next level of marketing

It’s Time To Up Your STR Marketing Game

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Episode 533.

In this podcast episode we will be listening to Evan from Jarvis ML about how to step your STR marketing game

Here's the video for this episode:



Timestamps (audio)

00:00 – Intro
02:10 – Search Engine Optimization Dominance
08:29 – No excuse for your website not to be on mobile
12:00 – Two important question
12:53 – Outro  

Whilst you’re here

Follow Boostly on the following channels to get more tips, tactics and knowledge on how you can increase your direct bookings

Visual – YouTube 

Audio – Boostly Podcast




Transcript from the Episode

[00:00:00] Mark: Welcome back to the Boostly podcast, and I've got a special one for you today. Now, you're going to have to make sure you get a pen and paper on this one. You're gonna have to make sure you make notes because there's gonna be a lot of, uh, marketing spiel thrown at you. Um, now the reason being I wanted to get Evan on the podcast.

[00:00:16] Evan is part of Jarvis ml. Now this is gonna be over the head for a lot of people, but it's important that you listen because the core basis of what Evan is talking. Is making sure that your diary booking website is as good as Airbnb. Okay? And there's certain little prompts and hints and tips that he throws into this that you can definitely pay attention to, especially the pop-ups one.

[00:00:39] Make sure you pay attention to that now. Um, Evan reached out to me about four months ago and said, listen, I, I need to talk to you about, uh, Jarvis ml. It fits in perfectly with the DRA booking journey and, and what you're trying to do. I said to him, listen, it's not right time now. I'm currently putting my book together, finishing touches.

[00:00:57] So he kept patient, he kept pestering, uh, [00:01:00] and he sent some up through, which was really good. So I uploaded it into the, the Team Boley Academy, and it went down well. There's definitely some scope here, so I, I wanted to put it out to the wider world and that's why you're gonna be, uh, listening to or watching one of his, um, little presentations that you put together.

[00:01:16] So it's gonna be on video, it's gonna be on audio, it's gonna be all about, you can reach out to Jarvis to, um, Evan directly afterwards, but please, please, please, please pay attention to the call message of this, which is ensuring that your guest booking journey is as good as what an OTA is. If your website isn't there yet, then come in contact Boosty.

[00:01:37] That's what we do every single day. Our website's as good as the OTAs. They make sure that they get from 1, 2, 3, discover on the page, bookable within free steps. So please do go and do that. Please make sure you watch this. Please make sure you leave your comments in here and if you would like to as well, and I'll send this over to Evan.

[00:01:55] Leave your comments with your webpage. In the comments, so I'll leave [00:02:00] your webpage in the comments and I'll make sure that he gets a copy book without thou. I'm gonna flip my screen and the next person you're gonna see and hear from is Evan from Jarvis,

[00:02:09] Evan: M L s E O, search Engine Optimization Dominance.

[00:02:14] Many of you have a strategy where you put a high price point on an OTA and you brand it well. That way the guest will think, okay, let's go look on Google. Let's try to find them direct. Even when the guest tries to go direct, they can't escape the OTAs. 90% of first page Google results on any destination will be in ota.

[00:02:34] So clearly OTAs are advanced e-commerce operations. And finally, They're a one stop shop. They do it all. Flights, cars, hotels, now experiences. They even bundle it all for savings. That's quite tough to compete with. Fourth and most importantly is personalization. Just like all of you get endless sales emails from people like me.

[00:02:59] Well, [00:03:00] guests gets endless sales emails from people like you. So we live in a time of digital marketing noise. We have to acknowledge that everyone wakes up with a finite amount of cognitive load to tackle their day, and OTAs reduce that load with personalization. Starting with the account, which is a magnet for guests to return more frequently.

[00:03:22] Each account is personalized with their past bookings, their past searches, and even personalized promotions and discounts tailored to them. Truly a place for them to return every time and start their experience all over again, at least with some historical background so they can move forward. Next is marketing on an ota.

[00:03:42] Every guest receives personalized emails, personalized text messages, personalized advertisements. Every touch is correlated to each guest's wants and needs, so the guests start to pay attention because the marketing is personalized specifically to them. It's not just random noise. It's tailored to exactly what they [00:04:00] want.

[00:04:01] And third and most importantly, is the personalized booking journey on the realtime website for every single guest. Think about it. For all millions of guests looking for their individual location, they each are seeing properties specific to them. With photos specific to them at price point specific to them.

[00:04:19] The OTAs are literally spoonfeeding guests, all types of options based off of their preferences and affinities. So personalizing these booking journeys, cuts through the digital noise and prevents guest search, ex exhaustion. That way the guest converts every time. Let's dive a step deeper into personalization, and let's use scale as the o.

[00:04:41] personalization is the hottest topic right now in the commerce world because it's the only way to cut through all that digital noise out there. So imagining scale is the ota, here's what scales. Scale OTAs ecosystem would look like, whether it's their phone, a text message on social [00:05:00] media, on their iPad, on the computer, wherever it is, they're going to see personalized recommendations with a personalized experience across the entire booking funnel.

[00:05:10] And that's why they became the starting point for every guest search. because on top of the personalized recommendations, they're also branding it. So when the guest thinks, okay, it's time to book our next vacation, they immediately think of who's had them in their communication ecosystem the entire time, and with great excitement.

[00:05:28] I'm proud to say that the company I'm with, Jarvis ml is giving VRMs and short-term rental managers the same exact capabil. This is the only way to swing the pendulum back from the OTAs into the hands of our small businesses in in order for us to drive these direct bookings, direct repeat bookings. So at the conference, I ask them to raise their hand if they spend money on any of these Facebook, Instagram, Google ads, or email marketing.

[00:05:59] Every single person [00:06:00] in their room raised their hands and in reality, Many of them do a good job. All of them have over 10, 20, 30,000 monthly visitors on their website. Some even have over a hundred thousand on their website, so they have no problem driving direct guests. But what's the point? If their website is not ready to convert them, what's their point?

[00:06:20] If their website is just a generic space with just noise? They're spending all that money on driving the customers and their website is not optimized. So let me give you an example of what an optimized website using Jarvis ML'S technology would look like. Why should these two guests have the same booking journey?

[00:06:41] On the left, you have a family of seven from Beverly Hills with a high spending behavior looking for a quick beach vacation. On the right, you have a retired couple with modest spending behavior and an affinity towards long quiet mounting cottages. Is there [00:07:00] any reason they should see the same properties and have the same journey?

[00:07:03] I. Well on an OTA or a website with Jarvis ml powering the background, this is what they would see. The Beverly Hills family will be served. Large beach villas at a high price point with specific photos showing swimming pools and beaches. On the other hand, the retired couple, they'll see smaller mountain cottages tailored to longer.

[00:07:25] Weekly price points because they're looking for a longer stay, and it's exactly what they're looking for. So in general, OTAs use personalized booking journeys like these to reduce fix friction, spoonfeed every potential guest, personalized recommendations, and convert the anonymous web traffic.

[00:07:42] Effectively, and let me remind you that Jarvis ML is taking this power and giving it to the individual VRMs direct booking operations. That way, all of the ad spend, all those dollars you spend on Facebook and email marketing, those anonymous web visitors will turn into [00:08:00] existing customers using Jarvis ml's personalized booking journey technology.

[00:08:06] So now that I've dug, dug deeper into the future of technology and how OTAs are driving direct bookings, I get it's all very intimidating. So I want to give you a few ways to start a crawl, walk, run approach where you can start leveling up so that way eventually you can add those high level AI and machine learning solutions.

[00:08:27] Let's start with mobile devices. There's no excuse for your website to not be mobile. There's no excuse. You saw that over 50% of Airbnb's bookings were done via phone, would you bet that's gonna go down? Cuz I wouldn't. So spend the money, spend the time. Be proud of your mobile website by the time you're done with it, and make that a priority.

[00:08:47] Make that priority number one. Number two is reviews Go across every O T A, scrape all those reviews that you have and put 'em on your website. The more you make your direct booking [00:09:00] website feel like an O T A where they have all the reviews and all the information in front of them for the guests to make a data back decision, they'll convert.

[00:09:07] They'll make those direct bookings because essentially they won't know where they are, whether it's the O T A direct website, it's all the same to them as long as it looks all the same. Next is security. Too many VRMs have these fill in the blank fields that are just so old school. No one trusts that nowadays.

[00:09:25] Get rid of those. Use a common solution like Google Pay or PayPal. Even if you have your own solution, whether it's Stripe or something else, put those badges that show payment security is there on your website, and if there's a problem, you're going to have your guests back and you'll refund them. Put it in words loud and clear.

[00:09:43] If you want your guests to trust you, you have to tell them fourth, and one of my, one of the most important ones here is just give. OTAs do it at a large scale so that way guests see that the money is going to something good. But in the time with this crazy regulation [00:10:00] and the hotel lobby's going against the short-term rental managers and trying to outlaws, at the very least, give back to your community.

[00:10:06] Not only is it good for your taxes, but it's also good for pr. Have an entire tab on your website dedicated to showing where your money is going. That way, the guest will feel good booking with you, knowing that some of that money is going back to the local c. Fifth, we have a timed popup discount. This one is pretty clever.

[00:10:26] If you have a guest that's clicking around your website for six, seven minutes, that means they want to book, but they just need a slight nudge, a slight sense of urgency to do it. So after seven, eight minutes on your website, have a timed popup that says If you book within the next 10 minutes, we'll give you 10, 15, 20% off.

[00:10:45] First of all, they're booking direct, so all that money is being made up as if they were booking on an OTA second. Even if you do take a slight hit, you get all their data from the website clicks to keeping them in your marketing funnel, and at the very least you can have, you have a [00:11:00] nice shot at keeping them as a long-term repeat guest.

[00:11:03] That's huge. And then finally, most importantly, never let a guest hit a dead end. The most common reason a guest bounces from your direct booking website is because they go, they click on a property page and you know that property was close, but it wasn't quite the right choice. And they scroll down and there's nothing left to click on.

[00:11:23] They immediately x out, go right back to the O T A. I encourage you to have recommendations all over your website, on your homepage, immediately have featured properties with your hottest properties, your newest ones, whatever. Just something to click on. Every single listing page at the bottom, put a set of three to five more options.

[00:11:41] That way the guest will always have something more to click on, and we'll always be in that constant booking loop. And that way you can have a time pop-up discount. You can use other strategies to get them to convert, but if they leave, if they leave your. You're not gonna have that chance. So never let a guest hit a dead end.[00:12:00]

[00:12:00] So back to our two questions. Is your booking website as good as OTAs? Are you confident with your mobile website booking experience? At the conference, the answer was 99% no. But as I would like to say, Not yet. I have now given you the tools to start crawling and even walking to start putting up a fight to drive those direct bookings.

[00:12:21] And as you take these little steps, you'll start to see that you're ready to add these O T A grade solutions, such as AI and ml, such as, or Jarvis ml, where you can personalize every booking journey and start automating manual workloads. Except this time, once you level up, you're gonna get to keep the data and the.

[00:12:42] That's huge because data is an asset and it's rising in value rapidly, and it's going to allow you to scale just like a big tech company or an ota. Thank you for watching. My name is Evan Dago. I am the head of predictive hospitality at Jarvis ml, where we predict what guests want [00:13:00] before they have the thought.

[00:13:01] We are e-commerce pros and founded by the team that invent. Google Ads machine learning platform, they invented the game. So if you want some guidance on how to improve your website or how to level up your operations, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. Thank you for your time and I look forward to speaking with you soon.

[00:13:19] Mark: Having a

[00:13:20] Evan: blast, can I get it on the Bruce Lee podcast, Bruce Lee led Bruce Lee cuz it's so hard and the tea is loose leaf. Picking up those rhymes. Don't write it, just do it loosely.

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