As I did my daily reading of blogs, news, and other industry topics I came across this amazing infographic designed to help you understand Inbound Marketing and how it can be applied to your vacation, I couldn’t help but feel like something was missed. Here at Barefoot, I personally oversee our inbound marketing plan and it has garnished some great success! We have moved to the first page of google search results, we have seen a 70% increase in contact rates and most importantly, our content has never been fresher. All of this was thanks to an inbound marketing strategy implemented here so naturally, when I saw someone made an image to help you out there do the same, I was excited to read it.
Sadly, the imagery I found was one that more described inbound marketing from an overview and provided little to no advice or information regarding how to apply this marketing tactic to your vacation rental business. With that, I decided to write my own guide based off this infographic. Typically there are 5 client stages to inbound marketing so we will address them as well as the 4 major steps for your company to take. For the next few weeks, I will target 1 of the 4 steps and help you understand not only what this marketing means and can do, but also how best to implement it.
So what is inbound marketing will be the focus of our first blog where I’ll describe the concepts and some of the stages before we dive more in-depth next week. Inbound marketing is a newer form of marketing that has gained an immense amount of ground over the past few years. Its concept is simple but can be spun many ways. The basic goal of inbound marketing is to create marketing that pulls people to your product based on content that they desire, often having the buyer contact you. This is the opposing force to outbound marketing of old where sales men and women would call anyone they could contact in hopes that someone out there was needing their product.
A large reason for this shift in marketing was due to the internet. Pre Internet, the seller was the most knowledgeable source a person had about a product so it was often beneficial to hear a pitch. With the internet came reviews, ratings, videos and more that allows the buyer to do the research before they buy. This shift has made a content hungry consumer base, one who wants to know as much about a product as they can before even considering it.
Out of this knowledge hunger, content creation arose, starting with simple blogs and feedback, but has morphed into an entire new form of marketing. The basic goal is to create the content that people want to read and learn from. In consumer products this means creating the reviews, in the vacation rental industry it may mean describing the vacation experience someone may have. Either way, the goal is to answer the questions that people are asking. Now this gets harder and harder the more questions you answer, and as soon as you answer a question, its onto the next one. The reward though is a wealth of knowledge that will push your content to more people looking for more and more answers and when the time comes to purchase, your name is the most familiar to that buyer for the simple reason that you have done the work before they even knew they were a buyer.
The metamorphosis occurs when your phone rings with a buyer on the other end. This is quite a spin from the cold calls where prospects and leads were all but begged to buy your product. I can vouch for our sales team being very appreciative of qualified leads that reach out to us. In summation, inbound marketing is a marketing strategy focused on “creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more” –Hubspot
Stay tuned over the next few weeks to learn more about inbound marketing as a strategy, but also how to implement your own inbound marketing strategy to boast your vacation rentals!