Facebook ads are some of the best and cheapest sources for advertising a new wedding photography business.
When I first started wedding photography a few years ago, business was slow. I got all my inquires through Gumtree (an English version of Craiglist) and organic search traffic, and I only booked around 8 weddings in my first year. I still had a day job at this point, so could still get by.
Then I discovered Facebook Ads, which are great as they are one of the only advertising platforms that I know of that lets you target newly engaged couples in a specific geographic region.
Through using these Facebook Ads I was able to subsequently book 38 couples the next year and 57 the year after. I wish I knew this three years ago, as I would have been able to quit my day job much sooner.
So if you are just starting out as a wedding photographer, this could be the meal ticket you have been looking for.
Setting up your ads
First click on the little triangle on your Facebook menu > Create Ads.
Then, Send people to your website. Enter your URL in the the box, then click on the blue button on the bottom “Set Budget & Audience”.
Ignore the first custom audience box, for the drop down Locations box, select “people who live in this location”. In the box below, remove the whole country selected and target people within a 20 mi/km radius of your city.
In the next box select the age of the people you wish to target. I normally do people aged between 24 and 38.
In the past I have split tested my ads for both male and females. I found that targeting females works best, but you may have different results depending upon which country/city you live in.
Languages, I normally target English speakers.
This is the most important step, Detailed Targeting > Demographics > Life Events > Newly Engaged. This means that your ads will only display to people who have recently set their relationship status to engaged.
For the Connections type, I normally exclude people that have liked by Facebook business page, as there is a high chance they have already booked me.
You can then set your daily budget, I would suggest starting small and gearing the Ad spend up once you have had some success with them.
Click on the show advanced options, I normally leave this on the default setting, “Links clicks to your website” and “Automatic bidding”.
Once you have set your audience and targeting options, click the Choose Advert Creative to move to the next section.
On the next screen select images, then Add more images to upload your own photo, 1200 x 628 pxiels.
In the boxes below, you can write the ad head line and body text. I would try using a unique feature or style of your business.
I have found that in the past the Desktop News Feed and Desktop Right Column converted the best, as opposed to the mobile news feed. Maybe try split testing this, it will depend upon how quickly your website loads on mobiles and your website user experience.
Once you have spell checked your Ad copy, click the green “Place Order” box in the bottom right hand corner, your Ad will under go manual review by Facebook’s team before going live.
Refining your ads and sales funnel
Once you have had a little bit of success with the Facebook Ads, I would suggest you refine a few features on your Ads to improve conversions.
For display time, I only display my ads at weekends between 08:00 and 22:30 and during week day evenings between 17:00 to 22:30. Allowing you to target people during the evening after work or when they are off during the weekend.
Make sure to test different photos and Ad copy, as people may not like that particular image, but really like some of your other work.
Easiest way to figure out what is working
Other then getting an increased number of enquiries, when your ads are running. I installed a really cool WordPress plugin from Hotjar, which records screen videos of users on my website. You will also have to sign up to a Hotjars trial (please note that I do not work for or get paid by Hotjar).
It is also really useful for looking at the user experience of your website as a whole and finding any broken pages or links that people are clicking onto.
It allows you to see where the person has clicked on your website, where they move their mouse too and how long they spend on your website and more importantly the resolution of the device they are using.
So when my ads are live I can go over these videos and work out what is working. I learnt that mobile visitors from these Ads spend very little time on my website, an average of 8 seconds viewing only one page and have not resulted in any inquires. Where as people viewing my website from laptops, tended to click on a few galleries and have a longer average site time.
So, I refined my ads to only display on desktops or laptops. The only downside is that the average cost per click for a desktop is a bit more expensive, but there is no point spending money on mobile clicks if they only result in an 8 seconds site time and no conversions.
This maybe different for your business, so by all means test the mobile and Instagram ads before disabling them. Your mileage may vary. Good luck!