What brands used to do to manage their image libraries

In the ‘olden days’ (think any time prior to 2007 and the arrival of social media), it used to be the case that hotel brands would do a photo shoot every two to five years or so, in order to refresh their sales and marketing image libraries.

As a result, customers were seeing the same images of each property on websites and other platforms for years – sometimes in extreme cases when brands dropped the ball on photography, even decades. People probably got so bored of seeing these images that their eyes glazed over and they fell off their chairs.

Why that doesn’t work any more

Fast forward to 2018, and this really isn’t an option anymore. Brands are making much more use of the internet and social media platforms to supplement their image libraries. User-generated content, as well as the video and social generated by brand ambassadors, have become, and are still increasingly becoming, valuable marketing tools.

Whilst these elements create a more varied landscape in which brands can tell their story, it doesn’t change the need for hotels and resorts to have a good range of professional images with which to sell their products.

You still need great brand photography – but you need more of it

So how can hotels and resorts create imagery that works for their brand, and at the same time keep these images fresh in order that they don’t bore consumers and buyers (who are consuming media at a rate never seen before) to tears? My suggestion is that you plan to refresh your images every one to two years. But rather than completely refreshing your entire library, choose one or two market segments at a time and plan a photo shoot to create a micro-library of images tailored to engage, inspire and connect with those individual segments.

About Market Segmentation

Market segmentation is a marketing strategy that involves identifying subgroups within a brand’s target market. These subgroups will have common needs, interests, and desires, meaning separate strategies can be developed that will appeal to each group.

If you are new to marketing segmentation, this is a good article to start with.

If you’ve been around for a bit longer, you’ll know that most hotels and resorts will not simply

market themselves to one segment of the market. Consider your own property. It’s likely that you get business from anywhere from three to five market segments across leisure, business, lifestyle and events.

One of your market segments may be weddings and formal celebrations.

Breaking it down

As an example, two of your market segments may be day-conferencing clients and extended-stay clients. So over the next six months, why not focus on refreshing the images that demonstrate your point of difference and unique offering to this particular segment. The process of planning a photo shoot will allow you to reflect on what is important for these particular clients in 2018 (as opposed to 2010, 2015 or whenever it was that you last took photos), and ensure you have fresh, vibrant imagery and possibly new, targeted video content that helps your customer make good decisions.

Staggering your image and video library updates means that every year, you’ll have a selection of fresh, appealing and sales-friendly brand assets that will help keep customers engaged, and won’t break the bank. You can also then use these images to run even more targeted marketing and advertising campaigns to further grow this part of your business.

Families may be another important market segment for you.

How can I help?

I am always happy to talk to people about what kind of photography makes the most sense to people for their business, and for which market segments that are targeting. Not sure where to start? Feel free to get in touch – I look forward to talking with you!