There are images proven to attract more guests to tourist destinations.
No doubt, when you’re in the market for a new place to visit, you’re clicking through photos and videos that show off the sights to be seen and the adventures to be had. Some of them might not interest you as much as others — but have you ever wondered why? Well, Andrew Woods has, and he and his team have figured out the secret to which images work, and which don’t in attracting visitors to destinations.
Andrew is involved with the interactive media design, film and video production, and blog writing for Digital Edge Marketing. Digital Edge is an agency in Jacksonville, FL, and they specialize in digital marketing for DMOs (destination marketing organizations). On this week’s Zesty Marketing Podcast, Andrew sheds some light on the scientific research behind destination marketing imagery: what kinds of images people are most drawn to, and why!
5 Themes in Destination Marketing Images
After conducting their research, the Digital Edge team uncovered 5 themes in images that people were most attracted and responsive to:
1. People walking outside near historic shops
2. People watching fireworks in view from an art museum
3. An outdoor gallery scene
4. A street view at night
5. A dining scene at a restaurant
The common thread between all of these? They all feature people. Or, as Whitney puts it, they all “show the product in use.” People researching a new city to visit don’t want to see empty streets and shop fronts — they want to see actual people walking down those streets, looking in those shop windows as they take in the sights and enjoy their time in a new place. Andrew says that,
“People like to see other people enjoying that destination from an authentic perspective.”
So if you’re looking for the right kinds of images that will make you a magnet for new visitors, get out there and get real, authentic shots of people actively “using the product” of your destination.
Check out this guide to creating wow-worthy videos that show off your destination!
Add originality to stock photography
Andrew has strong opinions when it comes to stock photography, as you might have noticed while listening to the podcast! He urges destination marketers not to use stock photography as your sole source of images. Try to include as many of your own original assets as you can.
Of course, not everyone’s budget can always support that kind of request, but Andrew has a solution. He’s skilled at merging stock images with those taken of the actual destination, combining them in new and creative ways to add a spark of originality to what would be considered flavorless stock photos (he makes them zesty, as we might say). With today’s technology, he says there’s no reason someone in marketing couldn’t do the same thing for their destination images.