Think you don’t need professional photography? It’s time to think again.
Whether your reservations come directly from your website or through one of the many OTAs, many of your clients will have found you randomly through online search or social media.
If your product offering and pricing is similar to your competitors, many guests will base their decision to stay with you on your online visual presentation. Your website and social media photography provide that all-important first impression.
Studies show that the top two main factors in the decision process are reviews and photos. Indeed, photography plays a role of 60 per cent in the decision to book. Guests want to see what your property has to offer. They require reassurance that what they are booking exists and want to know what to expect when they arrive.
Trends also show that the more photos a property displays, the greater the engagement and reservations made through the various distribution channels. So what impression are you making? Do your website, and social media photography encourage them to book or second-guess their initial impressions?
Professional photography accurately depicting the property’s exterior, lobby, guestrooms, suites, apartments, restaurants, facilities, local attractions, staff and other features can make all the difference.
And the difference between good and bad photography is enormous. It could be the deciding factor when choosing to book with you or not.
And yet, many property owners still assume that taking photos on their iPhones and uploading them will suffice. However, low quality, badly composed, and poorly lit images will negatively impact your bookings.
A small, regular investment in professional photography could make a significant difference and encourage views, engagement and bookings.
So why should your property invest in professional photography, and will it help your business to grow?
A picture is worth a thousand words
A few good photos will convey more about your property than a thousand-word written description. Your guests want to imagine themselves arriving at the reception, lounging in your comfortable units, having a dip in the swimming pool, playing with the kids and enjoying a drink in the bar.
Showing the cleanliness, order and personality of your accommodations will raise the points of your property. While photographs of the restaurant and bar will show that these spaces are hygienic and well-maintained with an enticing menu, they’ll want to enjoy.
Professional photography will provide you with these images – and they will be well lit and perfectly composed. And your potential guests will not be distracted by poor lighting and blurry images.
Showcase the guest experience
With professional photography, you can represent every aspect of your property in the very best light. Focus on:
Guest units – don’t forget to include the latest upgrades, luxury suites, views and the little touches that set you apart from your competitors.
Restaurants and bars – highlight all your dining facilities, including room service if it’s offered.
Amenities – include your swimming pool, gym, kids club, spa, salon, outdoor activities, and even the parking area.
Meeting areas – if you still have conference facilities, show the spaces you have available.
Local area – highlight the surrounding area, local attractions and off-property attractions. You will probably need to ask permission, but these images are yours to use (rather than stock photography).
Drive up your bookings with professional photography
People are more likely to book with you if they like the images on your website, social media and OTA pages. If they can’t see what you offer, they’ll look elsewhere. This is especially true for OTA listings where to be competitive, you need superior photography. Good photos are the key to online bookings.
According to studies on TripAdvisor, travelers are 150 per cent more engaged on listings with 20+ photos than those with only a few pictures. So great branding and marketing, along with the professional shots, will lead you to efficient growth.
And don’t forget to update the images you use because people would quickly notice if you are using photos taken five years ago.
Push your restaurant and bar
If your restaurant offers a wide range of foods and beverages, include a food photography shoot. Photos taken on your iPhone just won’t cut it. Images of this type require expertise in lighting and composition.
If you want to attract local clientele to your bar, you may need to use models as part of your branding. Again, models will need direction and experience from a professional.
To get ahead of your competition, you need professional photographs for your hotel and resort business. Unfortunately, if your current photos are pixelated, dark or overexposed, if random people are in the background or the space has not been staged perfectly, browsers will view you negatively. And the guest will probably book one of your competitors instead.
Successful marketing begins with compelling imagery. To achieve this, you need the help of a professional to capture every aspect of your property. In addition, it would help if you worked with someone who understands your brand. Most of all, you need to show your guests what they want to see and effectively answer the question, “what’s in it for me”?