Effective content strategy begins with identifying your target market. Who is most likely to want what you offer? For bed and breakfasts, much of this depends upon why guests are visiting your area. Typically, those who stay at B&B inns pick the area first, then their accommodations. Think about why people come to your area (including your weather and local attractions). Additionally, reflect on what your inn provides that others do not (such as your amenities, breakfasts, and the events that you host).
Use Keywords To Attract Your Target Market
Know who you are trying to attract (your target market). Moreover, pick a diverse range of keywords related to their interests. For example, list out relevant keywords describing your:
- Amenities (“game room” or “tearoom”)
- Breakfasts (“farm fresh produce” or “accommodates special dietary needs”)
- Ideal guests (“adventure seeking” or “romantic couples”)
- Leisure activities (“antique shopping” or “wine tours”)
- Local area (“mountain views” or “business conferences”)
- Packages (“girlfriends’ getaway” or "honeymoon package")
- Retreats (“writers retreat” or “yoga retreat”)
- Seasons/times of the year (“fall foliage” or “Valentine’s Day”)
- Services (“catering” or “spa services”)
- Uniqueness (“historic” or “pet friendly”)
- Your other businesses (“gift shop” or “restaurant”)
Content Creates Opportunity
The content you offer is an opportunity for them to learn more about you. In other words, stand out (clarify your unique selling points) from your competition (other places of hospitality). For instance, guest packages are a great way to attract people who appreciate that you make plans for them (such as floral arrangements, premium chocolates, restaurant gift certificates, tickets to concerts or sporting events). Furthermore, people are willing to pay more for something that is already planned and included.
Your content includes what you share on your website, blog, brochures, emails, social media, and advertising. Your content formats include articles, videos, infographics, short reports, and more. Share pictures, videos, and stories of what happens at your B&B (with permission from guests). Guests want to know what to expect before they arrive!
Develop A Strong Reputation
As your guests experience your hospitality, you can develop a great reputation (from word of mouth, reviews, and press). Be sure to know what is being said about you and your inn online. Respond appropriately and promptly to all guest reviews (how you handle any criticism you receive speaks volumes to others).
Content Answers Questions
To save time and be consistent, answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) in your content. This can include estimated drive time to popular destinations and your process for guests to check in and check out.
- What inspired your business? (such as a person or mission)
- What AHA! moments has your company had? (major lightbulbs)
- How has your business evolved? (process of changes)
- How do you feel about your business, our customers, and ourselves? (state goals)
- What’s a unique way to tell your story? (be creative)
- What do you consider normal that other folks would think is cool? (stories from guests)
- How will your company make a difference? (ex: eco-friendly)
- Why should your company matter to guests? (what is in it for them?)
The more information you provide on your website and the more questions you answer, the more likely web visitors are to act. They will contact you, read more of your website, follow you on social media, and book a room. Be sure to attract more guests with calls to action. Encourage them to contact you, connect on social media, and book now.
Blog Post Content
- Behind the scenes information (including photos of staff and fun facts about them)
- Breakfast (share images, recipes, and details about how you serve breakfast)
- Events (that your inn will be hosting or local events)
- History of your B&B (such as its founders and current owners/innkeepers)
- Holidays (how your inn celebrates specific holidays)
- Improvements (such as any redecorating, remodeling, or added amenities
- Incentives (for frequent stays or guest referrals)
- Occasions (celebrating anniversaries and birthdays or hosting reunions)
- Problems you solve (such as adding enjoyment and reducing stress)
- Professional memberships (like Select Registry or a state B&B association)
- Reasons why guests love to stay (think about the compliments you receive)
- Recommendations of local businesses (who may return the favor)
- Reviews from previous guests (include quotes)
- Room information (including pictures, list of amenities, reason for its name)
- Specials like mid-week discounts or savings for specific groups (like emergency workers, senior citizens, and veterans)
- Tips about your local area (including restaurants and attractions)
- Your own Top 10 List (that relates to your B&B or local area)
Benefits of Regularly Adding Content
One of the most important aspects of blogging, is to consistently do it. The search engines reward fresh content by making it more visible online. They give preference to websites which continually add new information. In addition, a blog post is one more indexed page on your website. Thus, it signals to the search engine spiders that your website is active.
Plus, you are keeping in touch with people and staying on their radar. Reminding previous guests about why they should come back again and compelling new people to visit for the very first time is an effective content strategy.
Become The Local Expert
Bed and breakfasts with blogs establish themselves as being an authority on hospitality and their local community. By offering helpful, travel-friendly advice, bed and breakfasts can get the attention of those wanting to know more about your local area while also telling others what makes your inn an ideal accommodations choice.
The effort you put it now will pay off well into the future because people will be able to view your blog posts years from now. Providing valuable content means your content will spread.
Share In Social Media
In addition to sharing content on your own website, you can create content for other websites, social media, and issue press releases to attract media attention. Blog posts can be shared in social media to expose yourself to a whole new audience.
Let guests know how to connect with your bed and breakfast on other social media websites. When you share your blog on social media, this lets people know more about you and your bed and breakfast inn. Have a presence on one or more of the following websites can make a big difference in your visibility online.
- Linked In
The more information you provide on your website and the more questions you answer, the more likely web visitors are to contact you, read more of your website, follow you on social media, and book a room. These are all profitable results from an effective content strategy.
One way to organize your content is to create an editorial calendar. This is where you decide what content you will create (earlier in this post is suggested ideas for blog posts and questions to answer), in what format (images, text, video, etc.), schedule how often you will create it (such as daily, weekly, or monthly), when you will create it (specify the day and time), and where you will share it (ads, blog, website, social media, etc.).
Increase Your Visibility and Profitability
Do not forget the power of blogging to become more visible in the search engines. In addition, the power of video to highlight your B&B and local attractions. Lastly, the power of social media to spread your message. By following this advice, you will take attract more guests to your bed and breakfast as well as position yourself as an expert on your local area. Thus, having an effective content strategy is key to the success of your business.
Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography