The future of digital marketing is visual storytelling, and if you aren’t telling a compelling visual story online, you’re starving consumers of the content they desire.

Guests aren’t just booking a room with you, they’re booking an experience, and they want to see what that experience looks like.

Leonardo data shows that 86% of visitors consume more than 10 images when they visit our media gallery, proving that travel shoppers crave images. But not all images are equal, there is one type of visual that is viewed more than any other, and it’s probably not the one you’re using as your hero shot.

Now that you know the number one most sought after photo is of guestrooms, it’s time to reconsider the way you’re displaying your hotel online. Room photos are actually viewed twice as often as restaurants, the second most viewed images. And hotel exteriors are all the way down the list at number 9.

So, if you’re currently leading with an exterior shot of your hotel as the “hero shot” on your homepage, change this immediately. Reconsider the sequencing of your images to ensure guest room visuals are front and center.

Other Ways To Improve Visual Storytelling On Your Website

1. Use High Quality Images

Use images that can be enlarged without appearing blurry or grainy. Be aware, however, that large image files can also drag down your page-load times, which impacts SEO. To avoid this, scale your images to the size you want them to be displayed. For example, it’s no good using a 2500 x 1500 pixels image on your website and displaying it at 250 x 150 pixels. The entire image will still need to load. Keep in mind that reducing an image size doesn’t necessarily reduce the file size, so you may need to use a special tool.

As a side note, Vizlly (our Digital Marketing System for hotels) does this for you automatically, creating many versions of the media. It creates multiple versions to address all devices, from full screen desktop to smartphone.

2. Organize Your Gallery

Think of your media gallery as a storybook with many chapters. Segment your images according to different parts of your hotel and/or guest experience. For example, have a separate tab for guest rooms, the lobby, on-site restaurant, local attractions, etc. Think about your ideal guest and the kind of things that would appeal to them.

The Mare Vista in Greece knows its ideal guest very well and segments its gallery accordingly.

3. Take Photos At Multiple Angles

Guests want to know the entire story of your property. Therefore, take lots of photos at different angles, especially of your guestrooms. Take photos of the bed, the desk, the TV, the washroom, the balcony – everything that will help them imagine themselves already there. The Best Western Plus Carpinteria Inn does a great job of this for each of their guestrooms.

4. Get Creative With Your Captions

The captions and short descriptions that accompany your images are an excellent way to convey your hotel’s unique personality.

Why describe your amenities like this:

Caption: Pool
Short Description: Relax by the pool.

When you can describe them like this::


Caption: Chill Out By the Pool
Short Description: Dad’s got the kiddos, now its Mommy time! Relax by our outdoor pool with full service food & drink.

We love how Goodstone Inn & Restaurant in Virginia uses copy creatively to communicate the comfort and sophistication of its guest rooms.

Additional Resources

For more information on this topic, check out our Multi-Media Best Practices for Hotel Marketers. From images, to video and virtual tours, learn the benefits of different multi-media strategies and how you can incorporate them in your marketing.

Additional Resources

For more information on this topic, check out our Multi-Media Best Practices for Hotel Marketers. From images, to video and virtual tours, learn the benefits of different multi-media strategies and how you can incorporate them in your marketing.

About the Author Darlene Rondeau

Darlene Rondeau has more than 25 years of marketing & sales leadership experience. She is currently the Vice President, Best Practices, Online Merchandising for Leonardo Worldwide. Her role is to educate hoteliers and work with industry associations to heighten awareness of new visual marketing techniques that motivate consumers throughout their travel shopping journey.