How To Run Successful Facebook Ads for Your Photography Business

Photo by Monica Henriquez

Facebook ads are undoubtedly daunting, and can often result in a waste of money when done incorrectly. Photographers can have such a wide range of target demographics, so it’s important to create effective ads to start reaching your ideal clients and book more jobs. We recommend running your ads through Facebook’s Business Manager. If you haven’t set yours up already, check out this quick guide. Once you’re ready, navigate to “Ads Manager” in the top menu bar to get started. These are some of our best tips for running successful ads for your photography business:


Before you can start actually creating your ad, you’ll want to define your ideal audience so Facebook knows who to target. The site lets you narrow down your audience by virtually any description so you can be ultra-selective when choosing your target client if you’d like. Not only can you choose age and gender, Facebook also gives you access to a wide variety of demographics, interests, and behaviors. If you’re a wedding photographer, you can focus your targeting on couples aged 21-35 who are newly engaged and in your area, all with the click of a button! Try experimenting with various audiences depending on what type of clients you’re looking for. If you find an audience that works best for you, Facebook will even let you save it so you can use that same targeting for other ads.


As a photographer, you’re oftentimes looking for clients in the nearby area that you can easily drive to and shoot. Once you’ve chosen your ad’s campaign objective and audience, you can also target your ideal client’s location. You can be as broad or specific as you want with your targeting along with changing the radius. You can also layer your choices – for example, you can choose both Los Angeles and San Diego to target people in both cities. This allows you to determine how far and where exactly you’re looking for clients. Facebook even gives you options of people who live in that location, was recently in that location or simply traveling through.


This may seem like a no-brainer, but you want to showcase your work in the best light possible to catch people’s attention while scrolling through their feed. Facebook will give you the option of running a single image ad, carousel, video or slideshow ad. Our favorite option for photographers is to utilize the “carousel” option because it gives you the chance to show off multiple photos of your work so potential clients can see your full range. If you photograph multiple niches, you can even create a carousel of a wedding image, lifestyle photo, brand picture, and portraits – all in one ad. After you’ve chosen your layout, don’t forget to add a call to action in your text. Just a simple “click here to book a shoot” will encourage people to click on your ad, which in turn also leads to a better performance.


There are always events throughout the year such as weddings and parties, but what about the more seasonal moments people need a photographer for? Based on the time of year, it’s easy to target specific demographics to reel in even more clients! Whether it’s a Mother’s Day shoot, graduation photos or Christmas card pictures, be sure to start your ads ahead of time so people have time to book your services. You’ll also want to change your targeting depending on the season. For example, you would want to target married persons with children for Mother’s Day ads so you’re sure you’re reaching people with kids. Don’t be afraid to run more than one seasonal ad at once. The more successful ads you have running, the better your chances of landing a new client!


Once you’re finished targeting your ideal audience, you can scroll down “Placements”. This tells you where and how your ads will be seen on the platforms you choose. While there is an automatic placement option, we recommend editing your own for full control. Facebook gives you the most options with the feed, in-stream videos, articles and more. This will mainly depend on the type of ad you’re running, but don’t forget to check the Instagram box as well. Since photography is such a visual industry, it makes sense to also place your ads on a visual platform such as Instagram. This can also help you reach more audiences who may not be on Facebook often but check Instagram daily. You can also choose if you want your ads seen only on desktop or solely on mobile devices.


After your ad has been running for a few days, be sure to check in on your Ad Manager to see how it’s performing. If you’re running multiple ads, this is a great chance to see which ones are doing better than others. Maybe one had far more impressions or engagement than the others. Depending on your budget, we recommend putting more money behind the ads that are already performing well and ending any that are not looking great. The more relevant your ad is to your target audience, the better results (and return on investment) you’ll get at the end.

With so many platforms falling toward more of a “pay to play strategy”, creating effective ads are an incredibly useful tool for targeting potential new clients and landing jobs. Have you tried running your own Facebook ads for your photography business?

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