The Copy & Content Playbook for Off-Season Bookings

Changing leaves, brisk temperatures…and dwindling bookings.

Fall can be lovely, but not if it leaves your vacation rental business in a panic. In order to maximize your off season, you need to have a plan—and it needs to include a strategy for your copy and content.

We’ve compiled our tips for using your copy and content to reel in bookings long past peak season. Read on and determine which plan will work best for your rental.

affordability factor off season bookings

The Affordability Factor

If low prices are the main focus of your off-season content marketing, you’re doing it wrong.

We’re not saying your nightly rate should be the same on a Tuesday in January as it is on a Saturday in July. But if you can’t convince guests that your destination is worth visiting during the off-season, they won’t book no matter how affordable your rental is.

With that said, there’s no doubt that affordability is a big driver for off-season bookings. So how can you talk about your low prices tastefully without cheapening the experience?

In our post on appealing to budget conscious guests, we recommend creating a content marketing strategy that appeals to those seeking to save some bucks. Insider guides that highlight low cost attractions, and blog series on how to have a day out under a certain dollar amount, go a long way with guests on a budget.

fall festival off season bookings

The Big Secret Approach

Everyone knows that summers in beach towns mean soaking up sun and winters at ski resorts mean hitting the slopes.

But what about the rest of the year?

There’s something about vacationing out of season that can feel like you’re being let it in on a secret. Your content marketing should appeal to that off-season magic.

This is where your local expertise comes in. If you spend a lot of time in your destination, all you need to do is think about what you (or your kids, or your neighbors) do to have a good time after peak season passes.

Maybe capturing off-season magic means rounding up the best fall festivals that your local tourism bureaus put on for a blog post. Or publishing a calendar of local beaches that keep lifeguards on duty after Labor Day. Or featuring special winter menus and wine tastings from local restaurants on your social media account.

Building up your credibility as an off-season destination is a slow burn. But once you’ve created enough content, you’ll have plenty of proof to point to when you’re trying to reel in bookings.

picnic beach off season bookings

The Skip the Crowds Strategy

Peak season is peak season for a reason. But despite all its benefits, there’s one big drawback: the crowds.

It can be frustrating for guests to wait an hour for a table for dinner after a long day on the town. Or to bump elbows with other vacationers while they’re trying to enjoy the great outdoors in solitude. But when the season’s over, they’ll have more opportunities to experience your destination without having to wait, cram, or plan.

Imagery can go a long way in capturing the essence of off-season ease. Use your listing description to set the scene for what an off-season visit might look like. Here’s an example:

Hungry? Pack a picnic and stroll three blocks to the beach. No summer crowds mean you can claim a large stretch of sand to yourself, and the fall air’s still warm enough that all you’ll need is a light jacket. With the tide rolling in to the east and the leaves changing to the west, there’s a sight to behold no matter where you look.

Keep in mind that this trick can be used on more than your description. It can be an especially effective way to target past guests who have only stayed at your rental during peak season. Consider creating an imagery-rich newsletter that invites readers to picture themselves enjoying all the off-season serenity that your destination has to offer.

The Property As Vacation Method

Guests take vacations for all kinds of reasons: to see new parts of the world, to visit theme parks or resorts, for special events.

But sometimes, they take vacations just because they need a break from the real world. In those cases, it might not be about a jam-packed itinerary as much as some much-needed rest and relaxation.

Some properties are better for low-key relaxation than others others. A cabin in the woods with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the mountain plus a hot tub will be a more suitable option than an urban studio apartment.

If you have the right rental, attract off-season bookings by creating content and copy that reflects the idea that your property is a getaway in its own right. Perhaps that means creating an itinerary or blog post with suggestions for a romantic weekend “at home.” Or using your copy to emphasize how your rental can keep the kids entertained.

For especially effective copy, pair this method with the image-heavy language than we suggest in the Skip the Crowds Approach. As an example, this scene might sound like heaven to burnt out business people:

With floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the lake and a two-story stone fireplace, you’ll have an ultra-cozy front row seat to a winter wonderland. Order in from our collection of menus from nearby restaurants and pick out your favorite film from our DVD library. Then snuggle up on the couch and watch as snow falls and glistens on the lake and pines.

 

Need a professional to write copy or build a content marketing strategy that gains you bookings year-round? Guest Hook loves working with vacation rentalists to help them flaunt their off-season appeal. Reach out to us today.

 

2017-10-06T13:18:34+00:00 By |Uncategorized|0 Comments