7 Ways to Advertise Your Bed and Breakfast
Bed and breakfasts were once known as establishments that featured shabby old décor and a stern faced old hostess. This image has however been shaken off. B&Bs are quickly becoming the accommodation of choice for travelers looking for economical establishments that provide a great experience.
Setting up a bed and breakfast is no easy fit. There is a lot of hard work involved in ensuring that the establishment will meet the expectation of guests. When the task of setting up is all over, many B&B owners are tempted to sit back and wait for the guests to flock in.
The work just begun
The real work involved in a bed and breakfast comes after it is up and ready to receive guests. You then need to announce your presence to the rest of the world. In the past, a B&B establishment could survive without making an effort at marketing. There were few establishments in any given region and therefore little competition.
However, B&B establishments today have to put up with a lot more competition. Marketing is therefore a must.
It isn’t all bad news though. There’s a lot of good that has come with the modern era too. Firstly, more people are travelling to other parts of the world. That means the market for B&B establishments has grown.
Secondly, we are living in the digital age. The Internet has changed how we communicate and share information. It has made it easier to communicate ideas and share information with people all over the world. You therefore have more opportunities for marketing your B&B.
Some things to think about
Before we get into how you can effectively advertise your B&B, there are some factors you need to consider.
Consider what your B&B has that other establishments don’t have. (tweet this) What attracts clients to the area? What can you use to attract others to the area? E.g. if your B&B is located near a scenic mountain reserve, you should include packages for trail hikes through the mountain passes to attract clients to your B&B.
Try to step into the shoes of travelers in the region. What would they be most attracted to? Is there a need you can meet apart from offering them a warm bed and a cup of hot cocoa in the morning? You have to go the extra mile in order to stay ahead of the competition.
What do your clients need or require while they are travelling in your area? You should strive to meet these needs.
You should present all your selling points to your prospective clients in bullet form. Bullets catch the eye and are easy to read.
You also need to consider the type of clients you are trying to attract. While your B&B will probably receive a wide range of clients, there will be a majority of a certain demographic or with specific interests e.g. backpackers, business travelers or honeymooners. Your marketing strategy should take the type of clients into consideration.
How to advertise
Once you know your key selling points and understand your clientele, you can now start considering different advertising methods. Below are some of the most effective ways to get the message about your B&B out to as many people as possible.
1. Your own website
Websites are becoming an essential part of any business today and bed and breakfasts are no different. Many consumers today use the Internet to search for information. They can access information about products and services from PCs and mobile devices when they need it. Having a website gives your B&B the online presence it needs to reach internet users.
There are many benefits to having your own website as opposed to depending on online listings:
- You can share more information about your B&B on your website. Many people like to get as much information as possible about the place before booking. You can share pictures, experiences of former guests and ideas through your website. You can give prospective guests a taste of your establishment and convince them to try it out.
- Having a website for your B&B makes it more credible. Many people are more willing to believe in an establishment that has taken the time to create and maintain a website than in one that doesn’t.
- You can reach people all over the globe. Websites are limitless in their potential to reach audiences around the world.
Be sure to include the ability to check room availability online from your website. Make it possible for prospective clients to book and make payments online also. Many people appreciate the convenience of online transactions.
2. Travel websites
One of the greatest things about online marketing today is that there are websites that can actually do the marketing for you. Travel websites feature places that people can stay and provide an opportunity for you to advertise your B&B. Examples include Kayak, Yapta, Which Budget and many others.
3. Online directories
These are websites that specialize in providing listings for B&Bs in given areas. Such websites function just as traditional telephone directories do. Be sure to include detailed contact information, a link to your website for those who want to learn more about your B&B, a nice description and some photos. Examples include Bed and Breakfast and BnB Finder.
4. Pay Per Click advertising
Google AdWords is one of the most effective ways to advertise online for small and large businesses alike. You simply need to identify the most relevant keywords and buy ads around those keywords so that your B&B ads can appear on relevant search results pages.
You only pay when someone clicks on one of your adverts. The good thing with PPC and Google AdWords specifically is that most of the people who see your ads are interested in what you have to offer. Therefore quite a number of the clicks will end in a booking.
5. Get quality ratings
People trust establishments that have been rated by accredited schemes. (tweet this) You should therefore strive to be rated by a recognized authority in your area or internationally. Although it can be difficult to achieve a high rating, it will be worth the effort when guests start flocking to your B&B. The new Foursquare is perfect example of how good ratings can drive guests to your establishment.
6. Customer reviews
Whenever people want to purchase or invest in something, they usually look for others who have done so before in a bid to find out what their experience was like. The case is no different with accommodation. People like to hear about the experiences of other guests before they can make a decision.
Encourage your guests to write reviews about your B&B. Make it easy for them to do so by leaving compliment cards in the rooms or other creative ways. Reviews on websites such as Trip Advisor, go a long way in establishing your brand in the online market.
7. Social media
If haven’t invested in social media marketing yet, you ought to do so as soon as you’re done reading this. Social media has proved to be a dominant force in the world of online marketing. Many consumers today spend majority of their time online on social media platforms. If you want to access this market, you have to make yourself available on the same platforms.
Create profiles for your B&B on social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Keep updating your profiles with information that your prospective clients are likely to take an interest in. You can advertise special packages, discounts and other offers that you have at different times of the year.
There are many ways to advertise your bed and breakfast. Each method has its advantages and drawbacks. However, combining different methods will result in a highly effective marketing strategy.
Which methods do you use to advertise your B&B and why? Let us know by commenting below!
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