Visual content is taking over on some of the best marketing practices in almost every industry, specially in tourism where travel images are powerful elements.
NB: This is an analysis by Sabrina Lugo at Ice Portal.
The latest and most popular social media networks nowadays, are image driven (Pinterest, Instagram); and many hotels play a determining role in each of these platforms because they understand the importance of visual engagement and interaction.
Many times though, these visuals perform poorly on a hotels website or on OTA channels, and the sale is lost. But, do you know why? Here are the most common reasons:
1. They look old, or small
As time passes computer screens get bigger and bigger, and so should your visuals! No one likes seeing a 300×300 image on a 2880×1800 computer screen. It doesn’t only give a bad image of your hotel; people will immediately run away and jump onto the next option.
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The evolution of computer screens[/caption]
2. They are outdated
Usually hoteliers try to renew their visuals every two years in order to avoid discrepancies between what the guest sees and what he gets after arriving.
Perception is reality.
You want to showcase any type of renovation made, or the way you changed the decoration of the rooms. It also allows the viewers to know your property is constantly being taken care of.
3. Confusing Galleries
Many hotels don’t allow their images to be expanded into a full-screen view. I know for me, such results are frustrating when I want to see an image up-close and can’t.
Allow the images to be displayed as large a size as your website allows.
Also, don’t make your viewers jump from page to page just to view the different types of media that you have. Include photos, virtual tours, floor plans or videos in a single media player.
4. The color isn’t right: this is key
Believe it or not, color and lighting make a big difference when users look at images. Since photographers have color calibration software’s on their computers,when they "Photoshop" the visuals, the colors may look off on your user’s computers.
The sky may be way too blue, and the palm trees too green, making people believe the pictures are overly manipulated.
Test the color and brightness of the visuals on different computers to make sure this doesn’t happen.
5. Not mobile friendly
This is a no-brainer. No one likes zooming in and out just to see a picture. Or having their possibly chubby fingers messing with all the buttons and pressing things they didn’t intend to (like me).
6. Few images
TripAdvisor published a report last year that stated that properties with more than 20 photos get 150% more engagement. Show various pictures of the bedrooms!
Don’t just publish a photo of the bed. Bathrooms and other bedroom amenities are very important for some travelers.
The power of visuals can never be underestimated. Humans are looking for neat and sharp images to stare at when looking to book.
It’s important to understand that their final decision can be highly defined by your hotels visuals. Take your time to plan, and produce high-quality visuals, in order to engage and convert viewers much more effectively.
After all, we shop with our eyes!
NB: Here is a handy infographic outlining some other useful and important things to remember when creating travel videos (click pic for larger version):
NB2: This is an analysis by Sabrina Lugo at Ice Portal.
NB3: Travel pictures image via Shutterstock.