November 18, 2019
The Impact of Storytelling: How to Use Stories to Attract Guests
Remember the last great book you read? Do you remember how the story brought you to a new place, touched your emotions and inspired the desire to hit the road, explore and see the world? Great stories move us. They have the potential to take us from sitting in front of the screen to seeking adventure everywhere in the world. But how can you, as a vacation rental property manager, tell stories that move people to take action?
Here are some ideas to help you create stories that will touch people emotionally and resonate with travelers.
Creating Emotional Content
Like any other online marketing, the goal of storytelling for vacation rentals is to engage the reader emotionally to increase interest, develop brand loyalty, and ultimately result in a reservation. The way to reach the reader is to take a more personalized local focus rather than simply highlighting the sights your location offers visitors.
Creating text with a local focus can be a special way to tell your tale. Using the voices of the community to tell readers about the local hotspots, iconic spots, and hidden gems your destination offers is a great way to touch them emotionally.
A recent Skift.com survey found that when looking for inspiration for destinations, 75% of content writers use unique selling points of the destination as a starting point. Also, 47% looked at the latest tourism trends to create content that hits the wanderlust button with travelers. Another 45% wrote articles focusing on local business, talking with community business leaders, entrepreneurs, and creatives to tell their stories.
Think outside the box. If you live in a picturesque beach town, everyone will write about how beautiful it is, about the views and the activities. Take a different approach. What about interviewing Tom the ex-stockbroker turned surf shop owner who first came to town 10 years ago, fell in love, and quit his corporate job to live there and open a business? Create a story to personalize and add dimension to the experience in nuanced, subtle ways.
Measuring Your Results
Success in marketing comes in many forms and this is especially true when it comes to destination storytelling. The goal of any destination marketing is to drive bookings. However, when it comes to the success of any individual campaign, it’s not just about page views or any single metric, it’s about the overall impact of your campaign.
Start with a measurable, data-driven goal. Then create your content and measure your results. Some key performance indicators (KPIs) to watch include reader engagement, increase in bookings or intent, overall page views, and an increase in the awareness of your destination’s offerings.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to storytelling and creating authentic destination stories, go into the community and have conversations with people to learn about the “real” stories and traditions in your community. Then write about them. Making an effort to truly understand who your visitors are, and what drives them to travel can help you to find ways to craft your story to show them emotionally what your destination has to offer and how your destination is exactly what they are looking for. Distribute your content through social media channels and combine images with your text to create an emotional response. Remember, destination storytelling and content marketing is a long-term game.
Success is measured by more than immediate engagement, especially when it comes to destination marketing. When you build your brand on a personal level and tell stories from a unique perspective, you will reap the benefits!