The art of taking good photographs whether it’s for social media purposes, advertising or brochure work has changed dramatically in the past four to five years. But even in this digital age and using the best photographers it still takes time to get the best images, according to luxury lifestyle and celebrity photographer Tyson Sadlo.

Speaking at the recent Hotel Marketing Association Seminar ‘The Changing Face of Hospitality Imagery,’ Tyson who has completed campaigns for global companies including Intercontinental Hotels Group and Dorchester Collection, stressed the importance of planning and research before embarking on any campaigns.

He advised making the most of new phone apps. which spotted current trends to stay ahead of the game and being upfront with photographers about plans to use their images so as not to fall foul of copyright.

People responded more to video content on websites rather than written content, but less than 10% of videos posted on line got more than 1,500 views, Ivor Peters of leading industry filmmaker Tracc Films, whose clients include Red Carnation Hotels, told the audience.

Some 240 million hours were spent watching video in the UK every month, so companies planning to make a video, should make it compelling by telling a story and avoiding over branding. Good video content should “inform, inspire and ignite a response from its audience”, he said.

Customers were much more likely to look at websites where photos and videos had been posted, according to Anthony Rawlins, of the award winning Digital Visitor, social commerce agency.

He told the audience to create a controlled area of their websites where customers could post their own reviews, photos and video. Successful implementation could increase customer browsing time by up to 100 per cent and search engines like Google would be much more likely to pick up this kind of content.

People should be incentivised to make postings, perhaps via a monthly competition and prize. It was also important to take feeds from other channels like Vimeo, Pinterest and YouTube as well as sharing posts.

Chairman of the HMA, Linda Moore said: “Getting your imagery right and being able to use the right social media channels to put your message across effectively is absolutely essential. Like anything it needs to be planned as part of an effective marketing campaign with a clear strategy and a good return on investment. “

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