So, you have your listings and your website up and running for your vacation rentals. Maybe you’ve had some success…and then crickets, dust, and cobwebs. And as the online world continues to get bigger and bigger, you’re competing with hundreds of other vacation rentals in the area every day. More than likely, you’d like to score more bookings. Traditional methods may seem appealing, but more cost-efficient ways are available.
Of course, your website is the best place to brand your business and build trust and loyalty among past and future guests. You’ll also get a bigger return on this investment because it continues to build over time with consistent content like blogs. With marketing a vacation rental, however, you sometimes need to get a little…creative to gain traction. Hey, you get out what you put in, right?
Score more vacation rental bookings with these 7 creative marketing ideas:
1. Collaborate with other local businesses
First, look at what draws your target guests to your vacation rental’s location. Popular restaurants? Conferences or concerts? Historic landmarks? Once you have a good idea of the most common things they like to see and do, it’s time to create blog posts, social media posts, and newsletters about those businesses.
Reach out to the businesses directly and let them know that you’re writing something about them for your guests. Ask them a few questions. THIS is going to get them excited! They will naturally ask you more questions about your vacation rentals. They’re going to want to link to your content on their website. You’re essentially giving each other marketing and helping to increase each other’s page rankings on Google.
2. Reach out to local real estate agents
Don’t think of real estate agents as your competition. Think of them as your new best friends. Out-of-town home buyers go through a lengthy process when they need a new home from looking to closing. The process can become time-consuming and they’ll need a place to stay throughout that time. Even locals may need temporary lodgings after selling a home/ending a lease and buying a new home. They probably don’t want to live in a hotel for several weeks!
One of their best options is vacation rentals. Reach out to local real estate agents and let them know that if their clients need temporary lodgings, you have vacation rentals available. Real estate agents will most likely keep you in mind for future clients. However, what’s in it for them and how to seal the deal? You can create content, like blogs or social media, that revolves around recommendations for real estate agents or about similar topics and mention them. You’re again giving each other marketing!
3. Start a podcast or create videos
Millions of people listen to podcasts every day while they’re commuting or waiting at the DMV. They need something to do to pass the time! If you know a lot about a hobby, the area, or some other niche topic, start a podcast. This can be a fun activity to do in your free time, and you can help lots of people with your knowledge. With some good content (and maybe some good sound equipment), you’ll start to generate interest and a following. They’ll naturally look at you online and learn more about your vacation rentals.
Alternatively, you can also create a bunch of “how-to” videos on a niche topic or showcase things to see and do in the area. While you can post video tours of the vacation rental, it’s best to help your viewers learn something new. Every time you create a video, you can post it on your social media channels and website. For both your videos and podcasts, you’ll need to summarize them with keywords as well. You’ll start to rank for certain keywords if you continue to post consistently.
4. Capitalize on your social media
By now, you should have an Instagram account or Facebook page for your vacation rentals. Regular posting and engagement will bring in a lot of traffic to your vacation rentals. A pro tip? Leave a note near the front door or on the fridge that asks guests to post pictures of the home or the area on their social media accounts and to tag your Facebook/Instagram account. That tag will lead their followers to your accounts and website. You could also conduct fun contests, polls, or giveaways on your accounts!
5. Get in touch with local publications
Many online publications, magazines, newspapers, and more are always looking for more content to publish. If you have an interesting story to tell about your vacation rentals, like its history, a publication may be interested in telling it for you. You could also write a travel blog or article that would appeal to local publications and ask them to publish it for you. Plus, you could reach out to publications that solely talk about vacation rentals and ask them to do a feature story about yours.
6. Treat your neighbors to something special
Whether or not it’s the holiday season, it’s always good to treat the neighbors well. And if they don’t already know that you have a vacation rental on their block, they may end up finding out one way or another. If you haven’t already, go to every door on the block and drop off a gift basket with some packaged goodies, fragranced toiletries, or even some beverages.
First of all, any neighbor would appreciate a nice gift. Second, you can put in a little postcard about your vacation rental and its website in the basket. Let your neighbor know on the postcard that you’ll give anyone in their network a discounted stay for a limited time. The person in their network will just need to send you an email. You can also have a special code word that the person will need to mention from your neighbor’s postcard as well.
7. Outsource your marketing to a vacation rental copywriter
Don’t have time to write blogs, create engaging listings, post pictures on social media, or produce marketing materials about your vacation rentals? A professional vacation rental copywriter has the knowledge and expertise to do that for you, save you time, and more. She can also write in a way that reflects your voice, style, and tone….consistently.
The best time is NOW to market your vacation rentals with any of these methods. For those who are just starting out with managing vacation rentals, you’ll get even more attention with these methods! Once you’ve planted some seeds and nurtured them a bit, you’ll reap many of their longlasting benefits. You’ll also start to see more of a continuous stream of traffic for your vacation rentals knocking at your door. Just imagine no more dry spells, especially during the offseason!
If you’d like to score more bookings and get a higher return on your investment, then shoot me an email to set up a FREE 15-minute consultation, and I’ll develop a content marketing strategy plan for you and put it into place.