With more than a billion monthly active users, Instagram for wedding photographers has the potential to be a marketing game changer. Not only can it be used as a tool to attract new clients, share your images, and expand business reach but also to study the market and analyze the competition. But how to unlock this power that Instagram seems to hold to market your wedding photography business? While the answer to this question is hardly a simple quick fix, it is definitely achievable. In this blog, we have laid out everything you need to know about how you can use Instagram to your advantage. Read on to find out how those Instagram-worthy images and addictive Reels could bring you more business.
Why Use Instagram To Market Your Business?
Here are some reassuring facts that will help you understand just how much influence this social media platform can have on boosting your wedding photography business.
- 58% of marketers are planning to leverage Reels in 2022.
- More than 100 million photos are uploaded on the platform each day.
- 70% of the people watch Instagram Stories daily.
- 64% of Instagrammers are under 34 years.
- Users like 4.2 billion posts on Instagram each day.
- 2 in 3 people surveyed believe Instagram enables interaction with brands.
- 75% of Instagrammers take action on at least one ad.
Note: These statistics are courtesy of SocialPilot.
Cracking Instagram For Wedding Photographers
Launched at the beginning of October 2010, Instagram was conceived as a photo-sharing application. With more than a decade in the market, it has now emerged as a social media platform that has attracted over a billion monthly active users. And even though at its core, it still revolves around visuals and imagery, it is no longer just a photo-sharing application. Here’s a rundown of the various features that the platform has introduced over the years, which could help you understand the application better.
1. IG Stories 
Introducing Instagram Stories has shaped the application in a monumental way. It was introduced in 2016, and since then it has been a highly used feature on the platform. IG Stories allowed people the ease to share multiple moments throughout the day in a time-sensitive manner, without having the need to keep it on their profile (as the post disappears after 24 hours). Ever since the introduction of this feature, Instagram has added many updates to this feature to derive maximum engagement.
For instance, currently, when you post something using IG Stories, not only can you see the number and names of the people who watched it but also share it (both individually, to all followers or selected followers, and to close friends), save, like, react, and repost it. Also, while watching someone else’s stories, you can also send them a message directly (if they have enabled that). In addition to this, from being able to tag someone to adding creative gifs, text animation, and even select music from a huge music library, IG Stories has literally left us spoilt for choice. This causes it to be one of the features that make using Instagram for wedding photographers super beneficial.
2. Instagram Live 
Instagram Live was introduced in 2016 as an extension to IG Stories. The feature was initially met with some confusion but turned out to be a great tool for brands and businesses to market themselves - especially when they have to create a buzz around a discount, a product launch, or a giveaway. Moreover, it allows real-time interactions, therefore allowing you to connect better with your audience. And since it is time-sensitive, i.e., it might air for a limited time, it can also bring in more engagement.
3. Stories Highlights 
After the huge success of Stories in 2016, Stories Highlight was launched in 2017. This Instagram feature allows you to save certain IG Stories of your choice to be displayed as highlights on your feed. So they won’t come up as posts but as highlights (which you can name and segregate into categories) at the top of your profile page after the bio section. With this feature, people could save some of their special moments even past the 24-hours window.
How does this feature benefit wedding photographers? Picture this - from getting ready to the first dance, as a wedding photographer, you shoot a lineup of events and even shoot according to the season or the flow of the day. Autumn, spring, winter, rains, or even dawn, dusk, and night photography. Now imagine having a ready dashboard of these various photography styles and moods pasted right beneath your Instagram bio for profile visitors to take a quick glimpse of your well-curated instant gallery!
4. Augmented Reality Filters 
Initially, Instagram came with 40 in-build filters that allowed the user the freedom to transform their images for creative purposes. These filters included a variety of effects - from film-like looks and warm and cool tones to monochrome. With the use of these filters, anyone was able to pull the polaroid look and provide professional-looking images.
However, in 2018, there was a major advancement in the category of filters with the introduction of augmented reality (AR) filters, also known as face filters. The AR filters work by adding some visual effects in between the foreground and background. This allowed people to apply various AR filters to their IG Stories. Thus, expanding the creative scale of the application.
Initially, AR filters were restricted to a certain audience, but in 2019, it was made accessible to all Instagram users. Soon after their introduction, different businesses and brands started generating custom AR filters as a creative take on brand awareness and to increase their brand recall value. However, for someone to be able to apply your custom AR filters, they are required to be your follower.
5. IGTV 
Advancing their efforts toward and prioritizing video marketing, the makers of Instagram introduced IGTV in 2018. This feature was a step ahead in the means of transforming how long-form video content is shared and viewed. For you to be able to upload a video on IGTV, you are first required to create an IGTV channel. The minimum video length required is one minute, which could be extended up to 15 minutes (when uploaded from a mobile device) and up to 60 minutes (when uploaded via the web).
This increase in the time limit allows Instagram users, especially business users such as wedding photographers, to adopt a YouTube-inspired approach while sharing video content. However, just because it supports a longer timeline does not mean you always have to share an hour-long video. Analyze the metrics and find a window within which your audience seems to be most engaged and when they start exiting. And limit the length of your videos accordingly. Promoting tutorials, informational, or behind-the-scenes video content via IGTV can be an important part of your wedding photography marketing plan.
6. IG Reels 
The latest addition to Instagram, Reels, has transformed the way people consume short-form vertical videos. Following the dynamics inspired by TikTok, Reels has unlocked the possibility of driving maximum engagement. This feature allows you to record, edit, select from the gallery, and even put together photo clips, all the while allowing you to add trending music to it from the saved as well as search library. And the time limit is 60 seconds.
Moreover, as a wedding photographer, you can endlessly explore this feature for brand promotion, raising awareness, and connecting with your audience. However, how you create a Reel has a lot relying on it. You can explore different trends and work on a smarter way to recreate them or you could create a storyboard of your ideation. Whatever it is that you choose to follow, try to be as creative with your thought process as you can be. Promoting your content using Reels is one of the best ways to use Instagram for your wedding photography business.
Related Read: 5 Instagram Reels Ideas For Wedding Photographers
How Using Instagram For Wedding Photography Could Benefit Your Business
Social media is an integral part of your wedding photography business plan. And Instagram can play a crucial role in marketing wedding photography. Here are three reasons why:
Brings the highlight to visuals: There is no doubt that Instagram is an image-rich social media platform. And as a wedding photographer, it is a place where you can thrive and bring your audience’s attention to your work. It could also work as an online portfolio to attract new clients.
Everyone’s there: There is a high chance that a majority of the people that you wish to target are already present on Instagram. Your vendors, your audience, your clients, your friends, and even your competitors - literally everyone is there. So you can use Instagram for wedding photography to not only keep a close check on your targeted audience but also on your competition.
- Raises brand awareness: Instagram for wedding photographers can be a cool tool for creating brand awareness in a creative manner. From short-form vertical videos and static posts to carousel ads and the live segment, there are multiple ways that you can market your wedding photography brand.
Suggested Read: Social Media Marketing For Wedding Photographers: An Overview
How To Make The Most Out Of Instagram?
Listed below are some of the things that you can incorporate to make the most out of Instagram for your wedding photography business.
1. Write Intriguing Captions
Get creative with captions! There are multiple approaches that you can take to write captions for your blogs. The descriptive approach allows you to describe what your post is about or what is happening in the photo. It provides more insight into the post. The storytelling approach, just as the name suggests, gives an insight into the moment behind the picture and frames it in a storytelling format. Moreover, if you also plan on promoting informational or educational content, then you can frame your captions by talking about “how I got the shot.”
Related Read: Instagram Captions For Wedding Photographers
2. Explore IG Post Ideas
“What should I post on Instagram as a photographer?” This is a question that has perplexed many. But we are here to tell you that as a wedding photographer, the scope is massive. For instance, start with the basics - start planning some posts that would be your safest bet. As a wedding photographer, posting the photos that you capture for engagement sessions or at weddings could be your starting point. Now think of some variation in those wedding or engagement photos. These could work as posts that generate inspiration.
In addition to these, curate a mix of some introductory posts as well as behind-the-scenes glimpses. People love to follow brands with which they can connect at a personal level. And these types of posts (where you give a glimpse into your personal and professional life) can help you establish that connection with your audience. The visual-rich nature of Instagram allows you to shape content in various ways. Explore Instagram for wedding photographers by experimenting with different ideas and analyzing their inputs.
Related Read: 9 Instagram Post Ideas From Top Wedding Photographers
3. Use Instagram Ads
Instagram for wedding photographers allows the use of paid ads to market your services. Image ads, Stories ads, video ads, carousel ads, collection ads, explore ads, IGTV ads, shopping ads, and Reels ads are the type of ads that you can use on Instagram. Analyze carefully which of these ad types might work best for your content. But if you are wondering how to advertise on Instagram, the following pointers might help you.
Set a goal: What is it that you wish to achieve using the paid ads? Is it more followers, more engagement, raising brand awareness, getting more leads, or conversions? For being able to measure how effectively something worked out for you, it is crucial to identify what is the result you are aiming for in the first place.
Identify your target audience: Once you have a set plan in mind, the second step is to have a clear understanding of who you want to attract with advertising. Who is your target market and why? Sit with this question for a while and brainstorm until you have a definitive answer.
Fix a budget: Your cost of advertising will vary depending on your targeting, competition in the industry, placement of the ad, and the timing. There is no set variable, so study your requirements to plan your budget accordingly.
- Analyze your organic data: Before investing in a particular post, study what has worked for you organically. This way, you can plan on pitching or creating a similar type of content that has performed well before.
Related Read: How To Create Social Media Ads To Book More Weddings
4. Be Consistent
Many people tend to post daily in order to keep their audience engaged. Consistency can be helpful; however, it is okay if you don’t post daily. More than fixating on and stressing over putting something out there every single day, we recommend that you focus on maintaining the consistency of your post frequency. Do not leave your followers guessing if you are no longer operating. Or worse, post so less that they completely forget about your business. Posting in a consistent manner allows you to keep your followers aware of who you are as a brand. Thus, creating a better chance of getting intrigued to interact or engage with your content.
5. Use Hashtags Strategically
What role do hashtags play in increasing your content’s reach? The answer: a substantial one! For starters, it makes your post searchable in the pool of thousands of other posts. For example, if a potential bride is looking up wedding photographers in New York and if you operate in that area, a hashtag on the lines of #NewYorkWeddingPhotographer could do the magic for you! Secondly, cracking the right hashtag strategy can greatly help in expanding the reach of your posts. At present, Instagram allows the usage of up to 30 hashtags per blog (and you can add them in the caption or in the comment section). However, that in no way means you should use all 30 of them.
Excessive usage of hashtags (as well as repeated hashtags) can do more harm than good. When you are posting a photograph of a couple during their engagement or wedding, segregate your hashtags accordingly. For example, include some hashtags addressing the venue, others the venue type (indoor or outdoor, barn or beach), then, the location, the theme, or the sub-event (such as first look, ceremony, getting ready, etc.). And blend them with some generic broad hashtags that have a higher reach. Lastly, also keep adding branded hashtags from time to time and keep experimenting.
Related Read: Instagram Hashtags For Wedding Photographers
6. Curate Your Feed To Represent Your Brand Style
Whatever it is that you wish to communicate to your target audience, curate your Instagram feed to be a mirror of just that. Not only does it help in processing an instant communication of your wedding photography style but also in gaining a representation of your brand voice. Moreover, it allows the people to understand if this is what they are looking for in their wedding photographer or if this is how they would want their wedding photographs to turn out.
So be it the color theme or the image curation and selection, take out some time to think it through and decide what works best for you. And more importantly, what is it that you wish to represent? And is your content doing justice to your brand vision?
7. Engage & Interact
Any Instagram post or content derives its maximum output from the rate of engagement. Just getting more likes on the posts might not be the most fruitful approach to follow in the long run. It is important to track the comments and engage with the audience to convert them into leads. Moreover, also engage in other people’s posts by commenting on their posts. This can also help in bringing engagement back to your page and increasing your visibility and exposure.
Suggested Read: Use Instagram To Grow Your Wedding Photography Business
Best Time To Post On Instagram For Wedding Photographers
The conception of Instagram is designed to keep up with the fast-paced world and people’s constant need for something new. As per Wordstream, “95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram per day.” And to make sure your content doesn’t get lost in this whopping number of increasing data (every minute), it is important to understand when to post and when to give it a break.
One of the crucial things to keep in mind while figuring out the best time to post on Instagram for your wedding photography business is the target audience and their demographics. Your holy grail is to find a window when a majority of your target audience is likely to be online (and using the application) to help you get maximum exposure. And there are numerous tools that can help you figure out just this, starting with Instagram itself.
Instagram Insights allows users with business profiles to navigate crucial data regarding how your posts are performing and what you can do better to improve your reach. One of which is keeping track of when most of your followers are active. To make use of this feature, go to Insights and visit the Audience section of your Instagram account. Here, you can select the date range from which you wish to pull the data. This data will highlight the age and gender of your followers, the demographics of your audience (countries, cities), alongside the most active hours or day (or both) of your respective audience.
Understanding when most of your followers are scrolling through their Instagram feed can really help in unlocking the true potential of this social media platform. However, in addition to Instagram Insights, there are other tools as well that you can use to derive this data. Some of such tools include - SproutSocial, Hootsuite, Buffer, Zoho, Meet Edgar, Later, and Planoly.
Keep Up With The Algorithm Change
It is a numbers game after all! As we initially pressed upon, Instagram is designed to keep up with the fast-paced world that’s ever-changing. If only constantly posting and working on a few metrics would have been enough to sustain the buzz created by your Insta profile, we wouldn’t have the need to include this paragraph. But if you wish to be ahead in the social media race, you need to up your game when it comes to understanding how the algorithm works and keeps adapting to new trends.
Just like any other social media platform, the Instagram algorithm derives how the application functions and perceives and prioritizes data. What’s more? It always keeps on updating. So it is almost essential to try to study and observe what’s important at the current moment. As per the latest algorithm change, in 2022, the application has prioritized the exposure of newer and more original content, the content categorization, and the introduction of “Following” and “Favorite” Home feed views. To better understand how you should keep up with the changing landscape of Instagram algorithm, give this blog on “how the Instagram Algorithm works” a read.
Further Read: 11 Steps To Run A Successful Instagram Contest
Here at ShootDotEdit, we endeavor to help you unlock your true potential as a wedding photographer and a business owner. We understand that business needs can be demanding and may require you to juggle multiple tasks. One of which is photo editing. And that’s where we thrive. Wish to outsource your editing load? We are here to help! Take a look at our pricing plans.
Disclaimer: Note that the statistics mentioned above are subject to change with time. Statistics stated are courtesy of SocialPilot and Wordstream.