What makes your inn stand out? Does it have a great view like the picture above? It is critical to know what makes your bed and breakfast different from the others in your area. What types of guests do you attract?
Be sure to promote your unique features to potential guests on your website, on social media, in blog posts, and in the directories you are listed in. Are you the #1 rated bed and breakfast in your area? Have you won a bed and breakfast recipe contest? Are you one of the sponsors of an upcoming local event?
There are many things that you are already doing or could start doing that could attract the right kind of guests you are looking for. It may have to do with what is in your local area, what types of amenities your B&B has, the policies upon which you run your business, or your attentive concierge services and warm hospitality.
Here is a list of ways to stand out:
- Beach or waterfront property? Ask your guests to share their photos online. Alternatively, ask the public to share their best pictures of relaxing in the sun to enter a photo contest to win a gift certificate to stay at your inn.
- Eco-friendly bed and breakfasts can have a page on their website devoted to their environmentally safe practices and awards.
- Game rooms? With their permission, share photos of guests playing your games (ex: air hockey, chess, horseshoes, Scrabble, etc.).
- Gift shop? Offer guests attractive items to purchase with your logo on them (such as decorative soaps, coffee mugs, aprons, and maybe even your own cookbook) so they are reminded of your inn every time they see or use the items.
- Gourmet breakfasts so delicious they prompt guests to write great reviews about your inn. Ask those who rave about your food to post on online review.
- Handicap-accessible inns can show their ramps, bathrooms, ground floor rooms, and (if applicable) their elevators. With guest permission, share pictures of trained guide dogs who have visited your inn.
- Historical inn and/or unique antiques? Share photos and stories of the original family members that lived at your historic inn. Share photos of the gorgeous antiques safely displayed throughout your inn.
- Kid friendly? Show pictures of rooms or suites that are suitable for families. Write blog posts about local family attractions.
- Library? Attract more guests by sharing pictures of your library and by featuring a local author who will be speaking at an event (in or around) your bed and breakfast.
- Luxurious amenities (such as a pool, hot tub, or spa) should be featured on your website and in your social media.
- Mountain inns can share photos of majestic views as well as promote local activities such as hiking, skiing, and zip-lining.
- Mysteries? If you host murder mysteries, share pictures of your event (such as your guests dressed in costumes) on your website, blog, and social media.
- Packages? Feature tickets to popular local attractions (such as a theater or amusement park) and/or gift certificates to local fine dining restaurants.
- Patriotic bed and breakfasts can display their country's flag and offer a discount to those on active military duty and to veterans.
- Pet-friendly bed and breakfasts can show pictures of pets at their property and take about their pet policies (including where pets are allowed to go).
- Restaurant? Bed and breakfast inns with their own restaurant can feature photos of seasonal events (like Thanksgiving Day) as well as social events (like private parties). Regularly blog about popular signature dishes or feature the chefs and write about their culinary training and experience.
- Retreats hosted at your inn? Notify the media. This is especially important if the person speaking at the retreat is famous or notable in their field.
- Settings that are breathtaking, peaceful, and gorgeous should be shown in pictures to attract more guests.
- Tea time? Whether you have a dedicated tea room open to the public or specific tea times only for your guests, promote tea time with pictures of your tea table settings and food as well as guest events like social hours or book clubs.
- Vegan or vegetarian bed and breakfasts can show pictures of delicious, hearty looking meals that are (surprisingly) within those diet restrictions.
- Weddings at your inn? Display pictures of places where the ceremony and reception can be held on the property. With permission, share pictures of happy couples and of related events like vow renewals and elopements.
- Wine tastings? Whether you own the winery or offer a package for your guests to tour local wineries, describe the experiences that guests will have as well as share photos (with permission) of guests touring vineyards. If transportation is provided during tours, be sure to mention that as well.
- Yoga is a great way for your guests to become stronger and more relaxed. If you regularly offer yoga on site to your guests, be sure to share that on your website, in blog posts, and in photos on your social media.
Share your excellent ratings, reviews, and status. This is not the time to be modest since your inn is your livelihood. Link to your Trip Advisor rating, share guest reviews, and proudly put on your website if you belong to Select Registry, a bed and breakfast association, and other elite groups.
No time or desire to manage your online marketing? Please contact Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging. We can put a plan in place that will make your inn stand out!
Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography