Successful Content Marketing for Photographers: The PESO Model

Successful content marketing for photographers comes down to strategy. Without one, you don’t have a measurable plan in place to get you from where you are to where you want to be. That’s where the PESO model comes in.

By applying the PESO model, you can be sure you’re taking a well-rounded, effective approach to your content marketing strategy. This means you can increase your capacity to reach potential clients and the revenue you generate.

In this post, you’ll learn:

  1. What the PESO model is.

  2. The benefits of the PESO model.

  3. How you can use the PESO model in your creative business.

Once you’ve read through this post, you’ll be able to cover all your content marketing bases and support continued business growth.

macro shot of a yellow plant that could be using for strategy in content marketing for photographers

How the PESO Model Supports Content Marketing for Photographers

PESO is a well-known acronym in the marketing world, but less so in photography. But as photographers know, you have to wear so many hats, outside of shooting, when running your own photography business. Any relevant expert knowledge that can help you support your business is beneficial.

So let’s get down to it. PESO is a content marketing model, and it stands for different types of content:

  • Paid

  • Earned

  • Shared

  • Owned

The PESO strategy is about practicing an all-encompassing approach that covers all possible types of content. Here’s what that content looks like in each category:


Paid content marketing is marketing you exchange for money. This includes all types of paid advertising, including search ads and social media ads. This strategy is best for providing a targeted approach and controlling who sees your content.


Earned content refers to the content you earn with your time or effort. This can include being a guest on a podcast or writing a blog post. You might not be paying cash money for it, but that doesn’t mean it’s free. It takes an investment of time and energy to obtain earned media.

One strategy that comes up a lot in gaining earned content is the PR pitch. You have to be able to sell yourself to get a spot on bigger blogs and podcasts—especially the ones with larger audiences.


Shared content is primarily content you’ve created that gets shared online. In the online space, especially on social media, sharing can be very powerful. When your audience is engaging, commenting, and sharing your posts and images, it gets your content in front of even more people in a way that allows you to stay hands off.

The results of shared content can be beneficial, which is why it’s important to stay active on your social media channels. It’s also a great way to repurpose your other content. All other types of media (paid, earned, and owned) can be repackaged in new ways and used in shared media.


Owned content is the content you create on your own platforms. The copy on your website, blog posts, freebies, podcasts, and more can be considered owned media assets.

Although it’s the last content type in the PESO acronym, owned content is actually foundational to your business and should be placed first in importance. This is the content your client will interact with most, and is oftentimes the way your customer will start to build a relationship with you.

tree with pink flowers in Corfu that could be used in your paid, owned, or shared media strategy

The Benefits of Using the Peso Model

There are so many great reasons to start applying the PESO model. First, it helps you reach out on all the bases of your content marketing, ensuring that no area is left untouched by your strategy.

As a result of applying this model in your photography business, you increase your opportunities for interaction with your ideal clients. It’s also quite easy to learn and apply this strategy, which means you don’t need to be a marketing expert to use it effectively.

Lastly, most parts of this strategy require zero cash investment. You may have to put in some time and effort, but aside from paid media, you don’t need to open your wallet to start rolling out the PESO model for your photography business.

How to Apply the PESO Model in Your Photography Business

It’s important to note that the process of applying this model starts when you’re in the pre-launch phase of your new offering (whether that’s a service, product, or course). Before you begin creating your content, consider how you can touch on each aspect of PESO during your marketing campaign.

Questions to consider for paid media:

  • What advertising platform will bring you the best return on your investment?

  • Which one is most suited to reach your audience?

  • How will you create the paid ads?

Questions to consider for earned media:

  • How can you better reach your audience?