Digital Advertising Resource for
RV Dealers and RV Industry

About Those Photos On Your RV Ads …

Posted by Shawn Friesen on Mar 27, 2013

Selling more RVs boils right down to you doing everything in your power to enhance – and in fact, to “engineer” – the buyer’s RV shopping experience.  iStock_000003467341XSmall

The photos you display on your RV classified ads matter.  Your pix can make – or break – your prospect’s “experience.”

Your Photos ARE Your Store …

Online, your store IS open all day, every day.

Sometimes, just for fun, I go into our Google Analytics and zoom in to see – real time – exactly how many people are on shopping for RVs at any given time.  The number always surprises.

Would you believe – at times – we can have 350 to 500+ RV consumers cruising our “store,” shopping for RVs?  Wow!  That’s why we insist … your photos ARE your store, what the customer sees when “they come in,” shopping online.

Great Pix Can Get You …

Great pix keep folks “on” viewing your RV.  They hold buyers’ attention on your Vehicle Detail Pages (VDPs).  This is huge.  (Watch for more about how crucial time-on-VDPs is in later posts.)

You already know that having lot of photos (i.e. 16 to 30) will get you 15% MORE leads.  The longer folks look at your unit, the less time they look at other units and the more likely they are to inquire.  And, for even longer visits, add video.

Your Assignment For Today …

Just go look at your ads.

Put yourself in a consumer’s shoes … how do your ads look?  Be honest.

Do the photos of that RV do it justice?  Do the pix inspire inquiry?  Do they help justify your price?  Or conversely, are the photos you have published actually detracting from the value of the unit you’re trying to sell?

Photo Faux Pas To Avoid: 

  • Fuzz or blur
  • Too dark
  • Too bright
  • Patchy – dark or bright spots
  • Poor photo composition – remember the “Rule of Thirds”.  It works.
  • Lack of flow from photo to photo.  This occurs when the pix do not show well how everything in the unit connects.  The sequence of shots is off and the shopper cannot visualize the unit’s layout by looking at the photos.  Causes spatial confusion and prospects stop looking.

For Better Quality Photos (And More Leads) Do This:

  •  Give your photographer a fighting chance.  Equip them with a decent camera.
  • Sit down with your photographer.  Explain the mission-critical nature of the photos they shoot.  Be extra clear that you expect 30 premium quality photos for each unit.
  • Follow up and check your photo quality.

A wise man once said, “You cannot expect what you’re not willing to inspect.”

  • Training – give your picture shooter some training.  Send them on a course or bring in a local, professional photographer to train your people and provide the tips & tricks your dealership’s photographer requires.
  • Or, at the very least, review these helpful RV photography guideline articles with staff.  Article # 1.  Article # 2.
  • Touch-ups.  One dealership photographer (who was well known for his excellent photos) told me, “I use Photoshop to touch up 85% to 90% of all the photos I publish.”  Wow!

More time on your ads  –>  More inquiry  –>  More sales.

IMPORTANT – Your No. 1 Photo-Related Tip:

Think how your customer thinks.  And, for the RV consumer, it’s all about “search.”  They search manufacturers, search brands, search models, search prices.  Every conceivable combination of search gets tried.

So … what pops up after a consumer searches?  A Search Results Page (a.k.a. an SRP.)

If your unit shows up on an SRP – with a long list of other similar units – you want your unit to stand out and present well on that SRP.  Because … he who gets the click on an SRP, wins!

Winning SRP clicks can have much to do with exactly which thumbnail photo you show for each RV?  To win that click, to get that shopper looking at your unit, you have to show your very best shot as your thumbnail picture.  (Often a standardized view i.e. a right front corner shot.)

To put your best foot forward, so-to-speak, make sure you load your very best photo first because typically, it’s the first photo loaded that gets selected as that unit’s thumbnail.

And, isn’t it great how doing the right thing and improving the shopping experience for your customer will invariably result in you increasing your sales?

What photo tips have you found bring you the best results?

Author: Shawn Friesen


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  3. Bill Estes

    Hi Chris, Very thorough essay on ad prep and photos. I will be purchasing an ad for a fifth-wheel trailer in the next day or so.
    One question: is there a recommendation or limit on digital photo size. I have reduced JPG images to 300-700 kb for transmission to RVT. File size OK– or too small?
    Thanks, Bill

  4. Chris Mapson

    Hi Bill: Thanks!

    Yes, that size is fine.

    It will work well.


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