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The Innkeeper's Web Services Marketing Budget

The following Statistics were provided by 2011 the Industry Study of Innkeeping and Operations and Finance (PAII). These surveys were completed by 377 Bed & Breakfasts and Country Inns during early 2011.

2011 Estimated Yearly Expenditures for Web Marketing (Web Services, SEO, SEM, PPC, etc.)

  • $987.17 - Less Than 4 Rooms
  • $2149.13 - 5 to 9 Rooms
  • $8143.01 - 10 Plus Rooms

There's been a lot of talk lately regarding bundled Web Services, where you might pay $199, $399, $799 or even higher a month to have a company combine your Web site, Facebook, Mobile Site support, etc. The more support you want, the more it costs.

And I keep thinking to myself, as a past Innkeeper, any and all of those numbers would have been out of my price range for my 5 room Inn.

So I figured I'd look at a cross section of the PAII Innkeepers from the 2011 survey and see if this type of offering is even affordable to most Inns.

Less Than 4 Room Inns spend approximately $82.26 a month on such services.
5 to 9 Room Inns spend approximately $179.09 a month on such services.
10 Plus Room Inns spend approximately $678.58 a month on such services.

As you can see, unless Inns are able to allocate more funds toward their Web Marketing Budgets, these programs are out of their reach. But to compete, the

So where does that leave the 9 Room and less Innkeeper?  The Answer Is...

It leaves them looking for ways to achieve quality placement, social media involvement and mobile user attention for less cost.

There just isn't a Magic Pill when it come to Internet Placement. It takes effort to build a Web site with quality photography that is going to be found by the search engines, Blog, share in Social Media, get the Press to pay attention and write about you, send Newsletters, track your Bookings and Statistics, build and share Video, and the list goes on. If you were to pay a company to do everything for you, you are easily going to spend $1500 a month to make sure all this work continues in an effective manner.

1 hour a day
5 days a week
20 hours a month
Average Marketing Company Hourly Charge $75
= $1500 a month

A few years ago, Innkeepers could get by on doing so much less and still remain high in the search listings. But the changes in Google, Social Media, Local and Organic Placement in the past 36 months are typically rendering those who do nothing with less placement than those who do something.

Note: Grandfathered (aged) listings still have precidence in today's placement, whether they do all these things or not.

So, as an Innkeeper, you have to ask yourself the Million Dollar Question.

Can you afford to pay someone to do all the work for you?

If not, your only course of action, short of closing your doors, is to Do-It-Yourself (DIY). Get involved in ongoing education and learn how to grow your business.

We have many Innkeepers that DIY through learning via our Acorn University, and THEY ARE THRIVING!

But please, don't take our word for it. Read it for yourselves. Got Guests?

It's Basic Economics 101.

You either have the cash flow to pay for the services or you have to DIY.

I wish we could go back to the good old days, where you put up a Web site, including basic on-page SEO a few links and typically you'd find yourself with Page 1 Placement. But, those days are gone for good.

Today, Innkeepers need to make every penny in your budget and every minute of your time you spend toward your marketing efforts count. If you hire someone, get agreed upon reporting, and validation that the work they are doing for you is providing you bookings. If you DIY, you'll have the advantage of knowing these answers for yourself.

Lisa Kolb
President and Co-Founder
Acorn Internet Services, Inc.
Educating our Industry One Innkeeper at a Time!

2 thoughts on “The Innkeeper's Web Services Marketing Budget

  1. While I can’t speak for anyone else I do know that what I have learned from Acorn University classes has been invaluable to us. We have recently bought a bed and breakfast that had no marketing to speak of, they didn’t even have a website that was theirs. The one they did have was and still is hooked into another site which the gentleman who owns it will not change anything for us. So we had to get a new website and have been climbing our way up since. I make the time to do something for our web presence every single day and it is starting to climb. We don’t have a bag of money to pay to have the things I can do, so we spent our money on the most important items for the bed and breakfast, our website, SEO and upcoming photography. The other presence we do our selves. One of the biggest bonuses of the marketing I have found is that I learn about our area better by writing the blog and facebooking and I also know what my market is and what they want to see by doing it myself. In the beginning it was hard to find the time and know what to write, it’s like any new thing we do you learn as you go and you will get more comfortable and it gets a lot easier.

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