Showcasing your property: Photography
We have all done this while researching a family holiday or business trip: We scan through 100s of websites and social media posts, scrolling until we stop at a photograph which grabs our attention.
What is it about that photo? What has the photographer managed to capture that makes us want to know more about that establishment?
We do the same when we see photographs of friends on holiday, they evoke an emotional response, and we all let out a collective sigh “Oh we wish we were there.”
For a long time the hospitality industry has been using the mantra of “selling experiences” and not “selling beds” – so why then do we have 100s of websites filled with photographs of beds and pillows? Yes, we know you want to know what the room looks like (to maybe double check there is really a bed, side table and maybe a lamp) but those are the images you expect to find on the accommodation page… what about the rest of your website – and your social media posts?
Is your image library varied enough to showcase all your offering and evoke that all important emotional response? Think about whether there are people in your imagery or whether you have included the spectacular views on offer.
Of course, images need to also take into consideration the audience they are intended for – if you are catering for a family market, have you included photos of families partaking in activities or the unique children’s turn down? How about the business traveller? Did you capture the desk in the room, and what about the early bird buffet?
Then there are the technical considerations. Not all photographs are equal – and there is a difference between a photo taken for social media on your iPhone and those required to best showcase your property. Even if you are a stellar iphonography expert, invest in a photographer to take your main marketing images – these would be used on your website, print brochures, for submission to OTAs (where accurate room images are key) and included as part of a media pack for journalists and bloggers who visit your establishment. Save your smartphone images for use on social media where your audience is expecting to see a certain quality of image (and may be more forgiving of some – but this is no excuse to take poor pics!). The basics of good photography will still apply – but you’re able to execute the images quickly and give prospective guests a near real-time glimpse into your establishment. A behind the scenes peek at what’s new on the lunch menu, or a great new art gallery walking distance from your B&B. Couple these snapshots with emotive titles and captions, and you’re on your way to eliciting some “Ohhhh, Ahhhh” moments.
If you haven’t done a photography spring clean, now’s the time to go through your website, your social media posts and your online listings. Check that you’re putting your best foot forward, jot down a list of what you’re missing, and use winter to catch up so that you’re ready to hit the ground running with amazing images come Spring and Summer.