Our approach to marketing your holiday home is to focus on giving guests information that is clear and easy to act upon. Our website is often praised for its ease of use and its ability to book online. Furthermore, we have invested in camera equipment and training to showcase your property in its best light. In 2017 we purchased our own Matterport 3D camera and have completed the task of providing a 3D tour of all our cottages. All this combines to give guests everything they need to find their perfect holiday cottage.
Our main marketing focus is online. We work tirelessly to maintain our presence on the first page of Google, both organically and using paid advertising. This is supported by social media with active Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts. By providing relevant and interesting content, along with competitions, we continue to grow our audience on these platforms. We also have a regularly updated blog to keep guests informed on what’s happening in the area and to provide useful insights into holidaying in Dorset.
During the year we run targeted promotions through online campaigns, of which participation is optional. In addition, you can boost bookings in quieter periods with individual special offers on your property. Occasionally we host journalists at properties, with your consent, if we think the magazine or newspaper is relevant to our market, and that the article will be mutually beneficial. On these occasions, we cover the cleaning and laundry costs.
We have recently drawn on our in-depth knowledge of our wonderful county to introduce our Dorset Pocket Guide. This guide both markets the properties and showcases all there is to see and do whilst on holiday. It is freely available on our website and outside our satellite offices in Bridport and Swanage. Both offices are centrally located and the guide has proved very popular with the high volume of passing traffic. As a promotional tool with genuine value to the reader, it sets us apart from our competition and is unique to us. In addition to the guide, we also undertake direct mail campaigns with targeted postcards periodically throughout the year.
Our holiday cottage marketing strategies in detail
Our marketing strategies ensure we are constantly reaching new customers whilst maintaining continual contact with our existing database. This encourages both new and repeat business. More specifically our marketing efforts include but are not limited to:
- Employing a digital PR agency specialising in placing links on high-value domains for search visibility as well as brand exposure.
- A dedicated marketing team with tools to continuously monitor organic search engine optimisation as well as paid search presence.
- Re-marketing campaigns for Facebook and Instagram.
- Affiliate marketing through industry specialist sites as well as traditional affiliate programmes.
- Advertising on carefully selected and relevant local and national websites.
- A robust analytics programme to measure and monitor site usage and conversion rates and return on investment.
- A dynamically generated, dedicated last-minute booking page listing all properties available from the next day.
- A dedicated special offer page accessed from the front page.
- Property category pages optimised for specific search keywords.
- Conversion campaigns including pop-ups, exit intent notices and cart abandonment.
- An active and engaged presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Our followers on all three platforms continue to grow.
- Multiple competitions per year to boost our marketing database and our following on social media (recent marketing partners include: Dorset Cereals, Countryfile, Jo Jo Maman Bebe, Seasalt and more).
- Online promotion of our free Dorset Pocket Guide which can be requested on our website. It is also freely available outside our well-placed, high-footfall, regional offices.
- Direct mail including offers to previous guests.
- Regular emails to our opted-in database of over 25,000 highly engaged subscribers with an open rate nearly twice the industry average.
- Running general promotions during the course of the year for specific periods (eg. February or October half terms). These are on an opt-in basis and are not mandatory. However, their success means that few owners choose to opt-out.
- Individual special offers on our special offers page. These are at the request of the owner and generally price or percentage discount based to boost bookings in quieter periods. A £30 voucher for all guests to use on a future booking.
- £60 discount for any guest booking another holiday during their stay.
- Partnerships with local attractions and businesses to provide our guests with exclusive offers to enhance their holiday experience.
- A loyalty discount card for repeat visitors. After five holidays, guests receive a loyalty card offering 5% discount and no booking fee.
- Advertising in key national newspapers and magazines. The success of which is monitored through our booking system to ensure a good return on investment. Our positioning in all offline media is under constant review.
- Sponsoring local events such as Swanage Blues Festival and Swanage and Purbeck Walking Festival, plus local sport teams
- Independent Media Visits (IMVs) arranged for the mutual benefit of the owner and agency. Media appearances resulting from IMV’s have included: The Independent, The Guardian The Sun and mumsnet.com.