When your small business is a hotel or a bed and breakfast it’s sometimes difficult to figure out exactly how to market yourself since you don’t sell a physical product. The best way to think about hospitality marketing is to keep in mind that what you are selling is an experience.
What you are selling specifically may depend on your location – are you selling an escape from hustle and bustle? May you’re selling excitement and new experiences? Or perhaps it’s a chance to rekindle romance that you’re offering? If you haven’t already done this, figuring out what people are really buying when they stay with you is a good exercise to do before planning your marketing strategy.
How does knowing that you’re selling experiences affect your marketing?
First, it means that you should really sit down and think about stories. Your own business’s story, the stories that you’ve heard from guests about their experiences, and the stories of your key staff members. Experiences are all about stories, and these should be the focus of your marketing, especially when it comes to your social media presence and your website’s blog (which you should definitely have).
Next, invest in great images. There are many talented freelance photographers out there who are willing to work for full or partial trade with smaller hotels to bring their services within reach for you. Take some time to find a good one in your area who can really capture the spirit of your property so that guests can imagine themselves having an experience of their own there.
Finally, reward loyalty and invest in personal relationships with your patrons. By giving upgrades to repeat clients, being prompt and responsive on social media, and offering special prices or packages to your email database, you can endear people to your business and your brand. The great thing about the hospitality industry is that people will never stop taking vacations, so you have the possibility of repeat customers for life if you do your marketing right.
From the blog:
- Find your company’s unique selling proposition with this helpful infographic
- Learn how a blog can help make your business and website more successful.
- Get help starting up an email marketing program and finding a good ESP for you.