Marketing activities are essential for any small or big business trying to make more profit. There are hundreds of properties on listing sites that you will need to get ahead of if you want to drive more traffic to your own vacation rental and get more bookings. The following tips will help you create a starter digital marketing plan tailored to suit everyone’s needs. It’s easy and it’s free and it is sure to highlight your vacation rental. Since 83% of travelers prefer to book online, digital marketing proves indispensable.
Are you ready to attract new guests and increase your bookings at no extra cost for your business?
Here are 5 + 1 tips to get you there:
- Join vacation rental forums & social media groups
- Ask for reviews
- Email marketing
- Social media
- Learn simple SEO
- Create your own direct booking website
1. Join vacation rental forums & social media groups
Vacation rental forums can help you grow your business by teaching you how to manage your rental more effectively and you can also benefit from the word of mouth advertising to promote your rental. By staying active in the community, your fellow hosts will be more likely to look out for you and send some business your way. It’s very important to work on building up your credibility so that other hosts know that they can trust you enough to send you referrals.
2. Ask for reviews
Why spend money on marketing when you can let satisfied customers do the work for you? Reviews are social proof that most people seek out before booking a vacation rental property. So, you need them.
Make sure renters are taken care of and kept happy during their stay, and then ask them to kindly leave a review. The impact of online reviews increased by more than 20 percent over year-on-year. Even Google is starting to filter out businesses with less than a 4-star rating.
Higher-rated properties will get more views on listing platforms, and they might even qualify you for a program like Airbnb’s Superhost.
3. Email marketing
This is one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to build relationships with your guests. Email marketing campaigns are a great way to keep your previous customers informed of upcoming deals, special offers, or promotions.
For example, a newsletter is a critical component of hospitality marketing since travelers may get distracted by everyday tasks and the multitude of options available. There are a lot of free platforms that you can use, like Mailchimp, in which you can create personalized newsletters and send them to your entire email list for free. You can even create an online signup form allowing your guests to subscribe to your list. You can embed this form on your website or social media.
A more direct alternative is to use a service like StayFi’s wifi marketing for vacation rentals. Hosts can collect the guests’ names, emails, phone numbers, and any other data they’d like to through the WiFi login process – all while providing a better WiFi experience for guests. Plus, StayFi connects with the most major email service providers so you can use the one of your choice.
4. Social media
Social media is one of the most easily accessible and cost-effective means of reaching your target audience. That way not only leads can be established but also a community of loyal customers is formed. One should not forget that the latter have come to know & trust your brand through their favorite social platform.
A great number of potential guests use Instagram or Facebook to look for deals, plan out their ideal vacations, and of course, read vacation rental reviews in order to optimize their vacation experience. So, social media are one of the fastest-growing digital marketing tools for the travel industry.
But keep in mind that attempting to target all the social media platforms in their entirety would be a waste of resources. The ideal for you would be to identify and specify your guests’ preferred platforms so as to put all your efforts into one or two social media platforms.
Of all social media platforms available, Facebook is known to attract more searches, because its content constitutes what is known as a one-stop-shop.
In order to accomplish that, first, you have to create a Facebook business page for your property. There you can share the amenities offered, the best images of your property, and a repository of future reviews. Don’t forget to add a ‘’Book Now’’ button redirecting to your personal website to facilitate direct bookings.
To get the most out of your Facebook Page, you need to post often and strategically (you can see what works best for your page in the Insights section).
To see Page Insights:
- From your News Feed, click Pages in the left menu.
- Go to your Page.
- Click Insights in the left menu.
Your insights page is a completely unique section on your business page and only visible to you. You’ll get to see what days and times your followers are most active and which posts get the best response. These “insights” will help you plan your posts to get the most out of your page.
Facebook best practices
- Post at least twice a week.
- Post relevant, traveler-centric content – from links to events in your area to articles about how to pack.
- Respond to reviews, comments, and inquiries in a timely manner. Similar to listing sites, users can see how quickly pages reply to questions and messages, so being responsive is important!
- Seek out local travel groups to share your property with people looking to visit your area
- Invite your friends to like your property page – you never know who is looking for a getaway! By inviting your guests to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ your social media pages, you are more likely to build an even more cordial connection with them.
- Don’t just market your vacation rental, market the location
- Don’t be afraid to share, reach out, respond to feedback, and above all be yourself.
5. Learn simple SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it’s a powerful tactic for getting found when someone is searching online.
Regardless of the size of your business, SEO is a key component to attracting new customers.
Optimizing your website for search engines can be a lot simpler than it sounds. Start off with some straightforward keyword research, and discover which terms you should be targeting across your site. With this done:
- update your website page titles and meta descriptions to include these keywords where possible.
- rename all your image captions with relevant descriptions (alt tags)
Learning SEO isn’t easy and even SEO agencies are struggling in helping small businesses get specific about their audience and keywords. However, there are many resources to help you along the way.
6. Create your own direct booking website
The main marketing tool for your vacation home would be your own website. A website where you can accept direct bookings, market your property, provide information, grow your brand, showcase your amenities, and generate new leads. A business without a professional quality website will fall behind in an internet-driven market. If a consumer can’t find your vacation rental online, they most certainly can’t book it.
We have created a step-by-step guide leading you through each stage separately until you have your very own fully functional direct booking website! Click here to access the guide.
Creating a website nowadays has never been easier. It’s essential for you as a property owner to have your own property website and to advertise it everywhere. Needless to say, any additional promotion on social media could only provide further help.
These six ideas are a good place to start for even the most beginners. Of course, there are more expensive strategies, like Google Ads, that you can consider when you feel comfortable with it. Estimate the time and money you want and need to spend on it, as well as the results you want to achieve.
Will you implement any new changes to your marketing strategy? Get in touch and let us know how you get on.