Content is king. You may have heard that phrase before in reference to marketing, and there’s a good reason.
Without content, you can’t really engage in any other any other marketing strategies like SEO, email, or social media. These all require (or at least benefit enormously from) content.
With good content, you can get more targeted traffic and leads, showcase your expertise and professionalism, and build relationships and trust with your guests before they even book.
In this post, we’ve put together some examples and ideas you can use for your own vacation rental content marketing strategy.
Your Website Content
The pages on your vacation rental website are a good place to start when thinking about content marketing.
Aside from having all the relevant details about your properties (number of guests, rooms, beds, bathrooms, amenities, house rules and policies, etc.), we recommend taking it much further.
Your goal should be to give your guests all the information they need to feel confident planning their trip and booking with you. This includes information about your business, your individual properties, and the surrounding area. The more quality, relevant information on your website, the more you’ll convert website visitors into guests.
Here are some pages you should consider including on your website.
Note: If you don’t have a website yet, check out our post on how to create a vacation rental website.
1. About Page
One of the reasons guests may be booking with a vacation rental over a hotel is for the personal touch.
Sharing your story can connect you to these guests, and make them more likely to book. Especially if you have a compelling story to tell.
2. FAQ Page
This is where you answer your guest’s common questions. An FAQ page is a great way to cover anything else that comes up. Have answers to questions that your guests ask all the time? Organize them into a Q&A formatted page, and add it to your website’s navigation menu.
3. Reviews Page
Along with having reviews on the individual property pages (pulled from everywhere including Airbnb, Vrbo, and your own website), you might consider having a dedicated ‘Reviews’ page.
You can make this page even more effective by hand-picking some longer, descriptive reviews. Take it a step further by asking these guests to send photos or videos of their trip.
Your Blog & Social Media
A blog is one of the best marketing tools you have. It’s a key part of an SEO strategy, and you can also use it to connect with your website visitors on a more personal level.
Having relevant, helpful content means more website visitors will come back for more in the future (including signing up for your email list if you have one), even if they don’t book right away.
Here are some ideas for content to create and share on your blog and social media channels.
4. Local Area Guides
Share your local expertise with your guests. You can create a guide to your area as a central hub, and link to several different guides.
Here are a few ideas:
- Shopping – Are there outlet malls, boutique shops, or other unique shopping spots in your area? Create a list for all different kinds of shopping preferences and styles.
- Restaurants – Where are the best places to eat? What do they need to order? Create a local’s guide to eating out in your city.
- Hiking – Make a list of nearby hikes, and include information like difficulty, photos, and what to bring.
- Public transportation – What are the options for transportation in your area? Create a guide to using the local bus system, subway, light rail, or whatever travel logistics your guests might encounter. You might also create a guide to navigating your nearby airport.
- Grocery stores – Many guests prefer to have groceries in their vacation rental. You can highlight your favorite local grocery stores or farmer’s markets, and let them know where to find the best produce.
- Family activities – Create a list of activities that are fun for all ages. This might include museums, parks, attractions, local events, and other fun ways to spend time with kids. You might have a section for ideas that don’t cost any money.
- Night life – What’s the best way to enjoy the night life in your city? Tell your guests about the best bars, clubs, dining spots, and other venues for enjoying a night out.
- Local events – Are there large or popular events in your area? For example, if your property is near Sundance resort, it might be a good idea to create a guide to experiencing the Sundance Film Festival.
You can use a keyword research tool to find relevant search queries, which can give you ideas for what other local area guides to create.
Try to include information the locals know that tourists don’t. Content like this positions you as a friendly, knowledgable, local expert and builds your credibility and trust.
5. Local Events Calendar
Create a calendar of local events and keep it updated regularly. This can become a go-to resource for people looking to vacation in your area.
Outline useful information like dates, cost, and an event summary, and include links to the event website and social media accounts.
6. News Stories
Did something interesting happen in your area that made the news? Write your own take on it, and share it on your blog or email newsletter.
7. Local Business Spotlights
Highlight a small business in your area that has a good story. You could interview the owners, or simply summarize the story from their own website, social media, or other news story.
This can result in double the exposure, since the local business will likely want to share the flattering spotlight with their audience as well. It’s a win-win for your local economy.
8. Guest Experiences
Follow up with guests who leave glowing reviews, and ask if they have any interesting stories about their stay.
You can use their stories, along with any photos or videos, to create some compelling content. This can help potential guests to put themselves in their shoes, and want to book a stay with you.
Encouraging guests to tag you on Instagram is a great way to find good photos and videos to share.
Make sure, of course, to get explicit permission from your guests before sharing any of their content.
9. Behind the Scenes
Working on a new property? In the middle of a remodel? Working on the yard? Engaging with your audience over these kinds of updates can be a great way to keep your properties top of mind, and help them feel like they’re getting a behind-the-scenes experience.
Documenting your DIY process on your blog and social media can be a great way to grow a following. You might even consider doing videos and creating a YouTube channel.
10. Email Lead Magnets
Sharing your content on your blog is a great way to show up in Google searches, and it’s convenient for your website visitors. But you can also use this content as an email lead magnet.
Create an offer for your “Free Ebook” or “Local Guide” automated email series, and ask them to enter their email to receive it. This is one of the most common and effective ways to build an email list.
For example, this popup form with an “Insider’s Guide to Saint Barth” encourages website visitors to join their email list for tips on where to dine, the best local businesses, and more.
You can try out several different pieces of content, to see which one is most effective as a lead magnet.
11. Giveaways & Discounts
You can run special promotions like a giveaway or limited-time discount. This is one of the more ‘salesy’ content marketing ideas, but it can be very effective to both grow your audience (e.g., if you have to share on social media to be entered) and get more bookings.
As long as this isn’t the only weapon in your content marketing strategy, running promotions like this can help convert your audience into guests.
12. Do Keyword Research
In addition to these vacation rental content marketing ideas, you can find more even more content ideas using a keyword research tool.
These tools will give you an idea of the words and phrases people are entering into search engines. You can see the search volume and difficulty (competitiveness) of each keyword, which will help you decide what keywords you want to target.
Getting Started with Vacation Rental Content Marketing
While you don’t want to spin your wheels creating content that won’t have any results, sometimes the key is to just get started.
We recommend starting with your basic website content, including your About and FAQ pages. Once you’ve done that, identify a few pieces of content you think will be most effective (based on keyword research or just your common sense), and start with those.
Remember that you can always update and modify your content.
As you get a sense for what content is most effective, you can take it a step further by creating a content calendar and work on putting out consistent, quality content.
For more context on content marketing and optimizing for search engines, check out our guide to vacation rental SEO.