Knowing how to attract more guests to your glamping site is the key to increasing your revenue, filling your calendars, and also importantly to help you raise your awareness of your glamping business. But with so many general marketing tips that often lack context or further explanation, it can often be confusing. So, we have created a list of 5 marketing tips to help glamping hosts and vacation rental owners attract more guests to their properties 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 an 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?
Host a branding workshop or power hour with your team, or some family and friends to start to understand and build a brand. We believe that your uniqueness 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 glamping site for a while, taking a step back to rebuild your brand's foundation will help give you clarity and influence your decision-making in the future.
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 and 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?
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.
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 getting, as well as how they found you. 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 marketing tip number 5.)
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 every quarter and at the very least every six months.
3. Use SEO keywords to help guests find your property on Google, social media, and booking platforms.
Okay, so that’s the majority of your prep work done! So by now, 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 is incredibly important, and whilst you might not need to hire an SEO specialist or online marketing agency, understanding some of the concepts will help you attract more guests through your own website, listings on booking platforms, and boost your awareness on social media.
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.
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, 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 know the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words”, but truly, the quality of your images and content are the most important when a guest is searching for their next weekend escape. Glamping Hub, recently conducted a study to understand what parts of their listing pages were the most important to their guests. 55% of users surveyed found the photos the most informative, followed by the text description at 34%.
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. Also, be sure 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, it will help your guests visualize themselves and their stay with you. There are a number of different ways for you to get great images of your property.
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 $400 - $3,000 per shoot.
Partnerships - There are lots of talented content creators on social media who are looking to add to their portfolios, and grow their social media following, or 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, but it has to be mutually beneficial. However, it’s important to vet any content creator thoroughly and discuss a contract that details your offer and its deliverables.
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 Airbnb, Booking.com, and 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. As part of our marketing and reservation solutions, we will set this up and distribute them across nine online travel agencies.
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 glamping hosts and outdoor hospitality owners. There is a reason why many hotel and small business owners outsource their marketing to agencies, but we promise it can be easier than you think!
We help outdoor hospitality and glamping businesses who want to attract more guests and increase their bookings. With our tailor-made marketing, distribution, and rate strategies, account management, and development services, you can increase your revenue and spend more time on the parts of your business that you love. Get started to find out how we can solve your digital marketing needs.