How do you market your accommodation? Where do you advertise?

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  • Avatar
    Veronika Group

    We let B.com at this point to advertise for us. We also use Facebook organic reach.
    We experimented with AdWords, but B.com lobby is too high for us to pop up high in the search. So far, regarding paid marketing, Facebook Ads worked the best. We usually combine Fb Ads with some kind of discount for booking directly.

    How do you advertise? We were thinking of the next step to be video showcase on Youtube or Facebook so that potential guests get a better grasp of the property and the destination.

  • Veronika Group,

    Facebook organic reach? Does it work for you if you use paid ads from them? Or is it just coming through the paid ads and you have retention on it?

    We have tried with Facebook, however it's not worth it, at least not for small budgets.

    We have a video tour of the Villa, which we use on all platforms possible, you can see it on our website as well as on our Facebook page: www.fb.com/thuild

    The only advertising that we do is posting an ad on the most popular classifieds site, which brought us quite some interesting bookings, mainly for the whole place. This has worked the best comparing cost/effectiveness. 

    What's also great is to use Waze ads, if Waze is widely used in your area, it's worth a try.

    Google, not worth it, as you've mentioned before. however doing a great SEO on your website does the trick, especially if your property is unique in some way.

    Best regards,

    Zsolt - www.thuild.com

  • Avatar
    Veronika Group

    Yes, organic reach -- by posting to our Facebook page we are able to reach some of the people that liked our page.

     

    I will definitely look into Waze ads -- I did not know they existed.

  • Also, do not forget to use the Google Search Console to track certain activity of users. It comes in handy.

    What about other hoteliers? Please share your experiences.

     

    Zsolt - www.thuild.com

  • Avatar
    Kato Dool Nubian House

    any idea about channel manger 

    www.katodool.com

  • Dear Kato Dool Nubian House

    This topic is about something else. There is another thread on the forum discussing Channel Managers. Please write there.

    Best regards,

    Zsolt - www.thuild.com

  • Avatar
    Veronika Group

    I suggest www.rentl.io

  • Avatar
    Leandri Klopper

    Hi Zsolt!

    Good topic, very insightful thanks for posting.

    So social media etc has been covered. Have you thought of or do you have Expos?

    We find renting a stall at All of the Holiday/Outdoor/Nature/Travel expos are earning us a large client base. Our stand is well designed and has photos of all the resorts we have to offer. We then run a competition, or more a Lucky Draw, where a lucky Expo-goer can win a Full week for free at one of our properties! This gets them to the stand. They obviously need to fill in a sign up type form, so we get their details so we can send marketing material to them while our team tells them about our resorts. 

    The Expos we go to normally falls over the weekend, so you have 3 days to get as many people's information as possible! With a team of 3 people who tend to the stall every day, we bring in about 300 - 600 clients per day for three days and it does show return with about quarter of them coming back and making a booking within that year. 

    Does anyone else have any other Physical Advertising ideas that work?

    Keep well!

  • Leandri, 

    Just one thing regarding you taking their contact details: GDPR :)

    Regarding physical advertising, we as a luxury Villa usually can go to wedding expos, to offer accommodation or honeymoon packages to guests. 

    However because I'm alone doing everything, I've never gotten around to actually go to an expo, only made a roll-up with all business info on it, which I hope to use at various events.

    Also business networking events can be great, because we get 50% leisure 50% business, we can be very flexible with our advertising.

    One thing that might be interesting is to do partnerships with festivals. We have one and on those days we are 100% full guaranteed.

    Best regards,

    Zsolt

  • Avatar
    Leandri Klopper

    Hi Zsolt!

    Thanks for the response! I actually had to google GDPR just now. In S.A We have POPI act which basically says we can only use the personal information if the person giving it says we can, and we must stop any correspondence if the person asks. So the forms we give out has a tick box that says they agree that we may use their details. I also like playing the "that's not my department" card, which is a very popular card to play in South-Africa. I come up with ideas to market, and the legal department can ensure that we comply with all the laws etc. hehe. But thanks though! Sometimes one forgets. 

    That's a good one yes, market where relevant! Our resorts will feel a bit out at a wedding expo. 

    Festivals! Yes! We actually started now arranging Events at the resorts. Trail running to be specific and we have a partner in that who basically gets us the Adventurers, then we do the bookings. It's an operational nightmare, but we did one last year and this year we have two at different resorts. So it's growing!

    Keep well

  • Hello Leandri,

    Exactly, organizing things can be a huge plus. However for me it's not viable as I can only host 8 adults maximum in double rooms, so no group activities or events.

    But if you have more space, then yeah, go for it.

    I am curious to see what everybody else has to say about this topic, the general one.

    Best regards,

    Zsolt

  • Avatar
    Robert Daniel

    TripAdvisor is still an important area to gain feedback in, and of course in any booking engines you are in, but three years ago we had a Google Guy stay with us who made it very clear the area we needed to improve and keep up to date.

    Our Google profile, he said, is our biggest asset. He told us to concentrate on getting Google reviews and ratings, pointing out that when we do that Google will automatically boost our page rating, our profile and the more people comment and rate, the better our page performance will be and the more organic traffic and booking we'll get.

    We implemented that strategy straight away and immediately saw big results. Make sure ALL the details are correct on Google, from map position, to directions, phone number and address. Ask people to rate you on Google and watch what happens in just a few weeks.

  • Avatar
    Veronika Group

    Robert, 

    Very interesting. I did not know that, but as reviews on Google are not verified and you only need an account to post them, I suppose it will be very easy to get a lot of reviews (just ask friends to give you 5 stars and leave a short comment). Still, very interesting and worth a try. Thanks for sharing!

  • Better yet, you should get around 20 reviews on OTA's like Expedia, HRS, TravelRepublic, etc so that aggregator websites collect your data and increase your listing positions.

    I find this one to be particularly hard as a small property. However I'll get there somehow.

    Zsolt - www.thuild.com 

  • Avatar
    Joey

    Since Zsolt and then Leandri mentioned GDPR (it is data protection for EU members, though in my opinion it is making things worse for everyone) - there are a couple of issues where we as hosts may be technically breaking the law.  (1) Some people in this forum said that they make copies of guests' passports / ID  - that is technically illegal now. (2) When I tried to market my services (this was some years ago) by building a website I got a very stern email from the local authorities (this may be peculiar to my country) that I could not do that. But the issue here is that somebody must have reported me and human nature being what it is I think that when it comes to advertising we should always keep in mind that we are giving away a lot of information to our immediate competitors. 

  • Avatar
    Joey

    What others like cassid have said about registering with google - Google does it anyway with or without your consent and they allow reviews from ANYONE. When I found my listing on Google I was not happy with the information they put on line. It seems that they collect information from your Google account and even from your phone. My first taste of this was when a very scruffy youngish man knocked on the door one evening and asked me for a room. I had none free but I asked him how he had found me and he showed me my google listing with my exact position, telephone number etc. I then started looking at this google listing and I saw that I had 3 positive reviews. One of them came from a person who had actually stayed but then I saw a one star review and I looked up the person who had left it. It was a neighbour and obviously she had never stayed at my place. So this is why I don't really like google reviews or even trip advisor because anyone can leave a review. BDC reviews with all their defects need a person to have paid before they can leave a review. 

  • Avatar
    Joey

    Those people who are mentioning facebook as a marketing platform: who is your target audience? People from your own country or foreigners?

  • Avatar
    Ginascott57

    We are listed on most of the popular OTAs and their subsidiaries  and have a chanel manager which make this work efficiently. We have a facebook presence, and list on home away and airbnb, and recently paid for Google adwords promotion which was a dismal failure. We tried this to see if we could attract more direct bookings, it didn't work. The power of the OTAs is overwhelming, but we do get a lot of repeat customers, especially those playing golf at Barnbougle Dunes.

    Regards

    Gina

    www.platypuspark.com.au

     

     

  • Avatar
    Milan Delijannis

    Thanks for this topics.

    I`m also surprised by the fact, that FB ads can do the work, as I tried locations, not near by the property, but from locations, that having one night stand in our accommodation can make sense.

    Also combining with direct booking discount code, but there were 0 bookings. Not sure, if it could have been changed, if I`ll put much more on FB advertising, but so far Booking is having best ratio for sold nights / money spent on advertising.

  • Avatar
    Robert Daniel

    Joey: most potential guests will do their due diligence by checking the booking engine reviews, TripAdvisor, Goigle and social media. Not necessarily in that order.

    People will look for your business on social media to get a real time feel for the place. For our business, most guests are international, so in our Facebook advertising we target specific countries and age groups.

  • Avatar
    Enquiries

    We use a marketing company, they have really upped our game but one has to really look into what they offer we change from one that only worked in one city and didn't send out mailers to tour operator and the marketing list we receive was not our focus; so one has to be careful. The people we are with now are great and really care about our lodge. We also exhibit with them at Indaba Tourism Show and have in the past also done speed networking with other companies set this sort of thing up. It is expensive but we do see more operators and Indaba was the best this year. We have also done WTM -Africa. We mostly have FIT's and Foreign Groups. Our own website, Booking.com and other booking site bring in our other revenue but Tour Operators are our bread and butter.

  • Avatar
    Joey

    Robert Daniel Thanks for replying. I use facebook to market something else but the audience is very limited so I can really target who I want to reach. But using FB to target let's say a specific country for accommodation- I felt that I was just throwing a few grains of sand in the ocean. If my target is a country with a population of 65 million how can I narrow down the advertising? Using demographics, the only thing which came to mind were things like age (so from 25 to 60 ).

  • Avatar
    Leandri Klopper

    Hey Guys,

    Joey and Robert, we did the Facebook add thing. Where you buy an add and they let your property pop up for a month or two. Our enquiries went crazy! I don't have the exact stats of it, but the turnover was as great as I thought it would be. 

    Spoke to a lovely old lady the other day, who was a first time Booking.com user, who said she always goes to our place. Every year. She is just finding new ways to go to the same place. Which made me think, do you all aim for the regulars or for New guests? 

    I would really like to attract international guests, to spread the word you know? But it's difficult. 

    Keep well!

  • Avatar
    Robert Daniel

    Joey: I usually narrow it down using the different preferences. Pages they’ve liked, their location etc
    Eg if I’m targeting the Taiwanese I’ll got 19-37, in Western Australia but NOT from here, travelling at the moment, likes one of these - travel, hostels, backpacking, Australia, beaches.

    I might also translate something simple and personal into Mandarin too.

  • Avatar
    Robert Daniel

    Leandri: We often get return guests, but we don't target them. We have people from all ages, backgrounds, cultures and countries, even though our core market is international backpackers. We are very family friendly too and not a part place, which attracts a much bigger market and one we are more interested in than the part animals, who would just be a problem.

    So we target travellers, and once they have gone only a small percentage come back, although that is a part of our market for sure.

    I would identify which countries are currently top of the international visitors who arrive in South Africa and target the top three. Look at the average age of your guests and target that age group plus and minus ten years. Pick the annual salary average too, relevant to your prices, and pick things in their likes such as wildlife, Africa, resorts etc.

    I think your place should be getting more overseas guests than South African actually!

    A puppeteer, that's awesome! I have done some of this too, and it was so much fun. And those skills are never wasted    :)

  • Avatar
    Leandri Klopper

    Hey Robert Daniel ,

    Valuable advise! Thanks so much. My account manager phoned me the other day and said he wants us to target three countries with some promotion type thing. He advised I won't be able to see it on the promotions tab but he would add that, I actually need to follow up on that considering there has been a spike in bookings but they're all from my own people. I want new people! Far away people hehe. 

    Thanks, see I agree with you. I think one or two of the properties we have listed will be great for international guests. Had a couple from Amsterdam who visited and they left such an amazing review. It's very much aimed at the regular international traveller, they pointed out attractions in the area etc so if I could emphasize that review it would already help.

    :-D Awesome! A fellow 'teer! I can't remember what was better, doing the shows or answering the question of "What do you do for a living?" with "I'm a puppeteer.". Both great fun! Yes, you can't make up those skills ... well okay technically that's what acting is but you get what I mean :-P

    Thanks again! Looking forward to more good advise. 

  • Avatar
    Vannatoo2

    Sorry guys but did not understand much about what I read. Like BDC, OTA, could someone explain please....

    Very useful info from all of you. 

    What is your experience with Airbnb? I hardly get bookings from them not even inquiries.

    Thank you for your time and excuse my ignorance.

    Vanna

     

  • Dear Vanna,

    BDC = Booking.com

    OTA = Online Travel Agency

    CM = Channel Manager

    CC = Credit Card

    VC = Virtual Card

    etc.

    Aitbnb was good last year for me, had some (4-5) bookings from them. However this year, it is total 0, no requests, nothing.

    Cheers,

    Zsolt - www.thuild.com

  • Avatar
    Vannatoo2

    Thanks a lot. How do you explain that with Airbnb. Other listings in my city only get bookings from them. I figured the site has cheaper listings than other sites, plus every time I look for my listing as a guest I cannot find it. Do you?

    Cheers tô you too.

  • Avatar
    Leandri Klopper

    Hi Zsolt,

    You wrote: "Aitbnb was good last year for me, had some (4-5) bookings from them. However this year, it is total 0, no requests, nothing" 

    4-5 Bookings a week? a Month? a Year? 

    I'm thinking of taking over our Airbnb hosting admin but I first need to verify if it's worth it. I took a look at my stats on Booking.com per property and every month so far we are getting more bookings than the previous month. Which is excellent. 

    Keep well!

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