Summer Lovin': 12 Tips for Vacation Rental Marketing Magic
Summer may be the busiest time of year for most vacation rental managers, but it's important not to lose sight of the steps you need to take to make the most of your marketing efforts over the next few months.
Summer is in FULL swing!
Yes, I know, the summer is RIDICULOUSLY busy for the majority of vacation rental managers.
But your VRM marketing machine never sleeps. And the awesome vibes of summer are pure marketing gold.
Gorgeous weather, happy guests, endless activities. Marketing magic at its best.
Your marketing engine needs to make the most of the next few months.
Rather than my usual prolific prose, I’m going to keep this short and sweet so you can get out there and capture the magic.
List form even.
12 Tips to Capture the Vacation Rental Summer Marketing Magic:
* Check out my list of content ideas and examples at the end of the list.
- Instagram: Take an Instagram picture of an awesome summer sight every (yes, EVERY) morning.
- Post it far and wide – Facebook, Twitter, blog, Google+
- Use #hashtags
- Instagram for Business: 12 Answers to the Biggest Questions
- 4 Creative Uses of Instagram for Destination Marketing
- Local Flavor: Cover at least one local event on your blog every week.
- Hopefully you’ve followed Part V and created local partnerships. A perfect opportunity to promote a partner!
- Vacation areas offer a plethora of summer events. It should be easy to find something cool to talk about.
- Get pictures and videos. Share tips and opinions. Make it authentic.
- Google Alerts: You have Google Alerts setup for your area, right?! Look for vacationers posting blog posts, pictures, videos, etc. about your area. Comment and share their content.
- These may not have been your guests, but they could be next year! Start a relationship with them now.
- Comment on blog posts, share videos and pictures on your social media. Spread the summer love!
- Demonstrate that you are the area “thought leader.”
- List It: Everyone loves a list! You’re reading one right now. Lists are quick and easy – to read and write. Commit to one list per week on your blog sharing local knowledge.
- Possibilities are endless – Top 10 Places to Eat, 13 Secrets Only Locals Know, Best Spots to Catch a Sunset/Sunrise, yada, yada, yada.
- Newsjack: If there is a big event in your area, make sure you’re talking about it online – blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- Where are the 4th of July Fireworks? How to make the most of the big summer concert. A big storm headed your way?!
- I once had 15K views on my Outer Banks blog in 1 day because I was the only blog giving real-time updates about a hurricane.
- GoPro: Get a GoPro camera and use it! Strap it on the surfboard, attach it to your mountain bike, let your dog run down the beach with it. Be creative and share the 1st person perspective of your area.
- $200 investment on Amazon, and you’re ready to roll.
- Report: Beach report. Mountain report. Fishing report. Surf report. Weather report. We all look for the inside scoop to start our day. Be Johnny-on-the-spot and share a local report.
- I used to take an Instagram picture and shoot a beach/fishing/surf report video 3-5 times per week on the Outer Banks. Before I walked into the office, I already had pictures and video shared across social media.
- Make the most of that little computer you carry in your front pocket (i.e. smart phone).
- Crowdsource: See all those happy guests coming in and out of your office? They are an endless source of content.
- Create contests – picture, video, scavenger hunts, etc. and get content in return for a prize.
- My favorite summer contest was a t-shirt design contest we ran each summer. Amazing art and an original t-shirt to sell the next year (and donate to a local charity!).
- GoPro the Crowd: Combine a GoPro and your guests. Spend a busy check-in day talking to your guests (departing & arriving). Ask fun questions, get testimonials, and record for posterity.
- Instant testimonials to share on the website, social media, etc.
- Opportunity to build great guest relationships too!
- Perhaps your loyal guests will share the video you just created of their family.
- Bonus: Share a GoPro with a guest and let them create a video of their vacation for you! One summer we did this with “Flip” cameras, and created a contest out of it.
- Insider Knowledge: You’re a local. You have secrets your guests want to know. Share.
- Choose a theme to create a summer video series about – hidden gems, local towns, history, odd culture, local legends.
- Grab your video camera and head out once a week to shoot a quick video about a new topic in the series.
- Choose another topic and write a weekly blog post.
- Leverage your insider knowledge to become the area “thought leader.”
- FAQ’s: What are the most frequently asked questions you get from guests? Address each and every one of them…and more. You don’t have to answer them all at once. In fact, don’t. Spread your awesome knowledge over multiple blog posts.
- Write lists.
- Take pictures.
- Shoot video.
- Ask locals/staff.
- Consistency & Fun: The magic happens when you are consistent and have fun.
Don’t let the summer be your excuse. Make it your muse!
Content Ideas & Examples:
- OBX Beach Report
- Everyday Magic
- Blue Mind
- OBX Treasures
- OBX Eats
- OBX for the Kids
- OBX Trip Planner
- OBX Tunes
- Outer Banks Behind the Lens
- Outer Banks History
- Outer Banks Infographic
- Outer Banks Link Love
- Outer Banks Lists
- Outer Banks Recipe Corner
- The Seaside Report
- The Truth About Outer Banks Vacation Rentals
Bonus – Productivity Tips:
Here are some links to great productivity ideas worth checking out…even though you are crazy busy (or maybe because you’re crazy busy!):
- Zen Productivity
- Productivity Hack: The Law of Least Action
- 5 Productivity Hacks
- Work Smarter, Not Harder: 21 Time Management Tips to Hack Productivity
- 5 Unusual Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder – Backed by Science
- Lifehack Your Lunch: 8 Scientifically Proven Ways Maximize Your Mid-Day Break
- 14 Simple Ways to Get Considerably More Done
- 10 Realistic Ways to Keep Your Overflowing Inbox Under Control
- When to Schedule Your Most Important Work
- How To Simplify Your Life in 5 Minutes a Day
- Drive Performance by Focusing on Routine Decisions
- 40% of Your Team’s Effort is Wasted. These 4 Methods Get Results.
- 10 Small Things You Can Do to Save Time in the Office
- Why You Need a Daily Prioritization Meeting
- The Importance of the “Daily Check-in”
- A Simple Daily Intervention Decreases Employee Stress
- 4 Overlooked Ways Managers Can Improve Employee Motivation
- Turn Your Next Interruption Into an Opportunity
- How To Motivate People: 4 Steps Backed by Science
- How To Make Your Team Love You for Less than $10
- Fun is Good for Business
- You’re Going to Waste 31 Hours in Meetings this Month
- How a Quiet Walk Saves Your Creativity (And Sanity)
- Get More from Your Meetings by Walking
- 10 Ways to Make Your Workplace Healthier & More Productive
- A Little Meditating Helps You Make Better Business Decisions
- Rock Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day [Infographic]
- How To Quickly Write a Blog Post When You’re in a Time Crunch
- 9 Time Saving Writing Tools for Content Marketers
Related Links – Confessions of a VR Marketing Director:
- Part I: A bit of my experience and why I may have some secrets hidden up my marketing sleeves.
- Part II: Why “inbound marketing” is the bees knees & the PERFECT fit for vacation rental marketing.
- Part III: 12 tips & tricks for a vacation rental marketing ninja.
- Part IV: One Year of VRM Marketing Content
- Part V: Competitive Advantage Through Local Partnerships
- Part VI: Easy Report to Analyze Vacation Rental Marketing Competition
- Amy Hinote
- Sarah Bradford
- Trisha Howarth
- Adam Norko
- Amy Tran
- Brittany Thompson
- Francesca Nurlu
- Andrew McConnell
- Anita Ericksen
- Kirby Winfield
- Aaron Wolowiec
- Ryan Goodman
- George Volsky
- Deborah Thompson
- David Hutnik
- Alanna Schroeder Millar
- Laird Sager
- Doug Kennedy
- Dan Sever
- John DiJulius
- Jon Goldman
- InterCoastal Net Designs