How many pictures have you taken this week?
Yes, I know you're busy but have you looked outside? Everything's looking lush, green, fresh and the light's wonderful.
Why am I suggesting you spend some time every day snapping a few pictures? If you want to develop your business, creating a bigger, better bank of images is one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective things you can do. Yet most people fail to do.
Selling a promise
Tourism marketing is all about selling a promise. We're trying to convince people to visit us, and yet most people don't know about us and can't picture what our areas or businesses are like. Put an idea into their head that includes visual images and they're more likely to imagine themselves as part of that picture. If we want to convince them to visit, we need them to be able to imagine being here and enjoying what we have to offer.
It's never been easier to take and upload images to websites and social media. Of course many pictures are terrible, but with practice everything improves. In Spring and Summer most places look better than in the darker Winter months so it makes sense to take plenty of photos now, so you can use them all year round.
What about those days when the weather isn't so good and the phone doesn't ring? That's a good time to use images to show how good your area can look, to show potential visitors there are better times to come. When it's raining, it's hard to imagine the sun ever shining again but a picture can convince, or you could show a cosy indoor image to entice visitors.
Your website before review sites
Why do you think review sites have become so popular? One key reason is because visitors want more information, to feel more certain before they make a booking or commit to doing something. If you've only got a few small images on your website, people will look elsewhere. Review sites offer more images and more information but there's always the risk that a visitor will go somewhere else. Add as many images as you can to your website. Help potential visitors imagine what it's like, and help them see how it might feel to visit.
FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out is a big motivator for many people making decisions to do something or visit somewhere. A really good image on social media can trigger FOMO and encourage visits.
You probably spend a fair amount of time answering the same questions again and again? You could cut down on some of that time by adding more images to convey some of the information.
Good images are one of the easiest ways to grab attention and interest people when they see them on social media, on websites and in other media. The eye is automatically drawn to images before words.
What kind of images to use?
What kind of photos work well? Images that show beauty or that surprise, pictures of something about to happen, happening or just happened.
Try to use a combination of images - those that show the big picture, those that show smaller details.
Whatever you do, take and use as many pictures as you can. It's one of the easiest ways to show people how good you are, to interest them, and encourage more visits. If you can somehow tell a story through one of your pictures, so much the better.
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Please note: all articles are copyrighted Susan Briggs