Marketing a boutique hotel or a bed and breakfast involves a beautiful, mobile-optimized website, social media, email marketing, and more. Deploying an integrated, all-inclusive marketing strategy will bring guests to your door, eager for what you have to offer.
It does take time, but it’s not complicated. Also, you may need to rethink not only your marketing strategy but also your property. A robust marketing strategy can transform not only the number of guests but also the type of guests. It’s not just about what your property has to offer, but also the local activities and attractions.
Today, travelers first research their destinations on the internet. You want to ensure that your small hotel turns up on their searches. If it doesn’t, you’ve missed out on a targeted market of potential guests. While search engines are critical to your marketing plan, so is social media. Travelers also use platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube to research their trips.
Let’s go over some of the steps you’ll need to take to improve your boutique hotel marketing strategy.
Brand Your Boutique Hotel
The key to your marketing campaign is branding; this involves setting yourself apart from other hotels in your region. It’s how your hotel presents itself to the world.
For example, if you run a bed and breakfast in Moab, Utah, your branding should include environmental sensitivity. Also, you’ll want to let the public know that you welcome hikers, rock climbers, and nature lovers. On the other hand, a boutique hotel in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood might emphasize quirky fine dining options and cocktail bars.
Marina Turea of Digital Authority Partners emphasizes that sustainability and cultural themes are essential for a successful hotel marketing campaign.
The public will judge your property by the image that it presents. Of course, you need to live up to your property branding, providing your guests with an exceptional stay. Once you’ve settled on your branding, you can proceed to design a marketing campaign.
You Need a Mobile-Friendly Travel Website
Your website needs to look fantastic on a smartphone; the fact is, travelers on the road need to find accommodations from their phones.
While a responsive travel website needs to feature gorgeous photos, it also needs to load quickly. Furthermore, your website navigation needs to be intuitive and easy.
Ensure that your contact information is easily found, as well as a way to make reservations online. Also, you could embed a Google map with driving directions to your door.
In addition to photos of your property, including photos of the surrounding area, attractions, and activities. The attractions and activities your area has to offer are the reason why your guests are coming.
Social Media Accounts
Platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest are essential for any boutique hotel or bed and breakfast. It’s a place to showcase your property, introduce your staff, and highlight all of the fun things to do. A business page on Facebook is free, and it not only reaches Facebook users but also can show up on a web search.
This is the place to show off your hotel’s unique aesthetics and vibe. Social media users want to see what it looks like, but also what it’s like to experience a stay. Once again, be sure to include photos and content showcasing the attractions and activities your guests can experience during their stay.
Your goal is to define your branding and foster awareness within the public: people know your name and where you’re located. Ensure that your website and contact information are included in all of your social media.
Create a Way For Guests to Share Their Stay
Testimonials and word of mouth are powerful marketing tools. Invite your guests to submit photos of their stay. This will make your social media content much more shareable. Once they’re on your account, they’ll share all sorts of content with their friends and family. As your content is shared, more and more people will become aware of your bed and breakfast or boutique hotel.
Pictures of smiling, happy guests enjoying life at your establishment are powerful. Potential visitors want to know that they’ll be welcome and have a good time. Testimonials from real guests can be much more compelling than carefully crafted advertisements.
Update Your Listings on Popular Review Sites
Websites like Yelp, Tripadvisor, and Google My Business influence travelers; if they can’t find you on those sites, or if your listing doesn’t feature great photos, they might turn away. Your photos and text need to capture your hotel’s aesthetic. You want to emphasize the uniqueness of your property.
Finally, make sure that your contact information, office hours, and address are accurate. Also, any bad reviews need to be politely addressed.
Don’t Forget Email Marketing
Email marketing is surprisingly effective, with an ROI of $42 earned for every dollar spent. This means that an email list is an extremely important marketing tool.
Your previous guests are a natural for your email list. However, when you send out emails, keep them short and sweet. And don’t send emails every day; you don’t want to spam your mailing list.
Sending out emails in time for visitors to make reservations for the holidays is ideal. Try teaming up with other local businesses to offer special holiday vacation packages. For example, your boutique hotel could team up with a guided tour operator to see the sights.
By sticking to monthly newsletters that include discounts and package deals, your lists will welcome your emails. They might forward them to their friends and family.
Some services allow you to automate your email marketing; you’ll simply upload your message, set a date, and it will be sent out to your entire list. Using an email marketing service is not expensive, and it also helps to prevent your emails from being marked as spam.
These six tips will help your small hotel or bed and breakfast welcome more guests and make more money. Online marketing is essential during this digital age. Remember, travelers want to see beautiful locations and the unique experiences they’ll have during their stay.