Facebook has become far more than a simple social media platform where you can see what your friends and family are doing. With nearly 2.5 billion users globally, many businesses have realised its marketing potential and Facebook Ads are becoming an increasingly popular form of promotion for companies, including hotels.
This highly cost-effective method for reaching target audiences compared to other forms of advertising had increased its popularity and led to the service becoming increasingly sophisticated as more companies put greater resources into the platform, but, with a rise in sophistication often comes a rise in complexity.
That’s why here at Avondata we thought we’d simplify the process, and share our five steps for hoteliers looking to create a successful Facebook targeting strategy using advertising:
There are a few key steps before you can even think about how your advert will look, and the first of these is deciding on the objective for your campaign.
Facebook categorises these into three groups, awareness, consideration and conversion.
If your hotel has had a rebrand or is yet to be built, you may simply wish to let people know using an ‘awareness’ objective. The next step is getting people to consider you, this may include an ad that helps drives traffic, promotes engagement or gets people to download your app.
The final objective is conversion. This is the objective for those looking to increase bookings/sales at their hotel.
Although sales conversion is the ultimate goal, it is important to note that this is the most difficult to achieve, so we suggest designing some ads that achieve the previous objectives beforehand. Or include an offer or incentive if bookings are your only target and you are only running a few ads.
Once you know what you hope to achieve with your ads, you need to decide who you are targeting. Hotel guests come in many forms but when it comes to Facebook ads, the more specific the better.
Your ad campaign can include a range of ads targeted at different demographics, giving you the flexibility to target people based on age, location, job as well as interests and likes.
The third step is deciding when you are going to run your ad. Hotels are busier during certain times of the year so when running an ad campaign you can either choose to run the ad during these times to maximise sales or focus on off season when sales are likely to be lower.
Once you have decided the time period you wish to run the ad, you also need to decide the time. Are you targeting tourists in a different time zone, or people in the UK? Will they be at work when your ad is live or will they be at home? All this needs to be considered when scheduling your ad in order to maximise its effect.
The range of advertising mediums through Facebook is greater now than ever before and even in the digital space you have a vast array of options to choose from when selecting when your ad will be seen.
Your main location options are within Facebook’s mobile and desktop newsfeeds, Instagram, The Audience Network (which allows you to deliver ads on apps and sites beyond Facebook where people spend their time) and messenger (Facebook’s messaging app), with even greater customisability within those spaces.
It’s important to consider steps two and three when choosing where to place your ad. Does your audience use Messenger and Instagram as well as Facebook and are they likely to be on their phones or on their computers when your ad appears? These questions will help you discover the ideal mix and ensure you are targeting your campaign in the best way.
What many people think of first is actually the last thing you need to do when creating an ad strategy, the ad.
This doesn’t mean it is any less important as getting the creative and copy wrong will make all the work in steps one to four null and void.
Video is an increasingly popular form of media and is favoured over images on Facebook. If you don’t have a promo video, a strong image is key to draw your audience’s attention and stop them scrolling past you. Consider something with your hotel’s branding and avoid plain images of your hotel exterior where possible.
When it comes to copy, get to the point quickly. Although you will have already drawn the attention of your audience, you won’t have long to get them to complete your objective or take action. Break up long text into one or two lines and include a call to action in line with your objective such as ‘click the link below to book now’ and your ad will look smart and effective in all its chosen locations.