Why Visual Story Telling Isn't Really Happening
It's a strange contradiction. We're told visuals drive bookings, traveler interest.
We hear that travelers looking to book will be compelled to do so by rich images that tell the kind of story we want to buy into.
But the visuals we typically see are sterile and empty.
VFM Leonardo, a leader in online visual story telling, reports on the top ten visuals shoppers want to see on a website before they actually book a hotel room or a destination.
The smart money tells us that travelers don't book a hotel room.
They book a story. They book an experience.
They buy into what the hotel and travel destination stand for; provide.
Could be romance or adventure; great cuisine or a rich family experience.
Clients buy into lively, strong visuals (stills, video, customer photographs) and not text-heavy websites.
Yet, VFM Leonardo, in its report on what visuals travelers want to see before booking, shows us images of empty guest rooms, lobbies, business centers.
New Media Travel, in a post called No More Boring Hotel Websites, Please argued strongly against these kinds of images.
And Travel Video PostCard, a leading supplier of short-form (1-2 minutes) videos to the travel industry, long held that video engaged travelers looking to book more compellingly than text or print.
VFM says, "when travelers are combing the Internet for the perfect hotel, they are engaged by dynamic visuals," but why do their examples show the opposite?
Regardless, the company does a great job in guiding travel professionals into more effective use of visual story telling.
That the hotels may not still get the message is likely as frustrating to VFM as it is to us.
Top Images for travelers
• Guest room
• Recreation area
Obviously travelers want to see images of the place they use the most. What they want to see in them is a different story.
Seeing nothing may be safer, but certainly it's not story telling.