B&B’s are quickly becoming the accommodation of choice for travelers looking for economical establishments that provide a great experience. As b&b and guest house owners well know, there is a lot of hard work involved in ensuring that the establishment will meet the expectation of all the guests. As soon as the setting up of the establishment is completed, don’t be tempted to sit back and wait for guests to flock in, one has to remain active in promoting and marketing.
The real work involved in a guest house or 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 and guest house establishments today have to put up with a lot more competition. Marketing is therefore a must. But, because people are travelling more, the market has therefore grown. We also live in the digital age, which has changed the way we communicate and how we share information. Therefore you have more opportunities for marketing your establishment!
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.
- 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. 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.
- 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.
- Online Directories: These are websites that specialize in providing listings for B&B’s 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.
- 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 clicks will end in a booking.
- Get quality ratings: People trust establishments that have been rated by accredited schemes. 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.
- 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 TripAdvisor, go a long way in establishing your brand in the online market.
- 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 different ways to advertise your bed and breakfast, guest house or boutiques establishment. Each method has its advantages and drawbacks. However, combining different methods will result in a highly effective marketing strategy.