If you manage vacation rental properties, you know how important it is to reach a targeted audience. If you’re a property manager, for example, you may want to market to both prospective property owners and potential and returning guests. While there are many ways to market your business and engage with your customers, not all are equally effective. To get the best ROI for your lodging, vacation, or other property rental business you need to keep specific marketing tips in mind.
Types of Engagement Strategies
Here are some of the ways that you can reach a wider audience.
- Email – Email marketing is a cost-effective way to reach a broad audience. You can email previous customers as well as prospects in your target market.
- Calls – Calling previous customers as well as cold calls to prospects is another time-honored strategy that still works if you’re persistent. Combining email and calling works even better. You can start with one and follow up with the other.
- Direct Mail – Even in the digital era, direct mail is very effective. Sending out brochures, postcards, or letters to a targeted audience is still a powerful prospecting technique.
- Social Media – Staying active on social media sites that are popular with your customers is an excellent way to stay in touch and find new clients. Facebook and Instagram are especially useful for showing off beautiful images and videos of your property.
Tips to Improve Your Results
There are quite a few methods of outreach, and you probably have your favorites. What really counts, however, is using the right strategy at the right time. Here are some tips to keep in mind to get more customers for your vacation rentals.
- Don’t give up on old leads. Just because someone didn’t book with you last month or last year doesn’t mean they won’t book in the future. Continue to follow up with people unless they specifically ask you not to.
- Study and segment your customers. Not everyone responds to the same outreach tactics. Some people prefer talking on the phone while others like email, direct mail, or social media.
- Track your results, so you learn the best way to contact each prospect or client. You also need to track customer behavior such as when and where they’re most likely to book with you.
- Ask previous customers for referrals. If someone has enjoyed spending time at one of your properties, why not ask him or her for a referral? This can help you expand your list of hot prospects.
- Offer attractive deals and packages. If people aren’t responding to a particular offer, try making changes. For example, offer lower rates during the week. Create packages that partner with other local businesses such as restaurants and tourist destinations (e.g., include a meal or tickets to an attraction with the package).
If you manage vacation properties, increasing your reach requires you to learn as much about your customers as possible and adapt to their needs. Keep these tips in mind and think of methods of your own to better serve your prospects and clients.
To learn how Vacation Rental Marketers can help you generate more bookings from your website, contact us.
Share the Marketing Know-How:
If you’ve been wondering whether advertising your vacation rental business on Facebook is a good move, we’ll let you know right now that it’s time to stop wondering and start putting your strategy together. You may have heard that Facebook advertising doesn’t work. The truth is that it won’t work if you aren’t properly targeting your audience or if your advertising efforts aren’t clearly planned out. However, when you’re extremely focused on your target market and you provide added value to that audience, Facebook is a great route to take. There are no other platforms that allow you to target audiences with such specificity. Even better, Facebook ads are frequently less expensive than Adwords.
Start by Planning Your Strategy
You’ll need to have a straightforward strategy in place before you start advertising. Without that strategy, your advertising efforts’ success will be negatively impacted.
Define Your Target Market
You know your target market better than anyone. When you start setting up your ad campaigns, you’ll need to narrow your focus down to your target customer. Where do they live? Are they male or female? How old are they? As we previously mentioned, Facebook allows you to get very specific with your targeting efforts.
Maybe you want to focus on audiences who like skiing or those who have shown an interest in log cabins. You can further refine your target audience with actions like excluding certain groups or focusing on those who already have a connection to your page (friends of those who have already liked your page, for example).
What Value Will You Offer Your Target Customer?
This step can be a tricky one, especially in the vacation rental world. Most travelers are interested in getting more information on the area they plan on visiting. This might include fun local activities or popular restaurants or bars. Helpful blog posts or videos are great ways to address this. We’ve also found that creating a travel guide is a fantastic way to provide value to your customer. If you create a travel guide, make it audience-specific so that it, just like your ads, focuses on families, mountain bikers, bird watchers, etc. Coupons and discounts are always popular options as well.
Design Your Ad with Your Audience in Mind
This may seem like common sense, but sometimes when you’re creating a design it can be easy to forget what your audience might like. On Facebook, you’ll have several ad options, which include the standard image option, carousel ads, or video ads. Carousel ads are great if you want to send your audience to different sections of your website. Video ads are becoming more and more popular. They may take more time to put together, but they can also make a huge impact. The standard image ads are always a reliable choice, though they are admittedly less flashy than the other two options.
With Facebook ads, you can also choose to advertise on Instagram. If you opt for Instagram ads, those ads should be somewhat different than your Facebook ads. Instagram is based on images, so your ad (regardless of which format you choose) should be striking and concept-driven.
Across the board, though, your ads need to capture your target audience’s interests, needs, and/or desires in order to be successful.
Build a Lead Capture Page
Building a lead capture page makes it easy for you to gain a lead. This step is very important and it’s frequently overlooked when people start down the advertising road. Remember – the reason you’re doing this whole advertising thing is to get bookings. When you get a prospective guest’s information, you are creating a lead, which you can then turn into a booking. You’ll want to at least get an email address, although in some cases, you may be able to get a phone number, too.
Keep your lead capture simple and straight to the point. Don’t provide your potential guests with too many options. You want them to put in their email address and submit their information. Nothing else!
Set Up Your Email Automation for New Leads
After you get some new leads, then what? You’ll want to follow up with them. Set up an automated email series that will not only provide your leads with more value but that will get them back on your site. There are a variety of platforms out there which will seamlessly sync your captured leads with your email automation series. So it’s an incredibly easy way to ensure that your leads are getting the attention they deserve.
Test, Test, Test!
This is a very important part and it’s one that most property managers and marketers in general miss. It can be a tedious step in the process, but it’s essential. Testing allows you get the biggest ROI with your marketing efforts. It allows you to figure out which ads offer the highest conversion rates. You’ll want to make testing a regular part of your advertising efforts so that you can lower your cost-per-click and increase your revenue.
We hope that this Facebook tutorial helped to give you a better understanding of why and how to use Facebook funnels to improve marketing efforts. You can’t just put up a Facebook ad and expect to get results. You need to follow a process if you’re want to see great results. After all, Facebook has over 1.7 billion active monthly users. Isn’t it time that you get your vacation rental business in front of some of them?
Share the Marketing Know-How: