Having professional and well-designed images for your business might sound basic (and obvious) when you think about it. But you might be surprised by the number of holiday parks (and accommodation businesses) that don’t have proper photographs to document their property.
In theory, providing a photo gallery of your property sounds straightforward — anyone with a digital camera and a halfway decent eye for capturing images should be able to achieve it. But there is a definite art to it, and it does require a bit of a soft touch. Poorly taken photos can come across as amateurish and don’t show your business in it’s best light. While on the other hand, stock photos or overly airbrushed images are going to come off as false or feel highly commercialized. What you want is something authentic, ideally something creative and of a decent standard. This is where the accommodation industry can learn a thing or two from those involved in e-commerce.
People involved in selling things online will tell you that the devil is in the details when engaging with an online audience, with photos being one factor that is important that you get right. There are numerous pieces of content available online spruiking the critical reason why imagery is important to online experiences. A succinct explanation is found on the Creative Momentum blog “Research by Nielson Norman shows that a minuscule 16 per cent of shoppers actually read websites word-for-word—79 per cent just skim for the highlights. And when online shopping across a diverse network of e-commerce retailers, we’re guessing this 16 per cent is even lower. For many people, no (or poor) images means no go”.
The fact is, people’s attention is fractured when exploring information online, and your images might be the only thing they really focus on when visiting your website. Lined up against 15 other businesses your photos might be the thing that makes your property stand out from other options. Guests may not be thinking in these terms, but when you boil it down holiday parks and accommodations are like any other e-commerce business albeit with a slightly different product.
One person who knows this all too well is Daniel Tilton, CEO of Next Generation Holiday parks and a recent podcast guest on That Bad Review. To use Daniel’s words “I’ve always felt that high-quality photos, including aerial photos, are the best way to sell a park. Improvements in drone technology have been a game changer in this sense and are correlated closely with our successful marketing efforts.”
This isn’t to say everyone must run out and buy a drone or spend weeks testing photos to ensure maximum conversion. That also isn’t to say don’t experiment with a drone or a GoPro or whatever means you have of letting people experience what you’ve got in a digital environment before visiting.
Photos are a really important detail and having a well-curated set of them — that put your offering’s best foot forward — can be one of those differentiators between the truly successful and moderately performing parks.
Listen to my entire conversation with Daniel here.