The travel industry is a highly competitive environment. To stand out, you have to keep innovating, pushing the boundaries of creativity, and coming up with new ideas.
Travelling is all about stories, and the way we tell them. Our job is to transport the audience to our destination – helping them to imagine the feel of the sand under their toes, hear the sound of sea waves and see the colours of the sunset.
This is where good storytelling comes in. While compelling writing goes a long way, people are increasingly visual, so it’s valuable to think about new ways to tell your stories.
What is Visual Marketing?
Put simply, visual marketing is using content like images, videos, and graphics, to send brand messages, convey ideas, and to market your product or service. Visual marketing is an effective way to build stronger and deeper connections between customers and your brand.
Our brain processes visual information 60.000 times faster than text. It takes just 13 milliseconds for the human brain to process an image. The stats say we remember just 20% of the information we read, and 10% of what we hear. In contrast, we remember 80% of what we see. In addition, 65% of us are visual learners. (source)
This explains why we tend to consume visual content more. It’s one of the most efficiency ways to obtain the information we need, and many people prefer it to reading a block of text, or listening to content.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that visual marketing is on the rise.
Why is Visual Marketing important for travel businesses?
Visuals are the way for travel brands and businesses to stand out in a unique and authentic way. Visuals make memorable (first) impressions fast, especially when the topic is travelling.
For travel businesses, high-quality visuals are a must. You can write the most thorough description of your rooms and facilities, but if you don’t have photos to show it, nobody will book.
In addition, good, professional-looking visuals help you to highlight the benefits of your offer, impress potential guests and attract more engagement. According to TripAdvisor, travellers are up to 150% more engaged on listings with more than 20 photos, then those with fewer photos.
The more effort you put into creating different types of visuals, the better results you will have.
According to Forbes, 90% of customers say that video strongly impacts their buying decisions. Also, 64% of customers say seeing a video makes them purchase the product/service that was featured. So investing resources into creating high-quality visual content can guarantee a higher ROI.
Finally, take into account the fact that your competitors are investing in visual content too. According to the latest trends, more and more brands and businesses are prioritising good visual content, when it comes to their online presence and strategy.
So besides all the ROI it can bring, visual marketing is important to avoid being outpaced.
Categories and Types of Visuals
Visual content is a very broad term. So to be able to distinguish it, we can differentiate different categories and types of visuals.
There are three basic categories of visuals: owned, paid and earned.
Owned visuals refer to all the visual content that you have created internally or commissioned an agency to create for you. Media that you buy from stock websites, like stock photos and videos, are also considered owned visuals.
You own the copyrights and that content is completely under your control and ownership, which is one of the pros of owned visuals.
Also, with owned visuals, you can ensure the content is perfectly aligned with your brand identity, values and message. The cons, however, is that they can be quite expensive and can time-consuming to create.
So it depends on your needs, budget, and overall strategy if the owned visuals are a good option for you or not.
Paid visuals are mostly associated with influencer marketing and partnerships. It is content that you pay to be created for you, and promoted on other sites, to reach a wider audience.
The most common paid visuals are paid promotions on social media, sponsored posts and ads.
Paid visuals are great for building awareness, driving traffic to the website and/or social media channels, building lists. But, at the same time, they can be costly. So the investment has to be done right in order to see high ROI.
Finally, earned visuals are content created by your customers or your audience, which is related to your business or brand.
The most popular earned visuals are called User Generated Content (UGC). However, they also include online reviews, testimonials and mentions of any other kind.
Earned visuals are great for establishing a brand reputation online. Also, they are a powerful tool for building strong relationships with customers and audience and showcasing customers positive experiences. This is all great social proof.
Types Of Visuals
There are many types of visuals that you can consider. But, here are some of the main ones that every travel brand and business should have in their content library.
This is the starting point for every travel business. Appealing, professional-looking imagery is a must.
Whether you are hiring a professional photographer or using images from stock websites, make sure they are high-resolution and most importantly, on-brand.
Like with any content you are publishing on behalf of your business, photographs have to be aligned with your brand identity, message and values.
Video is a step up from photography, and the impact it can have on your audience can be worth the often significant investment required.
I don’t usually recommend using stock videos – they won’t really show the essence of your brand, and allow you to showcase your specific services and offers properly.
Videos can perfectly depict your brand vibe and values – but to do so, they have to be custom made and well thought out.
If you need assistance with photography and videography, we would love to talk to you and see how we can help you!
Illustrations are a fantastic way to stand out online and be a little different.
If done right, they will help to set your brand apart, capture the attention of new customers and effectively convey your brand’s promise. There are endless ways you can use illustrations, for example on your social media feeds, in the design of your website and in your promotional materials.
You can take it one step further by using motion design to animate your visuals. Short loops, and charming animations can work great for social media, and you can add movement and intrigue to your website and emails.
Motion graphics and animations are also perfect for storytelling. This is why many explainer videos use animation to convey information, emotions and stories. Even better this type of video is usually cheaper to produce than a video – which requires a team to film, actors and expensive equipment.
Infographics are a great way to present information and data in an engaging, eye-catching way.
When it comes to the design, creativity has no limits here – which is probably why audiences like them so much and share them.
Use infographics when you want to tell a story quickly. For example, who visits your destination, your business’s journey from founding day until present, or to explain rules and procedures like measures against Covid-19.
The best infographics are visual as much as possible, but also functional. The information they convey should be clear, but they should be creatively designed to align with your brand identity.
If you need out-of-the-box infographics, we would love to hear from you!
I hope this article will help you take the first step into the powerful world of visual marketing. If you have any questions, just leave them in the comments below and I will get back to you!
If you would like to start using visual marketing to grow your travel business, we have good news for you! We are offering 1-hour consultation call, 120eur value, completely for free until the 31st of July! To book it, simply go to this link or contact us and we will make it happen.
Stay safe and healthy,
Until next time,