INTRODUCTION TO ONLINE ADVERTISING FOR HOTELS
The online world offers many advertising opportunities for hotels.
They can be used from any hotelier who wants to increase the direct bookings, to promote special events, to target desired audiences, and so on.
Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TripAdvisor, as well as many international and local travel sites and blogs are amongst the most well known and widely used channels for online presentation. And while it is easy for the bigger players on the market to invest in advertising in all of these platforms, for the smaller hotels it is important to make the right choices in order to get the best ROI.
In this article we analyse the most important online advertising channels and we explain when they are the most effective ones.
Google Ads is the biggest online advertising platform and offers solutions for different marketing needs. Google has the following advertising types:
These type of ads appear when someone makes a search in Google. When travellers plan their trip they visit the search engines to find information about the place, accommodations, restaurants and so on. When you create a search ad you know that the people who will see it are intending to visit your area, therefore this type of ad can be very effective.
Display ads are text and banner ads that appear in the Google Display Network, that consists of various websites, news pages and blogs, YouTube and Gmail. With them you can target specific audiences, based on demographics, keywords and interests. The Display Network is very good to reach audiences that can be potential customers for your hotel. You can also use it to make re-marketing campaigns. These campaigns appear to people that have already visited your website, and it is a clever way to re-engage them and make them clients.
With Video Ads you can make video campaigns that appear on YouTube. In YouTube you can choose your audience based on demographics and interests. Video marketing is on the rise, and consumers love it. Creating an interesting video campaign may attract many clients to your business.
App Ads are designed to promote applications. Most hotels don’t rely on applications to promote their business, therefore this type of ad is useful for only few hotels.
Overall Google is the platform that provides the most choices, and it is no surprise that it is so popular amongst advertisers.
With its 2 Billion daily active users, Facebook is the second biggest online advertising platform and it also offers many options for advertising. There you can target audiences based on interests, location, demographics, and behaviour. You can also create audiences from current customers and people that visited your site, or create audiences based on people with similar interests to your customers.
There are many ad formats you can use to create an engaging content: one or many images, video, slideshow, collection (combination of ad formats), and click-to-Messenger ads that can be used to start a conversation with the potential clients.
Your campaigns can be shown in Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience network (apps and sites beyond Facebook).
Facebook has a big network and very good targeting tools. It can be used to promote the hotel in desired audiences and locations, and it is also a great platform for re-marketing.
Meta search sites are sites that compare hotel prices from different distribution channels. Sites like TripAdvisor, Trivago, Google Hotel Ads, compare the prices from Booking, Expedia, and other online channels and help travellers find the best price. Hotels can place the prices from their own booking engine and compete with OTAs to get direct reservations. This type of ads can have great benefits when a hotel has a developed digital marketing strategy and is very good in attracting direct reservations.
Knowing how to navigate in the online advertising landscape is important in order to make smart choices that will drive sales to your business. Different advertising platforms can be used and expert knowledge is required to get the best performance from your campaigns.