Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pictures you place.

It has been a while since my last blog post. This was mostly due to my personal situation, and the job that I had. Now as I have started in a new position since October 1st, I am ready to continue my blog.
It is not an accident as my new job is directly connected to marketing and sales in a small hotel called Bjørnefjorden Gjestetun, situaten in Os, half an hour drive from famous Bergen, Norway. This will be a great opportunity for me to use my knowledge and share my experience with you. I hope to be able to show what works and what does not work for a small accommodation business.

I am lucky in a way, as the hotel has not been doing much marketing before me. So I have a chance to start almost from the bottom and build up the image and marketing strategy. The first steps were made while I was working my termination period at me previous job. And the first step was to make a new web-site.
As I wrote earlier, a good web-site is vital for you company, as it is the face of it out there in the wireless world. The other important step was made by integrating of booking-engine into the web-site. As we are in Norway, we are able to have direct booking with the help of Book Norway and,in hour case, TellUs Booking (who recently merged with New Mind UK). Different companies in Norway use different systems for that purpose: VisBook has own connection, for example. Then there is CityBreak used by some other destinations. As I have mentioned, we use TellUs because our destination – Fjord Norway – use it. This allows us to be bookable both on VisitNorway, VisitBergen, and of course on our own web-site.
We do use affiliate booking systems of course. The most loved one is The receptionists have noticed that they get a lot of bookings through it.
To continue the story about the booking systems, I can describe what steps I made first during my first days in the job. First of all, I went through all the pictures that were out there. I discovered pictures of grass, flowers and dead fish on our page. This did not make me too happy, so I spent a few hours updating those. The same was made with our VisitNorway booking page. It is very important to be critical about the pictures that you choose. Think about what your tourist or guest expects to see. And think of how you position your property!
Try to answer these questions:
  • Who is my guest? Is it a tourist or a conference guest?
  • Is your property situated in the city or out in the country? Are you promoting city life or cozy quiet atmosphere? Answering these questions will help you understand the style your pictures should have.
  • Are your pictures up-to-date? Maybe you have renovated some of the rooms or the lobby and forgot to take new pictures? (This happened in our hotel: I have discovered pictures of the lobby as it was a year ago, while the management has spent a lot of money on renovation).
  • Are the pictures made by you, or someone who should be taken into consideration when it comes to authorship? (It has become very important to follow the rules  about authorship)
  • Are your pictures of good quality, resolution, lightness, brightness, etc.?
My advice is to place pictures that really reflect the specialty of your property, the rooms, the lobby, the food you make. Avoid pictures that don’t have any real message or content, and could be taken anywhere in the world (think trees and flowers). become very important also because Trip Advisor takes its information directly from there. How I started with Trip Advisor I will write next time, as that definitely deserves a special attention.

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