You’ve probably heard about the importance of having a brand at least once or a million times for your vacation rentals. The way from a nameless rental to a top-of-mind destination is with a strong brand. Your guests will be more likely to remember you for future stays and refer you to others, especially if they had a good experience.
Marketing your brand via content channels with the help of a vacation rental copywriter will also give you more control of your own business and help free you from the chains of third-party websites. You’ll also have the ability to build more trust with your guests and communicate with them on a different level. The benefits of creating a vacation rental brand are endless!
Don’t know how to create a vacation rental brand? Let’s get started!
Step 1: Discover your target guests
And no, “the general audience,” cannot be your target market. That’s too vague and unfocused. Even toilet paper companies have target markets. You’re going to need to shape your brand around your target market, so this is important. So, how do you establish your target market? You can go about this in a number of ways, but it depends on where you’re starting out.
If you haven’t had any guests yet, then look at multiple vacation rentals in the area. View their pictures, read their descriptions, and scroll through the reviews. Make lots of notes. See any common patterns? Now consider how your vacation rentals are different from theirs. Do you have more bedrooms, offer unique amenities or equipment, or allow pets?
If you’ve already had a couple of guests, you can read their reviews of what they liked and didn’t like. You can also reach out to them and ask a few general questions to learn more. Would they come back again or refer your vacation rentals to certain family members or friends in mind? Who would they be?
Once you know how you’re different, you can highlight that unique selling proposition (USP) and figure out who that would appeal to most. Families, adventure seekers, young professionals, snowbirds, retirees? Create a profile of this target market with one person in mind — their income, hobbies, dreams, goals, etc.
Step 2: Invent a name and design
Now that you have your USP and target market, you can begin to draft the name and design of your vacation rentals. A good way to start is with color psychology. You’ll find that blues evoke tranquility, reds evoke hunger, yellows evoke happiness, greens evoke nature, etc. Your colors need to resonate and attract your target audience. For example, AirBNB uses pink because they know that women are usually more in control of planning the trip and booking the accommodation!
You’re also going to want to consider what your location offers. Where is your vacation rental situated? In the mountains, on a ranch, near a beach? You can design your logo with the location in mind. Sometimes a logo just involves a squiggle of a peak, a wave, or a fence. If guests will see a moose or a dolphin, consider an animal in your logo.
With a good idea of your design aspects and location offerings, you can start to draft more ideas for the name of your vacation rental(s) or company. You may have hundreds of ideas before settling on your top three picks. It’s always a good idea to test out a couple different names with a small group of people at first, especially before establishing it for tax reasons!
Try not to get too hung up with your name and design. The simpler it speaks to your target audience, the better. If creating a design feels out of your wheelhouse, consider hiring a graphic designer. A designer usually just needs a couple of ideas, and they’ll whip up something special. An outside perspective always helps too!
Step 3: Unearth the “feel” of your vacation rentals
Every successful company has a certain “feel” behind them. From warm with the family (Campbell’s) to classiness for the wealthy (Rolex). Before you establish the “feel,” think about why you’d like people to stay at your vacation rentals.
Do you want families to spend more time together? Do you want professionals to take a break from the rat race? Do you want to offer a place for couples to rekindle their relationship? You have the power to address a pain point for your target guests with your vacation rentals. After all, you’re in the business of service and hospitality!
Once you’ve established the “why” for your audience, you can create an atmosphere around it in your vacation rentals. From the interior decorations to the added amenities, you have many ways to create an atmosphere from coziness to luxury.
If you cater to young professionals, then you may want to consider more smart home technologies, energy-efficient features, and robust entertainment options. If you’re catering to families with small kids, then you can offer toys, bikes, cribs/strollers, and small tables and chairs. Your target market will thank you!
Step 4: Develop the voice, style, and tone
All of the previous aspects are important, but your brand won’t go anywhere without good copy. What is copy? Copy is the text people read on your online and offline real estate that guides the reader from a looker to a booker.
Your copy is a living, breathing character with a voice (personality), style (rhythm), and tone (mood). Your copy needs to match your brand 100%. Since the vacation rental industry is all about creating relationships, your copy needs to connect with the audience from the get-go. As HubSpot always says, your copy needs to be human AND helpful.
Your vacation rentals may have all the bells and whistles, but what are the benefits of those features? You may think that your target guests can get from point A to point B in their heads, but they may not think twice about seeing a fireplace from your photos.
The copy in your listings need to spell out the benefits of your amenities. Can kids toast marshmallows and make s’mores? Can couples warm up by the fireplace after hiking on a chilly fall day?
When your target audience imagines how those features will solve a problem for them and make their lives easier, that’s what’s going to prompt them to make a booking.
Step 5: Market your vacation rentals
Once you have established your logo, design, and feel, you can begin to implement the copy into channels that market your vacation rental(s). Most owners start with marketing on third-party listing sites like VRBO and AirBNB. If you’re starting there, make sure you have professional photos and compelling descriptions. But you don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket. Successful vacation rental owners who diversify their content channels can increase their occupancy by 25%! You can market your brand online and offline.
For offline channels, you can attract people who drive by out front and guests with a sign out front of your vacation rental. It’s also a good idea to give your guests goodie bags filled with pens/keychains/magnets. The sign and promotional products should clearly have your logo and colors. You can also hand out products to your neighbors and local realtors, or drop off products at tourist offices and other local restaurants to get the word out and build referrals.
For online channels, the best place to start is with a website. Your website will be a hub for people to learn more about you as a host, your rentals, and your location. With copy and blogs that implement search engine optimization, you’ll help others find you faster online and bring in more traffic. You’ll also want to drive people to your website from social media posts and emails. You’ll get a higher return on your investment online channels because you’ll keep building more and more traffic over time.
Launch your brand with a vacation rental copywriter!
Writing SEO copy for content channels involves lots of research, special knowledge, and expertise. Would you like good SEO copy to establish your brand but don’t have the time? Your vacation rental copywriter (like me) will take that off your plate for you. You’ll also have your own personal copywriter and see more consistency in your content.
With optimized website copy, listings, value-packed blogs, and more, you’ll score more direct bookings on your website in the long run. And with those direct bookings, you’ll see more profit in your pocket thanks to no extra third-party fees and commissions too. Reach out to me today to schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation!