How to get publicity for your property
We know that running a B&B, guesthouse or independent hotel is a lot of hard work day in, day out, but what’s the use if no one is booking to stay? Sometimes you need to get publicity for your B&B to get your business on the map. Read our guide to find out how to raise awareness of your property simply and inexpensively.
Contact local press
Reach out to your local paper, radio station and even TV news desk to tell them about anything interesting happening at your property. They are always looking for interesting new things to cover, and this could do wonders for promoting your business.
To get the attention of the press, keep your message snappy and relevant, focussing on what’s interesting about your property and your story. For most press, tagging them in a tweet is the best way to contact them.
Writing a press release is also a great way to inform your local press of a story. Draft a release, detailing the news story, which can be anything from being shortlisted for an award, to entertaining a celebrity guest. Then share it with your local papers and radio stations. Before sending it on, add a paragraph about your property, your contact details and the date.
Use social media
If you have a Twitter, Instagram or Facebook account, post content about your property, promotions and deals, and remember to include images of what makes your property so special.
Alongside your social media posts, you might want to lay some groundwork in terms of social media reach. It’s a good idea to do some online networking, such as following influential industry bloggers on social media, as well as local tourism sites. Tagging them in tweets, Instagram & Facebook posts, as well as commenting on their posts, will draw their attention to you.
If you can, get in touch with other local businesses and build a rapport with each other, as this will increase the social media coverage not only for you but for your local area as well.
Consider pinning a message to your Facebook or Twitter profile, so that any existing or prospective customers viewing your page can see a focussed post, or you can add to your highlights on Instagram.
Show off virtual badges
If you’ve been nominated for (or won) an award, or your property was involved in an event, organisers may give you a virtual badge to put on your B&B website and share on social media. For example, TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice.
This is a great way to impress potential guests because it shows that your efforts and commitment to your business have been recognised in a competition or by guests. Don’t underestimate how good that looks – it makes you stand out from your competitors!
Invite journalists and bloggers to stay
Offering a free stay to journalists, bloggers or Instagram influencers in exchange for a review is a good way of getting publicity. Our advice is to do some research into the writer before you approach them – see who their audience is and what type of content they create to see if they’re a good fit for your property.
Get AA accredited
There are a number of hospitality accreditation organisations but in the UK The AA is the longest-running and most well-known. Apply for accreditation and an inspector will come to visit your establishment and give you a star rating. Your business will also be listed in their hotels guide and on their website – so you get some valuable feedback and free publicity for your B&B or hotel!
Connect with tourist boards
There are numerous tourist boards and local tourism groups you can get in touch with for some promotion. Tourism organisations nearly always have websites, and often have an online booking functionality, on which they’ll promote local places to stay. If you get in with these organisations, it can do wonders for publicity for your B&B.
Apply for an award
Entering independent accommodation awards might seem like yet another thing for your to-do list, but there’s actually a lot of value in applying, and maybe even winning; especially within the independent accommodation industry. Winning or being shortlisted is a third-party endorsement for your property plus awards organisers will be doing their best to get publicity for their event and the nominees – which means free marketing for you!
Get on TV
There are plenty of TV programmes about the accommodation industry nowadays – anything from Four in a Bed to The Hotel Inspector. Applying to be on these shows, and featuring, is a great way to raise your profile to an audience already interested in hospitality. An eviivo customer appeared on a TV show and it did wonders for their business.
Write a blog
Writing a short blog post every now and then about recent news or offers will make your B&B website more user-friendly. Perhaps you’ve been shortlisted for an award or have just hired a promising new chef; a blog on this will look great for potential business. To improve your blog, why not ask a guest for a bite-sized quote you can include? Remember to always add a picture to the blog as this makes it a lot more reader-friendly.
Make a vlog
Vlogs (or video blogs) don’t have to be complicated. If you’ve got the skills, you can edit videos advertising your property and giving guests the virtual grand tour. If you’re less confident with technology, a simple video of yourself announcing good news, or filming snippets of events, will give guests a feel for your place. Stick it on YouTube and share it on social media sites, such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. You could even offer a competition for people who share and retweet it, like a free night at your property, to encourage it to go viral and get the most publicity for your B&B as you can.
Use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
You might want to take a look at our trade secrets page on how to use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for B&Bs to improve the ranking of your blog on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Remember the key actions to remember are:
- Share your blog or vlog on your social media pages
- Put interesting and readable content on your website
- Include keywords in the title, description and content
- Make content jump out with beautiful images
Send an email newsletter
Email marketing in the hotel industry is a vital way of keeping in touch with guests and potential customers. If you have something to promote, don’t be afraid to push it in an email update.
The way in which you present your offers is just as important as the offer itself – nobody wants to open up a badly designed and poorly written email, no matter how good the deal is. There are several excellent email platform companies who help you design awesome looking emails and send them out to your contacts, rather than doing it manually using your personal account.
eviivo suite has the option to create customised emails and schedule them at a time you’d like them to be sent, automatically. Simply use the drag and drop tool to design email templates that stand out from the crowd, and really show off your business’s personality.
Otherwise, SendInBlue is a simple, easy to use e-mail tool and comes loaded with templates and innovative special features to enable you to create eye-catching emails that pack a punch. It’s super-easy to upload images, fill in the copy and send.
Advertise on Groupon
One idea to generate publicity for your B&B is to advertise a deal using Groupon or some other offers website. Put together an offer that is affordable to you, whilst still offering a great service. Remember that these deals may not make you a great deal of money but used well can be a fantastic way to build your reputation, which is worth more to you in the long run.
So there are eviivo’s tips for generating publicity for your B&B. If you’re looking for a B&B booking software solution, see what eviivo can offer.