Marketing Your Bed & Breakfast
Marketing Your Bed & Breakfast
Quaint, charming, romantic, historic… the list of adjectives describing today’s popular bed and breakfasts is vast. How can you make sure your establishment sticks out among the nearly 17,000 B&Bs in the United States? Read on for our tips.
Create a Unique Selling Proposition
Marketing 101 will tell you that the very first place to start when it comes to a marketing strategy is to develop your Unique Selling Proposition – or USP. Often to referred to as your “elevator pitch,” your USP should be the foundation on which all of your marketing efforts are based. Your USP serves to ensure customers know what sets your business apart from your competitors. In this case, that could be anyone from the inn down the street to the chain hotel off the interstate. In short, your USP is a quick snapshot of what you have that others don’t. And it should be concise enough that it’s easy to relay to someone in the span of an elevator ride (hence, “elevator pitch”).
Sometimes, developing a USP is easy—maybe your business does have the lowest nightly rates or the best chef in the area, and that’s what truly sets you apart. On the flip side, if you’re located in an area with stiff competition and no true story to tell, your marketing strategy will be dead in the water. Some great tips for creating your USP can be found over at The Balance Small Business, which details the questions you should ask yourself as a business owner; the “problems” your business solves for patrons; the differentiators your B&B has that others’ don’t; and more. Once equipped with a solid USP, you’re well on your way to creating an effective marketing strategy. Make sure your selling prop is prominent on your website and social channels, and train your staff to memorize it and remind guests what truly makes you unique. Consistent messaging is critical to successful businesses—and luckily, there are myriad channels in which we can get our message out.
Invest in Imagery
In today’s technology-driven world, your website and social channels are likely going to be the first places potential guests will visit so marketing your bed & breakfast in those channels is important. They’re expecting to see high-quality photos not only of the interior of each room, but the property, amenities, dining rooms, common rooms, or any particularly unique features your B&B offers. Is the highlight of your business your world-class chef? Highlight the dishes he/she specializes in and be sure to post your current menu online.
Also exciting is to invite guests to send pictures of themselves enjoying their stay. There is a certain level of authenticity that comes with user-generated content, but be selective and discerning over which photos to publish—if a picture doesn’t tell the story you’re striving to tell, it shouldn’t make the cut.
Engage Your Guests
We’re not just talking about in-person engagement. You want your guests’ stay at your B&B to be a true experience, something they will hopefully share with friends and family. To make sure you remain top-of-mind well past your patrons’ vacation, gather as many email addresses as possible and begin mailing out true engagement content. Blog articles or newsletters are ideal digital collateral for engagement, and the content possibilities are endless. Aside from calling out specials or packages your inn may be offering, it also pays to raise awareness about events happening in the nearby towns, new dishes your chefs are offering, historic facts on your B&B, etc. Maintain a regular sending schedule and stick to it. Consistency is key in delivering your messages and establishing credibility among guests, and it helps build a loyal fan base who may not be expecting such a personalized touch from their favorite bed and breakfast.
Of course, you can try marketing your bed & breakfast solo, or you can hire on a marketing firm to do the heavy lifting while you focus on running your business. If you are feeling the need to revamp or even create a brand-new website, it may make more financial sense to stick with the pros. Outsourcing your marketing plan is a common tactic for small business owners, but it’s also comes with a price tag. And that’s where ARF Financial comes in. We’re hospitality experts who not only have the best advice to offer when it comes to your financial situation, we also have the most convenient loan options available to suit exactly what your business needs. Whether it’s a personalized Line of Credit or a unique Flex Pay Loan, we’re ready to start building a product that’s designed to build on your success. Visit us online today and see for yourself what a difference ARF can make for your business!