At Q4Launch, we are an inbound marketing company that aims to increase the online traffic of our clients and turn that traffic into leads and sales. We have seen our strategies work extremely well for a variety of clients, especially those clients in the bed and breakfast, boutique hotel and vacation rental management spaces. So how do you use an inbound marketing strategy to market a bed and breakfast successfully? You can put more “heads in beds” for a bed and breakfast or boutique hotel by employing an integrated, content-focused bed and breakfast marketing strategy.
Know the Area
This is at the forefront of your bed and breakfast marketing strategy. If you own an inn, then chances are high that you will be an expert of your city and surrounding area. However, if you work for a bed and breakfast marketing company outside the B&B’s geographic region, it is vital to diligently learn and become an expert on your client’s locale. What are the favorite things to do in the area? What is the area famous for? Are there yearly festivals or events that draw a crowd? This is just a small sampling of questions that need to be asked at the beginning of the relationship. Remember, though, that this process is ongoing, so don’t expect to learn everything about the area in just one phone call or meeting.
Optimize the Website
Keep in mind that when you optimize your site, it will be for visitors first and search engines second. A website that is only optimized for search engines will most likely be unappealing to your visitors. This will, in turn, make less people want to visit your site and hurt your SEO strategy. With that in mind, think about who wants to visit a bed and breakfast. You’re probably not going after young, single professionals working their first job after college. Instead, think about optimizing your site for folks who are more well-established and might be looking for something other than your run-of-the-mill lodging experience.
One of the most important pieces of your bed and breakfast marketing plan is your blogging strategy. You will need to know what people are looking to do in the area of your bed and breakfast so you can write content that appeals to them. Writing a blog on North Carolina lighthouses might not be a great idea for a place in the western part of the state, but writing a blog on the best hiking trails in the area will serve a better purpose. Find out what visitors want answers to, and then write excellent, relevant content that not only answers their questions, but also makes them want to share what you wrote. Then when they ask their questions to Google, your content will be found.
Facebook has more than one billion users. In other words, it’s extremely important to not only have a Facebook account, but to also be active and engaging. This can be done by posting visual content on a consistent basis. Facebook, as well as Pinterest, is a visual social media platform. You can create a lot of posts with just text, but your posts won’t start engaging the optimal number of users until you begin using photos and video content. Also, it’s best to have your content be unique to your page. For example, posting a video directly to Facebook instead of just pasting a YouTube link will generate more engagement. In addition, creating a unique post about a local event is better than just sharing it from another page.
In a day when more and more spam is distributed via email, it is critical that your email marketing campaigns do not come off as spammy. This begins by creating subject lines that both capture the reader’s attention and give them a legitimate reason to open the email. Once you get them over the hurdle of opening the email, the content needs to be equally excellent. You don’t need to flood your email list with tons of information, but rather give them links to highly-useful blog posts, seasonal packages and deals, and area events.
At the end of the day, the most important aspect of your bed and breakfast marketing plan is that it is comprehensive. To pump out award-winning blog content without the proper SEO plan will not help increase traffic to your website. Maybe you have the most beautifully designed site, but it is filled with broken links or meaningless content. That won’t help you increase bookings either. You will best market a bed and breakfast when you cover all bases and put adequate resources in each necessary area.
If you have any questions regarding how to market your bed and breakfast, or if you are looking for a few bed and breakfast marketing ideas, click here to request a free 30-minute consultation with our founder/owner, Matt Bare.