Annual cost for online marketing, such as directories (no adwords or print) but actual listing typically:

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10/07/2008
$100-$300
6% (1 vote)
$300-$500
19% (3 votes)
$500-$700
31% (5 votes)
$700-$1000
25% (4 votes)
$1000-$1500
6% (1 vote)
$1500-$2000
0% (0 votes)
More than $2000
13% (2 votes)
Other
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 16

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gillumhouse's picture
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The horse magazine I advertise in is also posted online. It is given out at horse events also. It is a small glossy - think 5 x 8 1/2. They have just started another horse magazine that is full magazine size with rates to match. I chose to stay where I am because it is more targeted to MY market than the new magazine will be. I told the owner that and she was happy to hear it - she had a fear they would be quashing their previous market (advertisers) with the new one.

Print ads are OK if #1 they are affordable AND #2 reach the market you are trying to reach. Newsprint (rather than glossy) and niche makes more sense than what I call "shotgun" - hoping you hit something!

Ice
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The web site is where I put most of my marketing $.  I found out the hard way how not doing it right could really hurt you! 

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Madeleine's picture
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I realize this is digressing slightly (and I never do that), but I was realizing that when we started here we were told to expect to pay at least 10% of our gross revenue for marketing and advertising. And, the places we looked at kind of proved that. Making $200k? Spending close to $20k. Making $80k? Spending around $8k.

Looking over what we now spend vs what we were originally spending, we have reduced by at least half to two-thirds what we spend on M&A and we're holding pretty steady on occupancy. Rates have gone up, so revenue is higher, but expenses have also gone up so net is about equal. And we're spending the marketing budget differently.

And, rather than spending our way to higher occupancy/revenue, we're working on different paths by leveraging SEO info and search terms. (I hate the word 'leveraging' but it fit. Leveraging is compromising that works in the other guy's favor.)

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Madeleine wrote:

I realize this is digressing slightly (and I never do that), but I was realizing that when we started here we were told to expect to pay at least 10% of our gross revenue for marketing and advertising. And, the places we looked at kind of proved that. Making $200k? Spending close to $20k. Making $80k? Spending around $8k.

I believe those figures have changed, like everything else. The internet baby, isn't life grand!  The old days of advertising in print stinketh!!

muirford's picture
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Madeleine wrote:
I realize this is digressing slightly (and I never do that), but I was realizing that when we started here we were told to expect to pay at least 10% of our gross revenue for marketing and advertising. And, the places we looked at kind of proved that. Making $200k? Spending close to $20k. Making $80k? Spending around $8k.

We spend less than 5% of our gross.  2011 is about 10% less than 2010, but I haven't looked further back than that.  Our 2011 gross was a little better than 2010 and 50% better than when we bought the B&B.

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Joey Camb's picture
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we signed up with a site (can't remember the name) and you fill in your business type and any offers the newspapers are doing they send you the relevant ones. From this we got a free add in the daily mail newspaper and in the daily express. Not a huge amount of bookings as many wanted when we were already full however the web traffic was worth it and seeing as it was free to be in a national newspaper I figure it is worth it. We periodically get calls from the papers for other free offers which arn't necessarily useful now we are on their list however if they are relevant to someone else I know I forward them. ie this month they sent an afternoon tea on its free to advertise and the customer has to collect 4 tokens to get a discount on afternoon tea. I don't do afternoon tea so sent it to 3 coffee/tea shops that I am friends with and i hope it will get them some exposure. I figure for something I only have to fill in the form for and fax back even if I get 1 booking it is worth the 5 mins to do.

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Madeleine's picture
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I have to say that I am surprised by the answers. It seems as if almost everyone answering has dropped all of the major B&B directories. Or are on them with the basic membership level.

I'm not going to ask but it would definitely be interesting to know what kind of income people are seeing with a $500 investment in online marketing. Because I'm feeling like an idiot right now.

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

We are in four directories (including TA) and of the four, I question two of them and their value.

In the case of one that is national here, the majority of the perspective emails that I receive from them are last minute people who want my most booked room. I don't know if I have ever gotten a decent reservation from them that I wouldn't have received otherwise. Of the people who indicated that they found me via the website, I have 25 room nights. The other directory brought me in 2 room nights.

Many of those directories have NO listings in my area, but they want me to pay the same as my southern confrieres. But most of their traffic isn't directed at my country at all... and so, I don't pay. I actually had more reservations from a book reference than from my national B&B website.

And oddly enough, I have about over 100 room nights attributed to people finding me via the GDS and then booking directly.

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muirford's picture
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Madeleine wrote:
I have to say that I am surprised by the answers. It seems as if almost everyone answering has dropped all of the major B&B directories. Or are on them with the basic membership level.

I'm not going to ask but it would definitely be interesting to know what kind of income people are seeing with a $500 investment in online marketing. Because I'm feeling like an idiot right now.

a) we are a very small (even if we are vocal) sample

b) many of the innmates responding have very few, if any, competing B&Bs in their market.  Having a presence in the B&B directories helps if you are in a crowded market.

c) the question leaves out many other marketing aspects including your website, organizations like Select Registry or AAA.  Some B&Bs may spend $5000 or $6000 annually to have a SEO-optimized website that leaves online directories in the dust.  I spend a lot to belong to SR - I wouldn't include it in this category because it's not really an online directory.

No feeling stupid for you!

Madeleine's picture
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I hadn't considered that a lot of us are the only, or near only game in town. I always think everyone is just like me, with lots of competition in a somewhat oversaturated market.

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 So the next poll should be "How much is your annual expenditure on marketing" full stop, this means all of it. That is including everything we do to bring in guests, online, a link here or there, the website, the associations. That is a different animal, and a much higher number for everyone (for some VERY high).

Madeleine's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

 So the next poll should be "How much is your annual expenditure on marketing" full stop, this means all of it. That is including everything we do to bring in guests, online, a link here or there, the website, the associations. That is a different animal, and a much higher number for everyone (for some VERY high).

How about this question instead: what % of your annual gross receipts is spent on marketing? Or, marketing and advertising? That would give me an idea of whether or not I'm in the ballpark on spending.

muirford's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:
So the next poll should be "How much is your annual expenditure on marketing" full stop, this means all of it. That is including everything we do to bring in guests, online, a link here or there, the website, the associations. That is a different animal, and a much higher number for everyone (for some VERY high).

Yes, if innmates want to compare entire marketing budgets.  I thought your poll was more to the cost, and perhaps relative value, of online directories as a part of the marketing budget.  A small number in this poll may just mean a movement by that B&B away from online directories - more of a must-have before we all got smarter about SEO and organic listings - to other marketing spends.

gillumhouse's picture
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Why would you feel like an idiot? I am the ONLY in my area. I have a whole 3 rooms. I was an idiot to pay $400 for 1 directory - or would have been had I stayed. I used to spend over $3000 per year to market my 3 rooms. I now feel comfortable in my standing - usually first page of generic listings on searches and that is VERY much due to my new web site and the blog. I do not have the number of roms you have to fill nor the expenses you have to maintain it.

gillumhouse's picture
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I counted my web hosting - not the site - because that is online advertising. I did not count my Association site becauser that is part of my dues. I am now only on one of the "major" directories and on several niche directories. I get more on the generic with hits than anything else.

I still do print BUT the print is in small niche magazines (horse oriented where it costs $165 per quarter for a 1/4page ad) or newsprint (bike/hike) where I get a 1/4 page in 2 issues for $530 total by signing up early. I also advertise in a VERY nice magazine about my State that is NOT cheap - biz card for $150 a quarter (quarterly magazine) and may end that soon. I will NEVER do a newspaper (other than biz card in the local weekly when the every 4-years Alumni Weekend is up-coming). Bird cage material!

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I didn't include the chamber of commerce so had to change my vote. We only do it for the link also.

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Hummm, why would your website not be online marketing?  It is a marketing tool and it is online!  Just don't understand the separation here.  Same with Adwords or other online marketing, it is just what you are asking. 

Ok, I am being too picky (maybe I just need to go to bed), you are wanting to know $$ spent on directories & links, you got it. 

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copperhead wrote:

Hummm, why would your website not be online marketing?  It is a marketing tool and it is online!  Just don't understand the separation here.  Same with Adwords or other online marketing, it is just what you are asking. 

Ok, I am being too picky (maybe I just need to go to bed), you are wanting to know $$ spent on directories & links, you got it. 

Because we all have to have a website. Heck some pay $10,000 for their B&B website, should I add that into the mix? or $3000 for website photos? See what I mean? I am asking about directory costs, as many of us are dropping the directories.

 Your website is your online presence, if this poll is to be accurate you cannot put in $10,000-15,000 website fees.

Silverspoon's picture
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 I included local and regional chambers of commerce in my total since I use them primarily for the on-line presence they offer us.

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Ice
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I'm low but I have found that spending $$$ doesn't mean it will bring in $$$$!  Love my FREE directories!

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i'm in springfield ma and am the only b&b and would like to know what people are doing for online advertising more than how much they're spending. . which keywords, which directories. yikes it is a great big world out there and i'm lost at sea!

Madeleine's picture
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naomisinn wrote:

i'm in springfield ma and am the only b&b and would like to know what people are doing for online advertising more than how much they're spending. . which keywords, which directories. yikes it is a great big world out there and i'm lost at sea!

You can check the tabs at the top, there is an entire category devoted to 'B&B directories' and other topics. What we're generally finding is that many B&B's are getting away from diretories. However, if you're a new B&B in a place that might not come first to mind for travelers, a directory where you can pay to be listed in a nwarby town that IS high n travelers' lists might (might) be worth checking into.

EmptyNest's picture
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05/22/2008

 So what free directories do you use that ACTUALLY get you guests you want ??? Or even show up when a google search is done??

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i should have kept reading before posting a similiar comment. thank you maybe with 2 of us we'll get a helpful answer. for me it has been partnering with our local hospital so i am on their internal website.  i pay alot for bedandbreakfast.com though i am not a fan. we get some that way and some stragglers from booking.com. but again....help!

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Naomisinn are you new to the forum? 

You can start a new thread or poll on any topic you like, but remember there are years of topics in the kitty here for more info. Use the google search and you will find some of the older threads - some very lengthy with tons of content.

Share a little bit about yourself and you will get better answers geared toward your inn, ie small in 3 to 4 rooms, large inn 15 rooms and restaurant, etc.   

Madeleine's picture
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Regardless of what else is or is not included, I'm already over the max dollar amount.

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 Not business license fees, not website hosting fees, only marketing bucks online. 

Madeleine's picture
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So strictly paid directories?

Would you count paying to have your inn listed on a destination website like a museum?

Sorry, just trying to get an idea what exactly I should include.

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Madeleine wrote:

So strictly paid directories?

Would you count paying to have your inn listed on a destination website like a museum?

Sorry, just trying to get an idea what exactly I should include.

When you do your taxes, you can have all of these in the kitty to show for online marketing. I would say a listing on a museum website/ or a link counts.  Just not adwords and such.  

Madeleine's picture
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Before I answer...does it include the actual website? And would it include amounts paid to have someone else handle the B&B's social media, if there is such a person?

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