It’s widely accepted today that if you want to sell to consumers – whether it’s travel, electronics, used cars or pet food, you need to be using some sort of social media. As travel and accommodation marketers, this is amplified because what we are selling is a dream, an aspiration – something that your potential guests are fantasizing about as they scroll Instagram on their lunch break, before bed after a chaotic evening looking after their kids or sitting on the packed train en route to work.
Although there’s no official figures, it’s estimated that the average person sees between 6,000 and 10,000 ads every single day. That’s a lot of content! But how much of that content truly resonates with the audience who are aimlessly scrolling past it?
Facebook Advertising is unique because it is so targeted. Whether your goal is filling your bookings on a certain weekend or you’re looking at building your long-term brand awareness, Facebook can target your specific desired audience and present them with the exact content you want them to see. Sounds great right? If you get it right, absolutely. If you get it wrong, you’ll be pouring money down the drain for clicks and impressions that are never going to lead to a booking.
One of our favourite features of Facebook Advertising is the ability to create custom audiences based on the pages viewed on your website. One of our regional Victorian clients, Castlemaine Boutique Accommodation, had an issue earlier this year when Metropolitan Melbourne went into lockdown – meaning the majority of their target market was unable to travel to Central Victoria due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in the greater Melbourne area. As well as this, borders to other states were locked off – meaning the only guests they could accommodate had to come from regional Victoria. To make things even more complicated, they had limits on the number of guests who could stay in each house – meaning the larger group accommodation was still off limits.
With Facebook’s targeting abilities, we could use Facebook Pixel data to create a custom audience comprised specifically of visitors to their website who had visited the pages of smaller accommodation options, then building on top of that, we created a lookalike audience (people who have similar characteristics and traits to those visitors), and finally we made sure the only people who saw that ad were located in regional Victoria. This tailored approach resulted in bookings during an otherwise unusually quiet period for a normally busy accommodation provider who had been largely affected by the pandemic and the restrictions that followed.