Has your vacation rental business been open for a while, but you are not seeing your desired results? It might be time to consider implementing a vacation rental marketing plan, thus transforming your business, receiving more direct bookings, social media followers and adding more and more clicks from search engine searches.
In this guide for vacation rental owners and property managers, we’ve compiled the best marketing strategies you can implement to increase your business return and build your brand image – It is time to give your vacation rental a new lease on life!
Any business that wants to succeed in today’s dynamic world needs a marketing plan, and your vacation rental is no exception. It’s no longer just a matter of advertising your vacation rental property on rental platforms like Airbnb or Booking.com, you need to take it a step further.
Competition in the vacation rental industry is fierce, as it’s a relatively easy way to earn an income without having to large investment. For many vacation rental owners, it’s a side business. However, the rapid increase in the number of vacation rental properties means that the number has doubled from just a few years ago, leaving little room to maneuver for those not offering relevant content to potential guests.
That’s why focusing your efforts on content marketing can help your vacation rental company get better results.
There’s a phrase that’s been repeated lately in the marketing world: content is king. In a world as visually oriented as ours, the image of a brand, and the idea it encapsulates, is the only image that matters.
In short: it’s no use if your vacation rental is the best in your area, if your vacation rental has the best views and amenities, if no one sees it. It’s time to change direction and start a vacation rental marketing strategy with the goal of getting more web traffic, more direct bookings, and more revenue for you.
Your marketing strategy should be as broad as the areas of your business, and these days there are methods and techniques ranging from the very basic to the very technical to make an greater overall profit based on these mediums.
Before you start, ask yourself what you want to achieve: more bookings, more interactions, better communication with customers? Defining these medium- and long-term goals will keep you from getting lost in a sea of possibilities.
A brand image, in other words a consistent vision of your business, is a good starting point. It is the first thing your guests will see and remember about your vacation rental: a name that is easy to remember but different from what they are used to; a logo that represents that essence, with colors and typography that help visually; a specific aesthetic that defines the type of vacation rental you manage; etc.
Starting with this foundation will make it much easier to define the rest of your future marketing efforts. Start by defining a name, tagline, and logo that you can use in your social media accounts, emails, and communications with your guests. Create an email account with the name of your vacation rental and use it as a point of contact from now on. This way, your guests will perceive see both a professional and knowledgeable image of your vacation rental business and think of think of you as someone serious and trustworthy.
Vacation rental platforms are a good way to get started in the vacation rental industry, as they are used by millions of users every day. On the other hand, your website will allow you to develop a broader content strategy and help establish your brand.
For starters, your website can be the focus of your marketing efforts. If you want your listings on the platforms to stand out from the competition, you will need to invest time, effort and and even money to appear more frequently in user searches. On your website, on the other hand, you are free to publish more detailed written content, such as a blog about vacation rentals, as well as additional content like links to social media, guest reviews, a booking calendar, and other key aspects of his business.
Also, if you install a booking engine on your website, it will be easier to get direct bookings and stop paying commissions for every booking you get on the portals. Nowadays the cost of maintaining a website is almost zero and you can even use free templates like those provided by Smoobu.
From your website you can also better optimize your SEO strategy so that search engines can better rank your business.
Social networks are some of your greatest allies. They’re the first thing a potential customer will look for to learn more about your rental. They can also be used to briefly highlight the benefits of your rental and often the best tool to communicate with potential customers. Learn how to promote your vacation rental on social media in our extensive guide.
It is essential that the images you use on your social networks are quality and that you adapt the content to the trends of the networks: create stories and reels on Instagram with songs of the moment, participate in challenges, post polls, sweepstakes, etc. The possibilities are endless!
After laying the groundwork, it’s time to put strategies into practice to get the results you are looking for. Most of these resources can be done by you, as you know more about the ins and outs of your business and better understand the needs of your guests. However, some of these concepts may seem complicated and you may not have a lot of time to put them into practice. If this is the case for you, you can always enlist the help of a professional marketing agency or freelancer who can take the reins.
However, here are some strategies that vacation rental owners like you can implement:
If you already have your own website, it will be easier for you to improve your ranking organically by including quality content.
Having a vacation rental blog, for example, where you give a firsthand account of your experience in the rental industry, is a good idea and can help other hosts. But don’t stop there: diversify your content strategy.
To find out what topics are most interesting to guests, you can do a keyword search, where you will see what topics, concerns or questions are searched the most by users. Include these keywords in your content, always trying to make it attractive, interesting, and useful to the potential guest.
You can also include articles about local activities, festivals, products, gastronomy, or history of your area, which will encourage interest from locals and generate more shared content.
Keeping in touch with your past guests is very important, as a regular customer base will ensure your rental doesn’t suffer in the off-season.
Let your regular guests know via email about the latest news about your vacation rental, and about discounts for early bookers and repeat guests. However, avoid sending a barrage of emails every week. It’s best to plan email campaigns to coincide with vacation periods, such as Christmas or Easter, and before summer, as a reminder.
SEM campaigns, as search engine advertising is known, are the best way to increase web traffic. This type of advertising is paid but can be attractive at certain times of the year where you may be slow. Users are more likely to see your ads and click on them, increasing the chances of getting direct bookings.
In a digitized society such as ours, it’s impossible to ignore the many benefits that digital marketing offers you as a vacation rental owner. Why not go beyond rental platforms?
And remember that with Smoobu’s channel manager all communication with your guests is automated and you can create your own website at any time, which is an important first step in your marketing strategy. This is where it all begins!