Have you ever heard the saying “There are as many ski rentals as there are snowflakes on the mountain?” Okay, that saying doesn’t actually exist. But it could. If you’re in the ski rental business, you know just how many options skiers have when they want to book a trip. From luxury chalets to classic cabins to ski-in/out condos, ski mountains everywhere are full of your competition.
The challenge for your most-successful ski season in 2015/16 is setting yourself apart. Whether you’re a management company with hundreds of rental units, or a skier yourself with just one condo you want to rent out when you’re not using it, the key is simple:
Know Your Guests – And Target Them in Your Copy
Many property managers and owners we talk to know exactly the kind of guests their property attracts.
A sleek, modern condo, for example, that attracts tech entrepreneurs who value active downtime and outdoor adventure. Or a cabin that’s just the right amount of cozy for a memorable family getaway. Still other rentals—with in-town locations, say—attract not skiers at all but groups of friends who might do a little skiing and a lot of hot-tubbing (and nights out on the town).
The problem is, their marketing (and specifically their marketing copy) doesn’t speak to these groups, specifically. Instead, the copy that introduces the potential guest to their property is simply a bland list of features with no particular audience in mind. There’s no strategy, no brand voice working behind the scenes.
This comes from a totally reasonable place: ski rental owners and managers don’t want to risk alienating a segment of the audience by targeting another.
But we’d like to dispel the notion that you must reach every single person who comes across your rental website or property listing. By targeting everyone, in fact, you target no one.
Here’s a (kind of simplistic) example to illustrate my point.
Once, a client didn’t like a line I wrote about “sipping a glass of wine on the balcony with boundless views of the ski mountain.”
Because, the client reasoned (and it was a perfectly reasonable thought), what about the people who don’t drink alcohol? Why not write “sip your wine or hot chocolate on the balcony” and target both drinkers and non-drinkers?
My counterargument, from a writer’s perspective, is that doing so creates a wishy-washy image that ruins the fantasy. Your wine-loving audience was just getting into the image of starting out at a mountain vista with a glass of California white…and now all of a sudden there’s hot chocolate?
Again, it’s a pretty small example. But it works when you apply it more broadly, too. If you simply write down everything you offer, but don’t have a clear picture in your mind of exactly the person you’re writing for, it will sail right past them.
But what if, on the other hand, you understand and speak to a specific type of guest’s wants, needs, and concerns? Resonating like this, you can reach up through the clutter of options in your destination and land yourself a new booking!
The One-Size Fits All Ski Rental
But, you might be wondering, what about those whose rentals really do host an even split between families, friend groups and outdoor adventurers? A rental that can go from hosting a young ski family one night to a band of late-20-something outdoor adventurers the next?
Not to worry. You can still practice targeted copywriting to stand out.
Like we’re doing with this very blog post!
At Guest Hook, we write copy for property managers and owners all over the map. To reach a specific segment of that audience—i.e., you, ski rental owners and managers—we created a post that speaks to your interests specifically. We know that Caribbean property managers won’t read this. And that’s okay!
Apply that same tactic to your own audience. Write a compelling blog post about family-friendly après-ski activities…and then write one about the new tech gadgets and apps skiers are using this year.
When your target tech-loving skier or busy mom are searching for info to plan their upcoming ski destination, and lands on your post, they’ll feel specifically talked to. And maybe maybe drawn to your rental for reasons they don’t even quite realize.
Try out some targeted copy for your 2015 ski season! It just might make the difference between “Book it Now” and “No Thanks.”