It’s not your mega marketing budget, your luxurious interior design, or your fancy amenities (though those things are nice, too).
It’s your local expertise. And here’s why—to book guests, you need to convince them of two things:
- Your destination is worth visiting.
- Your rental is the best place (for them) to enjoy your destination.
In this post, we’ll look at three reasons why your local expertise is your vacation rental content marketing superpower—and useful content that you can channel it to create.
It sells your destination.
Prospective guests are already decided on a destination. They’re just looking for a place to stay, right?
Not so fast. During the first phases of planning a leisure trip, one in three travelers haven’t decided on a destination. And you can’t convince them to stay at your rental if they’re not sure they want to stay in your city.
So how do you guide their decision-making? Use your expertise to create content that does the following two things:
- Gives them a nuanced understanding of your location. Share the details only a local would know. It’s common knowledge that Orlando is known for its beaches, theme parks, and nightlife, but tell them about your favorite club for girls’ getaways. Give them the down low on park shows and events.
- Encourages them to dream. Think with Google deems this phase of the booking stage the “dreaming process.” Use your content to spark guests’ imagination and help them begin to envision their stay. If they book with you, will they be able to walk to a local café on the way to the lake? Catch a show downtown and Uber home at a reasonable cost?
Content that Works: Insider Guides
An insider guide is an effective way to put your own thumbprint on your destination. Content that offers your original insight on your location helps guest fall in love with your city, and start dreaming about their trip in terms of staying at your rentals.
You can use it to attract new attention.
There’s a whole audience of vacationers that already have their eyes set on your destination. Your job is to convince them that your rental is their best option.
But first, you need to gain their attention. Attract new guests during their research phase by creating content that will help them plan their trip—even if it’s not at your rentals. Follow VRMB’s marketing mantra: help, don’t sell.
In order to be sure you’re attracting the right attention, start by thinking about who your target guests are. Do they want to know about the best restaurants? Scenic hikes? Instagram-worthy beaches?
Then, create a healthy mix of content that informs and content that sells (hint: helpful content should far outnumber sales-oriented content). Once you’ve established trust with potential guests by providing them useful information, you’ll be on their mind when it comes time to make a booking decision.
Content that Works: Blog Posts
The cold truth: especially if you’re a single property owner or small property manager, ranking on Google is a long, never-ending process. You can learn more about why here. We’re not saying it’s not a worthy or achievable goal. But well-written content is only one key ingredient in the recipe to search engine success.
The good news: Google isn’t the only way to distribute your content. One in five travelers turns to social media for trip inspiration. If you can use your newsletter, your website, and/or targeted ads to garner an engaged following, you have an instant audience for your blog posts. Even better: build a relationship with local tourism bureaus and write content that’s good enough for them to share on their own channels.
It helps you keep your location relevant.
Maybe a potential guest stumbled upon your website when researching your destination, but they’re not looking to book in the near future.
Maybe recent guests have had a great time at your rental, but it slips to the back of their minds as they return to their daily routines.
Or maybe a lead booked with a competitor this time, but they loved the destination so much that they plan on returning annually.
How can you attract bookings in all three of these scenarios? By providing relevant and helpful content about your location all year long.
The best way to stay on potential guests’ minds is to ask them to subscribe to your newsletter or follow you on social media. But in order to earn their loyalty, you need to deliver valuable, consistent content that helps them plan their getaways.
Content that Works: Newsletters
As a vacation rentalist, your email list is worth its weight in gold. If you use it conscientiously, it’s a fast ticket to bookings. Pair your local knowledge with the power of your email list by creating newsletters that keep past and potential guests abreast of what’s going on in your location.
If there’s a big event coming up in town, let your list about it, and frame it in terms of your rental. Give them the low-down about why the event is a must-visit, but also tell them if they can walk from your properties, or if your home will give them a spot to relax just outside of the crowds.
A newsletter is a tool that can work for you no matter the time of year. Remind guests of the great time they had last year just before peak season starts, but also fill them in on little known local secrets that could convince them to book during the off season.
Have a brain full of local knowledge, but lack the time or energy to turn it into powerful marketing? At Guest Hook, our team of world nerds loves working with vacation rental owners and managers to create content that works. Get in touch with us today.