Why is High Quality Imagery So Important to Hospitality Marketing?

Hotel Photography

High Quality Image is So Important

With the ever-increasing noise online, it’s a challenge to stand out as the best, from the rest. There are many things which can be done to market your hotel and put the property in front of guests. The difference in the prospective guest seeing the property and booking a stay is, largely, down to the images being used.
It takes a tenth of a second for your brain to judge whether an image is good or not. Even I find that surprising, but that is how important quality imagery is to marketing. There are lots of uses for good photography in hospitality marketing here are a few.

Social Media (just keeping in touch)

With so much noise on social media, it’s even more important to show inspiring images to stand out from the
competition. It’s vital that your feed is using images on social media as a useful way to let past and future guests know of upcoming events and things that going on in and around the hotel and motivate them to come visit again and again.

Branding (you are more than just a logo)

Branding is not just about logos, design and what colors are used throughout a website. It’s about what sets you apart from a similar business, and what makes you and your hotel different. Coherent branding is important so the viewer knows you understand and have similar standards to them.
These things are not always tangible but with the use of excellent images, you can get that feeling across.

Food Offerings (my eyes were bigger than my stomach)

Showcasing delicious-looking food will always inspire dinners to want to eat with you, so much more than if they if just read from a menu. I have worked in hotels that displayed the menu and photographs in the lifts. After a busy day shooting the hotel using the lifts a few times, I’m usually pretty keen to try out the food.

Web (but I saw it on the web)

The most obvious is the use of photography on your websites. Seeing as people don’t often read the copy having quality and informative imagery on the website is a must. That way guests can look at the website and see the different room types and what the hotel looks like.
The biggest complaint I hear from people when they find out what I do is that the room on the website looked nothing like the one they stayed in. Its a good idea to show all the room types from single standards to deluxe suites.
I am going to sound like I am on my soapbox here – the photography on your website should be of the highest quality, it’s your shop window and there to inspire guests to make that booking.

Promote the Area (what else can we do near here?)

Photographs are the perfect way of showing off the property’s location. There is no use just telling guests you are in acres of beautiful countryside or conveniently located in the city centre. Show them and inspire them with gorgeous atmospheric pictures. You can then use social media channels to show seasonal events coming up close by so that guests might want to attend and stay at the hotel.

Email Marketing (popping into an inbox)

Emails with images on them are far more likely to get looked at than those with just copy. This is also an opportunity to show of amenities in the hotels like spas, events and seasonal offerings.

Online Travel Agencies

We know that viewers are more likely to look at the images before reading the text and the OTA’s have a ton of statistics for how lots of quality images can make a massive difference to a prospective guest making a booking.

My biggest soapbox is that the photography on your website should be of the highest quality: it’s your shop window and there to inspire guests to make that booking and share with their friends and colleagues, afterwards. It is known that viewers look at the images before reading the text and OTA’s have a ton of statistics and advice around how quality images make a significant difference to prospective guests considering booking a hotel.

With more and more noise online it is a challenge to stand out from the rest, There are lots of things that can be done to market a hotel and put a property in front of guests. The difference in the prospective guest seeing the properly and booking could be down to the images that are being used to promote the hotel. As much I think professional photographs should be used as much as possible to keep the quality of branding high there are times that photography could be done in-house here are some tips for shooting images to use on social media.

Keep it Bright

The word photography was made up from the Greek words phos meaning light, and graphê meaning “drawing Photography is drawing with light. So make sure you have a good light source and put the subject near the window to use the natural daylight. It’s best to avoid flash, as it can be rather harsh (unless you can bounce it off the ceiling).
On food shots try putting the plates on a table right in front of a window then use a white card to reflect the light back this can give a nice natural look

Keep it Simple

All pictures should have a “hero” in the image, the item that the picture is about, be it the bed in a bedroom or a big plate of food surrounded by smaller ones. Busy shots with too much going on and no clear subject matter can just end up looking messy.

Keep it Clean

It’s a good idea to look over the image for the obvious mistake, that thing in the background you didn’t notice whilst taking the picture but your eye can’t stop seeing it once you have noticed it. This is usually a thing like untidy linens, skewwhiff curtains, a mark on a table, a fire extinguisher in the background, unsightly reflections and even trees growing out of people’s heads. Attention to detail is key.

Keep it Straight

This might sound obvious but I see this all the time – keep the horizon in the picture straight (its stops people from
accusing you of being drunk). Most cameras and smartphones have a setting called a grid, which places two
horizontal and two vertical lines over the camera view, this is useful for keeping the camera level.
Similarly having converging verticals in the image when the lines of the building incline towards each other and
look like the building is falling down make an image look unprofessional. One way around this is to keep the
camera low and straight on so all the walls are straight and crop out the foreground or there are some apps that can straighten the image.

Keep to the Thirds

The grid is also useful for composition. The Rule of Thirds is a guideline, if the hero of the shot sits on one of the four intersection points of the grid it will create a more natural and aesthetic image.

Keep it Odd

Florists have a rule to use an odd number of blooms in a bouquet as odd numbers always work better when grouped together. Unless we are talking about a dozen roses, I guess all rules are there to be broken

Keep on Trying

Experiment and try different things to see what works. There are some great apps that can enhance images; I would avoid using filters and overlays, as some can look a little tacky. It’s best to keep things as natural as possible Keep it professional We all have our core skills, not everybody is visually literate. We can have an emotional connection to the picture we took and can’t always see its limitations. Seeing how important quality imagery is in marketing accepting these limitations is key.

You knew I was going to say this – use a professional hotel photographer someone who has experience shooting
hotels and not only has the technical skills and attention to detail but also an understanding of the
hospitality industry and can bring out the best in the property.

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Art Deco Hotel Bar, Palm Court, South Devon