Do you run a bed and breakfast, or hotel, but struggle to fill all your rooms? Do you have big dreams of being named one of the best B&Bs in the world? Hotel marketing could be the missing piece of the puzzle.
If you want to turn on that ‘no vacancies’ light more often, you need to get a strong grip on your marketing strategy.
Here are some great ways to expand your reach and attract more guests, more consistently.
Cross-Market With Local Businesses
Get friendly with the local bars and tourist spots in town. A simple exchange where you recommend each other’s businesses can work wonders for you both.
You might also consider posting prominent poster for them inside your premises in a like-for-like exchange.
This type of hotel marketing, by building relationships is valuable, and results are cost-effective for both partners.
Diversify Your Business
One way to build a popular image in town, and get word-of-mouth visitor recommendations is to diversify.
At many hotels, people will come, stay the night and leave in the morning. They might tell their friends back home, but they’re not in town to tell other visitors about their great experience.
If you serve food anyway, why not try to encourage local drop-ins by turning your dining room into an open cafe, restaurant, or coffee shop for all? If the locals know your place and like it, they’ll be more likely to mention the hotel to out-of-town visitors – even if they haven’t stayed there themselves.
Plus, it’s always good to have an extra revenue stream. And if the locals come back for more during the quiet season, it’ll certainly help your cash flow.
Make Sure Your Website is User-Friendly
Online frustration leads to people giving up almost immediately on a website. If there are broken links, poorly mapped pages, or navigation issues, the vast majority of internet users aren’t going to give you the benefit of the doubt.
It’s highly likely that your website will be the first contact a potential customer has with you. And if they’re in doubt about the quality of your website, they’ll be in doubt about the quality of your business.
High-quality design is key to winning users’ trust. Great pictures of your rooms and views will wow them, but a smooth website and reliable online booking system will win them.
Your Hotel Marketing Will Benefit From (Local) SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art of getting your site as visible as possible on search results. It’s a key part of hotel marketing.
There’s no point having a fantastic website that nobody sees.
Local SEO is particularly important for small companies. People aren’t going to search for ‘hotels’ if they’re in St Louis, Missouri. They’ll search for terms like ‘hotels in St Louis’ or ‘Missouri St Louis hotels’.
This type of SEO targets those searches specifically, so that you pick up better leads who are in town and need a place to stay the night. Good quality blog posts, web page content and other assets like videos can strengthen your SEO ranking for these terms.
It might be worth looking into some local SEO companies who’ll be able to help you get that edge you need. Local SEO is fiercely competitive, and having clearly defined targets and well-researched keywords is really important.
Be Active on Social Media
Your SEO strategy should sit next to a set of active social media accounts. By actively responding to customers’ questions via these channels, you’re sending a message that you’re open for business and that you’re reliable.
A good Instagram account is a must-have for hotel marketing if your main target audience is hip millennials. This group love to share, and an amazing picture can go a long, long way if the right person picks it up.
You might want to hire a model and photographer to shoot ‘selfie-style’ to promote your hotel among this demographic.
Even if you’re a more traditional establishment, professional photography is still worth looking at. It can give a much better impression of your local area than self-shot snaps.
The content you’ve been writing for your blog, as part of your SEO strategy, should be as shareable as possible to succeed on social media. Potential guests might be looking for topics like ‘The 10 best things to do in
Surfacing a couple of posts like this on the front page of your website isn’t a bad idea either. This can make your location seem more attractive to guests, as it tells them what there is to do nearby.
Get Listed on Aggregators
Aggregator sites are those like Booking.Com which list loads of hotels from around the world. This can help generate massive exposure, as these sites are used hundreds of thousands of times a day.
The downside is that you’ll pay a price to appear on these sites, which will eat into your profits. So it’s a bit of a balancing act.
If you can get your own marketing off the ground quickly, you may not need the help of these. But that’s a big ask if you’re just starting out with this.
If you want to learn more about getting listed on aggregator sites, it’s probably best to get in touch with them directly.
They’ll be able to tell you about their listing requirements. They should also say what cut they might take from bookings and tell you about any conditions to your use of the site to promote your business.
The Rooms Are Finally Filling Up!
Once you’ve got a cohesive hotel marketing strategy together, your phone should start going off far more often.
Remember, there’s no use doing any of these suggestions by themselves. You need time and dedication to take them all on, but a comprehensive approach is the only way to maximize your chances of success.
A firm strategy and a great in-house guest service will see your bookings race ahead of the competition.
We’re sure you can do it!