News | 4th September 2019

How to maximise your paid advertising

4 tips for getting the best out of display advertising for your hotel

With more variables and targeting options than ever before, which of the display targeting settings are you getting the most success from? How are you breaking down different audience segments? And how are you monitoring and improving on your success?

If you can’t answer all or any of the above don’t worry we have you covered.

You have a great opportunity to tailor your advertising and find the perfect fit for your hotel. In fact, when done right, display ads can be one of the most cost-effective ways to drive brand awareness and bookings for your hotel.

With this in mind, here are four top tips for getting the best out of the Google Display Network.

1) Consider the customer journey

Splitting out audiences into new and existing users enables you to vary your messaging. For example, you could target new users with messaging around “why choose our hotel over any other”, and for those who have already visited your hotel’s website with “why book directly through us rather than an OTA”.

Targeting previous web users in isolation can increase click-through rates by as much as 10%, so it really pays to incorporate this type of personalisation into your strategy, making sure your ads are in front of the relevant users.

It’s equally important to understand how the different stages of the customer journey will require different actions. If you are planting the initial seeds of brand consideration, then immediate traffic may not be high on the agenda. But if you are wanting to rapidly drive bookings, incorporating more urgency into your messaging and including clear call to actions is key.

Responsive Display Ads can achieve a higher click-through rate than standard image ads at almost half the cost. This is a great option if you have less design resources too, as Google will test different sizes and design styles with one set of copy and images.

Good to know!

2) Start small, then scale up

It can be tempting to target a wide audience with the intention of refining down later. Or, you may not know where to start and therefore put little thought into who you’re going to be targeting.

Starting off with tighter targeting and scaling up once the results are proven is a much more cost effective way to kick off a display campaign. For instance, by using both demographic and location targeting, click-through rates can be increased by as much as 2.5% points (which is pretty substantial in digital display advertising!).

3) Test, test, and test again

When it comes to deciding on ad type, size and content, there are many different routes to take. Important questions to make sure you are asking include:

  • Which device will the ad appear on?
  • Has the intended audience visited my hotel’s website before?
  • What is the call to action?
  • Is the message more informative or emotive?
  • How much time and resources do we have to allocate to the design process?

Depending on the above, different ad types and content styles are perfectly valid, so there is no one size fits all approach. The amount of text to use, the ad type and position of CTAs may be more effective in different instances, so by all means test, test and test again.

Since arriving on the scene, Lightbox ads have been getting a higher click-through-rate than other ad types, but at an inflated cost per click.

Good to know!

4) Regularly review and refine

As with any digital marketing setup, it should never be a case of “set live and sit back”. The best campaigns are those which are reviewed regularly and optimised. Here are just a few ways to monitor and improve your campaign performance:

  • Review which placements are getting the best reaction (you may want to target these again in the future) and add exclusions for those which aren’t.
  • Push the copy variants that are getting good engagement and polish or pause the stragglers.
  • Which audience groups are engaging? Slice up data by age, gender, affinity audiences, which devices people are using to view. Ask is this performance consistent with the rest of your web traffic? Try using bid adjustments to encourage traffic to come through the audience segments that are working and see how this impacts overall performance.
  • If something isn’t working, review the user journey and how it matches the path to purchase. If it doesn’t fit, then re-align and try again.

Gmail ads have been proven to be highly cost effective for targeted audience groups, at half the average cost-per-click of average display ads. However the scope of the audience size often means these are hard to scale up.

Good to know!

On the whole, the best way to find what works is to make data-led decisions. If in doubt, try out small segments and scale up slowly. And, perhaps most importantly, know your intended audience, and how you want them to react, so that you know what to serve them when and how to measure your success.

To find out more about display advertising or how we could help you master data driven Google campaigns, get in touch. Our hotel marketing specialists would love to help you develop campaigns that drive bookings to your hotel.