How to market your hospitality business better using photo and video

By Peter Ruddick , 16-Jan-2013
Last updated the 16-Jan-2013 at 10:56 GMT

Related topics: Business, Venues, Events & Awards, Trends & Reports, Restaurants, Hotels, Pubs & Bars

A picture might tell a thousand words but getting the right photo and video to market your hotel, restaurant, pub or bar is often not as simple as penning some winning prose - so what top tips can hospitality businesses take to improve their imagery?

From asking customers to upload photo and video to your website to employing a professional photographer to capture the spirit of your business; photo and video can be great marketing tools - photo credit Tyson Sadlo

From asking customers to upload photo and video to your website to employing a professional photographer to capture the spirit of your business; photo and video can be great marketing tools - photo credit Tyson Sadlo

Loading...

That was the topic up for discussion at a Hotel Marketing Association (HMA) event held earlier this week at The Rubens at the Palace hotel just metres from Buckingham Palace.

Giving advice to hospitality businesses were leading freelance photographer Tyson Sadlo; Ivor Peters, creative and development director at Tracc Films and Anthony Rawlins, chief executive of the firm Digital Visitor.

BigHospitality was in the audience to discover which ways businesses could harness the power of photo and video to increase traffic to their websites, drive interest in their ventures and ultimately increase revenue.

Inform, inspire, ignite

Despite extolling the sensory benefits of a strong image, Peters warned hospitality leaders to make sure they didn't rush head first into hiring a photographer or videographer before fully working out the aims and planned return on investment (ROI) of the campaign.

What naturally follows is that you fully research your options - should you take the photos or videos in-house or employ someone external? If you do the latter make sure you give them a clear brief and budget and take plenty of advice from them - after all they are the experts and they may be able to suggest innovative ideas you hadn't thought of.

On the day of the shoot make sure you have let everyone know it will be happening, allow enough time to collect all the content you want and don't allow the schedule to slip - wasted time can cost you more money.

Sadlo had plenty of ideas to inspire hospitality businesses looking to develop more photo and video - devote plenty of time for food shots - they take a while - and consider black and white shots if you want to use the images for a number of years.

Finally, when you get your content don't lose it, many professionals will charge for replacement photo and video. Perhaps of most importance - measure the impact of your campaign - through anecdotal evidence, analytics, social network shares or increased booking interest.

Customer content

Sadlo works with a number of young photographers who he can suggest for clients who do not have the largest budget. However Rawlins suggested businesses which don't have the cash for bespoke photo and video should consider customer content.

Asking existing guests to upload photo and video to your own website can drive more traffic to your site and make for more influential content than corporate images.

Top 10 tips on photo and video marketing:

Click play on the slideshow below to see ten examples of good photo and video marketing which you could adopt in your business - check out the tips in full in the list under the gallery.

  1. Fun - Put humour or quirky elements in your photo or video to make it more popular to share on social networks.
  2. Preparation - Make sure you let your staff know a photo or video shoot is taking place so the venue looks at its best and if possible combine photo and video to save time.
  3. Simplicity - Don't over-brand your content or use too many words - simple and un-corporate are more effective approaches.
  4. Customer content - Ask customers to submit photos or videos of their visit - it is cheaper, very effective in selling the venue and many customers take great photos.
  5. Expand horizons - Consider taking photos of the venue's location - it is often the main reason people book to stay at a hotel rather than the building itself and it can be prettier than the hotel.
  6. USP - Staff are your biggest strength so use them in your photos or in a video documentary.
  7. Be brave - This photo of the InterContinental London Park Lane hotel required lengthy, time-lapse photography.
  8. Endorsements - If you know anyone famous, ask them to appear in your content - it can make a simple photo campaign into a good media campaign.
  9. Encourage sharing - If asking for customer content, encourage people to share it on social networks too - this campaign from Champneys led to a successful Facebook flash sale.
  10. Experience - Market the whole experience of your business - people are keen to know about more than the thread count of a bed sheet or the ingredients in a dish, they want to know what else they can do and how it will make them feel.

Thank you very much to the Hotel Marketing Association, Red Carnation Hotels, Tyson Sadlo, Ivor Peters and Anthony Rawlins for their help in setting up the audio report and for allowing use of their photographs.

Back in business: Hospitality property market outlook

Back in business: Hospitality property market outlook

As the new year gets rolling, now is the perfect time for hotels, restaurants...

Digital restaurant: How to extend your reach with online innovations

Digital restaurant: How to extend your reach with online innovations

The likes of social media, online advertising and mobile loyalty apps allow businesses large...

#SocialRestaurant: How to use Twitter effectively

#SocialRestaurant: How to use Twitter effectively

They’re all on it. Big national chains, high-profile chefs and small emerging brands across...

Dietary requirements: Terre à Terre’s top tips

Dietary requirements: Terre à Terre’s top tips

In the third part of our Dietary Requirements special feature, BigHospitality takes a trip...

How to become a hotel manager: Masterclass with Glion

How to become a hotel manager: Masterclass with Glion

What skills do you need to be a hotel manager? Following a special media...

Budget 2013: What it really means for your hospitality business

Budget 2013: What it really means for your hospitality business

Now the dust has settled on George Osborne's fourth Budget speech, the race is...

UK pub industry pledges more than 400 work placements in just one week

UK pub industry pledges more than 400 work placements in just one week

Long hours, unskilled work and few career development opportunities: the hospitality industry, and pubs...

UK team 'disappointed' by ninth place at the World Pastry Cup

UK team 'disappointed' by ninth place at the World Pastry Cup

Martin Chiffers, president of the UK's Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie club, has described...

Every hospitality business must make job creation pledge, says Ufi Ibrahim

Every hospitality business must make job creation pledge, says Ufi Ibrahim

Ufi Ibrahim has told hospitality businesses across the UK that they must ‘walk the...

How to market your hospitality business better using photo and video

How to market your hospitality business better using photo and video

A picture might tell a thousand words but getting the right photo and video...

Training for staff retention: Jamie's Italian

Training for staff retention: Jamie's Italian

Staff retention can be greatly improved by providing new recruits with the right training....

VIDEO: National Restaurant Awards 2014

VIDEO: National Restaurant Awards 2014

The National Restaurant Awards 2014 took place in London last week, with the top...

60-Second Skill: Using #foodporn to your advantage

60-Second Skill: Using #foodporn to your advantage

Customers posting pictures of your food on social media is a trend you can't...

60-Second Skill: Pouring champagne

60-Second Skill: Pouring champagne

As demonstrated at the Moet UK Sommelier of the Year competition, champagne pouring requires...

Video the future of London dining

The future of London dining

As London's rents continue to climb, restaurateurs are finding innovative ways to open new...

World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2014: Top chefs on what it takes to make it on the list

World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2014: Top chefs on what it takes to make it on the list

Every year, the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards celebrate the best places to eat...

Exclusive interview with MasterChef: The Professionals winner and finalists

Exclusive interview with MasterChef: The Professionals winner and finalists

BigHospitality talks to MasterChef: The Professionals 2013 winner Steven Edwards and finalists Adam Handling...

World's 50 Best Restaurants 2014: Exclusive video interviews with top chefs including Massimo Bottura

World's 50 Best Restaurants 2014: Exclusive video interviews with top chefs including Massimo Bottura

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2014 saw Danish restaurant Noma dramatically reclaim the...

Non-alcoholic drinks: How to improve your coffee offering

Non-alcoholic drinks: How to improve your coffee offering

In the final part of our special feature on non-alcoholic drinks, BigHospitality travelled to...

National Apprenticeship Week: The way forward for hospitality

National Apprenticeship Week: The way forward for hospitality

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson got National Apprenticeship Week off to a ‘frying...

BigHighlights

Mark Poynton: Pearls of Wisdom

Mark Poynton: Pearls of Wisdom

The British chef-patron of the Michelin-starred Alimentum and star of Great British Menu Mark Poynton talks about...

Interview with Glendola Leisure's Alexander Salussolia
Small Talk

Alexander Salussolia on Silk & Grain, market niches and nurturing future talent

Managing director of Glendola Leisure Alexander Salussolia joined the company in 1992 as an area manager, before...

60-Second Skill: Using #foodporn to your advantage

60-Second Skill: Using #foodporn to your advantage

Customers posting pictures of your food on social media is a trend you can't escape, but by...

Gallery: the UK’s first experiential craft brewery Drygate Brewing Co.

Gallery: the UK’s first experiential craft brewery

New Glasgow venture Drygate Brewing Co. claims to be the UK’s first experiential craft brewery, offering a...

Hospitality Openings: June 2014

Hospitality Openings: June 2014

Our latest round of up of the hottest hospitality openings includes Heston Blumenthal’s Heathrow venture The Perfectionists’ Café,...

60-Second Skill: Pouring champagne

60-Second Skill: Pouring champagne

As demonstrated at the Moet UK Sommelier of the Year competition, champagne pouring requires skills and knowledge....

Find us on Facebook

Digital Edition - Restaurant Magazine

Access to the Restaurant Magazine digital edition