It’s amazing how the vacation rental industry has become so dependent on online travel agencies. There’s nothing wrong with OTA’s but let’s face it, it results in extra fees for the guest. With the online travel agencies owning a large portion of the online advertising space, it can be difficult to find your place when it comes to digital marketing for vacation rentals. Particularly when your goal is to generate direct bookings!
Why would you want to generate direct bookings when OTA’s make it so easy to list your properties with them? One reason is the fact that the market has become so extremely competitive that profit margins are a key focus. Getting your audience to book direct definitely has it’s benefits if you are a vacation rental manager.
What Is Book Direct Day?
#BookDirect Day focuses on educating the public about the benefits of booking direct. Vacation rental managers are working to engage their audience with the major benefits of going straight to the company instead of an OTA. So what are we trying to tell guests? We want people to know that you not only save money when you book direct, you also get a level of service that you wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere.
Booking direct just makes sense, so why aren’t consumers doing it? Today people want convenience and ease of use. Not saying your website isn’t easy to use, but OTA’s have done a great job at making the booking experience seamless (you have to admit).
Let’s Be The Change!
So maybe you’re asking yourself what you can do to get more direct bookings? Here are some proven tactics that can move you towards more direct bookings!
Use Your Marketing Channels
A lot of times vacation rental companies aren’t using all their marketing channels. For example, are you implementing a social media strategy? What does your content marketing plan look like? These are strategies that can help you generate more direct bookings. Try running social media ads with a targeted audience.
Make Sure Your Website Is Easy To Use
Don’t make the mistake of thinking your website is easy because you think it is. You are most likely in your website every day which means you of course know how to use is. What about someone that has never seen your website EVER? Does this person know how to find a property that they are looking for? A good way to test this is asking people to review your website that have never used it before. Get in touch with your local chamber of commerce. Use your community, it’s a great way to get more involved with your locals and an awesome opportunity to learn more about what you could improve.
Don’t Assume Your Audience Knows What To Do
Consumers need a clear call to action. Think about it! Everything is so fast paced and we are constantly bombarded with advertising. If you don’t give guests clear direction for getting the best rate for their next vacation, your marketing is going to blend in with everything else in the digital world. Take some time to understand the crucial steps you need a consumer to make in order to complete a booking and make it easy for them.
Overall, Book Direct Day is about the vacation rental community coming together as a whole to educate the public about the benefits of booking direct. We need people to understand that they shouldn’t feel reliant on OTA’s! That there are so many options out there for them to have an amazing vacation. If you want more information on Book Direct Day visit VRM Intel’s article and don’t forget to promote it on all your channels on February 5th! And if you have any questions about how you can get more direct bookings, we are always here to help.