Transform Storytelling Into Direct Bookings

August 2, 2021

Facebook & Instagram have become key players in the advertising business over the last 3 years by offering modern and innovative formats to promote a hotel or destination. In this article, we will explain how to launch your first social advertising campaign and how your data could be used for your storytelling strategy.

The DIFFERENCE between Social and Google Ads

Facebook & Instagram ads and Google ads are often viewed in the same way, but there is a fundamental difference between them that is crucial for the success of your digital marketing. It boils down to two things: user behaviour and context.

+ User behaviour

On Google the purchase of keywords makes it possible to answer a very precise request. We are pretty sure that when someone searches for "hotel in Berlin" they are looking for a hotel in Berlin...

Conversely, managing ads on Facebook & Instagram does not respond at all to the same behaviour: information is "pushed" into the flow of certain users. There is no "search" as such. As a brand, I target a group of individuals based on geographic, demographic and/or affinity criteria. For example, I can target people who play golf, like the spa, go skiing, etc. and then have an ad appear in their news feed. It's a bit like a magazine ad, I didn't ask for it as a user.

It is important to bear this difference in mind as it can lead to confusion in the interpretation of campaign results. We sometimes have hoteliers who compare in a "raw" way the returns on investment between a "brand protection" campaign on Google Ads (I buy the keywords of my hotel) versus a Social Ads campaign that aims to make the hotel known. If you make the comparison this way, the performance of Facebook & Instagram ads can be disappointing.

You have to see your advertising campaigns as a macro set aimed at :

  1. Create notoriety (Facebook & Instagram ads)
  2. Generate qualified traffic on my site (Google Ads brand protection)
  3. Recruit the users of my site who did not convert (multi-platform remarketing)

+ The Context

The second difference between social ads and Google Ads is the context in which the ads appear to users.

On Google Ads you can for example write titles, descriptions and even add extensions or rates (Google Hotel Ads), however the display of ads is very "static" and only text (not Display).

If we take Facebook & Instagram on the other hand, the field of expression is much wider to convey the universe and brand identity of a hotel establishment. Images, carousels, videos, canvas or collections... there are many more creative possibilities. We will discuss this a little later in the article.

IDENTIFY your advertising objectives

The traveler's buying journey is made up of several key steps: the moment to dream (I want to leave), the moment to plan (I look at where and what type of accommodation suits me) and the moment to book (I have chosen and I have my credit card to book).

Project yourself at each step to understand how you meet the traveller's need (your website, campaigns, etc.). Depending on each micro-moment there are very precise advertising objectives to keep in mind:

  • Awareness objectives to increase your notoriety - we are talking about number of views, impressions, reach, etc.
  • Consideration targets to count interactions with your audience - this includes the number of likes, video views, visits generated on your website, etc.
  • Conversion targets that allow you to optimize your advertising campaigns to generate maximum bookings and revenue.

Creating PERSONALIZED HEARINGS

Once your objectives are clear, it is now imperative to think about your targets and audiences. Doing this upstream will allow you to easily start creating the structure of your campaigns.

If you have already identified your targets in your marketing plan, we advise you to start again from this work to adapt it to the specificities of social networks.

You can use free tools such as Facebook Analytics to collect valuable information about your Facebook & Instagram subscribers: age, demographics, geography, interests, etc.

Each campaign has groups of ads. Each group of ads can be summarized to a kind of target. Let's take an example: I want to do a REMARKETING campaign (re-target users of my booking engine who have not booked). Several choices are available to you to create groups of ads within this campaign :

  1. By channel: you can decide to make an ad group with one display only on Facebook, and another one only on Instagram. This way you can control the budget allocated to each medium.
  2. By location: you can create a group that will display your ads on feeds, another group exclusively on stories, another group on Messenger. You can even go further by making channel and location, i.e. a Facebook Feed group then a Facebook Story group, etc. Note that it is important to budget more than 100 euros per group if you want it to be effective.
  3. By country: if you want more control over the budget spent per country, then create a group targeting one country each time.
  4. Other methods are possible, these are provided as examples.

Once you understand how it works, the possibilities are endless! From experience, here are the types of audiences we suggest to the hoteliers we work with:

  • Remarketing audience: by making the difference between visitors to your site and those of your booking engine or those who only consult certain key pages (rooms, seminars, etc).
  • Loyalty audience: you can, for example, integrate your customer database in excel format or gather all the people who have booked on your booking engine. This way you can publish offers only to your most loyal customers.
  • Engagement audience: you can gather all the most active people on Facebook & Instagram during the last 365 days. Ideal if you want to target the people who follow you the most and enjoy your content.
  • Custom Audience: This is where Facebook's comprehensive targeting module comes in. You can easily target a specific age group, geographic or demographic data, interests, etc. For example, we recommend that you list the places where your customers travel the most, the brands or shops they also consume, or the magazines your target reads the most.
  • Similar Audience: Finally, once you have created all of the above targets, you can go one step further by creating a similar audience based on one of the created audiences. To make it simple, Facebook is able to provide you with a database similar to the target you will give it by cross-referencing a lot of behavioral information. This is an ideal lever if you want to create campaigns to conquer and reach people who don't know you yet.

Mastering ADVERTISING FORMATS

You have your goals and targets, it's time to move on to creating your ads! Facebook & Instagram offers you many possibilities of formats and creations. Influence Society opens the doors to a few trade secrets.

For each objective, its KPIs

Remember to customize your metrics table when you're in your Facebook Ad Manager.

Depending on the campaign objectives you have chosen (engagement, traffic, awareness, conversions), you will not get the same default results in your table.

For example, an engagement campaign will show you the number of likes or followers acquired, while a conversion campaign will show you the number of reservations made on your booking engine.

Take some time to think about your ideal dashboard, it's a key step before turning on your campaigns once and for all!

Paul Pernez
Traffic Manager @influencesociety