Planning an amazing trip is one thing, but marketing it to the right people is a whole other task. There are so many ways to market your tours, from flyers to mailing lists, your own website, or the WeTravel marketplace. More recently, social media has become a valuable marketing tool, especially for those would like to reach a different audience who may not already be aware of their travel company.
Why use Facebook Ads?
Facebook is a major player in social media marketing and is particularly set up to allow businesses to create targeted ads. Facebook now owns Instagram, which means that ads can be cross-promoted on the Instagram platform as well.
However, you might find that there are rather mixed reviews on the usefulness of boosting posts for further reach on Facebook, or Facebook ads. Some businesses draw in thousands of dollars in revenue, but for others, and particularly small businesses, owners may say they tried Facebook ads and they didn’t work.
So why the difference? Because creating a campaign on Facebook has to be more than a stab in the dark and a hope that it might be enough to make sales. Facebook users aren’t necessarily looking to buy, unlike someone browsing a marketplace or searching Google for tours. While people might click on your ad out of interest, they are starting further away from the buying point than someone searching specifically for a trip.
This is why it’s so important to target your Facebook ads to the right audience, to have the best chance of reaching those people who will be both interested in your trips and more likely to sign up! When you’re a travel company, you’ll want to be targeting people who have an interest in travel, specific destinations, the type of trip you’re offering, and may have even taken trips before, are planning a trip, or currently travelling.
What you need to know before creating your targeted audience
As with any other marketing, it’s important to know who you want your key audience to be. You should think about personas for your ideal customers. What do they like, where do they live, how old are they, what do they do for work or hobbies? This will help you to align these things with the audience categories on Facebook, which include:
- Location (Country, State, City, Postal Code)
- Demographics (Age, Gender, Langauge)
- Interests (Hobbies, those interested in competitors, family, and relationships, etc)
- Behavior (Can be useful if you want to target people planning their next tripod currently traveling)
You don’t need to stick to just one way of using Facebook ads. Try out different strategies, including boosting, creating new campaigns, difference audiences, using Lookalike Audiences or targeting your email list.
Targeting millions of people doesn’t mean you’re going to get better results, in fact, it’s better for you to reach a smaller audience that will truly be interested in what you have to offer. Don’t just select people interested in travel and think that will do! Try to narrow down the interests to really fit the people you have in mind for the trip.
You can even start by focusing on the people who already know your brand, so those who have liked or interacted with your business page or are on your mailing list.
How to create targeted audience Facebook ads
It’s possible to create an audience in several ways. It can be done in the Facebook Ad Manager while you’re in the process of creating an ad, or you can go to the Audiences page in the Ads Manager to create audiences before you even start the ad process. It’s a good idea to create the audience in advance so that you can really think about it and reach the right people.
There are lots of difference options available, so take your time exploring! It’s possible to create a customized audience who have already shown interest in your Facebook business page, people who are on your mailing list, or those who have similar interests, a specific demographic, life events (birthdays, honeymoons) etc. You can also save audience for future use.
If you set up a Facebook Pixel on your website (more information here) then you can target those who have been on your website and taken specific actions. This is why you often see ads relating to what you’ve been looking at lately!
Dynamic Ads for Travel
A “Dynamic Ads for Travel” campaign is slightly different from a targeted Facebook ad for your trips or tours. Facebooks dynamic ads for travel are specifically designed to help you reach the people who are most likely to book a trip.
To make the dynamic ads work, you’ll need to implement a Facebook Pixel into your website (read more about that here) and then upload an inventory of your trips with all information, including location, price, and availability. You can then create a template using images and details you would like the customers to know. The ads only need to be set it up once but will want to do so with ongoing tours and trips rather than one-offs. The campaign then runs at the right time based on your tour inventory and the actions of the potential customers.
Creating Facebook ads can seem like a daunting prospect at first, but if you carefully curate your audience in the same way you would when you’re doing most other forms of marketing, then you’ll find you have much more success. Evaluate each campaign you create for what worked and what didn’t, and you’ll be able to continue to improve your ads for the best return. Don’t be overwhelmed, jump in and give it a go!