With the rise of online rental platforms, you need to know the best ways to market your holiday rental if you want to stand out.
Put simply, your very best friend when it comes to marketing your holiday rental is your unique selling point (USP).
Other essentials are images showing how gorgeous your rental is and testimonials from real people telling the world how much they enjoyed staying at your holiday home.
Of equal importance, of course, is the business of actually getting that information to your prospective audiences. Images and testimonials won’t be doing anything if they’re not seen.
So, proper marketing and getting your name out there is hugely important for getting the bookings in. Here’s how.
Content is king
Whatever medium you choose to advertise or market your holiday let, the words you choose to accompany your images are almost as important as the images themselves.
If writing really isn’t your forte it is well worth paying a professional to write some compelling copy for you. Remember writing for the internet requires a different style to an advertorial in print.
You may want to consider different content and images to cater for different markets. Images of bunk beds, a high chair, a travel cot and children’s play equipment is great for attracting families with young children, while images including a pet basket, nearby walks and a secure garden will be more likely to entice dog owners.
Remember to ensure relevant copy and images are targeted to the appropriate audience, especially if you have a portfolio of different properties.
Most important of all is your USP. What makes your holiday let stand out from the crowd? Remember potential bookers will be looking at lots of other options. You need them to choose you and your USP could be the thing that nails the booking over your competitors.
You need a website
We are living in the unprecedented era of digital. All businesses need a website. This is the way most people search for and book holidays these days.
Content and images play a vital role here, as does SEO (that’s search engine optimisation). SEO makes your website friendly to search engines (Google being the main one) and ultimately helps to generate traffic to your website.
Free SEO education is widely available online or you could pay an expert to help you. If you can make it to the first page for relevant keyword searches the investment could be worth it.
Don’t be tempted to stuff your website with keywords. That is an old-school tactic that no longer cuts the mustard. Google’s AI search bots are far too clever for that now.
Stick to writing compelling copy that people want to read (I reiterate, if you’re not a writer find someone to help you who is). Keep content on your website fresh by writing regular blogs and updating page content where appropriate.
Your website also needs to be clear and easy to navigate. Beside the Sea Holiday Cottages website is a good example, which has lots of great images and clear signposted information about the accommodation and the area.
Listings and review sites
Ensure you have entries in any of the listings people you want to entice may look at to research their holiday options. A huge number of people check reviews on Trip Advisor before booking. See the Trip Advisor guide to marketing here.
If possible, use a variety of holiday portals and agencies including some that only advertise holiday homes with certain USPs that apply to your holiday let – dog-friendly holiday homes for example.
Social media is one of the easiest ways to build relationships with guests, past and present, and to reach new ones.
You will at the very minimum need a Facebook page, a Twitter account and an Instagram account.
These are great mediums for sharing photos, videos and short pieces of content, as well as enabling you to start a dialogue with potential guests. See some tips for using Instagram to market your holiday let here.
Make people want to come back
Never underestimate the importance of repeat business. Give your holidaymakers everything they need and more. Exceed expectations and you are more likely to get the repeat bookings that are crucial in making your holiday let business a success.
Importantly, first impressions count, so respond quickly and in a professional, but friendly manner to your guests from the outset. Provide all of the information your guests will need about your property and the area to ensure they settle in quickly and enjoy their holiday from day one.
It is especially nice to make recommendations for restaurants and provide information on local events that will be happening during your guests’ stay, as well as giving practical tips on local shops and supermarkets.
Listen to feedback from your guests and learn to take any criticisms constructively. If more than one group of guests have complained about something, you need to listen.
Having a guestbook in the holiday property for your holidaymakers to leave comments in is a great idea. Finally, always follow-up your guests stay with an email and encourage them to sign up for your newsletters.