As we move into a new year, it may be time to rethink your current marketing strategy efforts for your vacation rental business. When revising or updating your plan, you’ll likely discover that change is the common denominator among industry standards, implications of OTAs, and increasing your direct bookings.
Constantly evolving and shifting your mindset to a fresh perspective will help you and your company combat the potential rising prices of paid search and the changing rules of OTAs.
Creating a diverse and dynamic vacation rental marketing plan means contacting an expert. At Q4Launch, our team of knowledgeable professionals will help your business thrive. With our digital marketing expertise, we’ve proven effective in these areas:
- Content marketing strategies
- Effective lead generation
- Search engine optimization
- Social media management
- Targeted pay-per-click ads
- Website/marketplace design
Contact us today or fill out the complementary form for additional resources on how Q4Launch can assist you in creating the best 2018 plan for your vacation rental marketing!
A Big Picture Look at Your 2018 Vacation Rental Marketing Plan
The main question for your 2018 vacation rental marketing plan should revolve around how to solve the consumer’s questions and needs from a lodging perspective. Use our industry insights to better understand the implications of changing your marketing strategies and revolutionizing your vacation rental business!
A Recap of the Market in 2017
2017 remained a pivotal year for OTAs and their acquisitions and raising capital, as well as industry consolidation. Moreover, it was the year that HomeAway, VRBO, AirBnB, and Google Travel began to shift from facilitating the customer relationship to owning the relationship altogether. This impacted the potential growth of small, independent business owners to foster the relationship with a potential guest. Who in fact, spent more money in the travel sector this past year. Consequently, we do predict the elimination of subscriptions and rolling out pay-per bookings on various OTA platforms.
While this news may seem challenging, we have devised helpful tips to prevent these measures from affecting you and your bottom line. As you consider a new vacation rental marketing strategy, we advise you to stress test your new and current implementations. Let’s investigate these possibilities below.
A Marketplace Mentality
One major differentiation between you and your competitors remains the way your website has been designed. OTAs view their website as a marketplace, and you should too. Implement user-friendly features, have fast load speeds, prepare for the future with your site design, and create dynamic content. These initial fixes will supplement your vacation rental marketing strategy, and help cultivate a continuous improvement mindset on your vacation rental website.
Conversion Through Content & Becoming the Destination Authority
In addition to a beautifully designed, SEO optimized site, creating quality content through blog posts and landing pages remains vital. But, we do not recommend producing content for content’s sake. Invest in writing high-quality content that includes a carefully crafted SEO strategy and conversion-oriented copy. After all, 1 to 4% of people will come to your website ready to book, which means that 96 to 99% are still in the shopping or dreaming stage. By creating dynamic copy, you might persuade a reader to make a decisive action on your site. Your website will also rank higher in Google Search because rankings are being updated on a regular basis!
With fresh, accurate content, you’ll also become a “destination authority”; a buzzword that simply means you are the expert in your particular area. For example, there may be a potential lead searching for the best restaurants in town. When you create engaging blog posts or landing pages about local restaurants, you’ll appear on the first page of Google or in the knowledge box. This will help entice readers to continue clicking through your website and ultimately book a stay.
Regain Ownership of the Guest
By designing a marketplace and creating content, these elements work together and allow you to build a brand with long-term residual value. As our world moves into a low-touch, convenient state, fostering the relationship with a guest may be difficult. But, with your creation of brand impressions and memorable interactions, you can better manage this relationship.
A great way to regain ownership of your guests is to create an email marketing strategy. Supplemental to your vacation rental marketing plan, these messages are key factors in keeping your guests’ interests at heart. In fact, 28% of an American’s average day (about two hours) is spent in their inbox. This easy advertising tool allows you to cater your intended message.
You may also consider marketing automation if your campaigns are already performing well. Maintaining a 70% to 80% success rate, this automated service allows an email to be sent when someone triggers an action on your page. We recommend having a tracking software integrated with your marketplace. This allows for a cookie to be dropped on the person’s computer via the web browser. Once dropped, you may sort through the various interactions of a specific user on your site.
Invest in Pay-Per-Click Advertising
While this may be a short-term strategy for many, the price of pay-per-click advertising will rise in 2018. Diversifying your pay-per-click strategy will remain a vital part of your vacation rental marketing plan. Since Google Travel and other OTAs will invest more in paid search, you may want to reallocate your budget for additional expenses. Be vigilant in your spending and consider keeping the top performing ads while turning off what’s not working. You may also want to turn your attention to driving more organic traffic, which would be a big initiative for your vacation rental marketing plan!
Q4Launch May Have the Solution to Your Strategy
As the online world continues to change in a dynamic way, it’s in your best interest to adapt to it. If you’re wondering where to start, contact one of our team members for a Free Analytics Analysis assessment. This will help you create a marketing plan based on data and industry benchmarks. You may also wish to fill out our complimentary Marketing Grader. It’s the perfect solution to finding areas of improvement for your current marketing. We look forward to hearing from you!
Matt Bare | Founder
Ben Ollic | Customer Experience Manager
Learn More About Me and Q4Launch on LinkedIn!