Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, hotels knew what travelers wanted and expectations were straightforward. Vacationers were looking for nice amenities, access to nearby attractions, time away from routine, and - above all - a good deal. But today’s hotel goers want very different things compared to pre-pandemic times. Guests today are prioritizing cleanliness, safety, and are demanding more in-room services. To remain competitive in a thinner market, hotels need to adapt their marketing and services -- and professional photography is critical for hotels to sell more rooms months to come.
Here are 4 key things hotel guests are looking for during COVID-19 and how hotels can use professional photography to market these features.
Dine-in and room service are making a comeback
With the possibility of COVID-19 lurking outside their doors, and many areas of the world with restricted dining access, guests are far less likely to venture outside to eat these days. They will be more reliant on room service. Even folks who may have considered room service too pricey in the past are likely to want the convenience and safety it offers nowadays. Hotels should capitalize on this opportunity to sell more food services, and the best way to do this is with high-quality irresistible food photos.
Appetizing, enticing photos are the most important information when it comes to ordering food. In fact, a Google study, commissioned by Snappr, shows that viewing food photos is 1.44 times more important than reading descriptions and 1.38 times more important than reading reviews. Hotels need to provide menus, both physical and digital versions, to guests that include professionally shot and edited pictures of all food items.
Other studies have also shown that including food photos increases online orders by over 35%. Properties that invest in high-quality, irresistible professional food photos for their menus will sell more food services to guests.
Hotels should also market the safety and social distancing measures taken by the staff around food preparation and delivery. Hotels should emphasize that all room service orders come directly from the kitchen to guestrooms, which minimizes any chance for contamination. Photography can help back up these claims by showing staff transporting meals in covered or closed containers. And for hotels offering dining options outside guests’ rooms, photos are great at showing how a hotel is managing the safety of dining areas, such as distance between people in lines and seating arrangements.
And last but not least, hotels should also include their in-house restaurants on food delivery platforms to sell to people outside their hotel, which will increase food orders even more. Food delivery companies rely heavily on photography for conversion rates and provides yet another reason to have a full, professionally-shot food menu available.
Take a look at some of these great food photo examples from some of the largest and most successful hotels.
Showcase lightning fast wi-fi & workspaces to win business travelers
While people are not currently traveling as often for leisure, the need for business travel is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Understanding the evolving needs of business travelers in the pandemic is crucial to winning their business.
Properties should market to business travelers by showing high-quality images of in-room desks, work areas, and available conference rooms. Hotels should market their rooms as being work-friendly. No one wants to spend their trip being forced to work sitting in bed or hunched over a small breakfast table. Business travelers want to see spaces suitable for laptops with proper seating that includes cushions and back support. Hotels can also showcase on-site computer rooms and office equipment such as printers and conference screens.
Hotels should also advertise free and fast wi-fi focusing on showing off the download speed. COVID-19 is making our world even more digital, and having slow internet is no longer going to be acceptable. This will be especially important for professionals traveling for work. In fact, a recent study by Hotels.com found that wi-fi was the most desired feature for business travelers.
Check out these fantastic examples of how photos can be inviting to business travelers.
Focus on selling comfort with enticing room photography
Travelers are spending more time in their rooms than ever before. With less opportunities to go outside, guests are going to want better in-room entertainment options during their stay. Hotels should focus on room features that signal comfort, such as entertainment systems, bedding, and different seating areas. With so much time now being spent in rooms, entertainment and comfort will be a huge selling point that will differentiate hotels.
Hotels can create more enticing room options by highlighting comfy seating areas, cozy beds, big screen TVs, and available streaming services. With so many vacancies, guests have more options now than ever before. Showcasing amenities that other hotels do not have is crucial, and a single photo of a television loaded streaming options such as HBO, Netflix, and Hulu can make the difference in a conversion.
Having photos like these will convince guests they are making the right choice and help them imagine a comfortable and enjoyable stay inside their rooms or longer periods of time.
Stay active on social media with content focused on cleanliness and safety
Perhaps the most important feature today’s travelers want is safety and cleanliness. Hotels need to show pictures of what steps they are taking to protect their guests and social media is the perfect platform to highlight these actions.
According to a study by Forbes, more people are turning to social media to get news and updates than ever and hotels should use social media to post updates on their operations during COVID-19. There are many creative ways hotels can use photos to show their commitment to safety. For example, hotels can show how well rooms are cleaned and sanitized, show protective equipment used by staff, or show safety guidelines such as appropriate spacing at elevators or dining areas. Debuting and explaining safety procedures with photos will convince guests their stay will be safe and enjoyable. Make it serious, make it look happy and most of all: make it look professional.
Here are some examples of photos used to create smart and effective social media posts by hotels since the start of the pandemic.
Use Snappr to get the best photos for your hotel
To get the best photos, companies should always use professional photographers. Snappr has the world’s largest network of trusted photographers providing professional photos on-demand. Photoshoots can be done anywhere and anytime - with as little as 2 hours advance notice.
And with the best-in-category tools and API, Snappr is the fastest and most effective way for companies to manage shoots at scale. Best of all, every Snappr shoot is professionally edited by a single in-house team, resulting in high-quality images that are always consistent with your brand.
Ready to take your photography to the next level and make a real impact on your bottom line? Contact Snappr’s Enterprise Team today to learn how we can provide your brand with professional photography that is second to none.