You have created your personas and are getting excited about setting goals. Every property manager/ owner sets benchmarks every year right? You don’t simply say, I want to make more money. You start each year by saying "I want to increase my sales by X% from last year. I want to increase my reservations by x% and make my owners smile x% more than last year." Right?
The same needs to happen for your vacation rental inbound marketing strategies. Each campaign needs (SMART) goals. First let’s think about a few key ingredients for your goals:
- They need to be specific
- They need to be measurable
- They need to be attainable
- They need to be relevant
- They need to have a set time
The first thing you need to do is evaluate your current status. What do I mean by that? If you have the data to show how many reservations you had last year for your set campaign time that is great. Other items you should compare are revenue and contacts. Yes, contacts. Those are the people you want to keep engaging with and get to come back year after year. Another status you need to evaluate is your online status. What is your website traffic status? What is your organic ranking? These are all great benchmarks for a vacation rental inbound marketing campaign. If you want to truly analyze your goals, see if you can correlate it with the specific persona you’re targeting. Example: You want to increase your weddings at your property. You had 5 last year, you want 8 this year.
Be specific with your goals.
Be very specific about your goals and know how you will measure them.
- I want to increase my contacts by 10% over the next 6 months.
- I want to increase my web traffic by 5 % over the next 6 months.
- I want 5 new wedding leads in the next 6 months.
See how this works?
Measure Your Results
When you set your goals, you have to make sure they can be measured. You can’t have a goal of “I just want to grow.” Grow what, when and how? Those can be measured but the simple fact of I want to grow can’t be measured.
- Increase my contacts by 10% over the next 6 months. You simply look at how many you have now and then do the math at the end of 6 months. Measured, right?
- Increase my traffic by 5% over the next 6 months. You need to have Google analytics or some web analytical tool in place. Look at where you stand now, and then at the end of your campaign, you run your reports. Simple, right?
- The easiest, how many wedding leads did you get during your 6 month campaign. Be sure to track this. Pen and paper is not a good idea.
Remember when we were kids and our parents would tell us, “You are being unrealistic!” and we had no clue what they were talking about? Sometimes unrealistic goals get the best of us. We all want to shoot for the stars, but we also have to face reality.
To be successful, you goal has to be attainable. The above goals are attainable, and personally I like setting mild milestones as it shows progress. Let me share with you unrealistic goals that I hear every now and then.
- I want to triple my business in a year
- I want my properties to stay fully booked all year-round. This is not to say it can’t happen, but it’s rare to be 100% booked all the time.
I hope that makes sense. I want you to be successful and grow with your campaigns.
This is a good one and folks honestly get caught up on their latest Google search, webinar or event they recently attended. New ideas are great and new goals are even better, but not when they aren’t relevant. Recently I had a client tell me she wanted to start attracting brides to her property. She attended a seminar and heard about how this property in North Carolina was taking advantage of the wedding industry and all the money they were making. There was one problem. Her set-up wasn’t really designed for weddings, nor is it considered a “wedding destination.” As you set your goals, make sure they are relevant to your settings and capabilities.
Now that you understand how to set your goals, it’s time get them set and get ready for that offer!