Inbound marketing refers to marketing that helps to bring visitors in through content they are looking for, instead of having to go out through broad and general means to lure prospects and get their attention. Our goal is to enable your company to be easily found, get customers to look for you instead of you looking for them, and draw customers to your website and product through interesting presentation and useful content.
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With so many big-name companies out there to compete against in the vacation rental marketing business, one of the most difficult barriers to entry in this marketplace is getting your first booking. Next, you need to maintain a constant flow of visitors in order to maximize your occupancy rate to get a return on your...
With so many big-name companies out there to compete against in the vacation rental marketing business, one of the most difficult barriers to entry in this marketplace is getting your first booking. Next, you need to maintain a constant flow of visitors in order to maximize your occupancy rate to get a return on your investment (ROI).
Lage hotel chains, accommodation booking websites, and vacation rental websites currently dominate all internet marketing platforms. With these companies placing millions into their marketing campaigns, vacation rental owners are just a very small piece of the online marketing jigsaw.
Owning one or two vacation rentals does not justify the kind of marketing budget that the Hilton or even Travel Lodge hotels are investing. Also, dedicating a budget as large as companies such as Agoda, Booking.com, HomeAway, or Expedia do is only going to send the average vacation rental owner bankrupt. There really is no ROI to be made with such large investments if you own one or just a handful of the vacation rental.
In this article, we will explain how you can divert from the traditional routes most people use when it comes to internet marketing. This guide will show you how to become a successful vacation rental entrepreneur using a different set of online marketing tools that are already available to you in this tough to crack industry.
We will still be following tradition online marketing models, but the techniques suggested here are customized to help you save money by avoiding the traps of Pay Per Click marketing and SEO in what is already an extremely competitive online marketplace. Instead, you will be using a proven system that has helped many vacation rental owners make a success out of their vacation rental business.
First off, you need to invest time into your project. The time I am talking about is research and then adding your vacation rental as a listing to the major accommodation booking websites available. Some you will need to pay an initial fee, others a monthly fee, while some like Airbnb are free until a booking is made.
Once you have a list of websites and a budget in mind, then you need to take the time to list your vacation rental or rentals on all of these websites. The more websites you can add listings to, the more you are increasing your vacation rentals visibility.
“Using multiple listing will help increase the visibility of your vacation rentals”
Make sure your property descriptions are accurate, the photos are up to date and clear (get a professional photographer if you think this will help), and you need to make sure you are able to answer inquiries from potential guests.
The latter means having an email address specifically for your vacation rental business that will inform you which website you have an inquiry on. This will save you time and effort having to continuously log on to each website looking for inquires. Also, if you can have each website’s mobile app installed on your smartphone, it means you will be able to answer inquiries quickly.
As you can see, so far, we are looking at several aspects of a good marketing business model. Visibility comes first. This is because if no one can see or find your property, then you are not going to get inquiries. Next comes the brand image. Having decent photographs and listing descriptions will give those that do see your property that quality feel, which will hopefully lead them to make a booking.
Lastly, you need to manage your sales strategy. This means setting up an easy to use communication channel (your email address and mobile apps) in order to speak with those that have shown an interest in the property by making an inquiry.
At first, you are going to find it difficult to get bookings for your listing with no feedback. When you do manage to persuade someone to put their faith in your property by making a booking, you are going to need to look after them with cotton wool gloves.
This stage of your marketing process is the after-care service or after-sales service that you offer. When your new guests have a question, you need to be able to answer them. Also, if there are any issues with the property, once again, you will need to be on hand to give them a quick answer.
“Offering excellent customer service will help you gain 5-star feedback – positive reviews are as valuable as gold in the vacation rental business”
A lot of people expect a similar customer service from vacation rental owners as they would from a hotel. This is why you should put a lot of thought and effort into how you will deal with certain problems that may arise, and how you will make sure you have a continuous open line of communications for your guests.
Play your cards right at this stage, and you will get that 5-star feedback that you have been looking for. Feedback will result in more bookings, and with more bookings, you can increase the daily, weekly, or monthly rates you offer. This allows you to reach your end game, which is to increase your ROI.
Once you have started to build a solid reputation for your vacation rental or vacation rentals on several different websites, you can now start to build your brand. There are so many options available to you to expand your business at this point. You could buy more properties, become a property management business and manage other people’s vacation rentals.
“You may want to consider using a website as one of your first priorities”
Whichever direction you decide to take, you will need a website. In fact, you may want to consider getting a website as your very first marketing strategy. You can then begin to build your brand there even though you are not likely to get any bookings through a website when you start out.
One website we recommend is the Lodgify vacation rental software and website builder. This is an easy to use site builder that will enable you to manage your entire marketing system and all of your vacation rentals in one place. It can also help introduce your customers to a place where they are able to access an FAQ about your property – this could include ‘direction’ and ‘how to use’ videos that your guests can easily access thus helping you with the ‘customer service’ section of your marketing strategy.
In addition to this, if you choose the right website builder, you will be able to use a channel manager. The aforementioned Lodgify has a channel manager built-in or as a WordPress, Joomla, or Squarespace plug-in or additional coding option.
Channel managers will sync the calendars of every website your property listed on. This is a huge time hack because it means when you receive a booking on one website, you don’t need to log on to every other website and block off the calendar for the property just booked in order to avoid double bookings.
“The channel manager will sync all your calendars on every website your property is listed!”
What’s more is that if you create business cards, and you have given your guests access to a website full of information about your vacation rental and its surrounding area, the chances are if the guest returns, they will book directly on your website’s booking engine. The Lodgify vacation rental software has the entire booking system and payment system built in, and you can rebrand the site to add your logo and brand colors.
After you have been rotating guests through websites you have your vacation rentals listed in through to your website, your brand will start to take shape.
One of the biggest mistakes that hotels make is they love to count their profits but do not think about the life cycle of hotel furnishing. Often hotel managers forget that in 4- or 5-years’ time the rooms will need upgrading, the hallways need maintenance and so on.
Do not make the same mistake with your vacation rental because if you do, and you run out of cash, all that effort building your brand will be wasted.
Just make sure that you keep your properties in good shape so repeat guests are coming back to the same place they originally visited. Making sure you understand the concept of business cycles or life cycles will help you manage the right time to use your money to upgrade or place mattresses, tables, chairs, pillows, and bed covers at the right time. This avoids the place getting old or outdated!
This is in fact just a short article on how you should market and operate a vacation rental business. It is a great guide for both those starting out as well as for those that are currently active within the industry. Take heed of the comments made here and do as much as you can apply these concepts to your vacation rental in a way that works with your strategy whether you are offering high end, mid-range, or budget services.
And finally – good luck!
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If your business website is currently only visible in one language, you are missing out HUGE opportunities! As long as your business is able to adapt to sales and orders from foreign markets, adopting an international approach to your digital marketing strategy should be something right at the forefront of your marketing plan over the coming...
If your business website is currently only visible in one language, you are missing out HUGE opportunities! As long as your business is able to adapt to sales and orders from foreign markets, adopting an international approach to your digital marketing strategy should be something right at the forefront of your marketing plan over the coming 12 months.
A recent study has shown that half of Fortune 500 companies have NOT translated their website into other languages, suggesting that even those right at the top of the business ladder are being slow to take this innovative, yet almost essential approach. Yes, it can be a little daunting to think on the prospect of receiving and fulfilling inquiries and orders from across the globe, but the internet enables this for the right businesses, and a strategic international approach can allow revenues to grow significantly in a relatively short period of time. As such, we caught up with Liam from Identify Web Design to have a chat on the right approach to launching an international digital strategy.
There’s a little more to an international digital marketing strategy than just translating your website, however as with most marketing approaches in 2015, that’s where it all begins, and the first (and most important) stage is to ensure that your site is accessible in the native language of your target markets. Whether that’s a handful of different markets and languages or a considerable number, the approach remains the same; you need to have a dedicated language-specific version of your website if you want to succeed in a territory.
The bottom line is that if you want to expand into new territories, you NEED a well-translated version of your site in the native language of each of these territories. This isn’t an it would be nice to have, but a MUST HAVE, without which you’ll struggle to generate any sort of traction in other countries. When it comes to online behavior, it’s important to portray trust and by offering a translation in the first-language of your visitors.
To answer a common question; FORGET GOOGLE TRANSLATE. From an SEO perspective, Google will not index dynamic content generated by this widget, and for this purpose, it’s as good as useless for SEO. You need to have dedicated language-specific versions of your site, however this also leads to the debate as to whether you should go down the route of separate ccTLD’s (country-code top level domains) or whether you should choose to keep everything under one roof and launch language-versions on sub-domains or in sub-directories. As far as we’re concerned, it should be a sub-directory route every time, however according to Matinée Multilingual’s recent article, “Launching A Multilingual Website – ccTLD or One Main Domain?“, they look at this common debate in a little more detail.
If you’re lucky enough that your website has been developed in WordPress; you’re in luck as you’ll find a brilliant plugin called ‘WPML’ (WordPress Multilingual), which will do much of the hard work for you, so long as you’ve had a manual translation put together of your site.
At the end of the day, far few businesses are adopting an international approach to digital marketing and this is nothing other than lost opportunities. Don’t be the one who falls behind, start planning your entry into new territories and begin crafting your strategy to turn your business into one of the main international players in your industry.
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Rich Snippet displays additional data from other pages about the resources being displayed in the search result. In order to work, webmasters must incorporate open standards such as microdata, microformats or RDFa in their web pages. Google does not guarantee that the use of these open standards will result in rich snippets, but webmasters have the option to contact Google...
Rich Snippet displays additional data from other pages about the resources being displayed in the search result. In order to work, webmasters must incorporate open standards such as microdata, microformats or RDFa in their web pages. Google does not guarantee that the use of these open standards will result in rich snippets, but webmasters have the option to contact Google for its inclusion.
The listing with the Rich Snippet ranked higher than the listing without. Snippets—the few lines of text that appear under every search result—are designed to give users a sense for what’s on the page and why it’s relevant to their query.
If Google understands the content on your pages, it can create rich snippets, detailed information intended to help users with specific queries. For example, the snippet for a restaurant might show the average review and price range; the snippet for a recipe page might show the total preparation time, a photo, and the recipe’s review rating; and the snippet for a music album could list songs along with a link to play each song. These rich snippets help users recognize when your site is relevant to their search, and may result in more clicks to your pages.
Pick a data format and include the markup in your content. Google suggests using microdata, as outlined at schema.org, but any of the three formats below are acceptable. You don’t need any prior knowledge of these formats, just a basic knowledge of HTML. Mark your content. Google supports rich snippets for these content types:
Why again you ask? Simply because the page with the Google Authorship tag ranked higher than the listing without.
If you don’t want to verify your email address, you can also link your content to your Google profile. Set up authorship by linking your content to your Google+ profile Create a link to your Google+ profile from your webpage, like this: [box type=”shadow” ]<a href=”[profile_url]?rel=author”>Google</a>[/box] Replace [profile_url] with the your Google+ profile URL, like this: [box type=”shadow” ]<a href=”https://plus.google.com/112643716740116237079?rel=author”>Google</a>[/box] Your link must contain the ?rel=author parameter. If it’s missing, Google won’t be able to associate your content with your Google+ profile. Add a reciprocal link back from your profile to the site(s) you just updated. Edit the Contributor To section of your Google+ profile. In the dialog that appears, click Add custom link, and then enter the website URL. If you want, click the drop-down list to specify who can see the link. Click Save.
That’s it! Once you’ve added and tested your rich snippets markup, Google will discover it the next time we crawl your site. A few points to note:
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Zaful is one of the best online fashion stores and people who are interested in fashion will have definitely heard of it. This company is well known for its excellent products and offers free shipping all over the world along with a money-back guarantee. Zaful is also known for the fastest influencer program which reached...
Zaful is one of the best online fashion stores and people who are interested in fashion will have definitely heard of it. This company is well known for its excellent products and offers free shipping all over the world along with a money-back guarantee.
Zaful is also known for the fastest influencer program which reached one million users. When we talk about influencer marketing then there is a lesson we can learn from the one created by Zaful.
It is reliable and impressive and as mentioned above has created results very fast. This company has formed an association with FirstGrabber and this latter company is the most trusted name in the industry. This is what makes the Zaful influencer program more reliable. There are many other brands on FirstGrabber but ZAful is the best one that teaches how to launch a powerful influencer marketing strategy.
The company does not just include influencers but also welcomes agencies and individuals.
Influencers – Zaful particularly works with fashion influencers, but it is not so strict regarding who to include, and even if your niche is not fashion you can try to apply.
The best part is that influencers who have 2000 or more followers also get free clothes from Zaful. However, you will have to wear clothes and post videos or pictures of them along with tagging the company. Some even get sponsored by Zaful.
Agencies – there are a large number of services offered to agency accounts. These include API services, coupons, postback services, data feeds, banners, and videos. These services can be used to reach a wider audience without much effort on your part.
Individuals – the criteria for eligibility as an individual is quite simple in that all you need is a social media account. You can also request for free clothes but the company may not entertain all requests for free clothes.
There is a lot to learn from the influencer marketing strategy of Zaful which has grown its influencer marketing program 6 times bigger in the last three years or so. The company has broken the record with 37 thousand influencers worldwide.
Here you can see that managing such a vast pool of influencers is very difficult and to overcome this the company has built its own internal CMMS system a few years earlier. This system can manage and track all the agencies and influencers and improve the efficiency in financial flow, archiving, contract record, and performance evaluation.
The other intelligent data system used by the company is the one that acts as the KPI detector. IT also evaluates the performance of every influencer and according to the influencer manager of Zaful – Claire Wang these tools make it much easier and efficient to collaborate with influencers with such tools at hand.
The company says that earlier all you could do was track the number of followers many of which were what is known as zombie followers who did not interact. On the other hand, now it is possible to see the brand impact, conversion rate, and the ability to reach the target audience of each influencer. This allows the company to adjust its cooperation model and strategy when necessary.
The importance of influencer marketing is rising because more and more millennial consumers consider the recommendations of their peers before making buying decisions. Here you need to understand that while influencer marketing is a boon it comes with its own set of challenges.
When it comes to collaborations across borders you may find it difficult to restrain the other party from breaking a contract, particularly for small deals. The influencer manager of Zaful Claire Wang has worked with agencies as well as individual influencers in the past few years.
Even though she has a lot of experience working with influencers and agencies there are still chances that the influencers can break the contract. It has happened with them earlier when the Zaful Instagram account was taken advantage of because it had about 3 million followers. There were the unfriendly influencers who tried to get more followers by smearing Zaful publicly. However, now they have the tools to keep track records and protect both sides. This, in turn, makes the collaboration smoother and simpler.
The company always aims at a win-win partnership in the long run and they have more than 37k influencers currently compared to 5k just a few years earlier. They are sure that they will not stop improving collaboration with influencers personally and professionally.
As the affiliate develops, in the case of Zaful it is growing into a system of high-value partnerships. This is an important step because earlier it was just add-on value for marketing organizations. Instead of traditional relationships, there is a rise in the concept of influencer marketing that is emerging as a rewarding career as well. The affiliates of Zaful are happy with the company and putting their best foot forward in order to enhance the sales and profitability of their affiliate marketing program which is now combined with the influencer marketing program.
According to the statistics of 2018 one-tenth of the sales achieved by Zaful came from affiliate marketing. The company then decided to launch international events and get engaged with their global partners. In the year 2019, they aimed at transforming the internal affiliate strategy and upgraded its content structure.
In the year 2019, they aimed at focusing their marketing on quality content with a high level of incentive policy in content networking. They also decided to integrate the affiliate marketing with influencer marketing and this strategy dramatically proved good results.
Over the years Zaful influencer program has proved to be one of the best influencer programs. Other companies can take a lesson from the book of Zaful in the way that they have grown their influencer marketing program along with affiliate marketing. The growth of Zaful as a renowned name in fashion clothing can be considered to be a result of smart influencer marketing strategies.
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Affiliate marketing can be a great additional source of income, and many affiliates even turn it into their full-time jobs. Yet, most new and even moderately experienced publishers experience frustration caused by low conversion rates. If you want your profit to grow, you have to invest time and effort, learn the trick of the trade...
Affiliate marketing can be a great additional source of income, and many affiliates even turn it into their full-time jobs. Yet, most new and even moderately experienced publishers experience frustration caused by low conversion rates.
If you want your profit to grow, you have to invest time and effort, learn the trick of the trade from different sources, apply that knowledge, and keep an eye out for any new advancements in their field. This may be too much for a beginner and can deter you from reaching your true potential. That is why we have compiled a list of steps you can take to gain your audience’s trust and increase your conversions.
Having a website that doesn’t perform well can hinder your business immensely. Internet users nowadays are used to sites that are easy to navigate, search, and use on all devices. Additionally, they want to navigate to pages of interest quickly and without waiting. This means you will have to dedicate some time to figure out how to approach these demands. Fortunately, we are here to give you some guidelines.
You should build, maintain, and upgrade your site with user experience first and foremost. Take the time to research tools most affiliate marketers use and pick ones that suit your needs the most. We recommend using different tracking options, such as A/B testing and heat maps to see exactly how your visitors interact with your site, and if there are some details you could change up to get more conversions.
For example, moving your call-to-action buttons to a spot on a page that shows a great amount of activity may influence your visitors to click it more. You really can’t predict exactly how people will interact with your site and which layout, calls-to-action, headlines and other elements of the page perform best until you test them against one another. A/B testing allows you to do just that and make an informed decision when implementing any change to your pages.
Your content shouldn’t be only a vessel to promote affiliate codes. The fact of the matter is, not many people like the feeling of being sold something. On the other hand, they most certainly enjoy reading and watching well-crafted content. This has several repercussions but gives affiliates some great directions about their content.
Firstly, you should choose a topic that truly interests you if you haven’t already started creating content. You may think this means you will have to be an expert or at least well-versed on the matter, but the truth is, people at all stages of knowledge search the internet for inspiration and answers, and learning along the way can be an inspiration for writing or filming some truly valuable articles and videos.
Secondly, you should adjust the format of your content to the most searched keywords. The truth is, not many niches are ruled by a single product or service. Hence, many people look into different companies providing these goods and want to learn more about them before they decide which one they prefer. That is why you should make at least a few product reviews, tutorials, and product comparisons, depending on what you are promoting.
Lastly, the products should be incorporated into the content organically and presented honestly and objectively. The way you are presenting them should reflect the rest of the content you have created prior, and allow you to showcase your biggest strengths when It comes to creating content.
Accepting an offer that comes your way may be tempting. Namely, you will promote many products and, thus, make more money. Yet, time and time again this strategy proved to be faulty. Again, if you want your audience to trust you, you will have to provide its members with some tangible value. If you follow the first two tips, you will do that through the initial impression and continuous valuable content. The third step is to provide value through the items you are promoting themselves.
Think about these questions:
If the answer to all four questions is yes, you should take the chance and accept the offer.
There are some additional steps to make sure your visitors actually complete their conversions. One of the biggest problems affiliates face is shopping cart abandonment. In other words – users will go through the motions and put an item in their cart and leave it when they are supposed to enter their credit card data. This can get very frustrating, but we are here to give you some tips on how to avoid cart abandonment.
Make sure the last stretch of the shopping experience goes smoothly. This means you should have a great landing page with no distractions, to make going through the purchase a logical next step. The page should showcase the product’s biggest benefits and contain a compelling, yet condensed, call to action.
Another element to keep an eye out for is the length of your purchase form. As a rule of thumb, if you are asking for more information, you are giving users more time to change their minds. Hence, you should only ask for information you absolutely need to complete the conversion.
There are more methods to keep your audience engaged and stop them from leaving their cart. These include setting up a pop-up that shows up when users are about to leave the site, including user reviews and testimonials as well as security signals and certifications, or a money-back guarantee. Lastly, you can use remarketing products abandoned in a cart to the users who left them there.
As you can see, user experience is key to increasing conversions. Your site’s visitors should come to your site because they are interested in a topic, but stay because they enjoy both your unique take on the topic and the features of the site itself. You should make sure to offer some value yourself first and get the audience to care about and trust you. Only then they will be inclined to support you monetarily as well.
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If you’re not considering mobile as part of your digital marketing strategy, you need to pinch yourself and ask why not! Back in April, Google launched their ‘mobilegeddon’ algorithm which looked to knock down the rankings (on a mobile search, at least) those sites who aren’t mobile friendly; the justification being that those sites which DO offer...
If you’re not considering mobile as part of your digital marketing strategy, you need to pinch yourself and ask why not! Back in April, Google launched their ‘mobilegeddon’ algorithm which looked to knock down the rankings (on a mobile search, at least) those sites who aren’t mobile friendly; the justification being that those sites which DO offer a mobile-friendly version offer a far better level of user experience. Of course, this means that if your businesses website isn’t responsive, you’re missing out on opportunities and likely almost freely giving work away to your competitors. Here we’ve teamed up with Newcastle-Upon-Tyne web designers, Way Fresh. to outline just why responsive web design is SO important for SME’s.
The bottom line of responsive web design is that you’ll be offering EVERY USER a superior browsing experience, regardless of the device which they’re using. Whether they’re using a desktop, tablet or mobile device, they’ll be using a site that works for them and displays content accordingly. In a world of multiple different sizes of phones, tablets and desktop displays, offering a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution is no longer acceptable and you’ll quickly find that you’re neglecting large parts of your target market.
The trick with responsive web design is knowing what to display. For example, a mobile version doesn’t necessarily need to display every little detail like a slider, but on a desktop site, it would make more sense. It’s about creating a compromise in which the user experience and expectations are delivered across each device. If a slider takes up too much screen space on mobile, ditch it! It’s more important that your mobile version is easy to navigate.
If you’re not serving an optimized site based upon different devices, you’re almost certainly missing out on all important conversions. If a user is struggling to find what they’re looking for when browsing on a mobile site or even has to zoom in and scroll to see what you’re offering, there’s a good chance they’ll leave your site and look elsewhere. Even if you’ve got a superior offering, first impressions really do count and it’s absolutely vital that you consider your conversion path.
Responsive web design allows you to offer calls to action based upon the needs and requirements of a browser on different devices, while still utilizing only one main site rather than sub-domains or separate mobile sites.
The bottom line of any business and website is to encourage conversions, and without a responsive site, you’ll quickly find that you’ll struggle to achieve this.
As outlined above, Google rolled out their ‘mobile-friendly’ update back in April, and as such, it should now be seen almost as a necessity to offer a premium mobile browsing experience. While you may have previously held onto strong mobile search positions with a desktop-only site, you’ll now likely struggle without placement on mobile devices as mobile searches are estimated to have now surpassed desktop searches; that’s a lot of potential traffic to be missing out on!
The search engines are still THE single most important method of discovery for suppliers of both products and services across most industries and the last thing you want is to be losing ground due to having an outdated desktop-only website.
At the end of the day, responsive isn’t the future of web design, it’s the present, and if you’re not utilizing it as part of your mobile search strategy, there’s every chance you’re missing out on all important deals.
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