Organizations and Marketing

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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We are joining Bedandbreakfast.com.   We are not joining B&Bsomething .com.   Any others?   You talk about accepting your TA listing?  Is that for a cost?   I am watching the discussion of PAII.   You say they don't care about the small guy.  we are quite small.  6 rooms.  

We are also buying an ad in the local tourist guide book. 

What do you do?  any places you avoid? (again, we have been in the business for exactly three weeks today.  it's an established (over 100 years) B&B and in disrepair.  we are currently upgrading the structure and landscaping and a bunch of stuff no one will ever see.)

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gillumhouse's picture
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I am a very vocal "so long PAII" but it is ONLY because of the jump in dues. Had it been even $125, I would have given them my money in support of what they do for the industry without expecting ANYTHING in return. They wanted $249 from me. OK, $249 there, $125, here, $195 for this directory, $40 for that directory (interest specific that brings 10-fold + in revenue), plus insurance, plus domain name & hosting, etc.... It adds up. I need enough wiggle room to support events and causes in my own town - that will bring me no revenue but are worthwhile.

I list on several interest specific directories that cost less than $50 per year and they do bring in revenue. I place ads in interest specific publications - for me that is horse, bike/hike, and motorcycle - that used to be less expensive but have upgraded to be not cheap. One, because I advertised before the upgrade now gives me same size (magazine now twice the size as it is now 8.5 x 11) ad (quarter page) for the old price. AND she published an article about our trail that I wrote. I have built up a relationship with the ad lady at a motorcycle magazine and thanks to a tip from her, I had a REAL nice spread with an article i wrote with photos I tool also - better part of 4 pages.

Go to the Library computer and search for the terms one would use to find your type of lodging in your area. That way there will not be any chance you missed clearing something from memory. Consider newsprint type publications - there is an Antique publication, Country Stores/auctions one, biking/hiking, all sorts check out the local restaurants, country store places and see what publications are there FREE using the same type paper as the newspaper is printed on. These are paid for with the ads and are usually less expensive than the glossy publications but have their "loyal followers".

Blog with photos and share it on FB.

 

OH, there is a NEW web site that is free to list on and YOU are in total control of your listing. It is www.innrewards.com. The idea is to come up with a reward for guests who stay X nights (you determine X) and offer them a reward for booking through Innrewards.com (no commission, it is a tracking mechanism). You can change the reward seasonally if you have something that would be cheap in one season but not another or something you make. For instance, I roast the coffee I serve here so if they say Roast when booking, they get a roast of coffee of their choice to take home. 

Oh, I almost forgot - I do a Bereavement Rate fore folks coming in for a funeral. Check with your local funeral homes with your info - it may work for you. (I know many inns get funeral home business sent by the local morticians - mine do not even though we are across the street from one but I do get some because it is on my web site.)

Joey Camb's picture
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we love innrewards! keep spreading the word!

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Awesome place. Nice to put a face to the posts as well. laugh

Do a google search online for what you would be searching for if you wanted to stay IN YOUR AREA.

See what the top 5 results are in google, and then think about those for your own B&B.

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

You also want to claim & verify your google+ listing. If you don't know what that is, do a google search for yourself and there should be a box on the right that has your b&b info. Click around and find it. Claim it, and verify it.

 

So, I just checked your google listing and it shows 1 review. I clicked on the review and it's a very bad one. It was with the previous owner. You need to claim and verify your 'places' page. I don't know if you can get the review removed, but at the very least you can do an owner's response saying that you're sorry they had a bad experience and you are the new owners and state all the wonderful things you're now doing.

OnTheShore's picture
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08/28/2011

To follow JB's suggestions, if you are in the northeast, the 2013 New England Innkeeping Trade Show and Conference is in southern Vermont in mid November -- http://www.newenglandinnkeepingshow.com/

Organizations and Marketing are really two different things -- there are some organizations that you might choose to belong to, not because of the marketing that comes with the package, but for other reasons such as the information they can provide you with, or the advocacy they do on behalf of your industry, for example.

For other "organizations," it really is (primarily) about the marketing, and you must weigh the cost of your "membership" in those organizations as part of your overall marketing strategy and budget, and you must measure their performance on an ongoing basis (at least before renewal time!).

If you are in a tourist destination (sounds like you are -- edit: message composed before seeing your reply above), who / what groups / are the main driving forces in marketing your area as a destination? Align yourself with them (for us it is our local chamber of commerce, and our statewide tourism association).

National/International directories/listing sites may have their place depending on who your particular audience is, but I think most tourists (if that's your audience) decide on a place/area/region to go visit first, and then look for lodgings, rather than choosing a particular lodging first...

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Beachhouse you will find many different opinions on this forum, so please take with a grain of salt. For every 6 that are pro something there are a half dozen that are against...(which is the awesomeness of this forum! You can disagree and discuss!) yes

For every innkeeper who says "You have gotta be on such n such directory, another will say 'It has brought me zero business or attention"...

Who do you believe? That is up to you to work out. Every inn is difference, every location difference, every marketing plan should be customized or stylized for that individual inn.

If you have not taken any innkeeper marketing classes or seminars, it is recommended. PAII is one of the authorities on that with a huge conference (in Charleston SC this coming January), and MidAtlantic Innkeepers Conference (In PA this coming March) is another (I can't recall if you said where you are located).

TheBeachHouse's picture
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We are in New England.  On the coast North of Boston.

Madeleine's picture
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TheBeachHouse wrote:

We are in New England.  On the coast North of Boston.

We're almost neighbors!

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

TheBeachHouse wrote:

We are in New England.  On the coast North of Boston.

We're almost neighbors!

 

I noticed that!  Smiling

Joey Camb's picture
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We are part of our regional organisation they charge in bands ie 1-10 then 11-30 etc but we feel the bands are too wide it should be per bedroom so you pay for exactly the size you are = PAII should do the same

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The best advertising is to have your own website do the work for you.  If your site is top ranked in keywords you want and is preforming well.   If it isn't then you may want to spend some of those dollars on your own site for SEO work.  

As far as directory listings go, b&b.com is the top ranking site for ME and the only one I am listed on.  I don't find that the guest/cost ratio is what it should be but it preforms the best in my region.  Check out where other B&B's are listed in your area.  Are the B&B's doing well - that is as busy as YOU would like to be?  Try only the bigger named directories though, the small ones really are not worth the time or the cost - even if it is only $20. 

As for TA, you should claim your listing if it is on the site.  It is FREE to claim and provides you the opportunity to reply to any reviews posted by guests.  The business listing, placing your contact info and website link with your listing, does cost. 

PAii - the org. does have value for our industry, and several mentions on how they they help the industry as a whole. PAii is not a marketing tool, they are more like a Chamber of Commerce. I believe what they meant was that as far as small B&B's go they don't realize just how many small B&B's are struggling to make it as it is and their yearly dues are just more than what most of us (small B&B's) can afford. 

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

TheBeachHouse wrote:

I am watching the discussion of PAII.   You say they don't care about the small guy.  we are quite small.  6 rooms.  

It's probably a little harsh to say they don't care about the smaller properties. Of course they care. But tripling their rates in one jump did cause a lot of smaller properties to decide they couldn't afford to be a member of PAII.

It's a shame they couldn't work out some form of membership for places that don't want/need/can't afford the full package, and just give them access to the forum area or something. Keeping them at least partly in the group gives the potential that they might upgrade to full membership later. As it is now, I don't have any contact at all with them anymore, so have forgotten about them...but not forgiven Eye-wink

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Madeleine's picture
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Here's what we tell everyone: do a search on your area as if you were a guest looking for a place to stay. Which directories show up at the top of the page? That's where you want to start looking.

YOUR page should show up very close to the top. If it doesn't, that's another very important place to start. Not sure what kind of site you have now but there are helpful hints on ranking better if you use Google's own webmaster tools.

You do not have to pay to claim your listing on TA. Merely set up an account, which will need to be verified (not sure how they are doing that now) and then in the management section 'claim' your listing. If no one has done that yet it may say (under your listing) 'Are you the owner of this property?'.

Arks's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

Here's what we tell everyone: do a search on your area as if you were a guest looking for a place to stay. Which directories show up at the top of the page? That's where you want to start looking.

There's something about needing to log out of Google and clear your browser history, or something like that, before you do a search for your property. Otherwise it will recall that you've looked at your website before, and will move it up higher than it would be for a potential guest searching your area for the first time, giving you a false idea of where you really rank.

Madeleine's picture
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Arkansawyer wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

Here's what we tell everyone: do a search on your area as if you were a guest looking for a place to stay. Which directories show up at the top of the page? That's where you want to start looking.

There's something about needing to log out of Google and clear your browser history, or something like that, before you do a search for your property. Otherwise it will recall that you've looked at your website before, and will move it up higher than it would be for a potential guest searching your area for the first time, giving you a false idea of where you really rank.

Yes, clear your browser and don't be logged into anything that tracks you online. I have my browser to set to clear cache/history when I close it down.

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