Mike Hardman is Marketing Manager at the catering and hospitality wholesaler Alliance Online. Here, he shares his top tips for attracting more people to your luxury B&B.
You might have a steady stream of regulars who visit your B&B every once in a while. And you might be getting enough footfall to keep your business going, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be trying to attract new customers. Most B&B owners would prefer their rooms to be filled all year round — more visitors mean more money, after all.
Here, I’m going to share my top tips that will help you to attract new customers to your B&B. Take these onboard and it shouldn’t be long before you’re getting plenty more unfamiliar faces through your door. Read on to find out more.
1) Make sure your website is up to scratch
Up to 80% of people book their trips via the internet, according to Travel Weekly. So, it’s important that your online presence is strong, and this should start with you having a good website that offers all of the details potential customers will need.
But what is a “good” website? Firstly, it should be responsive, which means it will work well, whether an online visitor is browsing on their desktop computer, their phone, or a tablet. It also needs to offer a positive user experience, which means your site needs to be easy to navigate and should present all of the information people might be looking for in a clear and concise way. I would also highly recommend having a gallery of photos that have been taken of your B&B and providing plenty of information about the facilities that each room in your B&B comes with.
2) Create listings on the most popular travel sites
As I’ve previously mentioned, more people than ever before are booking their holidays online. And, rather than trawling through the individual websites of all the B&Bs in the area they might want to go to, travellers will often book through a third-party site that allows them to browse a wide range of options at once. So, to ensure you aren’t missing out, it’s vital that you set up a listing on the most popular comparison sites.
Booking.com,Trivago and Expedia are some of the best and most frequently used platforms, so it’s a good idea to start with those. There are also similar sites, such as Bed and Breakfast Nationwide, that specifically target people looking for B&Bs.
3) Use high-quality photos to advertise your B&B
It’s incredibly important that you fill your website and other online listings with photos that show your B&B in the best possible light. This is a particularly wise move if you’re hoping to attract a younger crowd because it has been found that around two fifths of millennials choose a travel spot or accommodation based on how good it’s going to look on Instagram. But anyone who is considering staying at your B&B is going to want to get a good idea of what to expect. So, giving a clear look at how your B&B is presented will be guaranteed to help you secure more business. Investing in a good quality camera or enlisting the help of a professional photographer will help you to step up your game when it comes to imagery.
4) Ask your guests to leave reviews
Some 85 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to BrightLocal. Therefore to ensure potential customers are confident about booking with you when they’re browsing online, it’s well worth encouraging your visitors to leave reviews both on your website and on third-party platforms like TripAdvisor.
It’s also important that you respond to some of your reviews — especially if they’re on the negative side. Addressing any concerns your visitors have will show that you truly care that they’re happy and comfortable while staying at your B&B. Future customers will be far more likely to write off a bad review they see if it’s clear you’ve taken the criticism onboard.
5) Set up social media profiles and keep them updated
As well as setting up a responsive website, you should look at starting your own social media profiles. Use these to keep people up to date with all of the latest information about your B&B, whether you’re trying to promote a new offer, would like to let them know about any renovations you’re having done, or want to advertise any upcoming events.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram tend to be the most popular social media platforms among business owners, and they all have their own strengths. Facebook is great for when you have a lot of information you’d like to get across in one post. It’s also a great platform if you’d like to host a competition to bring more attention to your B&B, and it makes engaging with your community very easy. Twitter’s ideal for when you have short snippets of information to share, while Instagram is a very visual platform that’s perfect for when you want to share photos that will help to show off your B&B. To learn more about how putting some extra time into gram. But, anyone who is considering staying at your B&B is going to want to get a good idea of what to expect. So, giving a clear look at what your B&B is like will be guaranteed to help you secure more business. Investing in a good quality camera or enlisting the help of a professional photographer will help you to step up your game when it comes to imagery.