Starting a new bed and breakfast (B&B), glamping or small hotel business can be an exciting and rewarding venture. However, like any other business, it requires effort and investment to get off the ground. 

One of the most important aspects of any new business is marketing. Effective marketing can help attract new customers, build a loyal customer base, and establish your brand in the market. 

In this blog post, we’ll discuss five top tips for marketing your new accommodation business. By following these tips, you’ll be able to build a solid marketing foundation for your business and set yourself up for long-term success.

1. Get a website & domain

In today’s digital age, having a website for your business is essential. It is estimated that 83% of people use the internet to research and book their accommodation¹. Potential customers like to research, browse your website and check out the services provided, without the pressure to book. 

Having your own domain name that represents the business is important for branding purposes and gives your website authority. It also makes it easier for people to find and remember your website, it gives your business a more professional and established image.

Having a website builds credibility to your business and is an opportunity to showcase your accommodation’s unique features, amenities, and services to potential guests. Making it easy for them to decide to book their stay. Which brings me on to the next tip.

2. Connect a booking platform

First and foremost, it makes it easier and faster for potential guests to book their stay with you. Rather than having to navigate to a separate booking platform, they can make their reservation directly on your website, which can lead to a smoother and more seamless booking process – great for marketing your B&B!

By integrating a booking platform, such as freetobook, into your website, you can provide guests with up-to-date availability information and pricing. In addition, this will allow you to be in control and manage your booking diary – no need to outsource to a 3rd party. 

You can also automate certain aspects of the booking process, such as sending confirmation emails, freeing up more of your time to focus on other areas of your business. Owning your own booking data will also allow you to establish another source of marketing  – emails. 

 

3. Build an email list – start now!

Email marketing is a highly effective way to market your accommodation business by keeping your guests up to date and engaged. By compiling an email list of both new and existing customers, you will be able to communicate with them directly and frequently. 

Emailing your customers with your additional services, availability and upcoming local/national events – especially before holidays such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day – you will build a rapport, create strong relationships and a loyal customer base.  This will increase the likelihood of them making reservations with you, and recommending your accommodation to friends and family. 

Additionally, an email list is a cost-effective way to market your business. You can create a free download and start using it right away to build your email list. 

Unlike social media algorithms that constantly change and out of your control, your email list is yours – it is a ready made marketing audience that want to communicate with you.  

*Remember about GDPR regulations*

 

4. Set up a social media account

Social media can be a powerful tool for marketing your B&B business, glamping site and small hotel. You can reach, connect and engage with your potential and existing guests.

It’s important to stress, it is not about the amount of followers on your page, but the quality of followers. Do not fall into the trap of Facebook Ads to gain followers, especially as you are starting your accommodation business – you will be throwing money away if you do not understand the process. 

You are looking for potential customers, people that will ultimately spend their money by booking your accommodation and buying your extra services. Gaining followers organically, by referrals and other marketing activities, is far better than paying for them.

By sharing behind-the-scenes photos and videos, showcasing guest experiences and reviews, and promoting special services, you can create a sense of community and build relationships with your audience. 

Creating posts that promote and showcase the local area, will further entice guests to come to visit. Why not tell them about future events and activities in your area that they may like to take part in? Make sure to include a clear call to action for customers – the goal is to gain bookings. 

 

5. Never discount! Ever!

Discounting your business may seem like a good way to attract more customers and increase revenue, but it can actually have a negative impact in the long run. 

Discounts can devalue your business: When you offer discounts, you’re essentially telling customers that your regular prices are too high, making your business appear less valuable in the eyes of your customers and making it harder for you to charge full rates in the future.

Discounts can attract the wrong kind of customers: While discounts may bring in more customers, they may not necessarily be the type of customers you want to attract. Discount-seekers may be less likely to appreciate the value of your services and may be less likely to become repeat customers.

It’s way more appealing to offer extra services with a booking to encourage customers to visit, as well as building a relationship. Think about adding extra services such as free WI-FI, afternoon tea, or dogs stay for free – this will help you stand out from your competition.