The past 2 decades have seen the web evolve from a text-centric platform that was used primarily for email, chatting, and reading articles, to a multimedia extravaganza where 8MP photos and 4K videos reign supreme.
And the way we consume information online has changed accordingly.
Where we once might have searched for a fishing guide via word-of-mouth on a BBS, a message board, or a newsgroup, we now expect to see photos and videos from their past trips prominently displayed on their site or social media pages.
This is more true for fishing guides than for just about any other type of business.
People looking to head out into unfamiliar waters want to see proof that the guide they’re hiring is knowledgeable, experienced, and can actually deliver on their promises.
If you’re a fishing guide, this change in content consumption habits presents both a challenge and an opportunity.
On the one hand, the bar is raised for guides in terms of what potential customers want to see before they’ll consider hiring you.
But on the positive side, if your customers regularly catch fish on your trips and you document it with high-quality photos and videos, you have a valuable marketing asset that can be leveraged to attract new business.
Here are 4 reasons why you should be posting photos from every fishing trip:
#1 – Photos are more engaging than text.
People are drawn to visual content. Numerous studies have shown that content that includes compelling photos (i.e. one of your customers holding the huge snook they just caught) are more likely to actually be read and shared—not to mention clicked on in the first place—than those without.
As a fishing guide, you should take advantage of this fact by sharing photos from your trips.
Not only will this help you capture people’s attention, but it will also make them more likely to click on (and actually read) your content.
Fishermen love to see photos of other anglers with their trophy catches (as long as they’re not too much bigger than their own), and customers love to show off their photos to friends, family, and other people who love to fish.
#2 – Photos give potential customers a more complete “picture” of what they can expect if they book a trip.
A picture is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes. And as you know, nowhere is this more true than fishing.
Writing a tweet about the 50lb redfish your customer caught doesn’t quite have the same punch as showing a photo of them smiling and holding it up for the camera.
Fishing guide services can benefit from using photos in their content marketing because it provides potential customers with a more complete picture of what they can expect.
Yeah, a well-written blog post might give a detailed account of a particular fishing trip. It might convey a lot of useful information.
But it’s the accompanying photos that will draw potential customers to actually read it, and really bring the experience to life for them.
Photos—and videos to an even larger extent—can capture the excitement, beauty, and challenge of the sport that text alone just can’t.
#3 – Photos help you show “social proof.”
“Social proof” is the concept that people are more likely to do something if they see others doing it.
In the context of fishing, social proof can be a powerful digital marketing tool.
When potential customers see numerous photos of happy anglers posing with their catches, it sends an unmistakeable message that hiring you as a guide will likely result in them having a good time and catching some fish as well.
This is especially true if the photos show a variety of different people (i.e. not just a bunch of your buddies) and different kinds of fish (i.e. not just crappie).
The more diverse the photos look, the more credible the social proof will come across.
It sounds basic—but this can mean the difference between someone who browses your site, and someone who actually books a trip.
Take the opportunity to show off your happy clients, beautiful surroundings, and of course, the fish that were caught.
The more social proof you can provide, the more likely people will be to book a trip with you.
#4 – Original photos are great for SEO.
In addition to the three very important reasons above, there’s a fourth reason why you should be posting photos from every fishing trip: SEO.
It’s no secret that Google rewards sites with rich, informative, visual content, and as a result, articles with lots of images and other embedded media (including videos) tend to rank higher in search results than those without.
So, if you want to be found by more customers, posting photos from your trips is a simple way to give a little boost to your SEO, and potentially attract some new business through organic search.
While posting trip photos alone definitely won’t get you to rank #1 on Google, every little bit helps, and it’s a free and relatively easy way to give you an edge over other guides.
Posting photos to your GMB (Google My Business) listing is a great way to make your listing more visually appealing, and also show off the success of your trips to local searchers.
In many cases, it’s not just other guides in your immediate service area that you’re up against—thanks to the Internet (and Google in particular) your customers may be encouraged to book trips with guides in other towns, counties, or regions if they can’t find what they’re looking for locally.
Focusing on local SEO as well as organic search will help you attract the attention of both potential customers in your area, and those who are searching from afar (i.e. those planning for an upcoming family vacation or a fishing adventure).
If you really want to stand out from the crowd and attract more customers, make sure you’re regularly sharing photos from your trips. It could be the difference between running a successful fishing guide business, and one that struggles to stay afloat.
The Bottom Line
Guides who are serious about marketing their business online should make it a priority to take and share photos from every trip, including the ones that don’t result in a big catch.
Even the best anglers have off days—and posting the occasional photo from a trip where you get skunked can actually help you appear more honest, down-to-earth, and authentic to potential customers.
(Just make sure to maintain the right balance, so your potential customers feel like they have a good chance of bringing home their own trophy fish if they book a trip with you.)
Next time you’re heading out on the water, make sure to bring a camera (or a phone with a good camera)—you never know when you’ll capture that perfect shot of a customer landing a massive catch, or of a stunning sunset over the water. And that photo could be the one that helps you reel in some new business.