If you’re reading this post, your vacation rental content marketing strategy may not be going as planned.
Maybe nobody’s reading. Or maybe you have some readers, but not the ones you hoped for. Or maybe you have plenty of eyes on your content, but they’re not converting into bookings.
The concept behind content marketing is simple: offer readers useful information, and they’ll reward you with their business. And it works: content marketing’s conversion rates are nearly six times those of traditional marketing.
Content marketing is a great tool to have in your arsenal when you’re looking to increase bookings, attract repeat guests, or shift your customer demographic. But in order for it to work, you can’t just throw your ideas at the wall and see what sticks. You need to be deliberate, thoughtful, and aware of your audience.
Guest personas put a face to your audience, allowing you to craft more targeted, useful, and engaging content that converts readers into bookings. And if you’re suffering from these three content marketing woes, they could be the key to making your marketing work.
Empty Room Syndrome
Sometimes content marketing can feel a little like talking to an empty room—or at least a very dark one. Forging ahead with a strategy can be frustrating and ineffective when you’re not sure who’s reading and whether they’re booking.
We’ve boasted about content marketing’s high conversion, but your efforts are fruitless if you’re speaking to a faceless audience. Establishing guest personas helps you brainstorm blog topics, social media strategies, and content initiatives that capture potential guests’ attention.
And persona-based marketing doesn’t just shine a light on the room you’re speaking to—it also helps fill it. This marketing method has been proven to increase email open rates by 2-5 times and website traffic by 210%.
Example: The owner of a beach bungalow colony in Cape Cod is struggling to build her email list. Using a guest persona that embodies the mothers that typically book her properties for families, she creates a “Young Moms’ Guide to Cape Cod” that she offers in exchange for email addresses.
Case of Mistaken Identity
Knee-deep in inquiries about your family-friendly rental from party crowds? Have a laid-back rental that’s getting negative reviews from luxury-seekers? Your content strategy could be suffering from a case of mistaken identity.
The cause could be as simple as word choices. Perhaps you’ve put too much emphasis on entertaining, and the spring break groups are taking notice. Maybe you’re overselling and not embracing your rental’s flaws.
Whatever the issue may be, being upfront and honest when creating your guest personas can help you attract the right readers. We recommend basing at least one or two of your personas on guests that have been the most satisfied and most satisfying to host in the past.
Example: The owner of a flat in London really enjoys hosting older couples, but lately has been seeing an influx of booking requests from a party crowd. She establishes a guest persona reflecting older couples she’s hosted in the past and uses it to create blog posts that highlight high-end, romantic restaurants and date night ideas.
Missed Opportunity Blues
We bet there’s a lot to brag about in regards to both your destination and your rentals. So when it’s time to create a content strategy, it’s easy to focus yours around the well-known and well-loved tropes: the best beaches, top-rated restaurants, can’t-miss cultural experiences.
But by staying at surface level, you’re not doing your best to reach out to guests personally. High-performing companies that use persona-based marketing are 1.6 times more likely to understand their buyers’ fears and wants. When you use guest personas, you’re no longer just selling—you’re connecting.
Once you’ve put yourself in your guests’ shoes through persona-based marketing, a whole new slew of engaging ideas for your content strategy will emerge. Dive deep and use your personas to think about your guests’ experience beyond the biggest and brightest tourist spots.
Example: A property manager in Austin wasn’t booking as much with the 20s and 30s crowd as he thought he could. He created a guest persona around a millennial foodie and developed a blog series focusing on the best of specific dishes and drinks—from burgers to craft beers to organic breakfasts—near his rentals. He posted these on his social channels to promote sharing and garner a following of the guests he was aiming to book.
Want to better understand your guests and use content to gain bookings? Guest Hook offers an array of branding and content marketing services for vacation rental owners and managers. Get in touch with us today.