Last Updated on June 17, 2014 by Mark Lavington

What motivates your guests to stay at your holiday cottage and are you using this to increase bookings?

The Dolls HouseWhen we make decisions, no matter how large or small, logic and reasoning will more often than not play a role in the outcome.

Choosing a holiday destination is no different; visitors will be looking to find the answer to their needs as an individual, a couple or as a family unit.

So what is it that drives visitors to stay with you? The likelihood is that they’ll have compared and contrasted your offering with that of others that fit a similar profile or destination group.

Yours will be the one that most closely aligns with their desires and matching budget.

Having the answers to someone’s holidays needs is of paramount importance in creating enquiries as a holiday homeowner. The growing popularity of accommodation that boasts green credentials or offers opportunities to pursue hobbies and activities such as surfing, cycling or walking suggests that if you are marketing your holiday cottage to these groups and provide them with what they want you’ll potentially be reaping the booking benefits.

A good holiday letting agency will have access to a large number of potential visitors and be able to place you in front of your chosen market.

If you market your own property here’s four things to consider when marketing your holiday home to your target market:

Focus on what your visitor want and need

A temptation when marketing a property can often be to first think of what you have to offer rather than what the visitor wants you to offer. The two are by no means synonymous and it’s vital to ensure that in all of your marketing communications you’re highlighting the things visitors’ want from your holiday home, rather than what you think they want.

What are the three things they love about your cottage?  Is it the short walk to the beach, the local family bike trails or the big open spaces for the kids to play in?

Have you asked them or do you regularly seek feedback, both positive and negative?

Different demographic groups will have different needs so make sure you know what they are and you play to your strengths accordingly.

Where do you find these people?

You have chosen a target market and you’ve understood what those people want from your holiday home.

Now where do you find them?

Apply logic to where you need to spend your marketing time and learn from the time you’ve already spent. For example, if you don’t get any gain from your Facebook page review why that is and respond to it.  Is it because your advertising has been targeting the wrong people? Is it because you’ve been putting the wrong sorts of posts on? Or your target demographic is actually on Twitter instead?

Find the marketing avenues that are going to deliver results for your time and money.  Make sure you research this and find where you are best going to gain visibility with your target audience.

Once you’ve found your marketing avenues continue to think about what it is your visitor wants in all communications.

Learn from the past

Marketing is all about learning. Make sure that all of your activity is measured and reported on. This can seem like an arduous task but can in its simplest terms be asking where your visitors heard about you. Your website will be a big tool in your promotional armory so ensure you’re continually monitoring your performance.

Don’t panic at failure or bask in glory; take those statistics and learn from them. By continually learning you’ll be building on what’s working and avoiding what doesn’t. This will perpetuate more success from less investment.

Don’t leave anything on the shelf

It can often be incredibly satisfying when a visitor tells you that their stay was even better than they expected. If you’ve exceeded expectations then that’s fantastic but make sure this isn’t happening because you’re simply not telling people about the things that make your holiday cottage what it is.

It’s a competitive market and you’ll not want to be leaving things for potential visitors to assume or to work out for themselves.

As we’ve said, the key to reaching any target market will lay in identifying your target, understanding what it is that’s most important to them and delivering this message to them where they’ll receive it. Of course there is always the option of putting your holiday letting property in the hands of a local holiday letting agency to manage the bookings and take the strain for you.

For further information and if you require a quotation from a specialist for your holiday home insurance call our team on 01237 429444.

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