Knowing how to attract more guests to your glamping site is the key to increasing your revenue, filling your calendars, and also important to help you raise your awareness of your unique vacation rental property. But with so many general marketing tips that often lack context or further explanation, it can often be confusing. We have created a list of 5 marketing tips to help glamping hosts and vacation rental owners attract more guests to their property and learn more about vacation rental marketing.
1. Assess your unique value proposition and align your branding
The first thing you need to do before even thinking about setting up a blog, Instagram page, or how to create your own website, even before building a Glamping Hub or Airbnb listing is to understand exactly who you are as a brand, or business, and have a very clear idea of what you are offering. Take your time to focus on your “what” and “why”. What is your unique value proposition? Why should someone pick your glamping site over another? The following marketing tips and all your marketing efforts will become easier once you start this groundwork.
Host a branding workshop or power hour with your team, or some family and friends
We believe that every site has a story and it should be reflected in every aspect of your branding and marketing strategy. For example, this can be done through your services, the experiences you offer, and how you interact with your guests. Remember, branding is more than your name and logo. Whether you are a new host or have been running a luxury camping site for a while, taking a step back to build your brand’s foundation will help give you clarity and influence your decision-making in the future.
Branding questions to ask during a branding workshop
Think about how you want people to feel when they stay? Do you offer any unique experiences or services? What are your strengths? Why did you get started? What attracted you to glamping? Is your location famous for something, i.e. close to a national park, or glamping near a vineyard? How can you bring your personal passion for the outdoors, hosting, or eco-friendly travel to life? Once you have these ideas clear, you will be ready to action all of your marketing efforts easily with a shared and consistent message, plus it makes for a great glamping experience for your guests!
2. Review where you are currently marketing your business through real data
Our second marketing tip is to audit where you are currently advertising your property and review what avenues are currently working for you. Which ones are easy for you to use, which ones help people learn about your business, and do you know which ones bring you the most bookings? Which ones allow you to connect with guests or potential guests?
Use the free reporting available on your social media channels
We know that most vacation rental owners are short on time and you often have to wear many hats, so checking in with which marketing methods are working for you is very important. There are a number of ways to do this, and with this marketing tip, data is key! Look at how your Facebook or Instagram page is performing using the insights tab. With this tool, you can see how many people are viewing your posts, and engaging with your content, as well as how many people are clicking on the links you’re sharing. These are great channels for connecting with potential and previous guests, as well as showcasing your beautiful bell tents, or cozy log cabin. Don’t worry – We’ve got another helpful blog to help you learn more about how to use social media to promote your vacation rental.
Collect data from more than one place
If you use an online travel agency (OTA) or Channel Manager they will often have a reporting center that will help you understand how your listings are performing and your occupancy rates. If you have your own website and booking system, be sure to regularly review your Google Analytics account to see how much traffic your website is receiving, how they found your website, and how they navigate your website, i.e. which pages are the most popular or visit just before making a booking. If you don’t already have this setup for your website, it’s worth assigning yourself or someone on your team to this, and Google has a number of free courses that can help. (if this sounds like a lot of work, see number 5 of our marketing tips.)
How each platform and its metrics work can be difficult to understand and set up correctly, but it will help you invest your time in things that are worthwhile, as well as help you define your marketing goals. We recommend doing this at least every month or quarter.
3. Use SEO keywords to help guests find your property on Google, social media, and booking platforms.
Okay, so now that is the majority of your prep work done in our list of marketing tips, you should have a good understanding of what you’re offering, and how your marketing efforts have been working so far.
Let’s start to tackle the basics of search engine optimization! This is another marketing buzzword that you’ve probably already heard about. Depending on your goals, you might not need to hire an SEO specialist or online marketing agency, but it’s essential to have some understanding of SEO concepts, as they help you attract more guests through your own website, and listings on booking platforms, and can boost your reach on social media.
Apply simple SEO keywords to all your marketing channels
A simple SEO technique that you can apply to multiple marketing and advertising methods is to identify keywords that your potential guests are likely to use when searching for your glamping property. This is why it is important to do your prep work to understand the value proposition of your business. Are you offering a romantic getaway, or are you looking to attract families? What makes your glamping resort special?
For example, if you have a beautiful tiny home 10 miles from Joshua Tree National Park that sleeps 2, has a beautiful hot tub, is solar-powered, and has beautiful sunset views, you may want to use keywords like in your listings, website, and social media posts like “Romantic weekend getaway”, or “Eco-friendly tiny home”, “Tiny house with hot tub” or, “luxury camping” “near Joshua Tree National Park”. What words are people going to pay attention to? Remember you’re trying to be authentic and attract real people, not just please google algorithms, so be clever and subtle when using them.
How do you know which keywords to use?
Once you have some ideas of keywords and phrases, you can check how popular they are using Google Keyword Planner or Google trends. These tools will let you know roughly how many people are searching for those words, and how competitive they are. You can then begin to build a keyword bank to use and regularly update throughout your messaging across your listings on Glamping Hub, Airbnb, your website, and social media. This is only a small part of SEO because it is a complex ever-changing system, but it’s a good start!
4. High-quality images and videos are everything in destination marketing
We all know the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words”, but truly, the quality of your images and content are the most important component a guest considers when they are searching for their next weekend escape, and we have the proof. We recently conducted a survey to understand which parts of our listing pages were the most important and informative to guests. The result showed that 55% of users surveyed found the photos the most informative, followed by the text description at 34%.
Take images that showcase your uniqueness and bring your listing to life
It is worth investing time to take professional images of your property that highlight and clearly show not only the interior such as the bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, etc, but also the exterior, the location, and surrounding, activities available. It’s also a good idea to add some lifestyle-type photos that showcase people enjoying a stay at your property. Think about your brand, your unique features, and your story. These marketing tips will help your guests visualize themselves at your glamping property and their glamping experience with you. There are a number of different ways for you to get great images of your property.
How to improve your vacation rental images?
Hire a professional photographer – depending on how many hours you will need the photographer, the size of your property, and the licensing this can cost anything between $800 – $3,000 per shoot.
Partnerships – There are lots of talented content creators on social media who are looking to add to their portfolios, grow their social media following, and are looking for amazing locations to film or take images of for their own small creative businesses. Instagram is a great platform to connect with nature photographers and glamping photographers, who not only share your passion but can also give authentic social coverage of their stay to new audiences. The value of these partnerships is incredibly high. However, make sure to vet any content creator thoroughly and discuss a contract that details your offer and its deliverables. This is a service that we offer to Glamping Hub hosts who are interested in media stay exchanges. Contact us for more information.
User-generated content – Encourage your guest to take images, share with you via social media, and ask them to tag you in their posts. Message them, like their posts and ask if you can share their images on your social media pages – be sure to tag and credit them where necessary! You might not get high-quality images to update your listings but this is a wonderful marketing tip to help improve your social media pages through real-life word of mouth. If they have also left you a great review, be sure to use that in your captions.
5. Use online booking platforms to help you!
Building your own website to generate direct bookings is a great option for businesses that have the funds and resources to set up and maintain a website. However, they take a lot of work! If you’re just getting started, creating your own website doesn’t need to be one of the first things in your marketing plan because there are so many booking platforms that can help you advertise and bring bookings to you with very little effort on your part.
Many platforms, including Glamping Hub, will have a simple process to join with low commissions that will do the heavy lifting for you. Simply set up your listings with great images, SEO optimization, and branded messages, and let the experts do their thing. At Glamping Hub we SEO optimize all our listings to help our hosts attract more guests to their glamping sites. Learn more about becoming a host here.
Find out what additional services booking platforms offer
The other thing they will help with is featuring your business through their own social media, collaborations, and associated press which will have a larger following and presence than your own. However, you have less control of your brand image using these methods, so they should be used in conjunction with your own marketing ideas.
This is just the beginning of our marketing tips series for hosts and short-term rental property owners. There is a reason why many hotel and small business owners outsource their marketing to agencies, to help with their marketing strategies. But we promise it can be easier than you think!