rethinking my content marketing strategy

In February 2020 I started to change my posting routine  I started posting regular and used buffer to schedule may postings. As I planed my postings ahead I felt less stressed and less pressure to be consistent in my postings. Post by post the content I shared changed: I shared more personal stories and allowed myself to be more open and vulnerable. 

The caption section of my Instagram postings got longer and longer and I shared my stories also on my blog and on LinkedIn as I felt that these platforms were more suitable for this type of content. 

Still Instagram played a major role in my content marketing. As the quality of my content changed, I realised that had to change the way I used hashtags to increase the reach of my content. So far, I had selected hashtags that were popular or I found sexy or specific to my personal brand. 

But maybe that wasn’t what my audience was looking for. And the was my audience anyway? 

I believed in an organic approach to identify my audience. That means I I didn’t determine my audience upfront but to find out in the process of posting to whom my content was resonating and who was reacting to my content. 

The hashtags played a major role in this strategy to reach out to the unknown fans. I needed them to dress up a little. 

instagram account stats
instagram account stats 12-03-2020

Here are some helpful resources I found: 

I had no idea how the Instagram algorithm work. This video by Dominique gave me some insights and some hints how to explore the topic further. 

If I wanted my hashtags to perform better, I needed them to align with my content. But what did that mean exactly? 

Using popular hashtags did not seem to be a smart move. 

Now I use RiteTag to get suggestions for my visual and written content. And I use hastastic  to evaluate the hashtags and find better ones. I find the Daily Post Count metric very helpful. 

I get some basic figures about me and my postings on Ninjalytics and on IQ Hastags

I still haven’t found what I am looking for: 

Instagram tells me how often a hashtag is used in a post. And it shows me the most popular post for an hashtag. This does tell me very little about my audience as I don’t want to win a popularity contest. 

Conclusion 

I started scrappy because any marketing strategy is better than no strategy at all. Think big is not the right way for me as I try to be specific and try to find the least viable audience. 

My Gear

I started to photograph at 14 when I got my first camera. I took pictures on my travels. Later I photographed at punk rock shows of the bands that I loved. I learned the craft with a Minolta SRT 101 – the analogue camera of my parents with which I had to set everything manually- from focus to aperture to shutter speed.

Today I work with a Fujifilm xt-3. But I still got one of these old SLRs. I love the way it’s limitations influence my work.

I am still an analogue guy in this digital world.

Minolta Flash Meter IV

Minolta Flash Meter IV
Minolta Flash Meter IV

Why do pros work with a light meter? Because they can adjust the light much faster and much more accurately that way than using the reflective light meter of the camera. The Minolta Flash Meter IV is a simple tool that does the job. It measures ambient light and and works with a flash.

Just one flash

Godox TT685
Godox TT685

A flash is an essential tool for my shootings. I am able to shape the light and create more saturated pictures.

The Godox TT685 and X1T-F wireless trigger for fujifilm is a reliable partner to shoot with off camera flash. It allows me to use ttl. But I set it to manual mode because I love to control the light.

Walimex pro light stand 2,65m and an 83cm translucent white soft umbrella

Walimex pro light stand 2,65m and an 83cm translucent white soft umbrella
light stand and an 83cm translucent white soft umbrella

Is a lightweight solution that I always take with me when I do indoor shootings. I love to use off camera flash and with the umbrella I am able to diffuse the light and create more natural looking pictures.

Asahi Takumar f1.8 55mm

Asahi Takumar f1.8 55mm
Asahi Takumar f1.8 55mm

As I started shooting digital with my Fuji x system my intent was to use some vintage glass too. the Takumar is one of these legendary lenses. The quality of the lens is still amazing. The sharpness is incredible and because it is a 6 element lens design it has great microcontrast too.

Auto Yashinon f2 50mm

Auto Yashinon f2 50mm
Auto Yashinon f2 50mm

Another vintage glass that I love because of its character. The Auto Yashinion lacks a bit of contrast and has this incredible bokeh that gives portraits a classical Hollywood diva touch.

Mamiya C3 professional

Mamiya C3 professional
Mamiya C3 professional

The Mamiya C3 was manufactured in the 1960s and weighs about three kilos and is built to last. It is a full mechanical camera that shoots yay medium format film. My favourite film is the Kodak portra 400. The camera is mounted with an 85mm lens with f2.8 aperture max shutter speed. 1/500 sec. This lens is equivalent to a 50mm lens on a full frame camera. It is a fully manual lens and there is no built-in light meter.

I bought this camera to challenge my workflow. It slows me down due to it technical limitations and I have to rethink composition because of the square format. And it is a real hipster gadget of course.