A recent case study by AdEspresso has analysed hotel advertising, along with other travel businesses, on Facebook to uncover common trends and suggest further opportunities to increase conversions.
Of the ads studied 54% were from airlines, 16% from hotels/resorts, 14% from travel agents, and 11% from tour agents.
What topics are included in Facebook ads?
Interestingly 57% of ads were categorised as general branding exercises while 37% were destination/route specific. The rest were targeted towards experiences.
Generally, this is not the recommended course of action. It’s been proven that delivering a more personalised offering to a highly targeted audience will be more successful in driving revenue for your hotel.
This shows hotels and travel sites have plenty of room to improve their digital marketing to match the current expectations of consumers.
Facebook ads in the tourism industry are not as targeted as they could be.
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How creative are travel sites when advertising on Facebook?
Only a small amount of businesses put in the effort on Facebook to produce highly engaging content:
- 69% of ads used images
- 18% of ads used video
- 13% of ads used carousel images
It was also found that the majority of images used were stock images. While using images is significantly faster and cheaper, video marketing performs a lot better. This is especially true for Facebook where more people now view video than on YouTube.
For destinations and properties, using video or interactive content could be well worth the effort.
What offers are travel sites making on Facebook ads?
The general breakdown of objectives for the ads were:
- 45% brand awareness
- 39% sale/deal
- 16% article/content
Within this hotels were heavily-focused on advertising a sale/deal at 62% and 75% of these offered some kind of discount.
What can hotels learn about Facebook advertising?
In general hotels put a lot more focus on destinations, experiences, and deals, as opposed to airlines which were very brand heavy. With bigger budgets, airlines were also able to utilise video content more often than hotels.
A key observation from the study was the lack of evidence for a longer sales funnel, campaign, or specific lead generation tool. The researcher suggests this is unfortunate as travellers often take longer to book and need more convincing – hence why nurturing is so important.
They found most of the ads take you to either a great piece of content that doesn’t move the buyer any further along the path to purchase, or directly to the booking page which is too fast, or simply straight to the website home page.
Hotels need to look deeper into the potential benefits of Facebook advertising and the diversity of content that can be shared there.
By using Facebook’s targeting options further and tailoring ads to fit, it should be a lot easier to capture the interest of target audiences because potential guests on Facebook are actively engaged to interact with content on the platform.