15 Inn Marketing Tips for Success for 2013
1. Create Reasons for Your Guests to Stay Longer. Take an inventory of everything in your surrounding area including historic sites, amusements, activities, adventure and the arts. The research will provide valuable info and ideas for day trips and guest activities. The innkeepers held a contast with staff to see who could entice the most guests to come after Fall Colors. As a result, November became the second highest month for occupancy! Wedgwood Inn
2. It's All About the Links--Sign up for More Lodging Guides. When B&Bs pay for SEO the first advice is that the best ROI is getting listed on 6-10 directories. The links are highly valued on Yahoo and Google and deliver more quality travelers than from paid ads. The better the links coming back to your Web site, the better your Web site performs on search engines. Whitestone Marketing
3. Reviews Double Your Clicks. More than 80% of those who research travel online are said to be affected by reviews. On the new iPhone application "InnTouch" we discovered that inns with reviews get twice as many clicks. Ask guests when they check out (if they enjoyed their stay) to go to www.iLoveInns.com and review your inn. David, iLoveInns
4. Head Negative Comments Off at the Pass. Ask for feedback during stays and send after-stay e-mail. Check with the guest during his stay to make sure everything is going well. 7-10 days later, send a thank-you note or e-mail. Ask if there is anything that could have been done to make the stay more pleasant. (Prevents bad reviews). Galena Innkeeper.
5. Take the top listing level on every directory that you join. This elevates your inn near the top on search returns, giving your inn much greater visibility on sites that travelers trust. This also allows you to share more information on your inn and post more photos. Landis Shores, Half Moon Bay
6. Update Photography. New Mexico innkeepers increased occupancy 30% by adding great photos. Photos are the first thing seen on your Web site. High quality photos inspire confidence in the potential guest that they will have a quality experience at your inn. Hire a professional photographer–do one room at a time if that is all you can afford. Chocolate Turtle B&B
7. Business Travelers Boost Revenues. Find business travelers by contacting executive assistants at major companies in your area. Invite them to come for a visit, even sample your breakfast. Annually remember those that refer to you with a small gift. Offer a consistent corporate rate, which will be even more appealing if breakfast is included. Don’t penalize last-minute cancellations as they can be a fact of business travel. Karen Stoeckley, Eagle's Nest
8. Refurbish and Upgrade Rooms to match your target audience. You don’t have to shut down, just take one room off the market at a time to lessen the financial impact with cosmetic changes that won’t disrupt guests. Increased occupancy 30%. Tim & Amy Brady, 40 Putney Road
9. Use Google and Yahoo pay-per-click advertising. Select key words that narrowly describe your property. Place a bid to be in a position 4-6 for best return on investment. Set a daily budget and try it for a month. Zero Performance Marketing
10. Take a Daily Hike. Take a walk around your neighborhood to meet your neighbors. San Diego innkeeper raised occupancy by introducing herself and her B&B whenever she met someone while walking. Many neighbors began to send their overflow relatives or out-of-town guests. Carol, The Cottage
11. Rebuild Your Web site and use a Web site company that knows how to optimize your site. Inns often double occupancy with new Web sites so spending $5000 to $7000 or more usually gives you an extremely high return. Hummingbird Inn
12. Target the European market. Respond to foreign language forums, offer a translation tool on your Web site, add a currency converter, and get your local visitor’s bureau involved. Hotel Charlotte
13. Read and Implement Innkeeper Marketing Tips on iLoveInns.com. New trends and ideas that work in Maine might also work for you in Texas or Pennsylvania so review our innkeeper tips in iLoveInns.com e-mails. Add your own creativity and implement strategies that work for your situation. Kennebunkport Innkeeper
14. Create Destination Packages with Other Inns. Develop an itinerary package for an easy drive between B&Bs for a multi-night trip and feature as many reasons to stay longer as possible. Gillum House
15. Increase Advertising in a Tough Economy & Increase Market Share. Several research studies conducted during the '80s recession and the Great Depression showed that companies that increased advertising substantially increased sales and their lead was maintained into the 3 years following the downturn. Virginia Pilot
16. Be sure any guest with an iPhone has downloaded the InnTouch application!
iLoveinns see how inns in these cities create their listings, choose their photos and market themselves.
Saratoga Spring, New York - Galena, Illinois - Colorado Springs, Colorado - Orlando, Florida - Gatlinburg, Tennessee - Palm Springs, California - Flagstaff, Arizona - Albuquerque, New Mexico - Vancouver, British Columbia - Manchester, Vermont - Fredericksburg, Virginia - Lincoln City, Oregon