What does your hospitality business pride itself on? It may simply be the food you serve; it may be your stunning premises or location; it may be the attentive service you offer, or it may be another unique selling point. Whatever it may be, your marketing efforts need to be focussed around these key selling points – but that’s easier said than done; marketing in the hospitality industry in this day and age should be dynamic and engaging, shareable and ‘snackable’, personable yet professional. How does a business achieve this? Through investing in professional photography and video services.
The case for using photography and video in your marketing efforts is an obvious one. Less obvious to some may be the case for investing in professional photography and video services rather than doing the work yourself, particularly in a world where it seems user-generated content is more popular and carries more authority than naked advertising. But going it alone would be a mistake; an investment in professional photography and video services for your hospitality business is one that will more than pay for itself – and here are a few reasons why:
You Need Quality
Social Media Means You’re Competing with the Entire World
More than other industries, restaurants, cafés, hotels, caterers and other hospitality businesses’ marketing needs to be sensory; by showing your potential customer your dish, you ought to evoke the tastes and smells associated with that dish and leave them craving it. It’s not enough to produce the best dish in town, whether it’s a decadent, greasy cheeseburger or foie gras in a duck jus – if the way you market that dish doesn’t do it justice, then you’re not going to see the return on it that you should. Only a professional food photographer or videographer will know how best to light an image of your dish, how to take a snap that highlights important details such as rising steam, how best to focus on the small details of your dish, and so on. A snap or video on your phone – no matter how much of a dab hand at Instagramming you may think you are – won’t cut the mustard.
A personal effort may have done the trick a few years ago when your marketing efforts were limited to your own website, but we live in a world where many customers are won on external social media properties, rather than on our own sites. Social media algorithms collate the content that has garnered the strongest response and deliver it to the feeds of users most likely to also respond, often without regard for how likely that user is to actually make a purchase from the business being promoted – so if your efforts aren’t good enough to be liked, shared or commented on, users who can physically visit your establishment and make a purchase are likely to be served “This New Orleans Diner Makes the Most Amazing Hot Dogs!” instead. Using professionals who can showcase your products in the best possible light ensures your products have the best chance of competing in this environment.
This principle doesn’t apply only to food; it applies for photos and videos of your premises, of your service team taking orders, of your chef hard at work making your finest dishes. If you’ve invested in the décor of your premises, or in the best staff you can find, it is always worth further investment to ensure these are promoted in the best, most enticing way possible.
Don’t Think You Need Video Content?
The Numbers Say You Do
If you’re reading this post, it’s a reasonable assumption that you are, or will soon be, marketing your business digitally. You may have already spent time and money on website development, social media, SEO, PPC and all kinds of other marketing. But did you know that a third of all time online is spent watching video content? Or that four times as many consumers prefer to watch video content than to read about a product?
If your hospitality business revolves around hosting and serving businesses in some way, perhaps it would be more of interest to you to know that 59% of all company decision-makers would rather watch a video than read an article or blog post, and 65% of business decision-makers visit a company’s website after viewing its video content?
It’s easy to view video content as a luxury but the numbers don’t lie – video is the most effective means of getting eyeballs on your business online, so it’s worth investing in getting it done properly and doing your business justice.
A One-Time Investment With Limitless Reusability
The return on investment from professionally-taken photos and videos will come from a number of places. Primarily, you should be looking to use your photo and video content to promote your business via social media and your website. But consider whether your menu would benefit from photos of your dishes; a picture of one of your more expensive dishes looking as sumptuous and tempting as possible could nudge a customer who would otherwise have ordered something less pricey into splashing out.
Similarly, if you live in an area with a high amount of tourism, you may receive guests who won’t be able to read your menu. Illustrating your menu with high-quality, professional images will allow your establishment to transcend the language barrier.
Even if the initial costs seem daunting, you’ll only ever need to photograph each of your dishes once – and then you have a selling statement that promotes your brand and attracts users that can be used and reused ad infinitum. That investment starts to look very wise once it’s paid for itself with the new customers attracted to your restaurant through seeing your images online, through the extra money spent by customers who just couldn’t resist after seeing it on the menu, through additional spend from those who need a visual aid to know what they’re ordering. After that, you’re looking at pure profit – until you introduce a new dish to the menu, by which time having it photographed by pros will be a no-brainer.
Interested in investing in photography and video services for your hospitality business? Shape Hospitality provide everything from food photography that will have your mouth watering to venue promo videos sure to have customers queueing round the block. Check out our packages here!