Resolutions for vacation rental businesses in 2018
I adore this time of year with its promise of change, transformation and chance for reflection. During the ‘in between’ week of Christmas and New Year, I traditionally do an ‘inventory’ of both my personal and business life. There is something about the ‘twilight zone’ of this week, when most businesses and people are on pause mode, that just feels so right for taking stock.
This year I decided to go bold and also write out New Years’ resolutions for vacation rental businesses to help them step into 2018.
The results are these 6 ‘commandments’, a Manifesto for 2018, to take your PR and content to the next level.
Thou shalt invest in your content marketing
Content marketing should be the backbone of your inbound marketing. Content and PR go hand in hand and on a simple level, PR helps you get others to distribute your content. Your content is everything that you produce for consuming online. It’s the blog posts, the articles, the social media posts, the website copy, the e-books, the white papers, the infographics and the video snippets.
Good content tells the story about your business and your service that intrigues and delights your prospective customers. It should never directly sell, but should consistently and brilliantly show that you understand your customers wants and needs and that you can solve their challenges better than any other business out there.
Essentially good content means you are both relevant and you are interesting. Good content that is maximised for SEO is rewarded by Google and attracts visitors to your website. Content, with the aid of PR, helps extend your message (and brand) to new audiences but it is only good content that is liked, shared and engaged with.
Invest in your content for 2018. If you don’t have the team and resources to do it yourself, hire someone to help you get it right.
Thou shalt develop your Thought Leadership
Thought Leadership has been the in thing for 2017 and its relevance is set to increase for 2018. In a marketplace with intense competition, developing your Thought Leadership (expertise) is a powerful opportunity for increasing your online presence and strengthening your brand. If you own and run a business, then chances are you are an expert in your field and you have something, beyond just your product, to give.
Maybe this expertise is in a type of vacation rental guest (families, snowbirds, skiers….) or maybe your expertise lies more in the solution that you provide (travel technology, financing rental purchases, improving housekeeping…) or perhaps you have a unique take on an industry topic that you can share (acquiring owners, the impact of AI on the vacation rental industry, Blockchain…).
Developing your Thought Leadership through writing blogs, offering opinion articles for publication on the news sources that your customers are influenced by, and by getting speaking gigs at conferences and events – will hold you in good stead for 2018 and beyond.
A word of warning…. Be patient. Thought Leadership takes strategy, time and hard work. But the results are worth it.
Thou shalt know your keyword search terms
If you don’t have a good idea what the keyword search terms are that impact your market, then now is the time to do some serious research. Ranking for the right keywords can make or break your website and so to know what terms and phrases your potential customers are searching for is vital. This knowledge should underpin your content strategy and can also be used to ensure that any press releases, blog posts, articles and even social media posts support your SEO efforts. Think long-tail keywords. Be smart, be creative and focussed. Educate yourself on search engine optimisation or hire an SEO professional to help you.
Thou shalt define your ‘brand story’
When we begin working with a new business, one of our first tasks is to help our client define their core messages and tell their brand story. These messages, and your brand story, come to underpin everything and are at the heart of all communication. A brand story will succinctly, clearly and enjoyably communicate what your business is all about, what solution you provide, and for whom.
Your brand story also brings some humanity and emotion to the table. People respond to emotionally driven content and everyone loves a good story. Defining your core messages and telling your brand story in an emotive but realistic way that speaks directly to the audience you want to attract, should be up high there in your priorities for 2018.
Thou shalt promise to ‘PR your PR’
PR really loves to be PR’d.
If you achieve coverage, don’t be a shrinking violet about it. Shout about it, share it and then share it again. PR-ing your PR gives it momentum and PR thrives on momentum. Journalists are flattered and editors are thrilled. Publications are just like any other business. They want to increase traffic to their website and the more their ‘stuff’ gets engagement, the happier they are. It’s also good for you too.
Thou shalt practice patience and consistency
Developing your reputation and brand through PR and content marketing takes time and it takes consistency.
If you want quick wins and instant lead generation do Pay-Per-Click.
But if you want to build up a substantial body of coverage, create a sustainable reputation as a leader in your field, and develop valuable relationships that will help your business to thrive, then you will need to be patient and consistent.
Unless you have an amazing story that will go ‘viral’ (and almost nobody does), then you need to understand that PR, Thought Leadership and content marketing will take time. But once there is momentum, the results will start to accumulate and you will be well on your way to taking your business to the next level.
Ready to take the PR and content marketing of your vacation rental business to the next level? Contact us for a chat about how we can work with you in 2018. We’d love to help.