So we know you want to increase your direct bookings. Who wouldn’t? Our Bookfull software plays a big part in that but what else can you do to attract new guests? Experience marketing is just one of many things you can do to attract potential bookings!
Imagine your potential guest is finally landing on the sofa after a long day of work, kids, and life. She pulls out her phone to look at vacation rentals. She’s planning to take her family away for an overdue fun family trip. She’s thinking of all of the excitement that comes with taking a vacation: a chance to relax, an opportunity to reconnect with her spouse, and spending a few nights in a comfortable and beautiful home.
She begins her search but all she finds is a sea of boring listings. Sure, the houses are pretty, but what do they offer? How will staying in the rental make her feel? She feels discouraged after not connecting with any listings, and ventures off into social media.
If the thought of this scenario makes you shudder, you’ve just discovered the importance of experience marketing— and you’re not alone, it’s a common problem.
What Is Experience Marketing?
Experience marketing is the process of putting your customer at the center of your marketing campaigns and orchestrating a story just for them. It’s marketing in a way that puts your guest right in the middle of your property — without actually having to be there. Why is this important? Because when you give your potential guests a realistic and enjoyable virtual experience, they are more likely to book a stay at your rental than your competitors’. In the world of vacation rentals, this means providing an immersive experience that helps customers visualize themselves in your property and feel compelled to rent it for their next trip. This article by VRM intel talks about how you make your guests feel as a big factor in their decision to write a good review and recommend your rental to their friends and family.
Reasons Why You Need to Focus on Experience Marketing Now
Today, it’s not enough to just list your properties on platforms like AirBnb or VRBO. In our world of instant gratification and mobile everything, people scroll and scroll and scroll and don’t stop to look unless something really catches their eye. So, to get people excited about your property and make your listing pop out, you have to describe and make them feel something.
1. You’ll Attract More Customers
As marketing has advanced, specifically in the vacation rental industry, customers are tired of the old sales tactics and tricks. They want to be wowed by seeing something they haven’t seen a million times before. Let them live like a local! And show them even before they book what that means to live like a local, and how they can too. That’s what vacation rentals are all about, right? To experience a destination as if you live there. Today, guests want to work with managers who invest in them, and they won’t settle for anything less.
2. Get a Head-Start on the Competition
While lots of vacation rental managers and owners are starting to realize the importance of experience marketing, few are totally embracing it. This means that, by starting now, you stand to gain a head-start on your competitors. Starting early also means perfecting sooner. As a result, by the time your competitors start to figure out how to walk, you’ll be running.
3. A Bigger Bottom Line
According to Adweek, 98 percent of interested customers purchased a product or service after an event or experience. If you’ve been having trouble increasing your bottom line, a compelling experience for your target market may be what it takes to turn them into customers, and in turn, grow profit for your rental.
How to Implement Experience Marketing in Your Business
Want some quick tips for bringing experience marketing into your daily marketing practices? Try these ideas:
- Develop incredibly detailed property descriptions. These descriptions should give the would-be renter an idea of what life at your property will be like. So, think freshly brewed coffee on the south-facing veranda, or the feeling of a crisp ocean breeze coming through the double doors as you glance out at the sunrise over the water. The more you can provide a feeling, the more attracted customers will be. Readers should close their eyes and be in your property.
- Offer property “fly-throughs.” Give your customers an immersive listing experience by offering digital tours of properties and great photos. Everyone enjoys visuals, and fly-throughs are ideal for making people feel like they’re already standing in your rental. Virtual tours and appealing photos are a staple of experience marketing. And to be honest a must to be competitive with a fast growing market.
- Immerse your guests in the local culture. Give your guests as many opportunities to live like a local as you can! Leave brochures for them to take and scan for things to do. Give them tips and tricks that tourists in the area might not know. For example, quicker routes, hidden gems, restaurants, etc. When you create an experience for your guests, like living for a few days like they’re from your neighborhood, they feel immersed in the experience you’ve created. Also, they are more likely to book again.
- Small details make for huge impact. Luxurious details in your rental can make a big difference in making your guests feel like they are taken care of. Things like a hand-written welcome note, a free welcome gift basket with local products, or high end bath towels and robes are just a few ideas. Check out other ideas here.
- Think about what kind of immersive experience you can create for your guests. And then advertise it! Tia Clark of Charleston, South Carolina makes gives her Airbnb guests the most immersive low country experience they could imagine. She takes them crabbing and even cooks some of the crabs they catch for dinner when they’re done with the excursion! Whatever you can do to give your guests the most memorable and immersive stay will increase your chances at getting their bookings year after year. Above all, by advertising these experiences you offer, you catch the eyes of mindless scrollers. And, you pull in new potential customers you may not have previously!
Let Bookfull Help
Today, successful vacation rental property managers need to establish themselves as leaders in their industry. By engaging and exciting your audience, you can help customers have a better rental experience, starting now.
Want to streamline some of your processes so that you can the best experience possible for your guests? We can help! Sign up for Bookfull and discover how it can transform your vacation rental marketing strategy.