We live in a world where the only constant is change.
The travel and hospitality industry is rapidly evolving and it can no longer be ignored. In order for travel marketers and industry players to keep up with the changing landscape, they must embrace technology.
The good news is that with technical innovation comes a vast variety of new, big opportunities for travel marketers. Moreover, it ensures the continued growth, endurance, and success of their business, as the industry continues to change form.
So, why is technology so important and what can you do to get ahead? Let’s find out.
The spike in tech trends has already brought with it a new level of consumer expectations, which has completely reshaped the travel customer journey. Today’s holidaymakers are using search engines, watching travel related videos, and visiting hundreds of travel websites, all before they book a hotel, tour, flight, or decide on a travel agent. If you aren’t making your offer visible during these digital touch points, you are going to start losing customers.
Billions of travel related online searches take place on Google every day. So, if you are a hotelier, Google Hotel Ads are an excellent way to automate your presence at each of a user’s digital touchpoints. The ad format ensures that your offers are visible during the entire research and booking process, dramatically increasing the chance of conversion.
Holiday planning and the research phase we just discussed are taking place on both smartphones and desktops. In fact, according to Google Analytics, mobile visits to travel websites increased by 48% in 2014 alone. As the evidence suggests, you need to ensure that your marketing strategy is cross-device compatible, including your ads, ad images, and videos.
Facebook Dynamic Ads for Travel and Google Hotel Ads, which we will get to later, are key ad formats that you should consider for cross-device compatibility and for a maximized performance during the research phase of the travel booking process.
Now more than ever consumers want personalization and efficiency while planning a holiday, which goes hand-in-hand with technology. Since the foundation of the travel and hospitality industry has always been heavily supported by customer satisfaction, it only makes sense that you adapt to fit the needs of your customers.
Digitalization provides simple and effective methods of personalizing your marketing approach, without the manual work. Facebook Dynamic Ads for Travel, for example, enable you to promote customized offers from your travel catalog to users based on their interests, location, or demographic – all by creating a single ad template.
Twitter having around 320 million monthly users, and Facebook having over 1.2 billion active users daily, social media has changed the way people, and customers, communicate. This can work for, or against, you and your business. If someone isn’t happy, they are going to share it. This makes it essential that you are present where your guests want you to be, connecting and engaging with them. Social media channels can also act as a customer service platform, providing you with the opportunity to engage in real-time interactions with your guests.
Social platforms can also play a huge role in both the research and the booking phase of holiday planning, especially as smartphones and other internet-connected devices become ubiquitous. That said, if you aren’t already tweeting about your room, facility, or flight offers, it’s time to start.
Facebook Dynamic Ads for Travel is the best of both worlds in this case. The social network turned online marketing giant enables you to promote your offers directly in the feeds of interested users (i.e. someone who visited your website), allowing them to engage, share, or book directly from their personal Facebook page.
Now that we’ve covered the whys let’s try to understand the hows. With the changing industry uncovering so many new requirements and tech trends, you need an automated marketing strategy. Luckily, Facebook Dynamic Ads for Travel and Google Hotel Ads were built for this. Let’s dive a bit deeper to see what the formats can do for you.
As previously mentioned Facebook Dynamic Ads for Travel (DAT) are cross-device compatible, highly personalized, and great for customer engagement, but that is just the beginning. The format has revolutionized the way travel marketers communicate with their customers on Facebook, including Instagram and the Facebook Audience Network.
DAT is designed specifically for travel and hospitality ads and allows you to dynamically promote your entire “travel catalog” to a target audience, by creating a single ad template. The result is highly personalized adverts shown to previously interested users or lookalikes, at the right time, with the right offer.
A travel catalog is what your travel data feed is called once imported to Facebook. DAT performs best when you import an optimized feed, with relevant images, titles, and up-to-date prices. Also keep in mind that ads featuring star ratings and/or a “starting from” price are up to 8 times more likely to convert, so these are important attributes to include in your feed. If you are marketing for an airline, for example, your ad could include “direct flights to Bangkok starting from $600.”
Optimizing your data feeds is a specialty of the Productsup’s software, so please reach out if you’d like more information on taking your feed quality from 1 star to 5 stars. Among other things, our software has a built-in TripAdvisor API which enables you to automatically import the star ratings from your TripAdvisor account. We also have a geolocation service, making it simple to get the required latitude and longitude coordinates to match your feed specs.
Here is a glimpse into what you can do with Dynamic Ads for Travel:
Keep in mind, these are only a few of the long list of benefits from DAT and we highly recommend you start taking advantage of the format built for you.
If you want to learn more about Facebook Dynamic Ads for Travel, we’ve got what you are looking for!
Download your free copy of Your Complete Guide to Facebook Dynamic Ads for Travel.
With the recent influx of technology, if you are a hotelier, Google should be one of your top travel companions. From the very first thought of taking a holiday, all the way down to finalizing the booking, Google Hotel Ads enable hotel marketers to be where their customers are at every stage of the booking funnel.
The format allows you to automatically promote your hotel(s) in the search engine results page (SERP) of Google and Google Maps. The ads are tailored to how a user is searching for hotels, which breaks down to general searches, i.e. “hotels in Chicago,” specific searches, e.g “James hotel Chicago,” and searches on Google Maps.
When a general search is made, it usually means that the user is not yet looking for a specific hotel. In this case, a list of organic search results is then shown in the SERP. See the example below:
Once they click the “more hotels” link, the user is brought to a page with even more listings, including basic hotel information. At this point, they are likely to click on a specific hotel for more details which then triggers the “hotel details card” which features Google Hotel Ads (pictured below).
Alternatively, if a user searches Google for a specific hotel, the hotel details card featuring the Google Hotel Ads will appear directly on the SERP on the right-hand side. See below:
Notice that Google Hotel Ads differ from a standard sponsored hotel ad (highlighted above in green) and include more information on availability and pricing all at first glance. They also make it much easier for the user to compare prices and understand the hotel’s exact location right from the get go.
Moreover, Google Hotel Ads encourage direct bookings by including a “book now” button, which lets the user book directly on the search page, but still directly through your hotel. This ensures the transaction is yours to keep and the customer information can be saved for upselling later on.
As with DAT, you’ll also need a high-quality data feed in order for Google Hotel Ads to work best. Make sure your availability, prices, and images are all up-to-date and accurate.
Change can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right tools and the right technology, you can ensure your business evolves alongside the travel industry and withstands whatever changes are to come.
Luckily, the nature of Google Hotel Ads and Facebook Dynamic Travel Ads make them one of the quickest ways to get started. So now is the time to get your tech on!