By Bridget Lohnes, Creative Services Manager
Gone are the days when you didn’t need a photographer to help you attract a guest to book a stay at your hotel. The photographer has become a vital part of your marketing strategy and you should choose wisely. Here are four reasons why you need recent professional photographs for your hotel.
1. Information at First Glance
There are over 275 million smartphone users in the U.S. alone and they all love using their phones to find information, especially when travel is involved. Once a need for travel has been decided, be it leisure or business, then the task begins to find an appealing hotel by entering the destination and dates on a chosen hotel, brand or OTA website. No one has the time or inclination to read these days – images are what the guest expects to see to help him/her choose a hotel. The first impression really counts at this stage of the booking process and, if there isn’t a quality image with good content, they will scroll onto the next hotel’s image – your competitor.
2. Home Away From Home or Better than Home
People stay at hotels for a variety of reasons, such as vacation, business, special occasions (weddings, anniversaries or birthdays) and home remodeling. But they all expect the same things when staying away from their home: a comfortable bed, Wi-Fi, TV and security. Hotel images that demonstrate these expectations, together with detailed amenities, will go a long way toward converting your potential guest from a looker to a booker. Poor quality images that do not display your hotel rooms and facilities properly just scream Bates Motel, and, more than likely, your nearest competition, which has better images than you, will win that booking with a quick scroll.
3. Professional Photo Shoot or Not
The words Professional Photo Shoot sound expensive, but it is an investment that will attract more business for your hotel and is well worth your hard-earned money. Plus, it is not as expensive as you might think and their skills will ensure your hotel is portrayed in the best possible way. Your local wedding and passport photo photographer, website builder, well-meaning friend or relative will probably not achieve the same results. If your hotel images are not the best, they can create negative marketing once they are uploaded to the internet. So, choose your photographer wisely.
4. Good Photos are the Key to Online Bookings
According to TripAdvisor, travelers are 150% more engaged on listings with 20+ photos than those with only a few. Images also need to be updated from time to time, especially if you have renovated your hotel. Old TVs in outdated rooms are easy to spot and, if your images also have lots of random people or details that do not appear good, then your reputation may suffer. If you have spent a lot of money and time on renovations, the quickest way to start recouping some of that expense is to update your photos and broadcast your new and improved hotel!
Take another look at your current online images and ask yourself if you would book a stay at your hotel based on what you see.