In this document we will identify the target audience of a short-term apartment rental company (Spanish SME) called GetMeAnApartment (www.getmeanapartment.com), then we will describe the impact of key digital technologies in the customer online journey, in the vacation rental industry, the evolution of those technologies and future trends.
The company’s target customers are mainly young couples whose average age is 30-40, as well as businessmen.
A strong social media presence is an inalienable condition for the vacation rental industry: 52% of travellers use social media for summer vacation inspiration. Facebook is the traveller’s social network of choice, ahead of TripAdvisor, Twitter and Pinterest. The interaction among travellers (comments on travel reviews and videos) plays an important role in the planning process of a trip: in 2012, 42% of stories shared to users' Facebook timelines were travel experiences.
Moreover, the website of vacation rental companies, apart from being easy to navigate and crawlable by search engines robots, has to be optimized for mobiles: Mobile devices represent needful gadgets for our target audience and have a great impact in travel searches since one out of every two queries in travel results in a purchase and 33% percent of mobile travel searchers want to complete the transaction within the day. A bad mobile experience can damage a company's brand. In the mid-long term mobile devices will substitute desktop ones and online communication will be more visual and interactive.
Instead of outdated SEO techniques it will be necessary to invest our budget in online advertising, Social Media and content marketing.