Small Attention Spans & Big Personality: Vacation Rental Marketing in 2017

How do you master efficiency, local expertise and guest relations?

If you can answer that question, we’re willing to wager that your vacation rental or company will be successful this year.

One thing Guest Hook loves about this industry is that it’s always changing and adapting. In our look ahead to 2017, we’re making predictions on what we can look forward to and providing tips on how you can keep up with your vacation rental marketing efforts.

Read on for our full forecast.

When booking, guests want to access information more easily and quickly than ever.

You’ve heard it everywhere: the human attention span is less than that of goldfish, and it’s all the fault of mobile technology.

So that means today’s guest doesn’t waste time reading anymore, right? Wrong. They just read differently.

When we say that guests move more quickly than ever, we don’t mean that they want to instantly book the first property they see. Rather, they simply won’t spend time scouring a website or listing for details. They’ll move onto the next one.

Your job is to make it as easy as possible for them to get the information (and feeling) they’re looking for before they click along to your competition.

How can you do that? Here are our tips:

  • Create solid introductions. You have one chance to introduce yourself, so do it right. Whether you’re greeting new guests through your homepage, about us, or property listing descriptions, your first paragraph should quickly and succinctly nail the overall vibe of your property or company while also making mention of its key selling points. Capturing your guests’ attention is a tricky task, and it’s one we talk about here.
  • Use bite-sized sections. There’s nothing more yawn-worthy than a huge wall of text. Potential guests won’t know where to look to find the information they need, and will likely leave your site frustrated. Break your content up into bite-sized sections with telling subheaders, so that the culture vulture will be able to skip right to information about nearby attractions while the family vacation planner will have no problem locating the bed and bath configuration.

Owners and managers will face the challenge of streamlining while staying true to their rentals’ personalities.

In a fast-paced industry, efficiency (and consolidating) will continue to be key. Whether you achieve that with automated emails, channel managers, or quick and to-the-point content, make sure you don’t sacrifice what makes you you in the process.

It’s not only possible to keep the spirit of your rental strong while streamlining your communications – it’s crucial. Guests often turn to vacation rentals to receive a more personal, authentic experience than they would at hotels.

Here’s how you can keep the ball rolling while maintaining your distinct personality:

  • Commit to content marketing. Content doesn’t need to be long, it just needs to be useful. Whether it’s a weekly blog post on the best activities in the area or a monthly newsletter on what’s ahead for your vacation rental and destination, find a way to connect with your guests that becomes second nature. In this week’s content boot camp, we’ll show you how to develop a game plan so that you don’t need to think twice about your content marketing efforts.
  • Develop a brand voice. It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. When you develop a brand voice that represents your rental or company’s values and personality, your communications will sound more like an old friend than an automated machine. Which one do you think people are more likely to listen to?
  • Hire a professional. Guest Hook specializes in writing personal (and personality-packed) copy and content for vacation rental owners, from blog posts to listing descriptions to email templates. Whether you want us to help you define your voice or create a full-service content marketing package, get in touch with us.

The experience of a stay will become even more important in vacation rental marketing.

With the unveiling of Airbnb’s Trips, we can only predict that experience-based travel will become even more of a commodity in 2017. It’s no longer enough to offer a place for your guests to get ready in the morning and turn in at night. To stand out in the marketplace, you have to be concerned with how they’ll spend all the hours in between.

Assuming you’re a local or have deep connections to one, you are your guests’ best resource. Use your expertise in your vacation rental marketing to show how to best use the space you’re providing and where to go to make their trip as memorable as possible.

Here’s how:

  • Know your audience. It’s impossible to guide your guests in the right direction if you don’t have a solid understanding of who they are. In our New Year’s webinar boot camp, we covered how to hone in on your audience and create guest personas that represent your target, so that you always have someone in mind when you’re marketing your rental.
  • Establish yourself as an expert. Showcase your knowledge to both booked and potential guests with your website, blog posts or an in-depth insider guide. Use your vacation rental marketing content to be fun and creative as well as to assure your guests that they’re booking with someone who is invested in their good experience.
  • Pay attention to past guests. Chances are your past guests are providing you with priceless insight – all you need to do is listen. Encourage feedback and look at reviews to see where your guests are spending their time during their stay, and emphasize those places in your marketing content.

Guest Hook offers professional copywriting and content services, and we’d love to help you make this year your best one yet for your vacation rental marketing. Drop us a line, or sign up to join us for our free Friday webinars, to get started.