6 Ways to Improve Your Hotel's Social Media Advertising in 2020
The new year is already upon us and we know exactly what’s on your mind: how in the world can I continue improving my hotel’s digital advertising efforts in 2020?
Okay, so maybe that’s not exactly what you were thinking, but hey, if you’re a digital marketer who wants to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of social media marketing, then you should be.
When it comes to improving social advertising for hotels, there are dozens of tips and tricks that you can employ, but how do you know which ones are even worth testing? Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Our expert hotel marketing team spent a lot of time testing new strategies and techniques in 2019, thus giving you a shortlist of six easy ways to improve your hotel’s social media advertising!
Increase Your Hotel's Social Media Advertising Budgets
I know, I’m hitting you with a harsh one right out of the gate, but unfortunately, that’s the reality of paid advertising. However, we aren’t saying that only to sound like money-spending marketers; there are actually two very good reasons.
- Increased Competition: We say this time and time again, but social advertising is a pay-to-play game. The more competition you have in your market and industry, the more it’s going to cost to get your ads in front of the right audience. This is especially true for larger markets and metro areas where everyone is competing for the same ad space. Whether you are running Facebook, Display or Paid Search, increased budgets are crucial to improving performance.
- Machine Learning Tools: Perhaps a lesser-known innovation, Facebook specifically has been developing better machine-learning tools for ad optimization. What this means is that as your ads run, Facebook uses this new technology to learn how users react and engage with your ads so they can serve them to users more likely to convert. However, this means you need to spend more money on your hotel’s ads because Facebook requires solid data to incorporate their optimizations. Another way to look at this is that you are paying more for data so that your ads can be shown to audiences more likely to convert later.
It's Still About Video for Hotel Social Media Advertising
That’s right, the hotel digital advertising landscape is still all about video and we definitely don’t see that changing in 2020. If you want to improve your hotel’s social advertising performance in the new year, you absolutely need to be running video ads. The fact of the matter is that if you aren’t running video yet, you’re behind. Before you start panicking, check out one of our previous blogs detailing video advertising and how you can easily get started.
If you already run video, that’s great! In our findings alone we’ve seen click-through rates increase by 133% and other reports have found that video advertisements have helped grow revenue up to 49% faster than static ads.
While video advertising for hotels is great on many levels, it also comes with expensive overhead costs that many smaller boutique hotels simply cannot afford. Luckily, you don’t need a production crew or casting agency to create simple videos on your own.
Earlier this year Facebook rolled out new image-to-video templates that allow hotel marketers to create their own “video” ads by piecing together images, text, animations and more! These easy-to-use templates allow budget-conscious marketers to reap the benefits of video without blowing through their entire yearly budget. The best part is that these image-to-video ads can run with the same amount of budget as static ads and receive higher engagement rates.
Jazz Up Your Hotel's Static Images
While video advertising is the preferred method of jazzing up your hotel’s social media ad practice, there are also other ways to make images more interesting. Recently at GCommerce, we’ve been doing a lot of testing with self-made .gif ads right from our smartphones. Using apps like Enlight Pixaloop and kirakira+ we are able to add dimension to our static images that operate like .gifs and provide us more leverage in the marketplace.
Simple examples include adding moving clouds and snowfall with Enlight Pixaloop or making the night sky sparkle with kirakira+. All you need to do is follow a few Gen-Zers on social media to quickly see that plain images are being replaced by images layered with colorful graphics, textures, animations and more.
Audit and Update Your Hotel's Audiences and Segments
This might seem like a no-brainer, but when’s the last time you audited your audiences on Facebook? While your base audience may remain steady over the years, your segments should also be changing and evolving as the platform rolls out more targeting options. Spread your budget out and get more granular with your hotel’s targets by pushing out more customized ads. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Start running wedding campaigns if your hotel or resort is a hotspot for exchanging vows. Through Facebook, we can reach a local audience of engaged and newly-engaged users that will allow you to advertise your space.
- If you already run video ads, create a separate “consideration” audience for people who are familiar with your ads but aren’t quite ready to transition into the retargeting and conversion audiences. In Facebook, you can create a target segment of people who have watched a certain percentage of your video ads. From there you can serve those users more information static or .gif ads enticing them to click through to your website and landing them in the retargeting pool.
- Do you run lead generation ads? Create a separate audience of people who have submitted a lead for further retargeting. From there you can create a lookalike and serve your original lead generation ads to that similar audience.
- Similar to a “We Miss You Campaign” with email, you can upload lists of past customers into Facebook and then serve them ads encouraging them to book again.
The list could go on forever, but I think you get the point. It’s not enough to mass-canvas Facebook’s marketplace with the same ads to everyone. After all, wouldn’t you respond more favorably to an ad that seems curated to your interests?
Use New Social Media Ad Variations Feature
A couple of months ago, Facebook began rolling out another feature in ad creation allowing marketers to create multiple variations of text, headlines, and descriptions within one ad. Creating these variations allows Facebook to use the machine learning we discussed earlier to serve the best variation combination to each user based on their past history with your ads and on Facebook in general. Although this feature is relatively new, we expect this additional opportunity for ad customization to result in an uptick of click-throughs and conversions.
Create Mobile-First Social Media Ad Copy
I’m just going to give it to you straight: your Facebook ad copy absolutely must be mobile-friendly. Don’t believe me? In 2019, 94% of Facebook’s revenue came from mobile. In case you need some more perspective, that number grew by 91% from Q2 2018.
We aren’t saying desktop is dead for Facebook advertising, but we do need to start acting like it is. This means that when you create your ad previews in the Facebook Ad Manager, you need to be looking in the mobile view, which only allows up to 3 “mobile lines” of text. The sooner we start writing copy that appears flawlessly on mobile screens the better.
The time is now to start improving your hotel’s social advertising for 2020! Reach out to us at GCommerce today to get started.