Do Your Social Ads WOW? – 5 Ways to Out Perform | TravelResearchOnline


Do Your Social Ads WOW? – 5 Ways to Out Perform

What would you do if you worked in a brick and mortar storefront business and your walk-in traffic dropped by 50%?  Yikes, you’d probably be thinking about moving or advertising, right?

Well, as a travel, tourism or hospitality pro, moving is probably not in the cards.  So that leaves advertising.  Now that organic social reaching is dropping quicker than you can say ‘travel’ (some estimate a 50% drop year over year), we need to power up our social ad strategy.

Audience Expertise

Social ads are the ‘way of the world’ when it comes to sky-rocketing the number of people you reach online.  Creating custom audiences of people who want and need to travel is easy, then building ads that appeal to that audience is key to reaching the right people at the right time and on the right social site.

Did you know that you can target Facebook & Instagram ads by:

  • Upcoming birthday or anniversary –think about all the milestone celebrations
  • Newly engaged – perfect for destination wedding specialists
  • Meditation & yoga lovers – destinations and resorts with this focus find a goldmine here
  • Cruise lovers – optimize this subgroup, found in the Hobby section, if you’re a cruise line or a cruise specialist
  • You can even upload your client list and target just those people
  • Details on targeting options

So many times I hear that travel pros have spent a ton of money on ads without any new bookings.  Your custom audiences are the foundation for successful ads.  You can create as many custom audiences as you’d like.  So go ahead, target specifically for each ad you’d like to run and then split test the audiences to see which performs better with which ad.

Split testing is the practice of keeping all aspects of your ad (copy, target, graphics, etc) the same and just changing 1 aspect.  Then test the change between 2 versions of your ad; the original and the one with 1 change.  Split testing just got easier when you’re using Power Editor within Facebook.  You can create 1 main ad then in the Ad Set level, select “Create Multiple New Ad Sets”.  Add audience variations and choose how you want budget distributed.

Ad Styles that Amplify

Now that we have the foundation set with optimized audiences and creative ways to test your success, let’s look at different types of ads to grab attention.

Carousel ads have been around for awhile and are a great way to start shaking up your ad campaigns by providing your viewers with attention grabbing images that slide.  Create an ad using 2 or more scrollable videos or images.  What a great way to tell your story and enthrall your clients.  It’s easy when you upload images or video right from your hard drive.  Consider these visual ideas when creating your Carousel ad:

  • Stunning cruise images followed by a link to your cruise blog
  • Destination storytelling
  • The story of why to use a travel pro; yourself specifically
  • Trending tips and content ideas here.

Slideshow ads are another simple way to create animated movement within your ad and elevate your story-telling.  Using images or video you can create a slideshow within Power Editor.  The process is similar to creating slideshow on your business page.  You may want to focus on:

  • Destination activities
  • Dining options
  • Cruise overviews
  • Exciting sights, activities, events

Canvas ads are a dynamic mobile collection of still images and videos.  Described as ‘Instant ads’ they load quickly and are a combination of text, still images, videos, carousels (see above), product feeds and more.  As you scroll thru the images, there’s some text posted with each.  Housed on the “Publishing Tools” tab at the top of your business page, you’ll see a “Canvas” tab on the left.  You can add the following components to your Canvas:

  • Button
  • Carousel
  • Photo
  • Text Block
  • Video
  • Product Set

NEW at Facebook are Collection Ads.  Designed for mobile devices only, they feature a video, slideshow or image above a group (called a “collection”) of linked product images.  Similar to Canvas, when a viewer clicks on an image they see an in-depth view of products.  As you’re creating your Collection ad, you’ll need to create product catalogs.  This will be perfect for:

  • Suppliers with a series of tours or cruises.
  • Travel pros who want to showcase upcoming group tours

Instagram Stories ads are full screen visuals that appear between stories in a seamless transition.  You’ve probably seen them as they’re labeled “Sponsored”.  While they can include a single image or a 15 second video, you can’t add a call to action button or a link….yet.  Since the ad lasts only seconds, make sure you have an intriguing image and captivating text.  Ads are created right in the Power Editor or Ads Manager section of your Facebook account.

Pinterest ads can be targeted to reach your email list, a look alike audience, or website visitor re-targeting.  Easy to set up and budget-friendly, you may consider using Promoted Pins to reach:

  • Newly engaged brides to be; perfect for wedding planning tips
  • Activity based travelers; think about cyclists, golfers and foodies
  • Those wanting to combine travel with a hobby; imagine culinary travelers, craft aficionados or yoga devotees

Here’s a graphic overview of the ad types available to savvy marketers


Now, more than ever, is the time to shift your marketing dollars to a resource that’s targeted to your unique audience. Tap into these advertising tools and draw more loyal clients.


Which style of ad will you use next?


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