Bed and breakfast marketing is not something you can ignore. Whether you are running a traditional b & b, boutique-style accommodation, a guest house, country inn, gite or chambre d’hotes, it’s a competitive business. If you don’t stand out, you loose out. Sticking up a “rooms to let” sign just isn’t going to do it!
One of the most powerful tactics you can use to promote your accommodation is, of course, the internet. Like it or not the world wide web is having a massive impact on you and your customers. If you don’t have some kind of internet presence – either a website or a blog for your bed and breakfast – a massive slice of your potential income is going to someone else.
Sadly the internet is no longer the simple arena where, if you had virtually any kind of website, people would find you easily. Today the world wide web is maturing and growing at a phenomenal rate. It has become vastly more competitive and many bed and breakfast owners are finding that their websites aren’t bringing in the business they hoped. Just putting up a website and keeping your fingers crossed is no more effective than putting up a “rooms to let” sign but costs to advertise online are rising dramatically. Worse, a lot of that expensive online advertising is becoming less and less effective.
Is there a sensible, workable solution? Certainly the average accommodation owner can’t simply throw more and more money at their bed and breakfast marketing.
The answer to some extent is better management of your resources and better targeting. Don’t pay someone to submit your site to 400 search engines when submitting to Google, Bing and Yahoo will cover 99% of the market and you can do it yourself – for free. Before you spend a penny on registering with a bed and breakfast search engine (where thousands of your competitors are also listed) ask what you can do to make your own internet presence more effective.
As for targeting, it’s no good marketing a bed and breakfast at the whole US, or a gite at the whole of France. That’s an accidental mistake a lot of sites make. Instead, zero in on a smaller but more precise market. Who puts just “bed and breakfast” into a search engine? Nobody. They search for “Boise bed and breakfast”. They don’t search for “gite in France” they search for “gite in Valencay”. Try to think like your customer – then your bed and breakfast marketing becomes much easier because you simply provide what you know they are looking for!