Wonder how to effectively market your B&B inn? You’re not alone. More and more innkeepers are realizing that in order to effectively market their bed and breakfast, they need the outside help of hospitality marketing professionals.
There are, of course, B&B owners that do a wonderful job marketing themselves. One of the best examples is Chloe Tuttle, Owner and Innkeeper of Big Mill Bed & Breakfast in Williamston, North Carolina. Chloe shares her own photographs (which include pictures of the bountiful produce and gorgeous flowers she grows). She writes Chloe’s Blog, and she makes her own recipes that she writes about in her blog posts. She also takes the time to let potential guests know what they can expect from a stay at her place.
Chloe is active on social media. In addition, she even gives her website visitors the opportunity to enter their email address to, “Sign up for Updates from Chloe at Big Mill B&B” and “Get updates of happenings on the farm, recipes and things to do in eastern N.C.”
However, it is perfectly reasonable to want to focus on taking care of your guests and handling the administrative and operations parts of your business. If you are frustrated with marketing (or simply lack the time or interest to effectively market), hiring an outside expert may be exactly what you need.
A good hospitality marketer will make sure that you making the most with your website, your blog, email marketing, social media, advertising, and other promotions. An outside perspective can help you better see things from your guests’ perspective. They may share some great ideas that help your marketing take off.
These are all great ideas that B&B marketers should recommend that innkeepers do:
- Join one or more hospitality associations for networking, education, and added credibility
- Make sure your website is mobile responsive (it adjusts to the size of whatever device it is being viewed from)
- Make sure your website is (https://) secure meaning that your data is encrypted and it has a firewall to protect it from hackers and viruses
- Show plenty of professional photographs (of all areas that guests can access, make sure to have great lighting, and good photographers use props such as coffee mugs and blankets)
- All photography on your website should be “pinnable” meaning that a visitor to your website can easily pin your images to their Pinterest account (millions of people use Pinterest)
- Be sure to have social media icons on your website so that people can find you on social media. Bonus points if your social media handles match across networks.
- Make sure your booking engine (your website reservation software) is easily accessible via your website (and the two work seamlessly together)
- Prominently display your B&B name, city, location, phone number, and email address on your website
- Be consistently active across a variety of social media websites. See my blog post about social media content themes. It is always good to share different types of content.
- Your blog should feature the best about your inn, your local area (including other local businesses), and your local events (especially those that happen every year)
- Be sure to have a thoroughly filled out About Us website page
- Seek permission from each of your guests to add them to your email list, then they will continue to receive regular updates
- Remember that innkeepers are not limited to earning income solely from overnight stays. There are plenty of extra things you can do to boost your income (such as offer packages, host events, and have a B&B shop, restaurant, tea room, and/or spa)
- Encourage happy guests to give you a review online. Be sure to respond in a timely manner to anyone who leaves your inn an online review.
- Reward your guests with a frequent stay and/or guest referral program.
- Be sure to present your inn as a consistent brand (this includes your logo, your messaging, your topics of focus, and more).
If you are looking to hire a B&B marketing professional to effectively market your inn, Kristi Dement is available for a free 20-minute phone call. Contact Kristi and set up a phone appointment today.
I have been helping inns with their marketing since 2013. I am also the Marketing Director of Bed & Breakfast Magazine. I will be launching Retreat Business Academy with my partner (and Retreats Expert) Kirsten Polman in the next month. I will share more details as the time nears.
Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography