Do social ads really work in these tricky times? The other day a tour operator asked me if advertising was even worth the time and effort.
The short answer is YES!
The sassy answer is that they work if… the audience is finely tuned to meet your unique marketing goals.
Let’s dig into what this means for travel advisors, tour operators and suppliers.
What’s a Finely Tuned Ad Audience?
Imagine if you could show future ads to people who recently visited your website? These are most likely people who are itching to travel again. The only nudge they need is to see the perfect trip pop up on their social feed.
This is in your toolbox, but missed by so many tourism pros.
The option to set up a Facebook or Instagram ad audience of people who have visited your website within the last 30-180 days is baked right into your own Ads Manager Account.
Creating your Ad Pixel
The first step is to create and install onto your website a tiny bit of code, called a pixel, that’s provided by Facebook. Tune in for a quick how-to video guide to set up your pixel in less than 2 minutes.
#1 — Start here.
#2 – Watch the video below to guide you thru the set-up process. The video instruction shows the steps after you click the link above.
#3 — The last step in the above video shows entering the name of your web master. In addition to adding your web master email, I would also add your own email so that you have a record of the details. Alternately, you can add this pixel code onto your own website. I had my web team do this for me. However, with the instructions provided by Facebook many people are able to install this themselves.
Once this is done, the magic of your pixel will track people who have clicked one of your Facebook posts or ads and have gone to your website. (figure 1)
Creating Your Ad Audience and Pixel Audience
Now you’re ready to create an ad audience of these people who may be itching to travel with you. To set up this audience, simply go to your own Ads Manager account, then click the ‘Audiences’ option. Click the blue button “Create Audience. Choose ‘Custom Audience’ then choose ‘Website’. It will look like figure 1:
Twitter & Pinterest also offer the tools to create a pixel and build an audience from a pixel. Both platforms provide simple to use instructions and install guides.
Fine-tune your pixel audience to ensure it’s timely for your campaign. Learn to include and exclude parameters to suit top, middle and bottom of funnel strategies.
Now imagine being able to reach back out to people who are interested in a specific destination? For example, let’s say you’ve been posting videos about an upcoming tour destination and you notice that specific videos are getting quite a few views. This is great news!
Let’s turn this information into a way to reach these video viewers and turn them from lookers into bookers.
This is one of the most powerful ways I’ve found to ensure you’re reaching the right people with the right ad. All you do is click the ‘Video’ option in Figure 2 above. Simple!
Then you’ll find a template where you can choose to target people based on:
- How long they watched your video
- Which video they watched
- How long ago they viewed your video.
Let’s break this down into a strategy you can use
- When considering the options for how long people watched your videos, you’ll create a larger audience by choosing the option ‘People who viewed 10 seconds of your video’. This large audience will work great in your top of funnel marketing as you’ll be reaching a wide and somewhat interested audience. By choosing the option ‘People who have watched 95% of your video’ you’ll be creating an audience of super-interested people consistent with many bottom of funnel strategies.
- Fine tuning your audience to match your upcoming group tour is possible when you select videos about that destination when creating your ad audience. Let’s say you’ve posted a number of videos about an upcoming group tour destination along with a variety of other types of videos. In creating an audience of people interested in that specific destination, select only the videos showcasing that destination.
- They say timing is everything. The last option is to choose how long ago they watched your video. If we think about how much things have changed over the past year you may want to select up to 365 days in order to capture interested viewers pre-COVID. If you’re looking to create an audience more geared toward bottom of the funnel fans who may be ready to go right now, you’ll want to choose a shorter time frame. If that’s the case consider people who have viewed your video within the last 30-90 days.
- Don’t miss these audience best practices.
Pinterest & Twitter also offer the option to target followers who have watched your videos.
Facebook Page & Instagram Engagement
Have you noticed there are a core group of your social fans who consistently like, comment and share your content? Wouldn’t that be valuable if you could reach back out to them in your next ad campaign?
In Figure 1 you’ll see the option “Facebook Page” and “Instagram”. These audience types give you the option to select the style of engagement (from ‘visited your page’ to ‘saved your page’) when creating top, middle or bottom of funnel ads.
Once you have your Finely Tuned Audience, there will be no doubt in your mind if social ads are worth your time, the results will speak for themselves.
When will you get started?
Social Marketing Strategies for Travel and Tourism
About Catherine Heeg
Catherine Heeg is a recognized social media trail blazer passionate about social media and marketing in the tourism and hospitality industry. She takes the mystery out of marketing!
She creates and delivers meaningful, dynamic workshops that meet your unique needs in the Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Industry.
Catherine and her team help travel, tourism and hospitality pros design and implement social media marketing strategies and tactics that drive traffic to their social and web sites. Learn more…
Professionals who are serious about taking consistent, winning actions every day to build their business and achieve measurable results love working with Catherine.