In today’s digitally-connected world, we have a wide variety of mediums and methods to reach our customers.
It can be hard to choose the right marketing strategy or medium as the plethora of options available often lead to a state of analysis paralysis where a person is unable to make a decision.
Paid advertising is one of the most effective ways of marketing your business and offers some significant advantages over other marketing methods.
In this article, we will discuss how travel companies can use a range of paid advertising mediums for growing their business.
Benefits of Paid Advertising
Paid advertising has several advantages over other marketing methods.
SEO, social media marketing and blogging are good options for promoting a business, but they require a significant amount of time and effort.
In the case of most of these options, you will have to wait several months to see results.
Paid advertising, on the other hand, can deliver instant results, and you can start seeing the benefits of a paid advertising campaign within a few hours of launching.
The immediate visibility of performance allows you to test and optimise the campaigns to ensure the optimum performance.
Optimising performing is key to ensuring that campaign deliver return on your investment.
Market at the Right Time
The travel industry is quite seasonal as people tend to travel during specific times in a year.
You can decide the optimum time for starting your paid advertising campaign and launch it to coincide with the time when search demand is highest for the tour packages or destinations offered by you.
According to research conducted by Bing Ads, search volume for family holiday ideas peaks in April, whereas search volume for Regional Parks, Gardens, and Theme Parks, peaks in June. Search volume for cruises peaks in January.
These stats show that people tend to search for holiday ideas related to the type of vacation they want during specific months.
Paid advertising tools allow you to market to the demographic of your choice during the months when there is demand for your tour packages.
Most paid advertising channels such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or Bing allow you to monitor the performance of your ads.
Advertising platforms have very sophisticated inbuilt analytics tool which would enable you to keep a close eye on how your ads are performing.
Paid advertising platforms allow you to measure the ROI of each pound spent on an ad campaign. This is what separates them from other marketing tactics such as blogging or SEO.
With paid advertising channels, you can track each visitor who comes to your site by clicking on an ad and can also calculate how many of these visitors end up buying something from your website.
Paid advertising offers a seamless way to track the conversions of visitors into buyers.
Paid advertising platforms such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook Ads offer advanced targeting options allowing you to target people based on demography, geography, IP address, interests, age group etc.
As an example, according to research conducted by Bing, women account for 68% of searches and 69% of clicks related to family holiday planning.
Whilst, it’s clear that people in the age group 35-49 account for 41% of family travel searches, while those in the 50-64 age group account for 31% of searches, and those in 25 to 34 age group account for 16% of searches.
Bing also identifies that women account for 59% of all travel related searches and are also responsible for 62% of clicks.
This makes the women the most important demographic for family holiday ads as they are most often the ones making the decisions related to holiday planning.
You can easily target women specifically with paid advertising tools, and even include demographic and age-specific ads to test performance.
You control the whole process
You can start and stop paid ad campaigns whenever you want and have the option to pause your paid ads if needed.
Other marketing methods don’t offer this luxury as you don’t have much control over SEO or other similar methods.
Types of Paid Advertising Options
There are several paid ad networks available to travel businesses.
You may already familiar with some of the major networks such as Google Ads, or Facebook.
In addition, there are a lot of smaller ad networks which allow you to show your ads to your target consumers.
Google Ads, which was previously known as Google AdWords, is the flagship product of Google responsible for almost 95% of its revenues.
Google dominates the search industry with more than 80%+ market share in the US, UK, Canada, and has more than 90% market share in Germany, France, and Australia.
Google Ads allows you to show your ads whenever a user searches for a keyword which you are targeting. You can also show ads on Google Display Network, which includes millions of sites which have partnered with Google via their AdSense program.
You can also display your ads on other Google properties such as YouTube, Gmail, and Google Finance via Google Ads.
Depending on the type of advertisement, you may be able to include banners, images along with the text, although ads displayed on search network usually only allow text-based ads.
Another advantage of Google Ads is the fact that it can be easily integrated with another popular Google app, i.e. Google Analytics. By combining your Google Ad campaign with your Google Analytics account, you will be able to monitor the success of your ads in real time.
Google Ads offers the most cutting edge advertising tools and has some exciting features such as smart display campaigns which use the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence to automate bidding, targeting, and ad creation. You can also use the re-marketing feature to show ads to users who have previously visited your website.
As Bing is not the leading search engine, many marketers overlook the fact that it has some unique advantages over other ad networks.
Bing and Yahoo combined account for almost 10% of market share in several countries and in some countries such as Japan their share is around 30%. Bing Ads offers better CTR and lower CPC rates as compared to Google Ads. There is also less competition because several marketers don’t run ad campaigns using Bing Ads.
As you can see in the above image, the average CPC for travel is $0.65 for Bing Ads as compared to $0.90 for Google Ads. This means a saving of almost 30% and makes running an ad campaign on Bing Ads more economical as compared to Google Ads.
Facebook Ads is another advertising platform which offers some unique advantages over other paid advertising mediums.
Facebook is one of the few advertising platforms out there which has come out with some dedicated options for travel industry specifically.
Facebook allows you to run dynamic Facebook ads which are uniquely suited to travel businesses. You can reach users across Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook Audience Network who are likely to make a trip.
Dynamic ads allow you to add location, pricing, and availability of trips or tour packages and then these ads are shown to interested users across multiple devices.
Facebook also offers advanced targeting options allowing you to target users based on their location, age, interests, hobbies, gender and language.
You also have the option of adding images and videos to your ads. Travel companies are primarily selling experiences to people, and visual ads perform better for travel businesses, which makes Facebook the ideal paid advertising platform for any travel business.
It also has a re-targeting option, which is like re-marketing offered by Google Ads, which allows you to show your ads to people who have already visited your website.
Instagram has changed travel to the extent that people in the travel industry nowadays talk about ‘Instagram Effect’.
Many users decide to visit a location based on the instagram-ability of the place or by considering how photos of their trip may look on their Instagram feed.
Due to its visual nature, Instagram is the perfect social media network for travel businesses.
Instagram stories have also helped people share their experiences with their followers.
Travel businesses can run ads on Instagram via Facebook Ads and need to have a Facebook Page for their business to show their ads on Instagram.
Instagram offers a wide choice of Stories Ads, Photos Ads, Video Ads, Carousel Ads, and Collection Ads.
You can also promote your Instagram posts from within the app. Instagram allows you to target users based on their location, interests, demographics, behaviours, custom audiences and has an automated targeting feature.
You can also place your banner ads on individual websites focused on travel as several websites allow placement of ads in return for a fixed monthly fee.
The fee which you pay for such an advertisement may differ from site to site and is mainly dependent on the popularity of the website, the number of monthly visitors and similar factors.
There are dedicated ad exchange networks out there who play the role of matchmaker and help you in finding sites for placing your ads.
Paid advertising offers several benefits over other marketing channels and is the fastest way to get new visitors and customers.
Most paid advertising platforms also have inbuilt analytical tools allowing you to measure the ROI of the money spent by you.
You must use paid advertising alongside other marketing methods to get the maximum benefit.
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