You want your services and products to stand out from the crowd, but wait a minute….so do your competitors.
And when you’re operating within the same field, it can be a real challenge getting potential customers to choose you over rival companies. You may know that the services you provide are a better quality or your product range is more extensive, but prospects don’t automatically know that or take the time to find it out either (sorry, but it’s true).
So what do you do? You need to get your brand out there – and quick. But if you have limited time and/or budget, it can add a whole new level of hassle to the equation. Fortunately there are several best practice tactics you can implement, such as having a marketing budget plan and brand awareness strategy, carrying out marketing for events and marketing for trade shows, as well as carrying out that all-important social media for your photography brand.
Keep reading, because in this special three-part blog series, we talk you through how to stand out from the crowd using social media, according to the marketing and sales funnel.
What do we mean by marketing and sales funnel?
The marketing and sales funnel is essentially the customer journey; the route every individual goes down when they make a decision to purchase a product or service. For instance, when you decide to buy your morning latte from Starbucks and not Costa, when you get a new piece of kit from Nikon and not Canon, and when you decide to get an Uber Eats over Deliveroo treat.
From the moment you decide you want a particular product or service, all the way to the point of making that transaction, you will travel along the sales funnel. And, as you do so, you’ll go from the:
- Start – the awareness and recognition and research phase (also known as the Top of the Funnel or TOFU) and progress to the;
- Middle – where you’ll consider and evaluate the various different options available to you (also referred to as the Middle of the Funnel or MOFU) before finally ending up at the;
- Bottom – which is the commitment/conversion/purchase phase (also known as the Bottom of the Funnel or BOTF).
You travel along this funnel. We travel along this funnel. And your prospective customers experience this funnel too. For some people, it can take days, for others weeks or months. The ideal for you, is for prospects to reach you at the end point and go with you when they’re at that all-important decision-making/purchasing stage.
So that’s a quick whistle stop tour of the marketing and sales funnel. Why have we run through that? Because best practice dictates you tailor your marketing activity by each stage of the funnel – top, middle and bottom. Here are some practical examples of what we mean, particularly when it comes to using social media for photography exposure…
3 tactics for generating awareness and recognition on social
#1: Get hashtagging – hashtags are great for tapping into the hype around particular topics, trends or events and they’re relevant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram these days. They’re central to marketing for events and marketing for trade shows, as well as other photography events. Research the hashtags your target audience regularly use and then include them in your content for wider exposure.
#2: Think ‘how-to’ – how-to content, in written or video format, is a great way to demonstrate what you do and how you can help potential customers overcome their challenges. What’s more, it’s possible to not just share your how-to insight on social media, but use it to secure valuable media coverage for greater brand recognition.
#3: Use the power of PPC – Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is perfect for niche digital marketing photography campaigns. You may even want to optimise your campaigns by focussing on mobile advertising, which will enable you to get your message in front of the right people. Facebook and Instagram targeting is also another clever tactic for standing out to your ideal customers.
3 tactics for generating interest on social (during the research phase)
#1: Share stacks of content – in order to make your social channels interesting, you need to capture people’s attention. The most effective way to do this is by sharing plenty of content – images, videos, blogs, industry articles – that are of relevance to your target audience.
#2: Do it regularly – there’s no point posting on Instagram once a month and Twitter less than that. The key to social media success is publishing regular updates, and if you time them for when people are most active on social media, even better.
#3: Create a sense of community – creating posts and sharing regular updates is only half of the success story, the other half involves engaging with your followers and connections. This can be as simple as responding to their enquiries or posting answers to commonly-asked questions. If somebody reaches out to you, make sure you always respond in a timely manner.
We hope you’ve found the first instalment of these best practices for brands in the photography market to use social media to increase sales blog series useful, particularly when it comes to defining what some of those early top of the funnel tactics should be.
In the meantime, for a real-life glimpse at how photography companies can generate brand awareness and boost sales through social media, take a look at this case study. It reveals how we used PR and social media to help Datacolor launch their latest product to the masses.