From direct marketing to channel management
Never forget your previous customers. They may be a rich source of re-bookings. Use email, snail mail, online Christmas cards or social media to your connections.
- No loss of commission to the marketplaces
- Familiar guests and will have no expectations
- You understand guests likes and dislikes
Your guests are almost invariably connected to a social network. Tapping into the social community can bring new business and touch on previous custom. The rules for marketing are different however and advice is needed to avoid the pitfalls. Many tools are available to help you.
- Do not sell the property, sell the experience
- Let people know about the area
- Events, news and people are hot topics
- Google likes fresh content
- Use G+ to improve your search positions
The major marketplaces are just too big to be seen and if you have a specialist niche then why not search out those websites that work. Pet friendly, disabled facilities, glamping are a small sample of specialist groups.
- Cheaper advertising
- People looking specifically for what you provide
- Build a niche customer base
- Niche customers return more often.
Pay-per-click or Pay-per-impression
To reach number one on many websites and in particular Google, you are obliged to pay and compete for the space in a keyword auction. Some find this a very successful route others much less so. Facebook and other social media have similar schemes.
- Manage payments daily
- Per for very specific keywords
- Show up before marketplaces (for property name)
- Target specific audiences
Local or international associations
Marketplaces are nothing more than large collections of properties in a single web space. Local associations can be a good source of enquiries and can aggregate large numbers of active owners giving local search dominance opportunities and access to groups wanting organised accommodation.
- Cheaper advertising
- Referral bookings from other members
- Strong local search positions
The term everybody associates with “Channels”. These are the OTA’s that can be expensive to advertise on or charge commissions on bookings.
- High volumes of enquiries
- Bookings based on commissions
Smaller niche websites and associations may need manual updates to prices and calendars and similarly the large OTA’s also have these services. Using many channels can be tiresome and calendar updates in particular may need daily updates. Some OTA’s will rank your listing position based on how often your update your property and automation is important.
Booking/Property Management Systems can help and many are available. These systems may provide simple iCAL feeds for calendar updates on external sites or may have more complex booking and tariff management.
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