The Importance of Protecting Your Brand Through Paid Media

Monday 18th September 2017

 

Protecting your brand name through paid search on search engines is now more important than ever. The common question asked by clients is “why do I need to bid on my own brand name?” and the answer is simple; online travel agents (OTAs) such as Booking.com and Expedia will continue to bid on brand names in order to drive potential customers to their site as opposed to the hotel or venue itself.

Typically hotels will pay anywhere between 15-25% commission to OTAs for every booking made through their website. Therefore, as an example, a £100 per night hotel room can decrease to £80 after paying the OTAs their fee.

Hotel Name Room Rate OTA Commission OTA Fee Net Room Rate
Hotel X £100 20% £20 £80

The main way to combat this is to bid on your brand name so that users are encouraged to book directly through your hotel’s website. When a user searches via a search engine for a brand name, they are more likely than any other stage of the buying cycle to make a conversion or booking on the site. This is because they have already passed the “discovery” stage where searches are often based on location rather than actual brand name.

We currently work with Foxhill Manor, a client whose brand name is already established. Foxhill Manor is a 15 bed luxury country house hotel in the Cotswolds, famous for holding elaborate and personal parties and events, as well as exclusive use stays where guests have the property to themselves.

Our paid search strategy, to protect the Foxhill Manor brand from OTAs, is to ensure various extensions are used within the AdWords and Bing Ads platforms. By using such extensions, we enable the ad to take up more space at the top the of search results and therefore occupy the user’s attention after making their search. Below is an example of a search results page where our ad has been triggered: 

As a result of the ad being triggered, users are more likely than ever to click through on the website that appears highest in the search results. In July alone we saw a 2000% return on investment (ROI) from paid search as visitors made room bookings after clicking through from a paid search ad. As a result, this equated to a 4% cost of sale for the month. Taking into consideration the 15-25% commission that we mentioned earlier, this result ensures a massive saving and decrease in reliance on OTAs.

  • 2000% ROI
  • 4% COST OF SALE
  • £1500 SAVED IN OTA COMMISSION

Moreover, the lifetime value of a guest cannot be underestimated. By encouraging users and guests to convert directly through your hotel’s website, we change the ongoing psychological battle with guests to ensure them that booking direct through a hotel website is never more expensive than booking via OTAs.

For more information on our paid search strategies and how they can help your business, please contact the Digital Marketing team on 01242 682 050, or email us at hello@journey.travel.

“Protecting your brand goes hand in hand with reducing your OTA reliance. Take action, save money, and drive more direct bookings.”