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Content Marketing Is More Than A Buzzword

You hear more than ever the term “content marketing” being thrown around in the vacation rental space.

Content marketing is more than an advertising buzz-word. While content marketing is extremely effective (when used wisely). The truth is, there’s more to it than what’s being told to you.

What I’m sharing with you here today is something vacation rental bloggers DO NOT want you to know. Why?

Well, some of you are giving them your money and you’re paying them because they used their psychology mojo against you.

Today I’m blowing the whistle on how they did it – sort of like a magician revealing the tricks of the trade. I’m sure you can understand how others in the industry might not appreciate it.

vacation rental marketing secrets revealed

In a blog, I wrote about vacation rental copywriting I explained how a sales writer is different from a travel writer, partly because they use these type of sales and psychology techniques. Today’s article uncovers the specific trick vacation rental marketing gurus are using against you.

And trust me, you have no doubt fallen for this because you are hard-wired to respond to it–  and they know that. 

Over the years I’ve been able to test different content against each other and I’ve discovered which blogs receive the most engagement in the form of clicks and reads.

In today’s blog post I’m sharing one of the ways you can create blog titles that make people go click crazy!

However, this marketing technique goes beyond just content marketing or blogging. This marketing technique can also be used in sales – when responding to your vacation rental inquiries.

Now, let’s get into today’s meaty marketing message!

What Really Killed The Cat?

You’ve heard the cliché “curiosity killed the cat”, right? Well, there’s a reason that cat is dead. It’s because we’re wired to be curious, often to our own detriment.

vacation rental blogging tips

pandora curiosity in vacation rental marketing

Stories of Pandora, Eve and Lot’s wife show how curiosity has a drive that makes it extremely difficult to resist even when we know terrible consequences could occur out of our curious actions.

Curiosity is linked with impulsive behavior, according to psychologist Loewenstein.

Curiosity is defined as a need, thirst or desire for knowledge, and is a motivational prerequisite for exploratory behavior.

It’s described to be similar to sexual drive because the behavior of curiosity can override our self-control. We just can’t stand “not knowing”. 

Why does curiosity have so much control over us? Why does it draw us like a moth to a bug-zapper?

It’s strongly believed, it’s a deprivation that occurs in the mind. There is a break in knowledge that the brain desperately wants to know.

I want you to become familiar with the term ‘the information gap – this is what Loewenstein says creates curiosity and I’ll reference it more in upcoming blogs.

The gap influences people to take action. It’s a gap between what they know and what they want to know.


It’s About What You Don’t Know About Marketing!


Image result for gap in information curiosity


If you think about it, the reason people are searching on Google is because they’re curious about something.

People are searching online, curious to know what they don’t know and bloggers are ready to capitalize on that.

Curiosity is driven more by our burning desire ‘to know’, than it is with the pleasure of actually getting the information we are seeking.

One fact to consider about curiosity is that it requires attention. If you don’t grab the persons’ attention you can’t conjure up curiosity.

If you’re going to use curiosity in your marketing you’ve got to use attention grabbing techniques + curiosity for results.  

An example of how you apply this technique in a follow-up inquiry is, to call-out the traveler’s name in the email’s subject line while making them curious about something.

Example:  Mike, did you get this? or Mike, did you get this free download?

The first thing you did here was, grab his attention by calling out his name.  Now that you got his attention,  Mike will then ask himself – “did I get what?” or “what free download?”. Mike now becomes curious because there is missing information, he then clicks your email.

Curiosity is so compelling because there is a sense of loss to the person who does not have the information they want.  

Problems With Curiosity

There are problems with using curiosity in your marketing. One of those problems is the feeling of dissatisfaction once the person is given the information.

Why is that? It’s because curiosity is based on deprivation. Similar to when one is hungry – once you eat, you’re no longer hungry.

The Consumption Of Information Can Be Unsatisfying

The consumption of food is different because it’s a much more drawn out process, plus there is pleasure associated with food consumption. 

The consumption of information happens almost instantaneous. And with that, you go from the point of being deprived, to being ‘satisfied’ so quickly it can be unsatisfying.

Curiosity is much like the sex drive, now isn’t it?

In order to keep people from becoming unsatisfied, you have to keep the fire burning and never let satisfaction happen too quickly. Does that make sense?

Does Using Curiosity In Your Marketing Increase Brand Recall?

In an interesting study, it was revealed that advertisers who use the element of mystery have a much higher brand recall than traditional advertising that shows the product or message meaning upfront.

Continuous Curiosity

Here is a practical way you can keep travelers curios and satisified with your vacation rental content marketing. Let’s say you wrote a blog that sparked curiosity and cultivated clicks about the – 10 Best Unknown Places To Eat In San Fransisco.

You won’t want to give away all of your secrets or tips on that one blog. You’ll want to stretch it out and give it to them slowly, line by line, like a good lover (yikes, did I just say that) always ending with a promise for more.

You should end the blog with a new piece of information they don’t know but would want to know (just like I will do here).

You could apply this by mentioning your next blog post “7 Secrets To Save At San Francisco’s Best Restaurants”. Are you connecting the dots of how this works?

What Type Of Marketing Content Makes People Curios

I’ve listed 3 types of marketing content that heighten curiosity in people to hopefully get you thinking about how you can use curiosity in your vacation rental marketing.

  • Mystery
  • Puzzles
  • Riddles

This type of marketing material creates great interaction with people on social media. Now you should be able to spot this type of marketing in social media and when bloggers send you their emails.

Curiosity is the reason people buy information, pay for courses and why they’re willing to pay hefty monthly subscription fees for information or to be part of some community with “exclusive” “unknown” information.

This is their vacation rental marketing mojo working on you.  So there it is –  the whistle was blown! Now be smart, be aware and leverage this technique yourself.

Want to know more trade secrets about how you can use the magnetically impulsive power of curiosity in your vacation rental content marketing plan?

I will show you specific techniques to not just make travelers curious but how to make them customers!

If you’d like to get my next content marketing tips be sure you’ve joined our free marketing newsletter

Has this sparked any thoughts? Share them below.



  • Kevin Johnson says:

    This post was very informative and very thought provoking. Thanks Jay for sharing the secrets of the marketing trade.

    • Jay William says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Kevin. One other thing I’d like to mention about using curiosity is that you shouldn’t over do it or it will lose its ummph!

      I’ll be sharing a few other techniques you can put in your tools box so you can mix up your strategies.

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