Such a huge percentage of holiday makers search and book their accommodation online that the internet has become the most essential marketing tool for bed and breakfasts. But there are also so many billions of websites – and accommodation options – out there that making the right customers and browsers find you can be a challenge.
Effectively marketing you bed and breakfast online can be broken down into three key points:
- Write good, inspiring content
- Have good, quality photographs
- Include all important information
In Part One, we’ll show you how to write good, inspiring content on your website or a listing website that will turn browsers into reservations!
Step 1 What Makes Your Property Special?
The first thing that customers will ask themselves when they look at your bed and breakfast is “why should I stay here?” so it’s essential that you ask yourself the same thing. You don’t have to be a 5 star boutique B&B with sea views to have something special – whatever or wherever your bed and breakfast, there are selling points. You just have to find them! Here are five ways to find your ‘unique’ qualities.
1. Ethos and hosts: Think about the service your B&B offers. It is a home away from home where guests can come and go as they please, or is the focus strongly on attentive, personal hospitality? Both these qualities will attract guests – just from a different market. As a bed and breakfast owner, you can also be a unique commodity! Do you have expert local knowledge because you’ve lived here all your life? Do you have contacts in the tourist office or at a restaurant? Let your customers know!
2. Location: There’s always a positive to find in your location. If you’re right in town, it’s the proximity of your bed and breakfast to amenities and sight seeing. If you’re in the countryside, it’s the views, peace and quiet and walking opportunities. Always emphasize the good things.
3. Style and facilities: What’s special about your house itself? Is it a historic building, with character and original features? Or is it modern and built with comfort in mind? Even things you think are too small to mention can be important to guests, so make sure you list all the conveniences you can offer, from a hairdryer and shower gel in the bathroom to coffee top ups at breakfast.
4. Target market: Thinking about who will stay at your bed and breakfast is a huge part of marketing. What is your property good for? Budget travellers and value for money? Family breaks or romantic getaways? Once you have chosen two or three specific kinds of customers, you can write your content for them. Don’t be shy about it – include a huge box on your website that says ‘perfect for walking holidays’ inside to grab their attention!
5. Breakfast: One of the main advantages a bed and breakfast has for customers of hotels is breakfast in the morning. A home cooked Full English will beat an expensive buffet of cereals and congealed scrambled egg any day – so emphasize this! Include a breakfast menu on your website, along with any special features like homemade jams or eggs from a local farm, and you’re on to a winning formula.
Step 2 Turn Facts into Content
Here’s an example of a good description of a property:
At this award-winning eco B&B, feasts of organic food, outdoorsy activities and lazy evenings by the log fire are the order of the day. (From Glenribbeen Lodge)
And a bad one:
We are a bed and breakfast offering B&B accommodation in London. Get BREAKFAST!!! EVERYONE WELCOME!!! Come and stay with us please!
The first description is very informative but also atmospheric – it lets guests know what they can expect from a stay at this B&B, as well as highlighting five important features – award-winning (target market), eco-friendly (ethos), organic food (breakfast), outdoor activities (location) and log fires (style). The second, however, is not specific enough – there is no information which makes it special and it won’t make the majority of readers keep going.
Here are three ways to use your facts well as content:
- Busy people want to see information at a glance on the internet. Long paragraphs of beautifully written prose won’t sell your bed and breakfast to customers – short sentence, bullet points, numbered lists and boxes with key words are all easy ways to get your message across.
- Make sure your content sounds professional, too. It’s easy to check grammar and spelling in a word processing program, but you’d be surprised how many bed and breakfasts leave in terrible spelling errors!
- Too many capitals and bolds can also be distracting – you shouldn’t need to highlight certain words on the page, everything you have written should be interesting and informative!
Step 3 Avoid The Traps
There are some cliches which it’s easy to fall into when trying to describe your bed and breakfast – especially if marketing and writing aren’t your strongest points, or you just feel a bit uncomfortable having to ‘sell’ yourself and your home. Here are some of the top things to avoid:
- Don’t repeat the same words or fact over and over again – it’ll sound desperate, not emphatic
- Don’t state the obvious like ‘for business and pleasure’ – most bed and breakfasts welcome tourists and business travellers, it’s only worth mentioning if you have specific facilities such as desks and WiFi in every room or conference amenities
- Don’t use ‘very’, ‘truly’ and ‘perfect’ unless you can really back it up – one person’s perfect is another’s nightmare!
- Don’t use informal and meaningless adjectives like pretty, pleasant and tasteful – be more specific about why you would describe your B&B that way
Category: Bed and Breakfast Marketing