Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever before to find all the information you need before booking a vacation. That’s why it’s so important for you, as a vacation rental business owner, to provide your guests with a travel guide. Offering a travel guide is beneficial on a number of different levels. As potential guests are researching their destination and they come across your guide online, this helps your business to stand out as an authority. This, in turn, can increase the chances that these individuals will book with you. When you provide your guests with an in-home guide, it adds an extra level of convenience to their stay. A useful guide will help them to make the most of their vacation, which makes it more likely that they’ll give you a good review.
But, how do you create a travel guide for your vacation rental business? It’s not too difficult, but it will take some time and consideration. We’ve put together some pointers to help you create a great guide that your guests will love.
Decide What Format You’d Like
As we previously mentioned, you can opt to have an online guide, a printed guide, or both. Each one has its own advantages. A digital travel guide can be accessed from almost anywhere. A printed guide in your vacation rental makes an easy reference for your guests. We recommend offering both as this allows you to offer added value to guests and potential guests. If you’re considering creating both formats, keep in mind that printed guides purchased through a printing company may have certain length requirements depending on the style you’d like. Bound guides may need to have page lengths that are divisible by four.
If you do a quick internet search for digital publishing platforms, you’ll find that there are quite a few out there from which you can choose. There are plenty of free and paid options available that will allow you to embed the guide on your site or host it on theirs. A few online choices you might consider include Yumpu, issuu, or Joomag. There are many more platforms out there and it might take some time to find the right one for your purposes.
Printing a guide can be a bit more straightforward. If you have a decent printer and only need to create a few copies of the document, it’s very easy and affordable to do on your own. If you’re in need of lots of copies or want special touches, like binding, you should consider using a professional printing company. Many cities have local printing companies that can assist you. Alternatively, there are online options like FedEx Office and Vistaprint that will print and ship your guides.
How Do You Make the Guide?
Whether you’re creating an online or a printed travel guide, you’ll still need to consider how you’ll actually create the guide. If you already have design software like Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW, you can use them to make your guide. If you don’t, however, there are lots of great online options for free or at a low cost. Canva is one such option – it’s free, incredibly easy to use, and it has a wide variety of templates you can use. Many digital publishing platforms will require a PDF upload of your document, so you’ll need to make sure you have that capability when looking at design software or programs.
Figure Out the Focus
You need to consider what type of guide will best serve your clients. Start by looking at the reasons why guests come to your destination. Is one season more popular than another? If so, you might want to create a guide that specifically addresses that one season. You can opt for concise guides that cover just one topic, like a shopping guide, or many topics, like a winter activities guide.
Determine the Need-to-Know Info
Once you’ve figured out what your guide will focus on, it’s time to define your content even more. Obviously, the amount of information you include will depend on how long you want the guide to be. It’s best to put all your content together first, craft a rough draft, and then edit it to get to your preferred length.
As you consider what to put in your travel guide, start by looking at some of the most common questions you get from guests. If you’ve heard the same query from a variety of travelers, this is information that you should include. Then, think about any items that are very important for area visitors to know. You may want to include information on certain rules and regulations, local wildlife, weather, or any other items that might fall under the category of “I wish I knew this before I booked my vacation.”
This is one of the more popular topics to include in travel guides. As a vacation rental business owner, you’re probably quite familiar with all the fun events in your destination. But someone who’s new to the area might not know that a particular festival will be happening during their stay. Share all your expertise on the area’s events, especially those that are unique to your destination. This information will help potential guest determine when they’ll visit and it will help current guests know what’s going on while they’re there.
Local Attractions & Activities
Most destinations have much more to offer than just one activity or attraction. But, as before, visitors might not be aware of special activities that they can enjoy. You might want to highlight things to do in your destination that are popular and/or unique. If your area attracts a lot of families, consider including a section that specifically addresses family- or kid-friendly activities.
Notable Shops & Restaurants
When you’re in a new area, it can be difficult to know which restaurant or shop you should choose. By including some of the area’s top establishments, you’ll help your guests with their planning process and make it even easier for them to experience the best your destination has to offer. Information like this helps visitors feel that they’re getting an inside look at your area, which makes their trip that much more enjoyable.
Armed with all the information you want to include in your destination guide, you’re ready to start writing all the content. Try to present your information in shorter paragraphs. Not only will this make it easier to read but it’s more visually appealing on a page. Make sure you proofread everything, or better yet, have someone do it for you. Typos, misspellings, and incorrect information don’t paint your vacation rental business in a good light.
Don’t Forget About Pictures
Finalizing the Guide
Now’s the time when you can sit down with your design software and start creating a beautiful and informative destination guide. If you’re in need of some inspiration, you can take a look at two of the guides we’ve created below. Browsing through online travel magazines is another great way to get different design ideas. You don’t need to be a design expert to create an awesome guide. Your guests will be more interested in solid information and local pictures than they will with graphic design aspects like kerning or tracking.
Not Feeling It?
If you want to put together a destination guide but you’re hesitant to take on the project yourself, feel free to contact us or give us a call at (720) 336-3939. Our team of content marketing specialists can help bring your perfect travel guide to life.
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You may not realize it, but the travel industry has been utilizing content marketing for a long time. Whether it’s been through things like in-flight magazines or travel brochures, it has proven to be an effective marketing tool. It’s also one that has easily been able to make the digital transition. Anymore, content marketing is an essential element of the travel industry, whether you’re interested in increasing the exposure of a vacation rental business, hotel, or resort. If you’re not presently engaging in this type of marketing, you’re missing out on significant opportunities to reach more customers. The process will take time, but it’s an investment that’s well worth it.
Through informative and engaging content, you have the ability to not only target a defined audience but to attract new ones as well. Research is the key element to creating effective text, video, or graphic pieces. You need to know what your ideal audience is interested in, what they’re searching for, and if they’re unable to find answers to certain questions. This knowledge will enable you to create useful pieces specifically directed toward those individuals who are interested in your particular destination. This specificity increases the likelihood that your content, and subsequently your website, will be found by those who are most likely to need your services.
Once you’ve gotten the content ball rolling and you’re consistently producing quality pieces, you’ll notice some beneficial results. First off, your content will rise in search results rankings. This will serve to increase your website’s organic traffic. Sites that rank among the top four search results get 96% of all the clicks. When you’re listed among these top results, this leads customers to infer that your brand is an authority on the topic at hand. The more information your site has, the more likely it is that visitors will spend a significant amount of time looking through everything. In turn, this increases your potential for conversions.
Not only do search engines love quality content, but customers do, too. As we previously mentioned, a high search result ranking helps to establish your company as a reputable source of information. When your pieces are tailored to your target audience’s interests, this makes it much easier to develop authentic customer relationships. Even better, these informational items will go a long way in developing your brand’s personality. Brand trust and personality are critical factors in customer retention.
You have the ability to use your content pieces on a variety of mediums. This makes it easier than ever to ensure that your information is reaching as many people as possible. Using social media and email newsletters will increase your brand’s reach, expanding your potential audience. When your information is shown on several mediums, you’ll get even more traffic to your website.
You can even develop your content so that it can be used in different formats. With even just one good topic, you can create a blog article, an infographic, a video, and more. This extends the life of your content and will increase its visibility as you’ve created multiple opportunities for customers to interact with and to get to know your brand. As different social media platforms do best with certain types of posts, you can modify your delivery method to best suit the platform and its users.
This type of marketing should be seen as an investment. You won’t see immediate results from your efforts as it takes time for search engines to find and index your informational pieces. If this strategy has been implemented properly, you will see results after several months. And even better, these results will be long-lasting requiring little additional effort from you to ensure they stay among the top search results. It’s a technique that’s both cost-effective and affordable.
Content Marketing and the Travel Industry
Content marketing is important to the travel industry as it offers companies an affordable way to maximize their online visibility. It works to establish brand reputation and awareness and to increase organic search traffic. This strategy plays an important part in targeting and retaining customers. As the travel industry continues to grow and become more complex and diversified, content will prove to be a value-added service that differentiates one brand from another.
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