Hints and Tips for Getting the Best Out of Online Advertising

When marketing your cottage on this Country Cottages website there are some things that you can do to get the best out of your advertising. The key theme to getting the best out of online advertising is presentation and research. 

The Importance of Making a Good First Impression

As with many things in life, first impressions can often count.  To make sure you optimise the number of people looking at your ad it usually pays to make sure that your cottage makes that all important first impression.  Photos are the first thing to get the attention of potential holidaymakers so the images of your cottage are something worth spending some time on.

Good Photos

When it comes to photographs of your holiday home, some people decide to invest in the services of professional photographers to truly show the property off in the best possible light.  Professional photographers can often help with making a property look stunning.  However, not everyone has the budget for professional photography or views it as a good investment.  Particularly if you have a budget cottage you may not have sufficient margins to allow you to take on the services of a professional photographer.  It is still perfectly possible to take good photographs of your own property without paying for a professional. 

Tips for Taking Good Photographs:

Use a Good Camera:  When taking photos yourself it is important to use a decent camera.  Most photos taken from phones don’t cut it in terms of photo quality so it is generally advisable to use a good digital camera.  If you don’t personally own a camera you may want to ask around with friends and family to see if they have a camera that you could borrow or whether they could help you with taking photos.

Make sure Your Cottage is Gleaming: 

Before taking photos do take the time to make sure that your property is really clean.  Having sparkling tables in photographs really does show up.  The same applies to carpets.  You basically want your property to look as brand new as you possibly can get it to look. 

Present Your Cottage Well: 

When you look at professional photographs presentation is often key.  The most obvious factor here is weather and lighting.  It may seem an obvious point but it is highly recommended that you take photographs of your cottage in good weather.  This principle applies to internal as well as external photographs.  Sunny skies really help to show your property off as somewhere you would want to holiday.  People may not feel inspired to go somewhere if there are grey skies or it looks dull and uninspiring.  This may be an obvious point when it comes to external photos but it is also important for internal photos.  A good bright sunny day means that with curtains open, rooms should have light flooding in to them which really helps with showing your room off.   

Good lighting can really help when it comes to making rooms look good.  When photographing bedrooms have the curtains open bringing in lots of light in to the room and switch any bedroom lamps on to get that all important glow.  Bedside lamps can really help when it comes to making a room look warm and welcoming. 

Your aim should always be to make your holiday home look as bright, light and airy as possible.  You should also aim to make the property seem warm, welcoming and conducive to relaxation.  Do remember to maximise your advantages.  If you have a real or electric fireplace in the lounge make sure it is switched on when you take photographs.

When taking photos of bedrooms do make sure that the bedcovers have been ironed and are free of creases.  Similarly with cushions on sofas do make sure that these have been plumped up so that they add to the feel of the room.

De-Clutter:

The impression you should be trying to give of your holiday home is of comfortable accommodation. Having some useful items for guests such as books, games or videos is a good idea but it’s important that these are arranged neatly on a bookshelf or tidied away in a cupboard.  It is fine to have a few items around but having clutter or items spilling out is not an option. 

Dress the Room:

If you take a look at professional photographs, for the most part, the room will have been dressed.  These can mean having fresh flowers out displayed nicely in a vase.  For dining rooms and kitchens some people will even set the table with cups, a coffee pot and perhaps even some fresh bread to make a room look more appealing. Do consider dressing your rooms when taking photographs.

Doing Your Research for Your Ad

When deciding on the content for your ad it is advisable to do your research.  Take a look at the competition and do your research as to what your local area has to offer visitors.

Describe your Property Well:

When describing your property aim to be concise and wherever possible present those vital selling points in a bulleted, easy to read list.  It is important to be accurate when describing your holiday home.  This doesn’t mean that you need to highlight bad points but it is essential that the property is described accurately.  Do point out any extras that you provide and remember to mention important points to do with quality and customer care.  Only specify a rating for your cottage if your property has been officially rated by the relevant tourist board.  Click the link if you need more information and guidance on grading schemes.

Set the Price:

When considering what to charge it is advisable to take a look at comparable properties and consider their prices.  In the current challenging economic climate you may find it is easier to rent your cottage out if you are slightly able to undercut the competition.  It is standard practice to have a price range displayed for your cottage and as an owner you are always able to be flexible and adjust your advertised prices if need be.  Do also take advantage of free to use sections such as the Cottage Special Offer and Last Minute Cottages sections.  A number of cottage websites charge extra additional fees for use of these sections whereas on Country Cottages Online we offer this service free to those who advertise with us.  It is advisable to regularly make use of these free sections to get the maximum number of enquiries.
 

Highlight Local Attractions:

When looking for a cottage holiday most people don’t consider the property in isolation.  They will want to know what the local area has to offer.  Do highlight things to see and do locally and within travelling distance of your accommodation.  If you need some inspiration take a look at our area guides.

Consider Offering Freebies:

Some owners offer small free gifts that can help sell your property.  Whether it is a free welcome bottle of wine or a welcome starter pack with tea, milk and coffee, these small gestures can go a long way with attracting guests and importantly making them happy.  Do remember to highlight any extras that you offer for free in your ad, these can be big selling points.

The Golden Rules: 

Overall when advertising online always try to see things from a potential holidaymaker’s perspective.  If you try to think from the point of view of what are other people looking for then you should be well placed to get the best out of your advertising.  We hope you have found these hints and tips helpful.  If you need more tailored advice you can give us a call and will be happy to advise where we can.