Target Marketing for Adventure Wedding & Elopement Photographers

 

Target Marketing for photographers and using Facebook ads to reach your ideal clients effectively. 

↓ Keep reading to for all the goods! ↓

This is the first couple that hired us. We didn’t even have a website when they booked us but they were inspired by our work in the climbing industry and believed in us as wedding photographers. We are so incredibly thankful for their trust and vision in us.

After shooting their wedding in December 2016, we used this image for almost all of our Facebook ads in January and February 2017. We refer to this image as “the photo that launched our career”.

Our first-hand experience target marketing with Facebook ads

One of the topics we see come up a lot amongst photographers is if advertising is worth the money and with which company are ad dollars most effective? There are so many places to advertise your wedding and elopement photography business; booking websites like The Knot and Wedding Wire, review-based websites like Yelp, wedding blogs like Junebug Weddings and Green Wedding Shoes, and social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. With a strong focus on adventure in the great outdoors, our photography and brand caters to a certain type of couple, so we didn’t want to spend our ad dollars reaching a ton of couples that don’t share our passion for adventure. Instead, we decided to reach our ideal clients directly through target marketing with Facebook ads.

We started our first Facebook ad campaign in January 2017 and spent a total of $909 in four months. We targeted our ads to be served up to outdoorsy couples (more on this later) and from that Facebook ad we booked 10 weddings at an average of $3,600 per wedding. Everyone that booked us was our ideal client and all of them had outdoorsy weddings. We made a 3,900% return on our investment. Because of the portfolio we built from those bookings we started receiving so many inquiries through organic google searches, referrals, and intagram, that we no longer needed to run another ad campaign. To say our 2017 Facebook ad campaign was a success would be an understatement.

Now, we should preface this article with an important note: Facebook ads aren’t some magical solution to booking clients. A lot of wedding and elopement photographers use Facebook to advertise and the competition is real. Couples see these ads all the time and for the most part, they scroll right past them without a second thought. But the goal of this article is to share how we found some success creating ads in the hope that it helps others who are interested in trying it out. When executed well, Facebook advertising can be a great resource for up and coming photographers. Before finding photography, Brandon graduated from CU Boulder with a degree in advertising and worked as a copywriter at a major advertising firm in Boston, Arnold Worldwide. However, you don’t need to be a marketing major to find success through Facebook! The biggest thing he learned at Arnold wasn’t how to write the perfect ad, but that writing many ads and trying out different things usually leads to the best results. 

redwoods wedding

These are two other photos that we cycled into our Facebook ads and on our website. This is the second couple to hire us to capture their wedding. They also saw the potential in our climbing work and put their complete trust in us. We ended up making a strong connection with their bridal party and shot one of their friend’s wedding a year later!

 

What is Target Marketing

In essence, target marketing is directing your advertisements to a specific demographic of clientele whose interests align with your services. So, for example, if I’m creating a Facebook advertisement about my elopement photography, I want to make sure that Facebook is only serving my ad to people who are engaged. Why waste my ad dollars serving an ad about wedding photography to people who aren’t getting married? Facebook actually lets you target people who are newly engaged, which is great because those are the couples that are most likely still looking for a photographer. Even better yet, you can further narrow your market down to people who have specific interests or hobbies, like hiking or rock climbing, for instance.

OUR TARGET MARKET: Newly engaged couples that have a passion for the outdoors.

This is the difference between advertising with Facebook vs. The Knot. Through Target Marketing and Facebook ads, you can spend your ad dollars on just the type of couples you want to be working with. If you advertise with a generic blog or service, like The Knot, your ad dollars are being wasted on couples that might not care about the type of photography you specialize in.


Creating effective landing pages for your Facebook ads

First of all, when you create a Facebook ad you want to have users clicking through to your website – not your Facebook page. Why? The main reason is clients are more likely to contact you from your website than from your Facebook page. Your portfolio, info, about page, and social media accounts are easier to find and digest from your website. Plus, your website probably has a lot more personality than your Facebook page! And a bonus reason is that driving more users to your website helps boost your SEO (Search Engine Optimization AKA presence on Google).

However, you don’t want to drive users to your home page. You want to drive them to a landing page. A landing page is a webpage made specifically for your click through users from a particular ad you’re running and it has one main goal – to convert views into inquiries. This is done by displaying your most compelling work and information on one page with a strong call to action that makes it easy for couples to get in touch. It takes time and effort for a user to read through your advertisement. If they end up clicking through then you want to make the page they land on as simple and eye catching for them as possible. You also want to limit the options to click away from the page. The goal is to have all your important information and contact form right there, so consider removing your menu from the landing page.

See our blog post on How to Build a Landing Page for Photographers.

An example landing page for an Adventure Wedding Photography Facebook Ad Campaign: (this isn’t the world’s greatest landing page by any means, but it’ll give you an idea of what we’re talking about)

 

 

How to build a Facebook ad Step by step

TO BEGIN setting up your Facebook ad, you need to have a business page for your company. Head to your “Ad Manager” by selecting “Manage Ads” from the drop down arrow on the top right of your home page. From there you can begin to create your campaign. Facebook will ask you what your objective is. Make sure you select “Traffic”. You want to be driving traffic from your ad to your landing page.

  • BEST AUDIENCE FOR YOUR AD SET
    • Your “Ad Set” is what will dictate who your ad is served up to, aka your target market.
    • Geographic location is completely up to you. Where do your clients live? Where do you want to be shooting? How much are you willing to travel? We advertised in Seattle, Portland, and Northern California because those were the cities we wanted to spend our summer months in.
    • We found that advertising only in major cities was more effective. You can add the +25 mile radius and that will cover the vast majority of people.
  • AGE GROUP
    • The majority of our couples are in their late 20’s but generally 22 – 40 is our target age group.

target marketing

  • DETAILED TARGETING
    • This is where you narrow audience based on relationship status and interests.
    • Filter to show your ad to INCLUDE people who match at least ONE of the following. Adding “Newly-Engaged (3 months)” will serve your ad to only couples engaged in the last 3 months.
      • Play around with less than 6 months as well. We found that most of our couples reaching out got engaged within the last 6 months but rarely any longer ago than that.
    • Narrow Audience to “MUST ALSO match at lease ONE of the following“: I can’t stress enough how important this is to market to only outdoorsy couples. We included adventure sports (climbing, surfing, skiing, etc.), hiking, camping, backpacking, outdoor retailers (REI, Patagonia, Eddie Bauer, etc.), and influencers in the outdoor world like Alex Honnold. We figured that if they have an interest in any of these things, they’re more likely to be drawn to our style of adventure photography and more likely to be the kind of couples that we will enjoy working with.
  • CONNECTION TYPE → exclude people who like your page. There’s no point in running ads to people who are already following your page!
  • Save the audience so you can use this for future ads.

PLACEMENTS

  • *DO NOT use the default here*
  • Mobile vs Desktop -> We found that most of the couples that actually filled out our contact form on our landing page were on their desktop, not their phone. We found out this data by analyzing our google analytics. Because of this, we started only showing the ad to people on their computers. This will drive the cost of your ad up a bit and you will reach less people, but the important thing is that you are reaching the people who are most likely to interact with your ad.
    • Uncheck right column -> This is up to you, but personally I never look at the advertisements in the right column, only the ones that come up in my feed. 
    • Instagram (yes or no) -> We never ran ads on Instagram, but they may work for you. I personally didn’t feel like it was an effective place for finding couples to book. I also referred to our google analytics data and wanted to keep our ads on desktop only. Play around with this and decide whether or not instagram ads will work for your business.
    • Audience network -> This wasn’t an option when we were running ads last year, but I’d recommend turning this off.
    • Messenger -> Same as Audience network, I’d recommend turning this off.
      • Removing all these options might increase the cost per click, but it will make your ad more targeted and less spammy. 
    • Budget and schedule -> We budgeted $15 per day in January and then slowly weened it down to $0 over then next 3 months. This is completely up to you but keep an eye on your frequency and click through rate (discussed later in the article) to decide on whether to increase or decrease your budget.

Blog post on how to analyze Google Analytics data to improve your website coming soon.

  • CREATING YOUR AD
    • For us, the carousel with 3 images worked best. Clients liked seeing a variety of images, but not too many that they got bored and moved on. Don’t be afraid to play around with what works best in your market!
    • You want your text to be short and to the point. Throw something personal in there that separates you from all the other Facebook ads newlyweds are getting. Half of our copy was about our photography style and work, and the other half was about us, our passions, and our Airstream, of course 🙂
    • For the headlines on each image in the carousel, you want to keep them short and catchy.
      • Pro Tip: On our contact form of our website we have a the question “What do you love about our work?” and almost always couples mention how candid and fun our shots are. We took some of those buzz words and put them right into our ad. Try adding a question like that to your contact form to see why couples love your work and put that into your ad!
  • FACEBOOK PIXEL
    • We didn’t have a pixel with our ads for the first month. We eventually set one up and put it into our landing pages. It tracks click throughs and has a bunch of data (like geographical location, age, etc.) on the users clicking through. If you really want to dive deep into Facebook ads, this would probably be helpful but to be completely honest, we hardly looked at that data.

  • DATA ANALYSIS AND IMPROVING YOUR AD
    • Hover your mouse over each header to read about what each one means. The most important ones to pay attention to:
      • Relevance Score The higher the score, the better Facebook thinks your ad is. It’ll be served up more and will cost less per click. The relevance score is determined by how many of the people that see your ad are actually engaging with it.
      • Frequency how many times one user is seeing your ad. We tried to keep this under 2. If it approached 3 we stopped the ad for a few days and then created a new one because we didn’t want our potential clients to get sick of seeing the same ad.

target marketing facebook ads

Some of the different ad variations we tried out during the course of our 2017 campaign.

 

What to expect next and how long to run your ads

After officially launching your ad, check back in once a day to monitor your stats and make changes based on how well it’s performing. If a lot of people are clicking through but no one is filling out your contact form, maybe your landing page needs to be spruced up. If you have a lot of impressions but no one is clicking through, change up your ad images or text. If you’re advertising to Washington, California, Arizona, and Utah, consider making 1 ad for Washington and California, and 1 ad for Arizona and Utah. It’s honestly just a lot of trial and error until you figure out what is best for your brand and your market.

We ran our ads January through April to book our first year of weddings. Since running those ads, we haven’t had the need to run any more. Every once in a while we’ll boost a post to drive traffic to a new blog post we just shared, but that’s the extent of our paid advertising. For us, our goal was to book our first year with ads so we could build our portfolio, learn, grow as photographers, and really work on our SEO. Now we book all of our adventure weddings and elopements from Google and a little bit from Instagram.

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The Foxes are Brandon and Gabi Fox, an adventurous husband and wife elopement photography team living and traveling in their DIY renovated 1972 Airstream. They are loosely based in the Pacific Northwest, but travel for work and play throughout the western states and beyond. Their work is best described as candid photography that captures couples as they are, where they are, blending images of love and natural beauty in the great outdoors. Wherever there are mountains, you’ll find The Foxes.

7 thoughts on “Target Marketing for Adventure Wedding & Elopement Photographers”

  1. Thank you so much for this post! We’ve had awesome success with Facebook Ads before connecting with our target market, but we never specified additional interests so I think part of our success was overall branding. I am so excited to add additional interests to the mix and see what adventurous couples want to us to come along their next hiking adventure! 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for this article. By far one of the best I’ve found on this topic. Have just set up my first ad using your tips. Let’s see how it goes! 🙂

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THIS PAGE HAS MOVED

Hiya Photographers!

Just a heads up that all of our education has moved to our new hub -> From the Foxes. It’s a one stop shop for all of our free education, videos, tools and resources, and so much more!

CUSTOM PHOTO ALBUM AGREEMENT

THE FOXES PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC

These Terms and Conditions are a legally binding agreement is between you (“Client”) The Foxes Photography, LLC (“Photographer”) (collectively the “Parties”, or in the singular “Party”), for the purpose of Client purchasing a custom photography album from Photographer. This Agreement shall become effective upon the date you complete the checkout process.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  1. Fees & Retainer

Client shall commit to a custom album package by signing and returning this Agreement along with the initial payment for album service. Photographer will not begin its custom album services until the Agreement is signed and the album design fee is received. No final album will be printed until the full payment is made. In the event Client fails to remit payment as specified, Photographer shall have the right to immediately terminate this Agreement with no further obligation and retain any monies already paid as liquidated damages. Full payment must be completed by Client within 60 days of this Agreement’s date.

The fees in this Agreement are based on Photographer’s current album pricing at the time of booking. The price list is adjusted periodically, and any changes to custom albums will be charged at the prices in effect at the time.

  1. Album Design Procedure

The following outline indicates the general procedure of a custom album design. Client understands and agrees to this procedure.

  1. Photographer will use photos and album specifications to create their first custom album design.
  2. Photographer will send Client first draft of album design.
  3. Client will approve or send in revisions to album design.
  4. Photographer will make edits to album design. Only two rounds of edits are allowed.
  5. Client will approve final album design.
  6. Photographer will send in album for printing.
  7. Album is printed and shipped.
  8. Client receives final printed album.
  1. Album Spreads

Albums will include 35 spreads and no less. The definition of a “page” is one side of a spread in an album (for example, a 70-page album contains 35 spreads). If Client requests more than 35 spreads, additional spreads are $50.00 each. 

  1. Revision Rounds

The first draft will include photos selected by the photographer and will be sent to Client for approval. Client may request modifications to be made. Photographer shall complete modifications and send the second draft of album design to Client. Client may then accept the design or request one more round of modifications. Photographer will complete this second modification request and send the final draft of album to Client. After these two rounds of revisions to the album design, no further revisions are allowed. Any additional revisions are invoiced at a rate of $75.00 per round. All additional revision rounds must be paid before the revision is made by the Photographer. Photographer requires up to 10 days to complete a revision request. Client has 50 days to send Photographer any and all revision requests. Any revisions requested by Client more than 50 days after this Agreement’s date will not be accepted by Photographer.

  1. Final Approval

Photographer will not place an album order with the album Manufacturer until Client approves the design draft, and the balance is paid on any upgrades or additional spreads. Client agrees to check the final album design very carefully before giving final approval. Once final approval is given, Photographer is not responsible for typos, image defects, duplicate images, or other errors that may have been missed. 

  1. Parent/Duplicate Albums

Parent/duplicate albums cannot be altered from the original designs. All parent/duplicate albums shall be ordered at the time of final approval of the original album design and will be invoiced and must be paid prior to Photographer sending in album for printing. No parent/duplicate albums are available after the original album ordering phase is complete.

  1. Album Delivery

Client understands and agrees that Photographer’s album manufacturer (“Manufacturer”) generally takes 6-8 weeks to print and manufacture the album. While every possible precaution is taken and Manufacturer has been selected by Photographer for its superb quality, Photographer assumes no liability for the loss or damage of album while in possession of Manufacturer. 

  1. Ordering Date

Client shall agree to final album design within 60 days of this Agreement’s date. Any delay by Client in approving final album design will result in termination of this Agreement and no further obligation by Photographer.

  1. Retouching and Edits

Photographer will use the final edited images delivered to Client to make the album design. Photographer will not re-edit or retouch any images.

  1. Returns

Client understands and agrees that once final approval of album design has been given to Photographer, no returns or refunds are allowed whatsoever. In the event Client receives the printed album and sees any manufacturer defects or dislikes the album quality, Photographer will work with Manufacturer to the best of their ability to remedy the situation. Client is responsible for any additional fees associated with returning or reprinting the album.

  1. Album Archiving

Photographer shall keep a copy of final approved album design for 90 days but does not permanently archive the final album design. Client understands that after 90 days the album design will not be available to order additional copies and a new agreement must be signed to start the process over.

  1. Photographer Copyright

The final album design by The Foxes Photography, LLC is their property, will remain their property, and are protected by United States Copyright Laws (USC Title 17). Client hereby waives any claims for ownership, income, editorial control, and use of the images and album design. Violations of this federal law will be subject to its civil and criminal penalties.

  1. Reproduction

Client and Client’s agents agree to acquire the album design and product directly from Photographer through their professional album company. Client and Client’s agents agree not to scan, copy or reproduce the album design in any manner without written permission, including using the custom album design to create other albums. Photographer may seek damages for any illegal reproduction. Client and Client’s agents further agree not to supply the album to any third-parties.

  1. Communication

Photographer’s office hours are 9:00am – 5:00pm PST Monday through Friday. Photographer’s primary source of communication is through their email hello@thefoxesphotography.com. Photographer will respond to Client’s emails within those office hours.

  1. Indemnification

Client shall indemnify, release, discharge and hold harmless Photographer, its heirs, legal representatives, assigns, employees, contractors, or any persons or corporations acting under permission or authority of the Photographer from and against any and all losses, damages, liabilities, and expenses and costs, including reasonable legal expenses and attorneys’ fees, to which Photographer may become subject as a result of any claim, demand, action or other legal proceeding by any third-party to the extent such losses arise directly or indirectly out of activities performed by Photographer pursuant to this Agreement, except to the extent such losses result from the gross negligence, willful misconduct, or intentional acts of Photographer.

  1. Maximum Damages

The sole remedy for any actions or claims by Client shall be limited to a refund, the maximum amount not to exceed the total monies paid by Client under this Agreement.

  1. Limitation of Liability

If, during the production and/or before the album(s) are delivered to Client, the media has been lost, stolen, or is unusable because of defect, damage, equipment/platform malfunction, processing, or other technical error caused by Photographer or by forces outside the control of Photographer, Client agrees to relieve and hold Photographer harmless and will not impose any additional liability.

In no event shall Photographer be liable under this Agreement to Client or any other third-party for consequential, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, punitive, or enhanced damages, arising out of, relating to, or in connection with any breach of this Agreement, regardless of (a) whether such damages were foreseeable, (b) whether or not Client was advised of such damages, and (c) the legal or equitable theory (contract, tort, or otherwise) upon which the claim is based.

  1. Force Majeure 

No Party shall be liable or responsible to the other Party, nor be deemed to have defaulted under or breached this Agreement, for any failure or delay in fulfilling or performing any term of this Agreement (except for any obligations to make payments to the other Party hereunder), when and to the extent such failure or delay is caused by or results from acts beyond the impacted party’s (“Impacted Party”) control that are unforeseen and unpredictable at the time of contracting, including, but not limited to, the following force majeure 

events (“Force Majeure Events”): (a) acts of God; (b) a natural disaster (fires, explosions, earthquakes, hurricane, flooding, storms, explosions, infestations), epidemic, or pandemic; (c) war, invasion, hostilities (whether war is declared or not), terrorist threats or acts, riot or other civil unrest; (d) government order or law; (e) actions, embargoes or blockades in effect on or after the date of this Agreement; (f) action by any governmental authority; (g) national or regional emergency; (h) strikes, labor stoppages or slowdowns or other industrial disturbances; and (i) shortage of adequate power or transportation facilities. The Impacted Party shall give Notice (as defined in Section 27) within 10 days of the Force Majeure Event to the other Party, stating the period of time the occurrence is expected to continue. The Impacted Party shall use diligent efforts to end the failure or delay and ensure the effects of such Force Majeure Event are minimized. The Impacted Party shall resume the performance of its obligations as soon as reasonably practicable after the removal of the cause. In the event that the Impacted Party’s failure or delay remains uncured for a period of 15 days following Notice given by it, the other Party may thereafter terminate this Agreement upon Notice. The Retainer and all other payments made by Client up to the date of Notice of a Force Majeure Event are non-refundable.

  1. Cancellation of Album Services by Photographer

In the event Photographer determines, in its sole discretion, that it cannot or will not perform its obligations under this Agreement due to circumstances including, but not limited to, injury, illness, death of family member, pregnancy, military orders, religious obligations, other personal emergencies, or total breakdown of communication with Client, it will:

  1. Immediately give notice to Client;
  2. Issue a refund or credit based on a reasonably accurate percentage of custom album services rendered; and
  3. Excuse Client of any further performance and/or payment obligations under this Agreement.
  1. Sales Tax

Should any sale and/or use tax be imposed on any part of this Agreement, such tax shall be collected from Client and remitted by Photographer. All sales tax will be included on invoices.

  1. Entire Agreement

This is a binding Agreement that incorporates the entire understanding of the Parties, supersedes any other written or oral agreements between the Parties, and any modifications must be in writing, signed by all Parties, and physically attached to the original agreement.


22. Venue and Jurisdiction

This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington including all matters of construction, validity, performance, and enforcement and without giving effect to the principles of conflict of laws. The Parties agree that any dispute or lawsuit arising out of, or concerning, this Agreement that is not first resolved by arbitration shall be resolved exclusively in a court of competent jurisdiction located in Whatcom County, Washington. The Parties assume responsibility for their own collection costs and legal fees incurred should enforcement of this Agreement become necessary.

  1. Arbitration

Any and all disputes or disagreements rising between the Parties out of this Agreement upon which an amicable understanding cannot be reached, shall be decided by arbitration in accordance with the procedural rules of the American Arbitration Association. The Parties agree to be bound by the decision of the arbitrator(s). The arbitration proceeding shall take place in Whatcom County, Washington, unless another location is mutually agreed to by the Parties. The cost and expenses of the arbitrators shall be shared equally by the Parties. Each Party shall be responsible for its own costs and expenses in presenting the dispute for arbitration.

  1. Severability & No Waiver

In the event that any part of this Agreement is found to be invalid or unenforceable, the remainder of this Agreement shall remain valid and enforceable. Any failure by one or both Parties to enforce a provision of this Agreement shall not constitute a waiver of any other portion or provision of this Agreement.

  1. Transfer

This Agreement cannot be transferred or assigned to any third-party by either the Photographer or Client without written consent of all Parties. 

  1. Headings

Headings and titles are provided in this Agreement for convenience only and will not be construed as part of this Agreement.

  1. Notice

Parties shall provide effective notice (“Notice”) to each other via email at the date and time which the Notice is sent: Photographer’s Email: hello@thefoxesphotography.com

  1. Counterparts; Facsimile Signatures 

The Parties agree that a facsimile copy (electronic copy) of this Agreement, which contains the Parties’ signatures, may be used as the original.

Signatures

By checking the box on this order form and upon completion of purchase, you confirm that you have read, understood, and agree to the terms and conditions of this Agreement.