No travel ad is complete without a gorgeous photo--but what makes an ad image truly irresistible? To boost bookings and grab attention, travel marketers must carefully select the most seductive and inspiring images. They should be telling a complete story through images alone.
Plus, it’s crucial that images are descriptive and fully show what the space is like, including interesting sights, amenities, and anything else your possible-buyer may be curious about. On top of mastering the basics of a good product photo, here are some of the most important tips to create amazing ad images for your travel marketing.
P.S. We really recommend reading up on general product image tips in order to fully get your catalog of images up to par.* Find our complete post here.*
Before moving forward, always consider what search engine you’re optimizing for. Channels will generally have different requirements, so be sure to abide by the rules of the specific channel.
Use accurate color and great lighting
Would you be excited by a photo of a poorly lit beachfront hotel room? Probably not. No matter how gorgeous or incredible an offer may be, poor lighting leads to poor sales. Dark images or those with poor visibility can steer vacationers away from booking as they can appear both uninviting and unprofessional. Furthermore, images of your beach resort on a grey, rainy day, will be far less convincing and enticing than vibrant colors on an ideal, sunny day.
For images of an interior, it’s commonly (and highly) recommended that you shed a little light. Open the curtains and turn on the lights to make the space vibrant and visible. Also, consider taking photos of the space during different seasons so the shopper can get a clear idea of what to expect—no matter when they might plan to visit.
"Shoot in a corner"
Literally. Shooting photos from a corner makes the space seem larger and offers a better sense of perspective. When the average phone can take a gorgeous picture with ease, consumers expect your professional marketing team to do the same. Your travel marketing campaigns should aim to create ads as seductive as a shiny, polished instagram feed.
Similarly, mobile has made scrolling through images not only easy--it’s expected. The average travel retailers will use anywhere from 15-25 pictures for a single listing. The fact is, shoppers don’t just care about basic information like number of beds. Sleeping or staying in a space is a very personal experience, and customers want to feel confident their rented space is comfy and clean. Show them the bed, the rugs, the view, and anything else that could make them feel at home.
Craft settings and featured pieces
|Depending on where you run ads, it’s possible you’ll have to adhere to strict rules about an image’s composition. This isn’t just about clicks but also simply getting a listing approved.
That means you’ll need all kinds of images. For Google, grab a straightforward, no-frills shot. For Facebook, throw in a splash color, emotion, and maybe even some smiling faces.
No matter what, your ad images should always be clear of clutter and free from distractions. Though a photo may have several items in the background—like books or kitchenware—these should always be neat and planned. The viewer shouldn’t be distracted by background items. Instead, items should act as focal points and purposefully added flair. Don’t just shoot photos, plan and construct them.
Try setting key props like a coffee cup or magazine in some of your images. This helps customers imagine how they will really use the space. Creative shots and settings will turn an ordinary room into a highly desirable listing.
Furthermore, all travel marketing images should be consistent and create a logical picture. Photos of a hotel can be diverse and show all kinds of different amenities, but they should come together to tell a coherent story.
Showcase key attributes
Don’t tell; show. This popular saying is also true with product images. While you can list details of properties and offerings in accompanying text and pages, you should also strive to relay the most important information in your photos. Price, times, and other key details can all be expressed in your ad images. By adding data that is practical and meaningful for the customer, you increase the chance of each user taking the time to peruse your whole offering.
- Key data points like rooms or amenities
- Multiple images and angles
- Or--our favorite--customer reviews
Crops: Why show off only half of your hotel’s state of the art pool across three different photos? Use cropping intelligently to ensure that the image is visually pleasing and conveys complete information.
Share customer reviews
Customer reviews aren’t just a nice-to-have. They’re becoming a key ingredient to successful ecommerce efforts. Star ratings are now reported as the #1 factor used by customers when considering a business. Reviews help users form opinions--whether positive or negative. Instead of just hoping for good reviews, you should try actively leveraging them.
Note that reviews and ratings are especially important to travelers. These customers aren’t just buying a product to take home. They could be spending the night (or several nights) in the space. Hearing first-hand reviews from other travelers can turn a curious browser into a quick sale. Is the space clean? Is it fairly represented by amazing images? How are the transit connections, amenities, and everything else? Let your possible customers know.
If you’re listing rooms or holiday rentals, seasons and holidays can be a huge tool to better engage with customers. Travelers out over the winter holidays want to see Christmas trees or holiday-time experiences. Always show off your most timely photos, events, and information. This helps make the browsing experience seem more emotional and pertinent. That means users will be more receptive to ad images, taking everything in on a more personal level.
Be prepared to design your ad images with love
Travel ads can be very specific, showcasing a certain holiday weekend or a certain room to very specific, segmented audiences. However, the reality is, crafting the right ad images for your customers can take time. Your travel product catalogs are probably huge and full of hundreds of very, very similar products. Perhaps that’s one reason marketers in the industry have a hard time designing unique and compelling ads. It may be time consuming, but crafting unique ads and images with care leads to far better CTRs.
Can travel marketing image creation get easier?
Productsup users can leverage the Image Designer tool to automate this process. Just select or create a template and allow it to be automatically populated with all the most relevant product data from your feed. That means an almost infinite number of possible unique ads can be generated just by dragging and dropping a few fields. Read more on the Image Designer here.