The best way to advertise your vacation rental properties is to list your inventory on all of the major listing channels, but what else can you do to give your listings the exposure you need to drive more revenue?
There are many strategic methods that can complement your channel management strategy to achieve maximum exposure. And the good news is they don’t cost a fortune and can drive results quickly.
Before you consider these other areas of your marketing strategy, think about where you send users who click your ads. Relaying prospective guests to your Facebook page or to your channel listing isn’t enough.
A building block for any advertising plan is to create a direct channel where you can send your leads. This will give the impression of professionalism, eliminate channel fees and help in your retargeting efforts.
How do you advertise your vacation rental business?
1. Capture traveler searches with Google AdWords and Google My Business.
Paid advertising with Google is an excellent way to promote your vacation rental business. By targeting location and accommodation-specific keywords, you can reel in travelers who are looking for a short-term rental in your locale.
While AdWords is a robust platform with many intricacies, it is fairly intuitive, especially when your campaign is straightforward. We recommend bidding on five to ten long-tail search terms to get started, then after three to six weeks, you start to see what’s working, what isn’t and make adjustments from there.
Long-tail means that the search query is very specific, meaning it receives less traffic but high intent.
Another great tool that you can utilize on Google is to literally put your vacation rental business on the map with Google My Business. When you register with Google My Business, your property may appear higher in Google organic search results than major listing channels.
2. Find new guests with Facebook Ads and Facebook Custom/Lookalike Audiences.
Social media is an obvious choice for advertising your vacation rental business with content, whether it be through sharing status updates, videos, information about your area or blogs.
But Facebook and Instagram also offer paid advertising options that can help you to target your ads for optimal results. There are two areas of focus when advertising on Facebook and Instagram: what is the ad displaying? And who is seeing the ad?
While there are a few different types of Facebook ads, the most important ones to your vacation rental business will be the ones that ‘wow’ your audience through photos. Who sees your ad is just as, if not more, important than the ad type.
To make sure that the right audience is seeing your ads, utilize Facebook Custom Audiences to reach past guests and inquiries. To target new leads, use Lookalike Audiences to reach travelers who have similar characteristics to your past guests.
Don’t think you have the time to manage Custom Audiences? Use Zapier to automate the import of contacts from your property management software to your Facebook Ads!
If you want to find out more about advanced Facebook advertisements, check out our step-by-step guide on Facebook Custom and Lookalike Audiences to learn more!
3. Inspire wanderlust with Pinterest.
Pinterest is a social media site used by many travelers to help plan and organize future vacations. The numbers don’t lie; with over 250 million Pinterest users, or “Pinners,” over 90% of Pinners say the platform helps them decide what to purchase, and 75% of pinned content comes from businesses.
While Pinterest may not seem like the traditional place to advertise your rental, if used correctly, it can be a valuable place for you to advertise your vacation rental properties.
4. Engage leads with video on YouTube.
If you are already utilizing video to engage prospects on your website and social media channels, use YouTube as an outlet to retarget leads.
Similar to how you retarget website visitors with a pixel on social media, you can do the same on YouTube by installing a pixel on your direct channel. There’s no better way to entice travelers to book than with a video detailing your property and surrounding area.
What’s even better, ad space on YouTube is typically around $.10-$.30 per view, allowing you to reach thousands for less than $100.
If you aren’t using video right now, check out these tips on bringing your space to life with video.
5. Remind past guests and inquiries with email newsletters.
Compared to the other options, email newsletters might seem old school, but they’re a great way to stay top-of-mind with leads and past guests - and they're free!
A simple email once or twice a month can do wonders in building a relationship with past guest and inquirers, as long as you provide value and relevant information to your email list.
Some examples of things you can write about include: top attractions in your area, what items to pack, highlights for families to explore, “best-of” articles about your location and a review of the best new restaurants nearby. If you’re unsure of how to start your email newsletter, check out this six step plan!
While attempting all of these methods at once can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to actively advertising your properties, try one or two that seem manageable and create a plan to add the others over time.