In 2022, consumer demand for vacation rentals is predicted to increase by 14 percent. Additionally, vacation rental inventory is expected to increase by 15 percent (Airdna). The success of our industry is bringing new players to the table, increasing competition, and making it harder — and more crucial — for your brand to stand out from the crowd.
Although findings vary widely regarding the average number of online touchpoints a traveler goes through on their way to purchasing accommodations — results range from 45 to 225 — those interactions offer a wealth of opportunities to put your brand in front of potential guests. To help you capture attention in a saturated market, the Bluetent team has four simple tips designed to put your brand in front of travelers during their journey to the “book now” button.
1. Be the Ultimate Resource for the Information Travelers Need
This isn’t a new suggestion, but it’s an important one and worth mentioning again. With 53.3% of all website traffic coming from organic search (BrightEdge), investing ongoing effort into creating quality website content is essential. Providing relevant content to travelers in the planning stage brings more guests into your booking funnel, and Google rewards purposeful with better positioning in organic search results.
No one knows better than you what your potential guests are looking for, so use your local expertise to build out web pages and blog posts that address your area’s most popular and unique features. Don’t forget to create content for visitors of all ages, kids included. Whether toddler or tween, it’s important to address the needs of all your potential guests: you might gain a lifelong customer in the process.
2. Increase Your Website’s Video Content
Remember that quality content is more than just words and photos, it’s video, too. When you add a video to your home page and landing pages, you can increase conversion rates by more than 80 percent (HubSpot).
Advances in technology have made creating video content possible for almost everybody. In fact, most modern cameras (including those on smartphones) are sufficient for basic video capture. With the addition of a few simple tools — things like a tripod, a microphone, and video editing software — you can develop in-house video content for your brand.
Video brings your brand to life and builds trust with your potential guests: 90 percent of internet searchers report that video content helps them make purchase decisions (Deposit Photos). With that in mind, consider all the potential videos you can create. Go beyond a home page video and start creating property walk-throughs, customer testimonials, and area guides.
3. Pump Up Your Public Reviews
95 percent of travelers read online reviews before deciding to book accommodations (TrustYou) and those reviews can increase conversions by 270 percent (Speigel Research Center). To put it simply: reviews matter!
The old adage, “you don’t get what you don’t ask for” rings true here. We recommend that, after their stay, you ask your guests for reviews. You can make it as simple as clicking a button: send an automated post-departure email containing a link for submitting a review to your Google My Business page.
The information you’ll glean is invaluable to travelers researching a vacation, to the success of your business, and to the satisfaction of your homeowners. Bonus: guests know you’re invested in the quality of their experience.
4. Double Down on Social Media
The reach of social media is undeniable — as of October 2021, the number of social media users worldwide topped 4.55 billion, and that total is increasing by more than a million new users daily (Datareportal) — and also rapidly evolving. Just as video content shared via TikTok and Instagram Reels has already reshaped the music industry, you can expect social media to continue influencing industries across the board. Staying aware of trends and taking the time to post regularly on your social media channels will keep you in the game and in front of travelers.
While boosting your brand’s visibility through social media posts is a good start, don’t forget about the power and reach of social media advertising. By using data about your website visitors and past guests, you can serve the right Facebook and Instagram ads to the right people at just the right time.
We hope these tips have given you a few ideas for getting your brand in front of travelers as they plan their vacations. The experts of Team Bluetent have more tips to share! Reach out at bluetent.com/connect-with-us/.