Image Is Key – Part I
Why? Let’s place ourselves in the potential guest shoes for a while.
Usually most booking processes start with an online search and hotel comparison right?
Numerous studies show that the two main factors when making a reservation are reviews, and imagery, so the visual interpretation of your accommodations is priceless and could make all the difference between having a “looker or a booker”.
The importance of making a solid first impression is key as in most things in life; studies conducted by Roi Manager have shown that the photo gallery of a website receives an average of 97,6% of “clicks” by visitors who book online.
2. Should I Go Overboard and Exaggerate?
That thought shouldn’t even have crossed your mind!
Consumers are extremely keen, smart and demanding nowadays; and lets not forget that social media have completely revolutionized the way in which they interact with Hotels, making it much more organic and transparent.
If you somehow present an unrealistic version of your “product”, negative feedback, reviews and word-of-mouth is a given, and can be extremely damaging. There’s naturally an acceptable limit of exaggeration, but good sense must prevail, because it’s exactly the same thing as presenting bogus information on a package in a supermarket.
The future… lets rephrase… the present of Digital Marketing is Visual Storytelling… period!
If you’re not portraying a compelling visual story to potential guests, you’re missing out on a key element, since consumers aren’t just “booking a room”, they’re actually booking an experience, and as you should expect, the more trustworthy it is image wise, the better.
Naturally, not all images are equal in terms of their importance, so creating the proper hierarchy, ideally aligned with your Marketing Plan should be the norm. There’s not a consensual ranking and it may vary from Hotel to Hotel, but the following themes should be definitely covered.
3.1. Guest Rooms
We’re merely talking about the Crown Jewels, right? Every Hotel Manager’s dream should be having a 100% occupancy rate 365 days a year, so top selling features should take center stage at all times, as well as details… it’s all in the details as well.
Bottom line… rooms should look warm, clean and inviting… anything less will not cut it.
Restaurants and other meal areas are always relevant, especially for travelers who value the convenience of on-site dining, so if that happens to be the case, be sure to highlight it properly as well.
3.3. Unique Selling Points – Stand Out From The Crowd
What other features does your hotel possess that should make the cut? It’s naturally up to you.
Still, we leave a couple of pointers: business travelers often enjoy secure parking and a health-club/gym; families tend to enjoy swimming pools; everybody loves a hot tub, sauna or SPA; is your Hotel pet friendly? Do you offer child care services? The number of aspects that can be covered is literally never ending.
Account Manager | HDS – Hotel Digital Strategy