Historically, photographers have had to pay really high advertising costs to get their name out there. From attending trade shows to publishing print ads in magazines, marketing a photography business has never been cheap.
Fortunately for all of us, Facebook has changed the game considerably.
Facebook ads are unique in that they can target the specific demographics photographers are aiming for.
Rather than paying for an expensive billboard to be displayed to the masses, utilizing Facebook allows you to hone in on only those folks who are likely to use and afford your services. That means not a dollar of your ad investment is wasted.
Even better, you don’t need many dollars at all to get started.
In fact, I spoke to a photographer recently who invested $100 in Facebook ad spend and booked two high-end sessions right away. Given that this photographer normally spends $1,000 or more on ads for these sessions, you’d better believe he was excited.
And while Facebook ads are awesome for photographers when it comes to getting bang for your buck, you need to have a few things in place before getting started.
Set Up Facebook Ads Manager
A lot of folks just starting with Facebook pages tend to stop at boosting posts. While boosting is convenient and somewhat effective, it also comes with a lot of competition, as so many other small businesses are doing the same thing.
Ads Manager takes things a step further, giving you a lot more power and control over who sees your ads and where you spend your money. Moreover, it’s super simple to set up.
Make Sure Your Landing Page Is on Point
You want to drive people to a landing page that makes it as easy as possible for them to take action.
Therefore, every landing page you use should be simple, clear, and contain a distinct call to action. If you’re not sure about the effectiveness of your page, solicit feedback from your target audience.
Once your Ad Manager and landing pages are ready to go, the next question is:
How Should You Spend Your First $100?
It’s tempting to get excited and consider putting all $100 into one ad, but even if you’re super confident that your ad will drive sales, that isn’t the best move.
Instead, test two different versions of the ad that look similar but have one small difference, such as a different photo/video, headline, or call to action.
Tweaking only one part, as opposed to running two completely different ads, will give you clear insight into what works and what doesn’t.
Once you have your two ads running, if they’re successfully delivering, you’ll start seeing a winner pull ahead after about three days.
That said, make sure you’re determining the winner through the right metrics. Don’t get hung up on vanity metrics like reach and impressions — they might look great at first, but they’re not geared toward sales.
Instead, set your sights on more meaningful metrics, like click-through rates and conversions. It costs a bit more more to run ads with these objectives — they start at $5 per day as opposed to the $1 for impressions — but they’re invaluable when it comes to growing your business.
What Should Your First Ad Be About?
Rather than starting with a major brand awareness ad aimed at driving traffic to your full website, start with an ad that will show you quick results.
That typically means booking or collecting leads through a landing page for a specific event or type of session.
If you do a lot of different types of photography but would love to do more senior portraits, focus your ad on those portraits and target the audience most likely to hop on board.
Speaking of target audiences, keep in mind that the goal isn’t to get the most people; it’s to get the most conversions.
If you’re a local photographer, try to keep your audience around 5-10K.
But know that aiming for a relatively small audience means that you must be very clear on your ideal client persona. For instance, a 40-year-old woman with two kids in school, who shops at X, got an education at Y, and is interested in Z Facebook pages.
Once you’ve set up Ad Manager, created your first two ads, and refined your audience, you’re ready to begin your Facebook ad journey.
Just don’t forget that it’s only the beginning.
Facebook ads are an ongoing process that will teach you a ton about what works and what doesn’t for your business. That means that, in theory, you shouldn’t have the same ad for very long because you’re continually tweaking and optimizing.
Now, go forth and start taking your business to new heights!