So it seems the term “content marketing” gets thrown around a lot in the bed and breakfast world today. But what exactly is it, and how do you go about putting it into practice as part of your bed and breakfast marketing strategy? If you’re an innkeeper who likes a clear-cut answer, then maybe trying to define content marketing will keep you up at night. Content Marketing Institute put together a few different definitions, depending on what type of conversation a person is having at a particular time. Here is an abridged, yet formal, way to define content marketing according to Content Marketing Institute:
“Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
If you feel like you have a solid foundation for what it is, the next question remains, “How do I put it into practice and how can it help my inn?” Fortunately, we have 6 tools that will not only help you define content marketing, but will also help you increase your yearly occupancy rate.
#1 – A Responsive Website
Your bed and breakfast’s website is many times a potential customer’s first interaction with your inn. With first impressions being so important, you need to make sure that your site is designed to be user-friendly and attractive to your visitors. Your website is also a hub for all of your content, so you can house your blog, link to social media accounts, provide an email newsletter signup form, position other lead generation items, and display remarkable photos and videos of your inn. With that being said…
#2 – A Bed & Breakfast Blog
Writing a blog can be a daunting task, especially when you aren’t a professional writer. Regardless of your writing skills as an innkeeper, it is absolutely essential that blog content is being consistently published to your website. This blog needs to be continuously positioning your inn as the area expert and needs to be focused on long-tail keywords.
#3 – Social Media Platforms
Whether you like it or not, you have to be active on social media. According to mediabistro.com, there are one billion active Facebook users (yes, billion with a ‘B’), 560 million active Twitter users and 70 million active Pinterest users. Sheer numbers along make it crucial to be active on social media, posting quality content on a regular basis.
#4 – Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing provides an amazing ROI ($57.25 to $1), and provides unparalleled spikes in traffic. Your emails must be packed with excellent content, though, or people will stop opening them and won’t have a way to click to your website.
#5 – Lead Generation Items
Once people get to your site, it’s important to lead them through the sales funnel. One way to do this is to create content that is a little more sophisticated than a blog or social media posts. Some pieces of content that are worthy of being lead generation items for bed and breakfasts are brochures, vacation guides, wedding guides, or anything else that has a high perceived value. The key is asking for a name and email address by using a form before you hand out high-value content.
#6 – Photos and Videos
Quality photos can make or break a website. You might have a perfect framework, but if the photos are outdated, people will leave immediately. Hire a professional photographer and get some great photos of your bed and breakfast. Videos are also engaging pieces of content that people will be interested in watching. Just make sure it doesn’t go more than a few minutes, because attention spans don’t last long!
Now you know some of the tools that help define content marketing. One thing to remember is that each of the six tools listed above is just that – one tool. None of them in and of themselves will provide the type of booking numbers you are hoping to achieve. However, when all are working together in a highly strategized, integrated content marketing program, you will find sustained success.
Fortunately, that’s where we excel. To chat with a member of the Q4Launch marketing team, click below to request a free consultation. We would be glad to chat briefly about your current marketing efforts and how content marketing can help you achieve your desired results.