TWO STEPS TO ACHIEVING MORE DIRECT BOOKINGS FOR YOUR HOLIDAY RENAL
Long gone are the days of ‘if we build it – they will come’!
More has to be done than just launching a website or making a few posts on social media. You have to learn how digital marketing your holiday rental works so that you will attract direct bookings.
There are many ways to use digital marketing for your holiday rental or serviced accommodation to do this. The trick is using what is right for you and your ideal guest.
STEP ONE – Social Media for holiday rentals
One part of digital marketing for holiday rentals is using social media. There are many platforms to choose from on social media. You don’t have to be on all of them. If you have a team then you will have the resources to be everywhere. But if it’s just you then don’t spread yourself too thin.
Think of which platform(s) you like and which one(s) your ideal guest will be on. Focus on one or two and do them well. This philosophy will benefit you more in the long run than trying to do too many and doing it all poorly.
There are four areas of Facebook; your personal profile, your business page, Facebook groups and Facebook ads.
Your personal profile gets a tonne of reach. Gone are the days of just having your real-life friends as your ‘friends’ on Facebook. Although it is against the rules to actively sell from your personal profile, you can make sure your property is mentioned in your profile. Remember that it is your personal profile that you use throughout Facebook so make sure your property’s information is included on your profile.
Your business page gets the least amount of reach. It makes business sense for Facebook to limit the reach to encourage users to buy advertising. But it has become a staple of having a business now to have a Facebook business page. You can do many things from the page so it is definitely worth it.
Facebook groups are big right now. I’m asked daily to join one or two. You’ve probably noticed all the notifications from the groups you are in. They have a great deal of reach in Facebook. If you think a group would benefit your business and you have the time and energy to devote to it then it would be a great thing to set up.
The part of Facebook that you need to pay for are the advertisements. It is a great way to hone right in on your ideal guest to get them to notice you. But it can also be a huge waste of money if you don’t know what you’re doing.
A bonus area of Facebook to consider is stories. While they probably aren’t as popular as the ones on Instagram, it is another way to get your business page and personal profile in front of potential guests.
There are two parts of Instagram to use. The grid (your posts) and stories. Two different formats to market your property. You can be a bit more casual or spontaneous when using stories as they only last for 24 hours. Instagram will appeal to you if you like the idea of cultivating a gorgeous looking grid on platform where images come first.
Once known as the ‘job seekers’ platform, LinkedIn has evolved in recent years to be the forefront platform for business to business marketing. This is the perfect place to market your property if you run serviced accommodation. It can also be a great place to marketing your holiday rental as business people are people too! There are less people and less congestion on LinkedIn. Your content lives longer with a chance of more people seeing it.
Having a business page on LinkedIn is great for giving you a secondary way of coming up in search results but don’t waste too much time there as you get almost no reach at all. Using the saying ‘People buy from people’ is pretty much the way LinkedIn works.
There are also groups in LinkedIn which no one uses so don’t think that they might work the same way as Facebook. They don’t.
PINTEREST, YOUTUBE, TWITTER
Pinterest and YouTube are not technically social media platforms. They are search engines. Twitter isn’t a platform that I use. I class it more of communication tool rather than a place to effectively marketing your business. Others may have a different opinion.
STEP TWO – Your holiday rental website
The other part of digital marketing for holiday rentals is how you can use your own direct booking website. Throughout your marketing on social media, you want to be encouraging your ideal guest to come off of social media and onto your website. This is the land that you own online.
Think about what it would look like if you spent all of your marketing time on Facebook and your profile gets blocked – what would you do?
Marketing in multiple ways makes sure that you don’t have all of your eggs in one basket. It allows you to bring in an audience from a variety of sources. The marketing you do in this space is just as important as your social media presence. Some would argue that it is even more important as you have more control.
HOLIDAY RENTAL BLOG
The worse thing you can do to your website is to allow it to remain static. Google is not a fan of this and your rankings will suffer. One way to ensure your website continues to have new content is to create a blog. Blogging will help you with your SEO (search engine optimisation) as well as providing long form content and information for your ideal guest.
EMAIL MARKETING FOR HOLIDAY RENTALS
A way to get right into your ideal guest’s world is to send them an email, once you have their permission or course. You have their undivided attention when you write to them. Creating regular interesting content for your email list is a way of continuing to be in the forefront of your ideal client’s mind.
SEO FOR HOLIDAY RENTALS
Using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is how your website is found when a potential guest searches using Google. This is done by using keywords on your website and in your bog posts.
Google offers you three ways to help you get more visible. And the best part is that they are all free.
Sometimes its hard for potential guests to find you even when they have your business’ name. The way to make sure this never happens to you is to set up your free Google My Business listing. You can then add paid ways to help get more traffic but start with the free listing will help guests find your website. Setting up your free listing is essential for holiday rentals and serviced accommodation. Your business is tied to your local area. Potential guests will be using your town or city in their searches.
Google Search Console helps you by allowing you to see how your keywords are performing, how healthy your website is and its over ranking position. You’ll also be able to see who is linking their site to yours.
Google Analytics measures where your website traffic is coming from. It also looks at how long potential guests are staying on your site and where they are clicking.
Putting the two steps together
Using a combination of methods from the two steps will help achieve more direct bookings for your holiday rental.
Once you have decided how you are going to market your property then it’s time to get to work. The key in doing any of the above is consistency. If you aren’t consistent then you will be forgotten about. So only create a strategy that comprises of what you can commit to doing.
These are the two steps that I focus on in my three-month digital marketing programme. I tailor the nine sessions to you and your holiday rental or serviced accommodation business. We will look at your ideal guest’s booking journey, your unique ‘know, like, trust and buy’ factors so that you can ultimately get more direct bookings.
If you are interested in having a chat, please email me. We’ll set up a call to see where and how I can help you. Email me now.
INTERESTED IN HEARING more FROM ME?
Here are two FREE ways I can help your holiday rental or serviced accommodation business achieve more direct bookings:
1. Struggling on what content to post on social media? Download my FREE The Social Media Content Planning Guide here.
2. Do you want more tips, ideas and to occasionally read about my services? Subscribe below for regular emails from me.
Hi, I’m Jenn Boyles. I have over 20 years experience as a graphic designer and over 8 years as a fellow holiday rental owner. I help owners achieve more bookings through having a direct booking website with bespoke branding. I also provide digital marketing coaching to help you get the traffic off social and onto your website to book direct with you!
Interested in working together? Send me an email.