre around the imagery of your ads. But keep in mind that the headline is one of the most important aspects of any successful Facebook Ad.

And you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to a good headline. Instead, ask yourself a simple question: what is it that makes you click on headlines that you see on social media?

Good headlines need to be both short and specific. They also need to be easy to understand: no one should be confused by what your headline is saying.

While headlines can’t be funny, they shouldn’t be too clever. And they need to capture the spirit of your message (in this case, why you would be a great photographer) right away.

To see these ideas in action, go check out these examples!

Facebook Ads Manager

Part of why Facebook advertising is easy is because of the tools they provide. And of those tools, the Facebook Ads Manager is at the top of the list.

With this manager, you can quickly create ads on a desktop and even via a mobile device. And the manager makes it easy for you to define your exact objective (for example, some campaigns may be more about brand awareness and others more about customer conversions).

You can also define the exact audience you are trying to reach. Remember, Facebook has exhaustive information about all of its users, so you can rest assured that your ads are reaching the exact demographics you want them to reach.

The ad placement options let you discover the best options for any budget. And the real-time ad reporting provides the data you need about how effective your ads are. Studying these reports will let you figure out whether your current campaigns are successful enough or if you need to rework your entire approach.

Facebook Analytics

You might think that you run a fairly small business. But take it from us: even the smallest business benefits from studying analytics. And such analytics play a major role when it comes to Facebook advertising.

Previously, one of the best ways to study this data was through Facebook Analytics. Unfortunately, that service is going away, but you can get much of the same functionality by using the Facebook Business Suite. As an added bonus, that Suite works with Instagram as well, which is great if you are cross-promoting your content.

What kind of analytics data is important? You need to review your Unique Clicks, your Unique Click Through Rate, your Result Rate, and your Cost Per Result. As we noted before, your Unique Click Through Rate should be between 2% to 4%. Beyond that, you have a pretty straightforward goal: to drive your cost-per-result down by refining your campaigns (the split testing we mentioned before can help with this).

Over time, you will discover more social media tools to help you save time and make better use of Facebook.

Survey Your Fans

At the end of the day, creating effective Facebook advertising means figuring out what your audience wants. To that end, have you tried asking them directly?

It’s possible to create surveys for fans and prospective customers and deploy them in unique ways. For example, if you have a decent following for your Facebook page, you can use the platform’s built-in tools to poll users about what they want to see.

If you don’t have a big following yet, or you simply want to expand your reach, you can always bundle a survey (created using third-party tools such as Survey Monkey) with a Facebook Ad. Many users are excited to let you know what they think, and you can use this valuable info to fine-tune your photography ads until they are perfect.

Uncluttered Images

To better understand Facebook Ads, you need to consider how people will view them. For example, more users now browse the internet with mobile devices rather than desktop computers. So there is a good chance that users will first see your ad on their small smartphone screen, rather than a larger desktop monitor.

What does this mean for your photos? In general, you want photos to look clean and uncluttered. To do this, you may need to make edits to remove unwanted background imagery and crop the photo for maximum effect.

An uncluttered image is also important because your ad will be accompanied by text. A cluttered image mixed with text equals an advertisement that your audience will have trouble understanding, causing them to scroll right by your ad.

Your Value Proposition

There are many kinds of Facebook Ads you might create. But if you want to expand your business, the best ads are those that clearly outline your value proposition to would-be customers.

For example, do you specialize in certain kinds of photography? If you do wedding photography, you can use some of your best wedding photos and then advertise towards demographics that are most likely to need your service.

It’s easier said than done, but customers should be able to see why they need your services simply by looking at your Facebook Ad. And that largely comes down to pairing the best images and text and making sure to target the right audiences with your campaigns.

What’s Next?

Now, you have completed our guide to Facebook Ads. But do you know who can help you dive headfirst into effective social media marketing?

We offer one-on-one personalized assistance to help your photography business maximize its potential. To discover what we can do for your business, simply schedule a free consultation today!