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How To Promote Your Holiday Rental
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How to Promote Your Holiday Rental

Many people have holiday homes to rent. On average, second home owners are renting their properties to travelers 20 weeks a year and earn a significant income to offset their mortgage and upkeep costs. A recent report by Home Away found that nearly 63 percent of owners earn enough to cover at least 50 percent of their mortgage.

Last year a friend of mine asked if I could help promote her two holiday homes in Croatia. Holiday bookings had been slow and she needed some new ideas and focus for online marketing. I set about researching online channels that could help and this year both her properties were fully booked before the holiday season even started. This article describes what we did.

1) Holiday rental websites

We began our campaign with some research into holiday rental websites. You should use these sites on a long-term rolling basis because the longer you keep these sites going the more developed your advert will become and the more bookings you will receive.

We used the following websites

Owners Direct

This is one of the most popular hubs for UK holiday makers, it receives around 30,543 unique visitors every day. The website is easy to use and offers plenty of space for text and pictures, use it to advertise your property in the UK or abroad. On average we used between 12 and 15 images on every website to show the property and places of interest. A detailed owner profile and guest comments were also included to add credibility.

Villa Renters

Villa renters are another popular website with around 28,118 visitors per day. We particularly liked this website because it makes good use of social media and there’s a nice feature slot for holiday reviews and you can earn Facebook likes on this web site.

Holiday home rentals

One of the few websites that will advertise your villa for free. The website ranks quite highly in Google but only receives around 100 page views per day so don’t rely on this as your only advertising. The web site displays a very effective picture slide show and has a nice availability calendar which you can fill in as your property starts to become fully booked.

The more effort you can put into your advertising the more effective it will be. We kept revisiting the pages, updating the content and sending ourselves test inquiries to be sure that the contact details worked and the page received traffic. Some of these websites track their most successful properties and give them additional feature spots so its worth making an effort to keep the pages frequently updated.

2) Personal web sites

Having your own website gives you extra credibility in the market place. We developed the website "Holiday rentals in Croatia" using a free content management system called Joomla.

One of the biggest problems facing website designers today is the wide range of web browsers and devices that web surfers use today. We used Twitter Bootstrap to create web pages that re-size according to the device and web browser. The screen size will shrink and compress so that the website remains readable on a device as small as a mobile phone or as big as a wide screen TV.

We used Google Adwords to identify the most commonly used keywords that people type into search engines when they looking for holiday lets in Croatia. Also because our own website is quite new we have an ongoing search engine optimization campaign that will boost the profile of the website over time.

Most web directories and business directories also have categories for overseas accommodation so we submit our URL to these in order to build back-links and gain status with Google.

3) Other website promotions

In order to increase our presence online we looked at various other ways to talk about holidays in Croatia and link back to our website. Our channels included holiday discussion forums, money saving forums and holiday review websites.

Useful web sites

Fodor’s European travel talk

Just Landed

Money talk

4) Social media postings

There are many new tools which can help you share beautiful holiday images. To make a nice video clip or slide show presentation you will need to have around thirty quality photos of your holiday rental and its surrounds. Here are three of my favorite online tools for creating snazzy presentations.

TripAdvisor TipWow

Create an eye-catching slide show with an interesting holiday theme. What I like about TipWow is that it gives you a highly stylized presentation with lovely holiday themes. Once created you can post straight onto your Facebook page or embed the front cover into a snazzy email, just perfect if you are considering email campaigns. The only drawback I found with TripWow is that it doesn’t let you download your finished movie until it has received at least 10 unique page views.

Tips

You can create the slide show by linking to your Flickr or Picasso photo album and importing images galleries straight across but I didn’t find this method reliable because it kept loosing some of my images. I would therefore recommend that you upload direct from your own computer for faster results.

Animoto

This technology is similar to TripWow but with more templates for styling your presentation and a huge sound library behind it. Animoto offers more space for adding your custom text captions and has powerful content editing.

You can publish your finished animation to all the usual social media sites and also to video sites likes YouTube, Vimeo and Daily Motion.

The key to making a good video for the internet is to keep the running time to no more than 90 seconds. This is because the video will load faster and will stand a better chance of keeping the viewer's attention.

Diy-hols

Create a free digital postcard using this digital postcard editor. There’s no need to register with the site or log-on you can just create a postcard on the fly and email it to your contact list.


Street Talk

Hi Marywhitehouse I have just finished reading your article and I am impressed by its content I wish you well in your long journey to the internet marketing world Thank you very much

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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