Have You Tried This? Marketing Tactics You Might Be Missing

Jonathan Murray —  September 17, 2013

"Lightbulb!" by Matthew Wynn on flickr (CC BY 2.0)Looking for new ways to promote your vacation rental and attract more bookings? Here’s a recap of some of the ideas we’ve shared on our blog this past year.

Get the best ‘bang for your buck’

In 10 Minute Marketing, our presentation from this year’s HomeAway Summit, Markus Nordvik and I highlighted 15 different ideas — some basic, and some a little outside the norm — that we think can deliver medium-to-high impact with minimal time commitment. Some of these ideas are included below, but check out our presentation for the full list…

Opt-in to the direct booking option

At the beginning of this year, I predicted that online transactions were poised to take off. People are increasingly aware of vacation rentals, and the competition between us and traditional accommodations is tight. For travelers, convenience is a big factor; I think owners who opt out of new direct booking options will lose business as a result. Read more about why online transactions are a smart choice…

Check out your offline options

Opportunities for marketing your vacation rental offline will vary by area, but they’re still worth looking into — from traditional tactics like business cards and brochures, to networking with other owners or joining your local Chamber of Commerce. People turn to the Internet when planning their trips, but offline marketing is often just another path to an online transaction — particularly if you’re marketing to seniors, who don’t necessarily start their searches online.

Create video with less polish, more personality

Video, from "10 Minute Vacation Rental Marketing" by MyVR

Slide from “10 Minute Marketing” by MyVR
(click for larger image)

Creating your own video has been increasingly accessible, and this year it’s become even easier to share moments and add personality with your own amateur videos.

Just as professional photographers are indispensable, smartphone-quality video isn’t necessarily the best way to showcase your property.

But it’s also become obvious that videos don’t need to be slick to make an impact.

With so many different ways to share — like Vine, Instagram, Flickr, and other sites like YouTube — DIY video is a powerful way to bring your vacation rental to life.

Explore other social networks

If you have time and energy to experiment, there are a variety of different social networks for you to test. Vine (owned by Twitter) and Instagram (owned by Facebook), examples mentioned above, are entirely visual networks that bring their own dynamics to social networking.

Google+ is a growing network that could potentially rival giants like Twitter and Facebook — and as a Google product, it plays an increasingly significant role in search results. Each network has its own niche, and it can be worth exploring different ones to see whether they might complement what you’re already doing.

Always be looking for new ideas

The vacation rental industry is changing, and so is the way we connect with one another — whether you want to call it marketing or just the way we communicate!

I think we all need to be open to new advice, whether it ultimately works for us or not; it takes patience and experimentation to find the right mix for each vacation rental business. Keep an eye on these five must-read vacation rental blogs to see what’s happening in our industry and learn what works, and what doesn’t, for other owners like you.

Is there anything you do in your marketing that’s a little less than typical but works well for you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

photo by Matthew Wynn

Jonathan Murray

Jonathan Murray

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Before starting MyVR, he co-founded Lift Media (acquired), a lead generation company that worked with clients like American Express, Netflix, and Fandango. He started MyVR after being frustrated with setting up his own Sonoma cottage as a vacation rental. He studied engineering at Bucknell University and received his MBA from Stanford University.
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