Despite the long history of traditional media and the widespread use of new media – Internet, social media and mobile – consumers still trust what may be the oldest form of “advertising,” often known as earned advertising, or word-of-mouth, more than any other.
Nielsen polled consumers in 58 countries during a 2013 online survey and found that 84 percent of them trust “recommendations from people I know.” In fact, word-of-mouth has increased in its trust among consumers 6 percentage points from Nielsen’s 2007 survey. Ads on branded Websites were second, but 15 percentage points behind word-of-mouth, at 69 percent, and consumers’ opinions posted online was third, which is just an extension of word-of-mouth, but from people consumers don’t necessarily know. For perspective, ads on TV were fifth, ads in newspapers seventh and ads on radio tenth.
What this means for your photography business is that word-of-mouth, which has always been the best method to generate new leads and revenue for photographers, is still your prime marketing channel. What’s changed, however, is that word-of-mouth exchanges between family members and friends have moved from over the backyard fence (although that still happens) to email, social media and mobile devices.
Mobile devices, smartphones in particular, and mobile apps, specifically, may prove – and, in fact, are already proving – to be the key to maximizing word-of-mouth advertising for your photography business. Data released by Flurry, an app analytics provider, during March 2014 revealed that users are spending 2 hours and 42 minutes per day on mobile devices and 86 percent of that time, or 2 hours and 19 minutes, is being spent on native mobile apps. By comparison, users now only access Websites via their mobile devices 22 minutes per day, which is only 14 percent of their total time on the device.
The implication for your photography business is that sending your clients to your Website to view their photos or your portfolio is essentially a non-starter. Remember, a plurality, or even most of your clients and prospective clients are members of Generation X or Y, or younger than 44 years of age. They are your high school, wedding and family photography customers and 70 percent to 80 percent of them own a smartphone.
Today, it’s easy and affordable to have a mobile app for your photography business, but now you can take this concept one step farther and create a mobile app for each of your customers. Considering the popularity of apps, can you imagine how your customers would react if you gave each of them their own app – and their favorite photo was the app’s icon? The answer is simple: they would be ecstatic and couldn’t wait to show it to their family and friends – and that’s word-of-mouth advertising that works much better for you than your customers talking over the backyard fence.
The app could include an exclusive gallery of just their photos and information about the event(s) you photographed for them. You could update the gallery with new photos when they hire you for additional events. A customized mobile app for each of your customers is also a constant ordering device. Photos they didn’t purchased originally are available for purchase whenever they decide they want more; or you photographed Jen and Bill’s wedding, but various relatives couldn’t attend. When Jen and Bill share their app with those relatives, they can easily order photos from you.
That’s just one example of how you can generate maximum word-of-mouth with customized mobile apps for each of your clients.
· Announce special mobile-only deals to clients and prospects.
· Book new business directly from sharing, using mobile forms.
· Send special messages on your clients’ anniversaries and birthdays with personalized offers just for them.
· Add new products and services to your event lists.
· Create mobile contests to engage your clients and drive more sales.
Creating mobile apps for each of your clients is not only a no-brainer, but also easy and affordable at Ubookoo.com. You’ll find templates for all events and types of photography and you’ll have access to many other mobile marketing tools and solutions that will help you outpace your competition. Visit ubookoo.com today for complete information.
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