February 3, 2017

Making Sense of Marketing Dollars


Whether you're an aspiring, new or seasoned innkeeper I know that you are constantly bombarded with advertising options. Marketing dollars are essential yet VERY precious, so whether it's on BnBFinder or any other site, I've compiled an important checklist to help you get the most out of your budget.
Here are some critical questions to keep in mind when deciding where to allocate your advertising dollars:
  1. Begin with the end in mind. Does your advertising express the guest experience?
  2. You don't get a second chance to make a first impression. Each place your inn is listed should be equally enticing…is it?
  3. Photographs dominate. Guests are looking for an experience, so your goal is for them to envision the wonderful experience they will have at your property. Does every advertising portal have your best images? If not, your precious time will be well-spent updating them.
  4. Are you painting a picture of the guest experience? Every word is vital. Gone are the days when you need to "keyword stuff." Guests of all generations are visual, so make every image and word count.
  5. Forget demographics. Are you looking at the psychographics of your guests? Simply put, this means catering to niche markets that will enjoy your inn and guests who will refer others to it. You can't be everything to everyone so make sure your message and brand are clear.
  6. Do you utilize the features of what you’re already paying for? On BnBFinder.com, this means many things. For example, it means taking advantage of our strong PR team. We send out Daily Media Requests giving you a chance to be included in our constant and very successful media pitches. Every company and site has a lot to offer. Scour these offerings (or call them and ask them for an evaluation of your listing) to take advantage of everything that is appropriate and included.
  7. Lastly…. Start with #1. Make sure you are marketing the guest experience to the guest you want to attract, EVERYWHERE you can.


I have been promoting bed & breakfast inns for nearly 20 years, and I look forward to discussing these topics further with you. Conferences are a great place to do this. They enhance your professional development by providing a wonderful opportunity to learn and network. I discuss their merits in great detail in Chapter 16 of my book. I personally am looking forward to the Innkeeping Conference and Trade Show March 26 – March 29 in St. Louis, MO, and I hope to see and meet many of you there. While I hope we visit in person soon, feel free to email me at mary@bnbfinder.com any time. I am excited to hear your thoughts!

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