If a picture is worth 1,000 words, can the photos you use in your RV ads be worth thousands of dollars as well? Perhaps.
In online RV merchandising, we already know ads that use 16 to 30 photos get you 280% more leads than ads that don’t use a photo at all. (See the research here.)
Along those same lines, people will spend more time looking at ads with better quality photos than ads with photos that look like they were taken by a four-year-old playing with Dad’s camera-phone! In fact, “time spent on VDPs” (Vehicle Detail Pages) is one of the biggest indicators of a sale.
Why Would Shoppers Want BOTH Quality AND Quantity When It Comes to Photos?
Because the photos used with your RV classifieds give your potential customer …
- A 1st impression about the RV – and -
- About you as the dealer selling it.
Photos that are of poor quality or that have distracting backgrounds reflect negatively on the RV and on how they feel about doing business with you. And, attracting (not repelling) prospective buyers is what it’s all about, isn’t it?
DISCLAIMER: You don’t have to be famous Photographer Ansel Adams to create a brilliant RV ad with great photos, but taking a little extra time and remembering the following tips can be the difference between someone contacting you or having them click away to an ad with better photographs.
1. Beware the Sun’s Glare! When photographing RVs it can be tough to get a consistent exposure across its entire surface, especially if the RV is shiny or 1 solid color. You can avoid having half of your RV hidden by sun reflection by taking photos early in the day or later in the afternoon, when the sun is not at its brightest. A polarizing filter on your camera will also cut down on the surface reflections.
2. Find the Good Side. Just like people have a more photogenic side, your RV will also have a “good side” too.
Sound crazy? Walk around the RV and look at it from different perspectives. An RV design engineer spent a lot of time rendering drawings of that RV at various angles and there are angles at which the RV will look sleeker and more attractive.
Of course, you aren’t trying to hide flaws — but pictures that show the RV at its best should definitely be in your ad.
3. Edit. Your photo editing program has a lot of cool features … it’s time for you to start using them! Don’t just upload your pics to your computer and post them. Open them in a photo editor and use the enhance and cropping features.
Try things like …
- Center the image to the picture.
- Cut out out distractions in the background.
- Adjust brightness and contrast
Editing can improve the quality of your ads tremendously. More time on VDPs, more leads, more sales.
4. His & Hers Shots
He wants to see the guts and the specs. For him …
- Take time and focus your camera!
- Do not rush close up / detail shots.
- Zoom in on the control panels (make them legible, not blurry or a huge flash shot.)
- Shoot the generator, the motor, storage compartments, any exposed plumbing and HVAC, the tires, hitches, window stickers and all the controls you can play with from the driver’s seat.
He Likes the Nitty Gritty Shots. She’s Different. And, She Calls the Shots!
She wants to see how the rooms fit together. A straight on shot of the dinette doesn’t tell her much if she doesn’t know where it fits in the room.
- Give her clear shots of the floor plan and layout.
- Colors, patterns – consider close-ups of the drapes and furniture, even color swatches if you have them.
- Kitchen, bathroom(s) & bedroom(s)
Designer style shots will appeal to the “better half” of the family that’s also shopping, clicking, rolling through your photos, helping decide if they should give you a call – or not.
A Good Example of Decent RV Photography …
Check this ad out: 1991 Prevost, Redding, CA
What I Like:
- Lots of photos (60). (We have dealers that insist on NO FEWER than 80 pics. Gone are the days when 8 photos is “good enough.”)
- Great guy shots! Motor, mechanicals, tires, storage spaces. Awesome!
- Shows the expanse of the living space. You can see how the room fits together.
- What do you like about the way this Prevost is photographed? (Comments welcome below.)
- More interior shots. More shots that show the entire space.
- Turn the lights on!
- How would you improve the photography on this unit? (Comments welcome. See below.)
We’ll explore more photographic tips in upcoming weeks. And you (really) don’t want to forget about VIDEO, check out these articles. Videos Generate Lots More RV Shopper Leads and 1 Game-Changer Tactic that Few RV Dealers Are Onto.
Give this article to whichever team member is charged with the responsibility of making your RVs (and your dealership) look great!
Begin immediately with just these 4 suggestions. I’m sure you’ll find that your photographer’s eye will start to develop and you’ll discover that presenting an RV properly through excellent photography is a fun (and profitable!) part of the process.