Marketing Your Photography Week: How to develop your digital marketing plan

July 31, 2010


[Editors Note: This post concludes our “Marketing Your Photography” week here on DPE with Rosh Sillars. We truly hope you enjoyed it and found it useful, if you have ideas for another “week” series, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you.]

Does digital marketing really work?


How do you know if it is working?

One of the great things about digital marketing is that you can test, verify, and make adjustments quickly and effectively. During this last week, we’ve given you a few examples of how to do this.

Google, among other companies, offers some excellent free tools to help you figure out what is working and what is not. If you don’t have Google Analytics installed on your Web site or blog, you are missing out on one of the Internet’s free lunches. Google Web Master tools are also valuable to keep tabs on what is working.

Many of the analytic services available offer more information than you’ll ever need. Your goals will determine what tools you’ll use.

Let’s review the basics. First, it is important to understand the source of your traffic. When you know where you best resources for referrals are, you can make better decisions on where to spend your time.

Numbers are not everything. The quality of your traffic is also important. Pay attention to bounce rates. A bounce means someone landed on your page and could not find a good reason to click on one link or button so they moved away from your site. Also pay attention to time spent on your site. Note how long your visitors stayed.

Facebook, for example, might generate 100 visitors with an 80 percent bounce rate and an average visit of 30 seconds. Twitter might generate a 35 percent bounce rate and an average of 2 minutes on your site. Which is the better traffic? In these scenarios, Facebook produced the most traffic, but Twitter produced the higher quality traffic. Based on experience, you might conclude that your Twitter followers are more interested in what you have to offer.

As you test advertising techniques, social media networking channels, and e-mail headlines you will see patterns develop. You will notice what type of traffic, target, or client actually purchases from you after landing on your page.

The testing and tracking options available on the Internet run deep. Simple things such as using link shorteners will help keep track of traffic within the medium. Complex A/B testing of Web pages and conversion tracking can offer great benefits. Start with the basics and develop your skills gradually.

Once you know what works, plug it into your marketing solar system. In the center is your sun or Web site. This is where you sell. Orbiting nearby is your blog, where your personality shines.

Develop other content-sharing sites. I call sites such as YouTube, Flickr or Tumblr the inner planets of the solar system. You can build a community there, but in most cases there is little two-way communication.

The outer planets in your system are sites where you engage with your community on a regular basis. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are common examples. Don’t limit your self to the standard Web sites. The best social media sites to participate in are platforms where your target market is found. The goal is to drive traffic from your outer planets to your inner planets and ultimately your sun – where you make the sale.

Activity in the social media world will help people become familiar with your Web site and blog. If done well, your activity will encourage people to link to your sites, thereby increasing its value to the search engines, which will then place your sites higher in the search results. Good social media activity will result in good SEO. Good SEO results in more traffic and opportunities to sell.

To expedite the process, the paid route is always an option. Internet advertising will help drive traffic to your Web site, increase awareness and boost sales. E-mail will allow you to offer the best of your content, products, and services to people who care about what you do.

As smart phones continue to become standard, more opportunities will develop with geo location, widgets, applications, QR codes and instant e-commerce. The ability to communicate with targeted prospects will continue to become more available and precise.

Face-to-face communication is always the best. However, you can’t be everywhere at once. The world is meeting, conversing and looking for information online. It is important for you to be there if you want your business to move forward in the 21st century.


This post is part of a series on digital marketing by Rosh Sillars, host of the New Media Photographer podcast and co-author of “The Linked Photographer.”

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- who has written 10 posts on The Digital Photo Experience.

Rosh Sillars is a veteran photographer with a photojournalism background specializing in people, food and interiors. He earned his BFA in photography at the College for Creative Studies (CCS), Detroit. Rosh offers his services to traditional media, new media and corporate clients. You follow Rosh on twitter at:

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