“Don’t move to a college town in Georgia to develop your commercial photography career,” is what I would have told myself in 2010 before I moved from a robust commercial photography market in Minneapolis to Athens, Georgia.
I had fallen in love with a Georgia girl, and head first into a photography vortex.
Athens has a nearly singular economy: The University of Georgia. Maybe because Athenians have more time to spend than money, Athens has cultural amenities far beyond what a sparse economy would imply. With seven years as a contract photographer in New York City and five years working in commercial photography in Minneapolis, I needed to figure out what Athens, Georgia wanted from a commercial photographer in 2011.
After putting together an estimate for a three day shoot for a local medical packaging company at a rate under 50% of any commercial work I’d ever done, I was told the budget was less than half that.
That’s when I knew it was ‘adapt or die.’
In Summer 2011, I accepted a contract to take photos of a ten show outdoor concert series and post the photos on the client’s Facebook Page. (Photos still account for 70% of Facebook’s social media activity.) I posted hundreds of photos of people at the events. Activity from a few hundred photos posted, resulted in thousands of Likes, Shares, and Tagged Profile pictures across Facebook.
Flooding social media with high-quality content transformed my ideas about how photography could be used in marketing. I didn’t realize it at the time, but 2011 was the year I became a content marketer.
Since then, I’ve enlisted my English Literature degree from Oberlin College to the cause of writing copy and blog posts, rounding out my content creation skills. A lifelong personal interest in subcultures and demographics along with a decent head for numbers has made for better than competent Audience Targeting ability.
It’s just me and a few contractors working at Flood right now, but don’t let the present fool you. What this company offers is unique in the content marketing marketplace. (The phrase ‘content marketing marketplace’ might give you an idea of just how ‘meta’ this work can be.) We don’t build websites. Our blog post articles are great SEO bait, but we don’t do SEO either. We just do content.
Now go to our competition, locally and nationally. Locally, most focus on SEO marketing, a far more common specialty. After reading about ‘buzz,’ ‘engagement,’ and ‘leverage,’ at what point are you looking at actual content? Where are the case studies that show engagement? That show sales?
While we are not a big business (yet), Flood has created market leaders, generated outstanding targeted engagement, and proven significant sales exclusively through content marketing.
Among a limited number of constants in human history, the importance of stories – and the content that conveys them – is pretty much indisputable. Content has come in a diversity of forms: From cave paintings, to the Gutenberg Bible, to every book, newspaper and magazine printed in the 20th century, to the words you are reading right now on my website.
Helping people make sense of their world will never go out of style. For eons, images and words have created the stories that give life meaning. Platforms and media will change, but Content will always be King.
I look forward to hearing what your business is looking for on social media, and how Flood can make the content that makes your business shine. Thanks for stopping by.
November 15, 2017