The Five Most Common Marketing Mistakes in your hotel, vacation rental, hostel or camp

Patricia PetrinjakTourism Marketing
6 min read

Marketing is like a sand tower. Everything can collapse in a second.

To adapt to the sudden changes and build a respectable reputation, try to avoid the mistakes listed below.

Or – even better, learn from other’s mistakes. 🤭

#1 Nonexistent Strategy

Without a concrete plan, efforts to promote an apartment, hostel, hotel or camp will bring you minimal or no profit.

Try to rely as much as possible on the known data and tailor the content and offers accordingly.

If you don’t know where to start – start by sharing information about local tourist destinations and attractions. Then, develop a plan for several segments of digital marketing, such as content marketing, email marketing, and search engine optimization, aka SEO.

Every marketing strategy is a process.

Questionable discount benefits

Lots of discounts will attract guests.

You will meet your marketing goals and reach your guests, but at what price?

It is certainly not wise to base your marketing strategy on discounts alone. Instead, concentrate on a segment that sets you apart from the competition, not only the price.

Data-driven pricing updates can ensure you’re listing your property at the best price at any given time – especially now – during the pandemic. Find out more about Rentlio’s integration with PriceLabs, a data-driven pricing tool and how it can help you.

Content promotion

Ideal vacation inspiration is what potential guests search for.

Advertised advantages such as closeness to the beach, city center location, or pool should be at the heart of your marketing strategy.

#2 Communication

Responding to positive and negative reviews is no longer enough.

Actively seek feedback from your guests, making sure that you have the opportunity to consider particular suggestions.

Reply to a comment, inquiry and message—all of them.

Even if you cannot offer a concrete solution or answer at some point, let the guests know. Specify the time when you will have complete information, if possible, and stick to it.

Do not underestimate the honesty in communication with your guests, which works wonders for the reputation.

Interacting with guests on social media is also a great way to get information about guest expectations – in a more personal way.

One of our features is connecting Facebook Messenger to Rentlio Booking Engine. This way, the guest visiting your website can send you a direct message you will receive in your inbox. Click here how to insert Messenger on your Rentlio Booking Engine easily.


Every time you send someone an email with content they don’t care about, you erode the relationship and risk unsubscribe.

Take care of your database.

Communicate when there is a need, when you have something to offer and when you believe that the information you share benefits your guests.

#3 Social Media Presence

The social media marketing strategy you choose must be consistent, exciting and engaging.

To start, make sure you are actively responding to comments and messages to create positive guest expectations.

Additionally, you should enable guests to book directly from your social media.

Find instructions on setting up Rentlio Booking Engine on your Facebook profile. You can do the same with your Google My Business listing.

You can also use social media, especially Facebook, to better monitor your ads. Track conversions, optimize, and generate your target audience for your future ads.

The Facebook Pixel is also easy to connect to the Rentlio Booking Engine.

Photo by dole777 on Unsplash

In case you don’t have enough time to manage social media, you can automate it with Hootsuite and Buffer, for example.

Inappropriate channels

Be selective when choosing social media for promoting your hotel, apartment, hostel or campground.

Specific social media platforms can be helpful, while others can be counterproductive.

The point is not to use the most significant number of social media. Instead, it is to present the advantages of your accommodation on social media, where it will reach your potential guests.

#4 Negative reviews

While reviews help win the trust of guests, negative reviews can seriously damage your reputation. Deleting negative reviews or comments when the opportunity arises is not surprising. It is also not justifiable.

Allow dissatisfied guests to express it. Accept a bad review or comment as an opportunity for progress. Guests will appreciate every effort you take to improve their stay. It may even help soften the original review.

And remember, the internet remembers.

So react adequately instead of hiding or ignoring the situation. As you know, bad reviews are part of the job. It is best to accept them and get the most out of them.

In our article about demanding guests and how to deal with them, you will find that the most common complaints are related to the unprofessional staff and poor service. Therefore, be sure to start from the basics – because nothing will replace understanding and mutual respect.

#5 Unfulfilled Expectations

Hoteliers and vacation rentals sometimes use impressive marketing tricks to outperform their competitors, resulting in disappointed guests.

Stay true to your offer. By putting guests’ needs first, you will ensure a more personalized stay.

Rentlio allows you to store guest data securely, preferences and all other data on the cloud, which will come in handy while developing sales and marketing strategies.

Pandemic Guidelines

All marketing decisions should take into account events that affect tourism, such as the current pandemic. There is no way to separate marketing from everyday events, nor it’s desirable.

It is essential to find a communication tone that simultaneously comforts, encourages and informs guests.

Building trust should always be a priority, especially in times of crisis. So be sure you can share reliable pandemic-related information with your guests.

Other’s Mistakes to Learn From

Marketing is often treated as an effort that has a beginning and an end.

However, it is an ongoing process that constantly needs improvement to achieve the best results.

Timely updated website information, special offers, fast booking process and integrity are the goals you should strive to.

You don’t have to learn from your own mistakes. 😉

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Although she would love to read all day, Patricia enjoys writing for Rentlio. Constantly trying to adapt to the Dalmatian way of life, you can find her walking her two dogs and/or reading on most evenings 📚