By this time of the year, you and every other hospitality marketer will have a pretty good idea of what your 2017 ‘money shots’ were. Those images that set your marketing campaigns alight. The hero shots that boosted the most traffic to your sites, got the most social media traction and showcased your brand most successfully. The image that boosted your profit margins above and beyond every other.

It’s not about doing the same thing all over again

What worked in 2017 may not work the same way in 2018. Marketing often relies on of-the-moment moods and feelings, and each season has different trends and dynamics. But high-performing images can tell you a lot about what your particular market and audience respond to – and they can tell you more about the DNA of your best guests than you might imagine.

Not sure what your most successful images were this year?

If you haven’t had the chance to think about it, these last few months of the year are the perfect time to take stock – both of your marketing campaigns and your hero marketing images.

What was your 2017 marketing strategy?

Think about what you set out to achieve this year. Did you want to sell more premium rooms? Increase package sales? Book more conferences? Build engagement with your brand? With your sales and marketing strategy in mind, pull together as much data as you can – analytics, financials, customer feedback – and any other anecdotal insights from your team that you can, and see what comes out on top. Which were the campaigns that best brought that strategy home?

Once the winners become clear, it will be easy to find your ‘money shots’. They are the lifestyle images or product shots that anchored these winning campaigns.

Using your new insights to set your campaign agenda for 2018

It’s not hard to build a successful 2018 marketing strategy once you understand what really worked for your brand this year. The insights you get from knowing your most successful initiatives are the perfect foundation for building next year’s plan. They can tell you a bunch of things, including:

  • What motives your target audience to engage
  • What specific image types resonate best – if you target the business end of town, it might be all about room and conference images. Targeting millenials might mean that you get the most traction from featuring your hotel’s social spaces and celebrity network. If you’re a resort, then iconic underwater or aerial shots might have inspired the most bookings.
  • What images actually compel people to book


Chances are, that these image types will continue to engage your audience in 2018.