Why hotel photography is powerful and how to get it right

17th November 2020

Posted in: Hotel Marketing

First impressions

When shopping for a hotel room, potential customers will almost always look online before anywhere else. As a result, photographs of your hotel will always be one of the first things people see. Your photography is a viewer’s very first impression and fundamentally, if they don’t find quality in your photography they may just move on to the next provider.

Whilst this might sound somewhat extreme, the reality is photos are extremely important to the success of your hotel. A flawed shot, one that is low quality, dark, dim or old can drag down the reputation of your property, even if your website is up to date. Unsightly photos really can make the difference.

Heading to a hotel website, potential customers base a great deal of their decision on the photography on your website. Photos offer a very quick preview of your hotel and resultantly shoppers are able to quickly decide whether the hotel suits their needs with a glance. According to a study from 2014, the human eye can process a photograph in less than 13 milliseconds. Fundamentally, when someone lands on your website, you want their split second decision to be positive, not negative. On top of this, if your competition offers excellent imagery and beautiful insight into their hotel, you can find yourself in a losing battle.

The numbers to prove it

If you’re not fully convinced, take a look at the following statistics and see for yourself exactly why hotel photography is key to success: 

  • 80% of all hotel reservations are made on the internet.
  • 90% of all information transmitted to the brain is visual.
  • Hotel photos play a 60% role in a guest’s decision making process.
  • According to a study on TripAdvisor, travellers are 150% more engaged on listings with more than 20 images, compared to those with less.
  • In a recent study, 70% of respondents agreed that photos were influential in their decision making.

At 1834, we maintain that one of the quickest and perhaps easiest tricks in hotel marketing is to ensure that your hotel is portrayed well through sleek, clean and consistent photography across all of your channels. The remainder of this article outlines exactly what flawless photography can do for the different aspects of your hotel business, and points towards how to successfully implement hotel photography for hotel success.

How to attract guests.

Does your hotel offer a gym, a swimming pool, a golf course, spa bathrooms, tennis courts, or a hot tub? If not, does your hotel have an interesting style? Is it ultra modern, rustic, themed? Make sure you show off the facilities and bring out the character and style of your unique hotel through imagery. It’s no longer enough as a hotel business to list your facilities in words and use a handful of low quality photographs. Over time, as consumers, we have become spoiled for choice and grow more and more impatient online. To increase hotel success, potential customers should be immediately impressed and told a story through imagery. A reel of photographs which show not only the facilities you offer but which show off the intricacies and character of your establishment will resonate with potential customers.

It’s also about attracting not only guests, but the right guests. Consider your clientele when having professional photos taken. If you cater mostly to business people, show off your lobby, cafe, meeting rooms and exhibition centre. On the other hand, if you find most of your guests are looking for relaxing breaks, focus on the tranquil atmosphere, facilities, comfortable furnishings and beautiful balcony views.

How to fill up your restaurant.

Aside from literally having your guests smell the exquisite restaurant food being cooked in the kitchen (which is difficult to do online), photos are the next best way to attract customers to your restaurant. Unfortunately, food is not always the easiest thing to capture on your own camera, with the outcome often looking less appetising on screen than it does on your plate. Have a professional photographer come to your restaurant and capture the most beautiful dishes on your menu. With special lighting set up and the right know-how, a good photographer will bring out the best in your food and drink and attract guests to your restaurant. Sharing these images on your website as well as social channels will get you a long way.

How to remain competitive.

Professional photography can keep you highly competitive in your market. In order to compete with other hotels in your region, a strategic and high-quality brand is required, and as a hotel this naturally stems from high quality photography. Ignore this part of your business, and you’ll find that customers will see your hotel as ‘behind the times’, old-fashioned and essentially less desirable than other hotels. Updating your imagery every few years gives the impression of doing a makeover on your business and keeps things fresh. In a world obsessed with imagery and visuals, sitting back and waiting for clients to roll in won’t do you any favours.

How to best use photographs online.

Whilst we may have persuaded you to invest in great photographs and told you what kinds of things to capture, you might be wondering how you can use imagery to its greatest potential. Naturally, allowing space on your website for your favourite and most iconic hotel images is advised. What’s more, allowing the images to take up a great deal of space on the website is also encouraged. Inserting a sweeping image of your hotel exterior, or a wide shot of your best hotel room sets the scene for potential customers. What’s more, allowing space on your site for a ‘Gallery’ page is also an excellent idea. Many guests coming to your website will seek out a gallery page in order to grasp the style and branding of your hotel. Make sure that no one leaves your website due to a lack of visual information.

Finally, making time to post photographs to social media accounts is also vital for your hotel marketing strategy. Make sure that your images are clear, crisp and timely. Instagramming images of cold craft beers on a Friday afternoon or hearty breakfasts on a Sunday morning will be enough to persuade just about anyone. Meanwhile, posting shots of a cosy hotel bed on a winters day or a swimming pool on hot summer days will work wonders.

1834 Hotels

1834 Hotels focuses on a digital strategy that addresses three key experiences of your online travel consumers – dream, discover and decide. 1834 Hotels has have a multi tiered approach to delivering your hotel in every stage of that cycle – including but not limited to producing destination specific content for people to discover, placing your hotel front of mind, ensuring well managed customer reviews and all finished with real-time rate information & availability when they decide.

For more information regarding using social media for hotel success, please click here. Alternatively, for a more comprehensive look at hotel marketing strategy and its importance, click here.

To get in touch with 1834 Hotels and to find out how we can help you further, please click here.