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The State of Online Marketing in the Photography Industry (2017)

THE STATE OF ONLINE MARKETING IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY

Ever wonder how good your marketing really is?

Marketing is difficult because you typically have to frontload a lot of work before you see results.  Should I invest time and money in building my online profile?  Will it get my more customers?  What about wedding wire or this or that or thumbtack or pinterest, or youtube, or or or snapchat?!?

After looking at over forty of the top photographers in the nation, I can say definitively:

Yes, online marketing matters in the photography industry.

For PhotoMBA, I ranked the top photographers in every major market based on their online presence.  Here’s how I did it…

This article was last updated Janaury 10, 2017.

How I Compiled The List of Photographers

I started the way most photography clients do: Google.

The crowned champion search engine of the world, Google is often the first place a customer will search for a photographer and in my searches, a “wedding photographer.”

I pulled the top results from searching each major market: National, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Dallas, San Jose and Austin.

The largest markets will be the most competitive and thus will give us a great look at the top end of the industry. It’s rare that a successful photographer in a small market will need 100k+ backlinks or 50k facebook fans because, well, they don’t have to work as hard for the top spot.

How I Calculated The Final Score

As a veteran online marketer, I know that followers don’t equal engagement and definitely don’t equal sales. There are ways you can buy followers, but I believe that starting with a Google search is the best way not to include any fake social profiles.

The top indicator of ranking in Google is the number of links to your site (backlinks) from other websites.  There are numerous other things that matter (on-site SEO, site speed, etc.), but links matter the most.

Click here to check out a case study I did with a client that netted him a 300% increase in leads and $42k in revenue.

I then added the total backlinks that each site has with their social profile followers on the major social channels that every photographer should be using (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).

If I were to dive deeper into my results, I’d rank backlinks even higher because it is far more difficult to get a high quality backlink than an Instagram follower.

Currently we have just over 40 photography businesses listed here.  If you’d like your business to be added, please let me know.

Site URL Backlinks Facebook Twitter Instagram Total Score Location
http://www.jerryghionisphotography.com/ 142 55938 38900 29900 124880 national
http://www.linandjirsa.com/ 11500 20369 15300 31800 78969 los angeles
http://ryanbrenizer.com/ 2200 44611 7336 13900 68047 new york
http://www.cmphotography.com/ 474 22474 11300 10300 44548 national
http://www.melissajill.com/ 1600 7215 3922 14600 27337 phoenix
http://www.sammblakeweddings.com/ 48 7780 16200 24028 new york
http://lindseymueller.com/ 118 15641 202 3359 19320 austin
http://thebirdthebear.com/ 432 5682 393 9953 16460 austin
https://www.truephotographyweddings.com/ 2200 4346 4448 10994 san diego
http://jonas-seaman.com/ 34 9806 9840 national
http://www.amykarp.com/ 46 5616 1582 2586 9830 dallas
www.bellapictures.com 1100 6906 459 8465 national
http://www.kevinlevuweddings.com/ 58 1302 249 6471 8080 los angeles
http://cristinagphoto.com/ 51 5422 277 1954 7704 chicago
http://www.monica-salazar.com/ 30 5136 1991 7157 dallas
https://ginaandryan.com/ 42 2176 4711 6929 los angeles
http://leafweddingphotography.com/ 5 5626 685 295 6611 san diego
http://www.joebuissink.com/ 384 5735 6119 national
http://harrywhophotography.com/ 821 2075 1127 4023 san jose
http://www.jpgphotography.com/ 133 2288 407 1049 3877 philadelphia
http://www.joshuabrownphotography.com/ 18 1492 1880 3390 new york
http://joeytphotography.com/ 78 2457 66 767 3368 houston
http://kauaweddingphotography.com/ 20 2688 524 3232 national
http://philipgabriel.com/ 102 1551 1417 3070 philadelphia
http://kristinachartier.com/ 6 2329 274 2609 national
http://www.pinkertonphoto.com/ 29 984 1339 2352 phoenix
http://www.khanhnguyenphotography.com/ 24 2246 2270 houston
http://www.evokephotoandvideo.com/ 24 2131 2155 houston
http://www.julioalejandro.com/ 70 1959 113 2142 national
http://stevekoophotography.com/ 162 1519 231 207 2119 chicago
http://www.alisonyinweddings.com/ 38 1137 763 1938 national
https://www.funicostudios.com/ 173 1479 173 1825 new york
http://www.takenbyandre.com/ 27 1430 1457 san jose
http://www.followcharles.com/ 11 884 75 177 1147 san jose
http://www.fablephotoandvideo.com/ 83 760 38 162 1043 phoenix
http://josevilla.com/ 699 699 national
http://www.unveiledwedding.com/ 47 573 620 san diego
http://www.georgetroupphotography.com/ 363 225 23 611 dallas
http://www.colinmichaelphoto.com/ 12 80 290 382 national
http://www.tomkphoto.com/ 362 362 national
https://1840events.com/ 326 23 3 352 austin
http://www.faithwest.com/ 100 186 286 philadelphia
http://www.loftusphoto.com/ 63 158 221 chicago

In an upcoming post, I’ll break down what you, the photography business owner, should take away from the current state of online marketing in photography. If you’d like your business to be added, please click here and let me know.

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