How to Market a HomeAway Clone and Get More Bookings

September 7, 2023
5/5 - (1 vote)

Fed up with not filling spots for your vacation home listings? Let’s level up your marketing game right now. We’re pulling back the curtain on exactly what it takes to drive results for your HomeAway clone. We’ll get into organic social posts, paid Facebook ads, email sequences and more. Transform yourself into a booking pro so guests are always knocking down your site’s door!

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11 Marketing Strategies That Will Work for Your HomeAway Clone

Strategy 1: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Why It Works

SEO is such an important foundation because the majority of prospects start their vacation rental search on Google. Ranking high in search results means more free traffic from people actively looking to book.

Key Tactics

Some specific SEO activities to focus on include:

  • Keyword research – Identify popular keywords and phrases related to your areas. Optimize pages and listings to include these terms naturally.

  • Page speed optimization – Google favors fast loading sites, so compress images, reduce page weight and optimize code.

  • Backlink building – Get relevant websites to link to your pages by guest posting, PR outreach and directory submissions.

  • Schema markup – Add structured data tags to provide Google with property details to display rich snippets.

  • Mobile usability – Ensure pages load fast on mobile and are easy to use on smaller screens. Over 60% of travelers book on phones.

Doing regular SEO work takes time but pays off with higher search visibility and traffic over the long run.

Strategy 2: Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

PPC lets you advertise strategically and get qualified prospects clicking through to your listings immediately. You only pay when people engage, so it’s a low risk way to generate new bookings.

Key Platforms

The major PPC channels to utilize are:

ChannelBest ForTips
Google AdsDriving traffic from search queriesUse location targeting, vacation rental sitelinks, high-res images
Facebook/Instagram AdsReaching people already planning tripsTarget demographics, interests, exclude non-travel days

Campaign Best Practices

  • Start broad and gradually optimize over time based on what gets most clicks and bookings.

  • A/B test headlines, descriptions and targeting to find your most converting ad formats.

  • Retarget site visitors who don’t book right away with reminder ads.

With the right targeting and optimization, PPC can deliver great booking ROI compared to other channels. Just be willing to test and refine your approach regularly.

Strategy 3: Email Marketing

Email allows you to nurture leads and maintain a direct relationship with past customers. If done right, the open and click through rates generally outperform other channels.

Email Best Practices

Some effective email strategies include:

  • Welcome series – Send a checklist of everything new subscribers need to know.

  • Monthly newsletters – Feature new listings, destination guides, seasonal deals to keep your brand top-of-mind.

  • Targeted promotions – For areas that need bookings in certain periods, like last-minute summer deals.

  • Automation – Triggers like booking confirmations or guest surveys help boost direct repeat visits.

  • A/B testing – Evaluate subject lines, call-to-actions and content to optimize open and response rates.

With the personal touch of email, you have a great way to upsell existing customers and re-engage past visitors looking for their next vacation rental stay.

Strategy 4: Affiliate Marketing

By partnering with related websites, you gain access to a built-in audience of potential travelers without spending marketing dollars upfront. Affiliates promote organically based on performance incentives.

Finding Affiliate Partners

Reach out to:

  • Travel blogs and YouTubers with engaged regional follower bases
  • Destination marketing organizations
  • Vacation rental property management companies
  • Online travel agencies
  • Tourism boards and local convention & visitors bureaus

Offer commissions ranging from 10-20% and promote exclusive discount codes affiliates can leverage.

Track bookings back to each partner to evaluate ROI and renew the most productive relationships. Affiliate marketing multiplies your reach.

Strategy 5: Social Media Marketing

Social platforms offer highly targeted paid promotion options. But equally important is using social organically to develop your credibility and publishing engaging user-generated content regularly.

Best Social Platforms

PlatformBest UsesTips
FacebookSharing property posts, videos and targeting adsGo Live on property tours for questions
InstagramShowcasing high-quality imageryUse hashtags, stories for everyday glimpses
TwitterEngaging industry influencersPromote new listings with visual teasers
LinkedInTargeting affluent travelersWrite articles on industry trends

Content Best Practices

  • Go behind the scenes with property tours and staff stories
  • Curate stunning destination and lifestyle photos
  • Ask happy guests for video testimonials
  • Infographics on area attractions and upcoming events
  • Answer questions promptly in comments and messages

Social proof is huge in gaining trust – especially on visually-driven platforms like Instagram. Posting regularly builds authority over time.

Strategy 6: Peer Reviews and Testimonials

Nothing sells better than real reviews from past happy guests. Positive testimonials reduce risk in travelers’ booking decisions.

Collecting Reviews

  • Request reviews via email automation after stays

  • Incentivise with a discount code for future visits

  • Feature prominent review modules on property detail pages

  • Leverage third-party sites like TripAdvisor too

Testimonial Best Practices

  • Ask open-ended questions to get personal insights

  • Request video testimonials if possible

  • Only publish reviews with 5 star ratings

  • Respond to negative reviewstransparently to showcase good customer service

Positive reviews improve your listings’ ranking on search and to build an authentic reputation as a top vacation rental provider.

Strategy 7: Guest Blogging

Contributing relevant articles to travel niche publications and blogs scores valuable backlinks while introducing your brand to a new qualified audience.

Finding Publishing Opportunities

Reach out to:

  • Regional tourism organization websites
  • Travel influencer blogs
  • On location/booking websites like Airbnb, Vrbo
  • Family/beach/adventure travel publications
  • City/state department of tourism sites

Effective Guest Post Topics

  • Local area guides covering “What to Do”
  • Seasonal activity ideas
  • Restaurant recommendations near rentals
  • Interviews with attractions managers
  • Cultural destination deep dives

Always link naturally back to your site for booking calls-to-action so readers can easily become customers.

Strategy 8: Online PR and Media Outreach

Earning placements in high-authority media elevates your visibility and helps build brand recognition. Journalists want original story ideas perfect for pitching unique vacation rental properties.

Ideas to Pitch Media:

  • Curated itinerary packages involving rentals
  • Restored historic homes becoming rentals
  • Rentals with oceanfront pools/attractions on site
  • Rentals hosting community fundraisers/events
  • Rentals providing industry jobs/economic activity

Distribution Tactics:

  • Create media kits for local outlets
  • Pitch regional bloggers and influencers
  • Leverage 911 press release service submissions
  • Partner with CVBs on press trips showcasing areas

Media stories then spread further through social shares, bringing entirely new guests through organic searches.

Strategy 9: Influencer Marketing

Influencers with engaged regional follower bases in key markets become brand ambassadors. Partnering strategically allows leveraging their authenticity and reach.

Finding Micro-Influencers

Target influencers with 5K-50K followers focused on:

  • Family travel near your rentals
  • Outdoor recreation in local areas
  • Food/culinary experiences in destinations
  • Overall lifestyle content from your regions

Strategic Partnerships

  • Provide complimentary stays with a promotional discount code
  • Offer 10-20% referral commissions on any resulting bookings
  • Gift dining/activity vouchers so they post engaging local experiences
  • Pitch story ideas around rental amenities and destination features

With the right influencers endorsing properties authentically, bookings from new regions can surge overnight!

Strategy 10: Offline Promotions

While online efforts dominate, offline tactics reinforce your presence where travelers regularly consume media like print.

Here are some additional ideas to continue the Offline Promotions section:

Print Advertising

  • Advertise in regional travel magazines and tourism guides
  • Create customizable postcards/flyers for guests to take home
  • Sponsor local events in program booklets

Direct Mailers

  • Send seasonal promotions to past guests
  • Mail real estate offices and travel agents to gain their listings


  • Attend regional travel shows and industry conferences
  • Join local chambers of commerce and business groups
  • Speak at community organizations about rentals

Local Stores

  • Partner with attractions to cross-promote
  • Stock brochures at vacation planning centers
  • Offer referral bonuses to stores showcasing your flyers


  • Install outdoor signs near highways for visibility
  • List rentals on local community bulletin boards
  • Map advertisements in tourist welcome centers

Offline raises brand awareness in high foot-traffic spots regularly visited by potential guests already researching destinations. It seals the deal for those still unsure where to book lodging.

Strategy 11: Remarketing and Retargeting

According to studies, over 70% of website visitors still need convincing after their first visit before booking. Remarketing nurtures interest from these “viewers” via tailored reminder ads.

Retargeting Strategies:

  • Retarget browsers who visited listings pages but didn’t book
  • Retarget searchers who viewed multiple listings without choosing one
  • Retarget recent bookers with related rental suggestions
  • Retarget past customers nearing their travel dates with deals

Best Platforms:

  • Google/Facebook Advertising for display banners
  • Instagram Stories and Facebook ads for potential travelers
  • LinkedIn retargeting high-income professionals
  • Email/SMS nurture campaigns for mobile users

By personalizing retargeting messages appropriately, you can significantly increase conversion of existing considerers rather than always chasing new audiences.

Wrapping Up

Well there you have it – Our complete playbook for marketing your vacation rental operations like a pro. Now go implement some of these strategies consistently and watch those bookings roll in. And if you’re looking for an easy way to manage all the tech side, check out our vacation rental script – it’ll save you tons of work.

Interested to acquire Business? 😎

let me know about your queries.


    Gauri Pandian

    Gauri Pandian is a seasoned Business Development Manager with 9 years of experience in sales and client relations. Currently, she is responsible for business growth and client acquisition as a BD Manager at Zipprr, a leading custom software development firm. Prior to this, she has worked with Early-stage startups helping them scale through strategic partnerships. Gauri has a crack for understanding customer pain points and unlocking new opportunities.