The influence of Facebook continues to grow in the travel sphere. As we discussed in a previous post, the social media giant now boasts an expanding range of travel-related tools and services that allow users to find inspiration, seek trip recommendations from friends, and even book hotels.
As more people flock to Facebook throughout their travel journey, there’s one marketing tool that all hoteliers should be aware of: Facebook’s industry-specific Travel Ads for hotels (previously Facebook Dynamic Ads for Travel).
Facebook Travel Ads offer travel brands a way to reach different audiences at various stages in their travel journey with customized messages, helping to drive early attention and boost direct bookings. Based on our analysis, Facebook Travel Ads are able to deliver a higher ROAS than standard retargeting, making them an invaluable resource for all hotel marketers.
In the following post, we’ll discuss how Facebook Travel Ads work, describe key advantages and preview the results to be featured in our Facebook Travel Ads case study.
What are Facebook Travel Ads?
Facebook Travel Ads are a native marketing solution for the travel industry that delivers highly tailored ads across Facebook, Instagram, and various websites within Facebook’s Audience Network.
You can use Facebook Travel Ads to reach:
Facebook’s dynamic retargeting ads are different than standard retargeting as they let you target users with ads based on the actions they’ve taken on your site, their stay dates, room types, and other more specific details that they may have provided.
The ads pull in copy with dynamic values using real-time data from the hotel booking engine (such as the daily rate, number of visitors, and stay dates). Because these ads feature highly relevant information, they’re able to generate higher conversion rates and drive a higher ROAS than standard retargeting.
Convert more travelers with Facebook Travel Ads
To help your hotel maximize its investment in Facebook Travel Ads, here are three tips to bear in mind.
1. Refine your audience: Refining your audience allows you to target users with the right message at the right time based on their behavior and interactions on your hotel website. Based on this, you can get an idea of their purchase intent and place in the booking journey, and adapt your messaging accordingly.
Some simple but helpful things to consider for each user:
How many times have they visited your website?
What dates are they interested in?
Are they traveling with kids?
Have they reached the checkout?
You can then use the results from these questions to create a more tailored ad copy. For instance, you might want to target people traveling with young children who have visited your website three times in the past two weeks but haven’t progressed to check out. You could then create an ad at this segment promoting your child-friendly amenities with an enticing offer to book one of your family suites.
Facebook Travel Ads let you refine your audience even further by targeting users based on their geographic location, age, gender, behavior, connections, and personal interests. So if you wanted to get incredibly granular, you could create an ad set aimed at 20-40 users with an interest in yoga, ecotourism, and vegan cuisine.
While you might not want to get quite so specific, the ability for highly specific segmentation can help boost conversion rates by promoting the most relevant selling points to different groups.
2. Be smart with your ad spend: Smart targeting is the key to maximizing your ROI. One of the helpful features within Facebook Travel Ads is the ability to filter out people whose check-in dates have already passed. This lets you reduce unnecessary advertising spend, and also ensures that you don’t potentially irritate guests with irrelevant messages when they’ve already taken their trips.
Facebook Travel Ads also allow you to adjust the bid and budget for each customer segment based on its value. As an example, you might want to place a higher bid for users interested in booking in the next 0-7 days as they have a high purchase intent, making them more likely to convert. Alternatively, you could target groups looking to book for a minimum of 14 days to maximize your ROI.
It’s worth pointing out that Facebook recommends that unless your website or app receives a high volume of traffic, you shouldn’t create narrow windows as this may result in “severe under-delivery.”
3. Cross-sell and upsell to maximize ROI: Facebook Travel Ads also provide the option to upsell and cross-sell to anyone who has already booked with you. As we’ve discussed before, the key to cross-selling and upselling is to ensure your offer chimes with the interests and profile of each guest. If a couple booked a room with your hotel on Valentine’s Day, room upgrades and discounts on a couple’s spa treatment are likely to be popular.
But as already mentioned, a key benefit of Facebook Travel Ads is the ability for true personalization. So before you attempt to cross-sell and upsell to guests, look at their browse and purchase behaviors to decide which offers might be most appealing.
How are hotels benefiting from Facebook Travel Ads?
At Travel Tripper, we tested Facebook Travel Ads campaigns with three of our properties to determine how much more effective they would be compared to standard retargeting campaigns.
The results are in.
Each hotel saw significant improvements in its cost-per-conversion, conversion rate, and ROAS when using Facebook Travel Ads compared to standard retargeting.
We’ll be sharing the specific results, strategy, and most successful ad copy variations in our Facebook Travel Ads case study. But for now, here are three reasons why we believe Facebook Travel Ads delivered a boost in conversions across the board.
How DAT boosts conversion
When analyzing the success of each Facebook Travel Ads campaign, there seemed to be three main factors that led to the boost in conversion rates:
1. Efficient use of budget
Each hotel’s budget was spent more efficiently as the ads were only served to people who had expressed a high intent to book. Because we were able to target users based on their booking window, ads were also prevented from reaching people whose desired check-in dates were in the past — thus making ad spend more efficient unnecessarily.
2. Intelligent segmentation
We were able to segment users based on the actions they’d taken on the hotel website. This allowed us to create ads with tailored messaging based on each user’s stage in the booking process.
For example, we could separately target users who had landed on the available rooms page and left the site, and users who had made it to the payment page but left before completing their reservation.
By differentiating these two segments and targeting them with different ad copy based on their actions, we saw a noticeable lift in conversions.
3. Personalized messaging
Facebook Travel Ads pull in information that the user has provided (e.g., the number of travelers in their booking, room type, check-in/check-out dates). By serving personalized copy with unique user-specific details, Facebook Travel Ads are able to generate a higher number of conversions than standard ad copy.
Increasing conversions with Facebook Travel Ads
Facebook Travel Ads offer hotels a way to retarget potential bookers in a highly granular way and at every stage of the travel journey,
By segmenting users based on their recent activities, and then delivering personalized ad copy that’s both relevant and timely, we’ve leveraged Facebook Travel Ads to provide hotels with higher conversion rates with a lower cost-per-conversion, increasing the ROAS by over 70%.