Are you ready for direct bookings? Or need to inject some adrenaline into what you’re been doing up-to-now?
Today I'm speaking about the two must-haves you need to drive your direct bookings along with a bunch of tips to get you going.
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Ep#22 - The two must-haves to drive your direct bookings
Hello. Thank you for joining me for another episode of the Direct Booking Success podcast. I'm your host, Jen Boyles. I'm excited to be here with you today. I have the tail end of this terrible cold, so I'm sure you can hear it in my voice. But I will try and get through this without sneezing or coughing.
Now, if you listen to last week's episode, I know you are raring to go with your direct bookings. If you missed it, head back to episode 21 to find out why now is the time to get off the Airbnb rollercoaster. That episode told you the why, and this episode will tell you the how. Today I'm speaking about how to start when you're new to direct bookings, or if you've already started, inject some adrenaline into your marketing with the two must-haves.
You need to drive your direct bookings. Let's get right into it.
Number one, the first must-have to drive your direct bookings, is a way to get your ideal guests’ attention. This could be social media or blogging or using SEO, or sending an email. You don't need to do everything immediately but to know the bigger picture and how these digital marketing techniques work together.
So let's look at that bigger picture. Say you write a blog post for your website using keywords that your ideal guest is searching for online. Let's pretend you have a city centre location with buzzing nightlife. You write a blog about the five best places in our city to have a great night out.
So when your ideal guest is searching for places to go, your blog will appear in the search results, and they'll click on your website. I call this like coming into your website, but like at the side door instead of the front door. You know, because they're not coming onto your homepage first; they’re coming onto your blog.
You then take a snippet of that blog and put it on a social media post. This social media post is shown to your followers. Some will like it or comment. Some will click through to read the post. Whatever they do, they're finding out more about your area. You can also take that blog snippet and write an email to previous guests.
This goes directly to them, and you'll be able to see how many Clickthroughs to read that whole post. This is reminding them what a great area you have, and the email will 10th them to book another stay with you. You do the same with those interested in your property but have yet to stay. You send them an email that gets them more interested and prompts them to book a stay.
With each of these, you encourage people to get to know you and your area and like what they see. You are proving. You are whom you say you are. You are providing that trust. This is how we use organic marketing as a strategic plan, but you can’t wait to do it immediately.
Okay? If you don't like writing, focus on videos. If you don't enjoy social media, then drive all your social media engagement to sign up to your email list where you can write to them. What you need to do is be consistent in anything you do. So there is a better time to have a great spurt of energy and post three times a day for a week on social media and then do nothing for a month to space out what you're going to do.
So it is manageable for you and your life.
Number two, the second must-have drive your direct bookings is a place that captures bookings. You need a place that you own online, and that should be your website, your digital storefront. Your website needs to be set up to guide your ideal guests through booking with you. Only some people who create websites know enough about our industry to do this effectively. A website Dream team would be a photographer that captures beautiful professional images showing off your property the best it can be. An experienced copywriter who crafts that copy can say things in such a way that your ideal guest is dying to come and stay.
And a web designer who knows the industry can craft a website that takes your ideal guest through the process and gets them to book. However, we need more resources to do all these things and employ that dream team. So let's look at what your website needs to be effective.
Like it or not, we live in an Airbnb world. A tip here is to look at what they're doing and how they guide guests into booking. We all know that keeping guests happy is what they like to do. Okay? So look at the homepage here. Okay? On your homepage, take the best photo or photos that you have of your property.
With some copy that tells those who land there who you are and what you provide. Copy that welcomes your ideal guests and tells them why they should stay with you. Copy about you and who you are with a photo and your name. Many of my clients will ask me, do they have to put their photos and names on their sites.
And I'm, all the time, I have to say, it sounds like a cliche, but people buy from people, and I always ask them if they've got something to hide, you know, Who are you running from? Get your photo on there. Your pictures on social media. You have your name on social media. Both of those places aren't, you know, spaces you own and anyone can see.
Why wouldn't you want to show how proud you are of your business? And it also shows everyone that there is a face behind that business. Now, the About You page section on your website is where I always head first, and I'm not the only one. It is the second-highest viewed page after your homepage. So think about it.
People want to know who you are. Okay, back to the homepage. So information on your area, more of a look, is in your property reviews, blogs, and links to book direct. The other pages you should have are an inside look at that property. If you have one property or multiple properties, you should have a page for each property.
It would be best if you had a blog, a local area guide, and a page for guests to book right there and then. You were out there on social media telling everyone to come to your website to book, and then if you just put hoops out there for them to jump through, they will move on. It would be best if you had a booking engine linked up to your site, including in your PMs, you know, your property management system.
You want guests to be able to book right away. Don't make it hard for them. You've done all this work; why let yourself down by not allowing guests to book on your website? That sounds counterintuitive to me. Getting your website right will drive your direct bookings. Getting it right will turn potential guests away.
Now, I know this is a lot of information in this episode. The big picture is what you need. You know, it's a way to get your ideal guest’s attention and a place that captures their bookings. But how do you get this done? You could read many blogs, follow tips and free Facebook groups, sign up for some free master classes and try to sort it together yourself.
You know, basically by trial and error, and that is fine. Or you can follow a proven system that will help you get there faster and easier. My question is to you, are you open to my help? If the answer is yes, head to Instagram and send me a dm. You can find me on Instagram at direct booking success. If the time's not right for you, that is fine.
The invitation is open at any time. When you're ready, and you'd like to chat, find out how I can help you. Please send me a DM on Instagram. I can be found at direct booking success.I look forward to hearing from you.