In your opinion, what makes the biggest impact on a traveler when choosing their accommodation? If reviews is your guess, you guessed wrong – it’s PHOTOS.
According to TripAdvisor, the number of reviews comes in second, behind photos, when ranked by level of influence on travel engagement. For instance, if you add just one photo to your listing you will gain a +138% increase in engagement. Uploading a further hundred photos will result in +151% increase. What’s more, compared to listings without photos, properties who have just one photo to their profile enjoy +225% more likelihood of booking inquiry. With the rise of the number of photos, the likelihood percentage rises accordingly.
Adding photos to your listing profiles will provide your potential customers with more information and they will generally spend more time finding out about your hostel. If travelers spend less time viewing your profile, it means that they are not too curious about the content they see. You can track this by keeping an eye on your bounce rate. The bounce rate is the percentage of people who click on your profile and leave immediately afterwards. You would want to keep this number as low as possible.
To lower your bounce rate, you should make changes to your profile, add more engaging content for your potential customers. Photos are a great way to raise your customers’ interest. And the more interested they are in the information you provide them with, the more likely it is for them to book a place in your hostel. After doing a study, FlipKey concluded that travelers are 83% more likely to inquire about properties with 20 photos or above.
So, once you have decided to upload a bunch of photos, what is your next step? Photos are there so that the travelers can see what it’s like before they arrive. Take photos of your hostel and its surroundings. If you are up for it, consider hiring a professional photographer. When it comes to photos, there are a lot of technical conditions that need to be met in order for your photo to look stunning or simply good enough. If you are not familiar with things such as choosing the right angles and setting up the lighting, maybe you should leave it to a professional who will make the most out of your hostel. The quality of photos is just as important as their contents.
Take a picture of your facilities and rooms, so that they know what to expect.
Of course, you would want to focus on your best features, but don’t make something better than it is, because false information will have a negative effect on your reviews.
If there is a location of interest to tourists nearby, try to take a photo of it together with your hostel, so that the travelers can get the idea how close you are to it.
Your photos (together with your reviews) is what makes you stand out from other hostels and you should work towards making the most of them. If you pride yourself in creating a friendly atmosphere, you should have a picture of a common area full of people who are hanging out together, or, on the other hand, if the view from your dorm is exceptional, don’t shy away from turning it into a photo.
Moreover, you should also experiment a little and switch different photos from time to time with a view to understanding what your customers are attracted to the most. Use this information and post only pictures with good engagement rate.
A hostel’s online presence is a never-ending battle for travelers’ time and attention and, as a hostel owner, you should devote yourself to diversifying yourself from the others. Photos of the hostel are a primary attention-grabber and, depending on your dedication to them, they will decide whether your sales will shoot up or plummet.