Hotel photography and why you should break the rules every now and then.
We have all seen the standard hotel imagery; a lobby with flowers, a bedroom with fruit, a room service breakfast. These are the images we’ve been asked to capture thousands of times for hotels in London and around the world—and they work when done well. They show customers what to expect and they provide insight into the hotel’s atmosphere, but do they really make your hotel stand out?
TripAdvisor found that when a hotel has 100 or more images on its website, traveller engagement increases by 151% and the chances that guests will book increases to 238% compared with hotels that don’t have any imagery.
Photography is evidently vital for attracting travellers’ attention and increasing hotel bookings, but what about standing out from the other hotels that are also producing hundreds of images?
How do you stand out in a crowded market?
If your hotel isn’t stood on the edge of a mountain or buried deep in the jungle, chances are high that you’ll have lots of local competitors. For hotels in cities, competition is huge. But there are ways of making sure your hotel gets booked up first.
1. Produce content regularly
Whether it’s city guides, conference tips or travel advice, you should be producing content to show your audience that you care about their stay. By regularly producing great content such as photography, videos and/or blog posts to help your guests, you will improve your ranking on Google and instil confidence in your potential customers. You will add value to their experience.
2. Let your photographer be creative
As we said before, BE DIFFERENT. If you’re shooting the same breakfast in bed, empty lobby and suitcase waiting outside a lift shots as everyone else, your hotel won’t stand out. But, if you’re shooting bedrooms in a lifestyle fashion, happy conversations between the hotel staff and guests, or your chefs preparing breakfast you’re much more likely to capture the attention of scrolling travellers.
3. Be on social media, properly
Every business in hospitality knows they SHOULD be on social media but not all of them are doing it properly. If you’re spending good money on hotel photography make sure you’re making the most of it by getting it out on social media.
4. Use paid Google search
When booking hotels Google is still a popular starting point. If your hotel doesn’t come up when someone searches for ‘hotel in Kensington’ do you think your audience will hold out until they find you or go with the best one they see on the first page?
5. Have a talk trigger
Word of mouth is, and always will be, the best form of marketing. And, whilst hotels have little control over what guests say to each other they can make sure that they give guests a reason to start that conversation.
A great example of this is DoubleTree’s famous warm, chocolate chip cookie that they give out to each guest when they check in. Guests tell their friends about the fact that they were greeted with a chocolate chip cookie and how good it was and automatically mention the hotel in the process. It’s a simple yet clever way of getting your brand into your customers’ conversations.
As the competition continues to increase so must the creativity of hotels. Technology changes, people’s expectations change and competitors change, but the one thing that stays the same is the fact that people love creativity. From amazing photographs of the farm your food comes from to ideas for unusual activities in the local area, don’t just be a place to stay, be the destination.
Taking the time to understand your customers means you can create a more memorable experience both in person and in your marketing.
Are you ready to do something different?