Through analysing hundreds of hotels paid ads setups, we’ve found that almost all who are ‘doing’ paid ads are usually leaving quite a few cards on the table. It seems they are live on various platforms but that the content and granularity are just holding back a bit too much to be the highly cost-effective profit machines that a hotel will want them to be.
In this blog, I’m going to share 4 ways you can break out from the pack with your paid advertising. So, buckle your seatbelts and prepare to make EPIC advertising that will garner EPIC returns.
1. Niche down your targeting & messaging
When we run audits on hotels social media advertising accounts, often we see the targeting is very broad.
I’m not going to name and shame any real examples but an example would be a picture of your hotel with the copy ‘come and stay with us this winter, 30% off’ which may get some attention but it won’t get as much as a carousel with 5 images, all related to activities under 30’s couples would enjoy, with the tagline ‘looking for an epic & romantic weekend getaway? We’re doing 30% off for under 30s’. This headline is specific and also more likely to grab eyeballs, leading to more clicks and conversions.
A great example is Hiltons’ Facebook ad which shows a girl playing on a bed with the USP of ‘making new family memories with connecting rooms’. If we could see the targeting, I’d be willing to bet it’s primarily aimed at young mums with medium/high household incomes.
2. Be boldly creative with your ads
I’ll preface this section by saying you need to be looking to say and make creative that reflects your hotels’ personality AND is educating, entertaining and inspiring. If you feel slightly nervous about setting live your ads, that’s perfect. If not, you may have played things too safe.
In an ideal world, you will be able to hire a production team to make an advert but you can still get strong results by just using your phones’ camera. Just pull together some video shots of your hotel, provide some audio and then share this with a video editor on Fiverr and boom, you’ve got yourself some ad content. Video usually converts better than images so, if you can get one made, do.
However, I mean no ‘diss’ to images, they’re great too! Not to mention, all the ad platforms offer plenty of versatile layout options, such as instant experience ads from Facebook. By playing about with the ad formats, you can make some very interesting ads, take this carousel ad by Cougar apartments for example and note how the carousel ad format really helps to provide context and tell a story.
3. Be a person, not a property
This point will be brief but it’s just a reminder that people want to but from people, not faceless corporations. We all grew up watching those horrendous ads on the TV that had people speaking with unnatural staged voices because that was the norm. It goes on to this day, with companies trying to play it safe but in the process taking the biggest risk of all, making something bland.
So, for your hotel, take some time to craft your personality incorporating what your ideal customer persona wants to hear in the process. In doing this, you can make ads that scream personality and grab your potential guests attention.
Take this creative from one of Marriotts’ current advertising campaigns, through it, they successfully present Westin as a well-being destination for productive individuals, just by using the words they use.
4. Split test
The most important thing you need to be doing with your ads is to ABC (always be testing)! Good paid advertisers get you quality ads live but great ones, are akin to scientists; they are always running experiments, each time getting incrementally better results.
You may for example test 5 different creatives against 3 different audiences. Upon finding certain creatives that appeal to certain audiences, you can then develop more creatives for these audiences. Or, you may decide to break out your audiences into even smaller and more specific ones in order to identify who is resonating best with your ads.
And by the way, this isn’t just for social media either – Google Ads allows you to run experiments within the platform, so, you can see what copy, audiences and targeting are working best on paid search.
The long term impact of this for your evergreen paid ads activity is that year over year, it’ll become stronger and stronger helping to squeeze every penny of ad spend to the max.
I’m not going to lie, this will take a lot of time to execute all the above and become great, not just good. However, the reduction in cost per booking & cost per lead will outweigh this extra investment – it just takes for you to step out of your comfort zone and take a leap of faith. Good luck!
They say a problem shared is a problem halved so, if you’d like to discuss anything paid media for your hotel, our door is always open! 🙂