January 2014

Newsletter January 2014 Newsletter

Google Virtual Tours
I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with Google and to have been accredited as one of their Google Trusted Photographers and I can now offer Google Virtual Tours. This is an exciting new online marketing initiative using the same technology as Google StreetView. It allows customers who find you on Google to take a fully interactive, 360° virtual 'walk-through' of your business. This really brings your business to life and allows you to showcase your business in incredible detail. Your potential customers can walk around and interact and explore your business and really experience what it's all about. Your Virtual Tour can also be embedded into your business Website, Blog and Facebook page with links easily sent via Twitter etc.This also helps businesses to enhance their online presence in Google Search, Google Maps and their Google+ Local Listing. To put it simply, your business will get high-profile exposure on the world’s most popular search engine allowing you to stand out from your competitors. The whole thing really is just superb so please take a look at my website to see how it works.

Keeping Up Appearances
Latest figures from the electronics retailers show that sales of tablets and notebooks are substantially outstripping sales of both laptop and desktop computers. On top of that, many consumers also prefer to use their smartphone to browse the internet. ERevMax, the leader in hotel online distribution have just released some interesting figures and reckon that bookings taken on mobile devices are set to increase by 20% during 2014.This raises an important issue for anyone with a website: how does your website actually appear when viewed on a tablet or smart-phone? The reality is that it can often appear very different to how you might want it to, with some features missing altogether. Its worth checking this out yourself and its also a good exercise to use something like Google Analytics to find out what devices your web visitors are viewing your site with. If necessary you may need to talk to your web designer if there is an issue. This also applies to some of the large holiday listing sites and letting agencies; some will have a dedicated app which ensures that their website (and therefore, of course, your property) appears as it should but some have simply just not cottoned on to this yet. Again this is worth investigating if you are contemplating using such a site.

Photography 2014
Prices for my photography service in 2014 have been held at the same level as last year. Packages start at just £150 and I know from comments made by so many of my previous clients that good photography on a website makes a significant impact on enquiries and bookings.

Good Photography = More Bookings
Following on nicely from the last item, the following is a review left for me by one of my clients, Colin Grace, who owns and rents out holiday apartments in Edinburgh – a very competitive market.
Taking appealing photographs of holiday accommodation is a tough skill that not every professional photographer possesses, after all, in the same way you shouldn't ask a landscape artist to paint your portrait, you shouldn't ask a wedding photographer to photograph your holiday let accommodation. I can say this with confidence because that is exactly the costly mistake I made; a wedding/portrait photographer who took OK photos but no impact in regard to my bookings.
So I decided to bite the bullet and hire a professional apartment photographer to take photos of my two holiday lets in Edinburgh. I honestly believe I could not have chosen better than Inside Story. Tracey has a wealth of experience in both apartment photography and home design and when these two skills are combined the results are breath-taking. Her attention to the set dressing detail and her trained eye for the best angle and shot, without a doubt make the remarkable photos she takes so appealing to my holiday visitors. Everyone said I was mad spending out more money on another professional photographer and I would be better off using the money to buy a good camera and do the job myself. I had already tried this with OK results but again hardly any change to my bookings. Now I am having the last laugh.
Tracey's photos are fabulous. I timed putting them on my sites by uploading them in time for the Nov/Dec low, slow winter bookings season. This way I could judge the impact Tracey’s photos would have for the Dec, Jan & Feb low income period and my goodness I could hardly believe the results. My low, slow bookings season of December has been fast and furious with enquiries coming thick and fast and conversion rates up by 50% from 60% to 90%. I have recouped the cost of the photos in the first 2 bookings and the enquiries just keep coming in. Tracey cares about the quality of her photos as she knows how important it is that they show off your holiday lets most appealing attributes. I have no hesitation in recommending Tracey to anyone looking to increase their share of the holiday accommodation market. Thank you Tracey, I am absolutely delighted.