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The Importance of Photography

Posted by HiRUM Software Solutions - 21/04/2021

Photography is a language more universal than words
– Minor White

One of the most effective ways to secure online bookings is with photography that captures the attention of potential guests.

I am sure you have heard the saying “image is everything”, and in most cases, online is where guests will see your property for the first time. You need to ensure it leaves a lasting impression for all the right reasons.

Good photography secures bookings, increases revenue and puts you ahead of your competition.

There are many things to consider when embarking on a new photoshoot.

Here are 7 handy tips to help you on your way:

  1. Consider your branding
    Are you budget-friendly, midscale or luxury? This is your chance to tell the best story for your property, so you attract the right target market.
  2. Who are you talking to?
    Are your customers business travellers, families or couple-only lovebirds? Use your imagery to appeal to your customers or target those you want.
  3. Things to think about
    What are your USP’s (unique selling points)? How can you best capture those to showcase your property/rooms? Is it a view? The amenities in-room? Is it the funky decor or location?
  4. What will you be shooting?
    You’ll want to aim for no less than 24 property photos for a small hotel or up to 100 for large hotels. This may seem like a lot, but research shows that having this full set of pictures, is key to getting travellers to see themselves staying at your property. You should display all room types and facilities – along with specific details – that will captivate and inspire travellers.
  5. What format are you receiving the images in?
    Ensure you have a mix of landscape and portrait but keep in mind that the OTA sites only display in landscape format. Each image should be high-resolution, or at least a recommended 4000 pixels on the photo’s longest side. Most of the major OTA’s will not accept low-res images and your property’s destination search ranking may be penalised if the images don’t meet the minimum requirement.
  6. Licencing agreements
    Do you need to negotiate the rights to the images? Do they belong to you or the photographer? Will this cost extra to own the rights? Do you need a contract in place to ensure timely deliverables and proof of ownership? Using models? Ensure they sign talent release forms to use their images. These are all things to keep in mind. Be careful when you are taking images of people. You need to protect yourself and the business by making sure you have signed documentation for all parties participating in the photo, to ensure you are not subjected to legal action later.
  7. It Pays to Pay.
    We understand that not everyone has a huge marketing budget, but photography is not an area you can afford to short-cut. Quality photographs will secure bookings and will last for years.

One of the biggest mistakes hoteliers make is the misrepresentation of their product. With review sites like Google and TripAdvisor now an integral part of the booking process, properties have to ensure that the expectation of their product aligns with the reality.

With this in mind, when scoping out rooms and locations of your next shoot, the word ‘indicative’ should be front of mind. Best practice is to choose the product that most represents the majority of rooms within that room category. With many properties having individual room owners, the standard offering can vary considerably. It is very tempting to showcase the very best room within your resort or hotel. However, if the guest’s expectation is unrealistic, the ensuing bad reviews can damage the property’s online reputation and may significantly impact future bookings. Lead in room types are very rarely the penthouse! Guests will appreciate walking into their room and feeling satisfied that they got what they paid for.

Did you know that users often leave a web page in 10–20 seconds, but pages with a clear proposition can hold people’s attention for much longer? To gain several minutes of user attention, you must clearly show the customers within the first 10 seconds, clean, fresh and accurate images. This will go a long way to holding customer engagement and helping convert lookers into bookers.

You have all heard the old adage “a picture paints a thousand words”. No amount of text will catch the potential guest’s eye like a beautiful photo. The goal is to have the “looker” picture themselves creating beautiful memories at your property. Invest in quality photography and ensure that you are ahead of your competition when it comes to securing bookings. The investment you make should see a healthy return in your revenue.

If arranging a photography seems daunting and outside the scope of your expertise, we are happy to discuss a plan to assist. Please email our marketing department for more information on marketing@hirum.com.au

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