The creative industry is not only a tough business to work in but also grow in. Learn how to promote a photography business on Instagram and fully utilise the app to ensure successful growth.
As a photographer, it is a great idea to promote a photography business on Instagram. The reason is that the platform has been growing strongly throughout the years and it doesn’t seem like the social media app will be going away anytime soon. Not only is the platform a great place to share pictures and thoughts with friends, but businesses are continuing to grow their brand identity here.
It is extremely important that you understand how Instagram works, and how you can build your maximum potential. Take a read at the six categories we have compiled below to help you grow your Instagram knowledge and better understand how to use Instagram to your advantage.
#1 The Instagram Algorithm
As the average Instagram account receives a maximum engagement of 4% from all its followers, it is crucial to understand the Instagram algorithm. The algorithm is used to determine the types and order of posts that appear on your feed.
Previous to how it currently functions, it was designed to show the chronological order of the most recent posts made on Instagram. However, Instagram has switched this algorithm up and now presents posts that show the most valuable to other users. This idea is especially important to know if you are a photographer seeking to promote your business on Instagram.
Wondering how Instagram will push your content?
Well, the algorithm takes into consideration how nice a post is, through evaluating specific factors such as the engagement on a post and the number of likes or comments. This is the underlying way that your content is distributed to different users, principally those that show an interest in alike content.
Posts are classified as good through the amount of engagement that receives, how quickly they received it, how much time people spent viewing your post, the posting time, and the type of content you yourself consume. If your content has received good feedback in all these categories, then your content is shown to a specific pool of people that are currently online.
If these followers greatly engage with your content, then your image will spread to more rounds of followers, which in return will push your post to the explore page.
#2 An Instagram Sales Path for Creatives
To grow your business through Instagram, you need to be aware of specific fundaments to include in your strategy. First of all, it is important to set your goals and understand who the content is for and what you are trying to achieve with it.
We have collected specific questions you should answer to help you clarify your goals, you can find them here.
Once you know what your goals are, you should begin reflecting on this in your visual content. Keep in mind, we don’t just mean the style of images or videos you are posting, but also the aesthetic overview on your feed. While every feed does not have to be aesthetically pleasing, it is important to remember that Instagram has developed into a type of shopping window, where first impressions matter.
Now that you have settled on a goal for your content, it is time to outline the strategy behind achieving your goals. The sales funnel is a highly recommended tool to integrate as it originates from the theory of conversion, which is what marketing is all about.
In order to successfully promote a photography business on Instagram, you need to get people to convert from a potential customer into a real one that will purchase your prints or turn them into a fan. The best sales funnels are set up like a one-way street — the user must convert with the specific goal in mind.
Let’s take a look at the three parts of the funnel: the top, the middle, and the bottom.
The Top of the Sales Funnel
The top of the sales funnel is when a user sees your content for the first time. This stage is where you can invest the most amount of money and time through ads, or any other means to get more reach. It is extremely important that at the top of the sales funnel you are spiking user’s interests to want to look at more of your content and engage with you. Try sharing quality content and offer value to users, in order to get them to engage.
The Middle of the Sales Funnel
In the middle stage of the sales funnel you have gained the attention of certain user’s and they have started engaging through a comment or alike. This stage brings about the questions, whether or not the user will remain a follower also after a few weeks. Be aware of users that do follow-unfollow schemes, where they follow you to gain your attention, and then unfollow you the moment you follow back.
Opposed to the top of the funnel, the middle has a completely different audience. Here, the users have become aware of you and your content, marking the next step of making them more comfortable with what you produce. In order to make sure that the users that have converted remain active followers, you should try interacting with them by liking their posts, reacting to their stories, or even sending them a direct message.
The Bottom of the Sales Funnel
After adapting to a strategy, you can start measuring how many users are doing what you intended for them to do. It is in this stage that you will notice that the number of people who ended up completely converting is much smaller than those that entered at the top of the funnel. While it may be demotivating to see how little users converted, it is important that you keep in mind that it is just as important — if not more important — to focus on the audience that matters and keeping them.
#3 Five Basics of a Successful Instagram Account for Creatives
While establishing your goals and outlining your sales funnels will help you attract more followers and build engagement, there are more basic categories you can focus on to help promote a photography business on Instagram.
From a marketing perspective, there are specific points you should focus on when looking to build a successful account. These include creating professional content, committing to what you are posting, and making sure that you are being consistent.
If you are serious about growing your Instagram platform, then it is important you don’t make excuses for investing a great deal of time into growing your platform. Rather, schedule daily or weekly time slots where you can dedicate time to create great content and grow your Instagram knowledge.
The last basic task you could easily fulfil to create a successful Instagram account is levelling up your interactions. What we mean by levelling up is not commenting or liking images more than other accounts. Rather, it is important that you understand the timing of your interactions.
As the majority of people comment or like an image in the first couple hours of it being posted, try engaging with a post when the hype-time is over. This way your interaction will gain more attention from the user who posted it, and the likelihood that they will check out your account is greater.
Read more about these basic fundaments you can increase on in our Instagram guide, here.
#4 What Else Drives Reach and How To Do It?
As we all may know, there are many fake, inactive, or bot accounts following us on Instagram. While your follower count is high, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your engagement is peaking.
To know that the people you are targeting are not only real but also interested in your content, you must filter through the fake followers. Instagram luckily allows you to remove people that are following you, so go ahead and get started on this.
At this point, you may be thinking why should I remove these accounts?
Well, these accounts are in no way helpful to your Instagram growth. As you previously learned, the more your posts receive engagement the higher they will grow and hopefully land on the explore page. However, if your account is swarmed with followers that will not like or comment on your post, there is no need to have them as part of your community.
A further more explanatory way of driving reach is to use hashtags to get more users to see your content. Hashtags are a good way to describe your image to the algorithm and help drive more views and engagement.
However, don’t just think that you can add a bunch of hashtags that are not relevant. Relevancy is key, as it will affect your ranking under the specific hashtag(s) you have used.
#5 Understanding Analytics and Optimizing Your Tactics
Now that you have created relevant content, established the best time to post, and gotten rid of all the annoying bots, it is time to see the impact this has had. This is what analytics are for! Whilst your gut feeling says a lot, analytics will say even more.
On Instagram, you can view the analytics of your account directly under the tool “Insights.” The tool will share with you insights regarding the general activity on your account — you can see how many accounts your content has reached, how many users interacted with your content, and the reach and success of your posts and stories.
If you are looking to grow your photography business on Instagram we strongly urge you to make it part of your social media routine to check what your account’s analytics are saying.
By repeatedly checking on how your account’s content and growth are developing you can make real, beneficial decisions in pathing your way to success. And, if things are growing at a good pace you will know what to keep on doing.
#6 No-Gos on Instagram
Now that you have received an information overload of things that you should be doing, let’s take a look at some things that are complete no-gos on Instagram.
The first no-go, and probably the most important, never buy followers! Not only can people tell if you are buying your followers, thanks to available tools, but you are actually harming your account and future opportunities. If you are setting up your account as a business strategy, then buying followers will not help you look serious.
The same rule goes for buying likes or comments. Of course, you may think that this tactic would be of a greater advantage since likes and comments grow your reach potential, it actually does the opposite. The likes and comments that you buy are automated scripts and will not help your engagement rate. It is fairly easy to spot fake comments, and if potential users that should convert see this they will not want to be apart of your community.
The last Instagram no-go is you should never show content that violates Instagram’s guidelines. This is not only meant for the visual content you are sharing but also for any hashtags you are using. If you are not sure if a hashtag might violate the guidelines then take a look at Instagram’s list of banned hastings, to avoid any troubles.
Now that you have gained a better understanding of how Instagram works and aspects you should avoid, it is time to get your content games started!
By creating cool content, interacting with similar accounts, and treating your Instagram as a daily business operation you are sure to succeed. But, keep in mind that your Instagram success won’t come overnight!
Signup as a photographer to gain access to our free Instagram guide, where you will learn more about promoting your business on Instagram! To learn more about the type of content you should be sharing, take a look at the Instagram Marketing Trends for 2021. 🍒