Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast: Episode 121 – 15 Simple Ways To Refine Your Hotel Ad Targeting

by Stuart Butler

If you’re a hotel marketer, chances are that you spend some of your budget on advertising. Typically, those efforts are deployed in an attempt to drive demand for your property or to harvest the intend that already exists from a person who is looking to take a trip. Most hotel marketers do the basics right. They set up different campaigns and target a defined audience with a specific message. Most people, however, aren’t taking advantage of all of the potential target segments that exist in today’s marketing toolkit. In this episode, we dig into 15 different ways to target your audience and discuss the fact that layering these segments into more granular groups of people is the best way to maximize your ROI.
DOWNLOAD THE  2019 LEISURE TRAVEL STUDY: www.fueltravel.com/2019-leisure-tr…l-trends-study/

This episode is based on a blog post: Top 15 Ways to Refine Your Ad Targeting
Demographic Targeting

  1. Geotargeting
    • Use your data to find areas that send the most traffic to your website as well as areas that actually convert best.
      • Targeting your most popular areas separately allows you to see which areas are truly the top performers
      • It also allows you to spread the budget out. You may have one area that drives a lot of traffic but doesn’t convert. That could be blowing your budget.
      • You can refine this by targeting people who are in the area, or people who have shown interest in the area
    • Geo-target to drive markets
      • Allows you to create ad copy specific to an area
      • Allows you to promote deals for weekend trips
    • Geo-target a radius around your property
      • Allows you to run a “hotels near me” campaign
      • Allows you to promote last-minute specials
  2. Age/Generation
    • Example: If you’re targeting an older demographic with an AARP special or a senior discount, or a younger demographic with Spring Break specials, you can essentially only target that age range by adding negative bid adjustments to age ranges that do not apply. In Facebook, you can simply select your target age range or an entire generation
  3. Gender
    • Example: You run a Girl’s Getaway Special targeted toward women. You add a negative bid adjustment for Males so you are more likely to only show your ads to women. In Facebook, you can simply select your target gender
  4. Income
    • Example: A luxury property may want to test a campaign where they add negative bid adjustments for all household incomes that are not the top 10%-20%.
  5. Parental Status
    • Facebook offers many different options to target people based on their parental status, specifically by the varying age of their children.
    • Example: You have a family-friendly beach resort, you can display an ad to “Parents with Preschoolers” showing Parents with Preschool age children in you image and promote the family-friendly features of your resort.
  6. Life Events
    • Both Google and Facebook offer “Life Event” targeting for things like “graduation college, getting married/newly engaged, moving soon, etc”
    • Example: If your hotel hosts weddings or if you set up a honeymoon package and promote it specifically to people who have been identified as “getting married”
  7. Languages
    • If you have a hotel that regularly has guests from other countries this will certainly apply to you.
    • We’ve had U.S.-based clients that receive tons of business from Mexico and from Brazil.
      • We’ve been able to run ads to both Spanish speakers and Portuguese speakers, paired with location targeting and using those languages in our ad copy.
  8. Political Affiliation
    • Facebook allows you to target based on political affiliation.
    • Example: If you have a convention, rally, or other political event happening near your hotel you could promote your hotel to that political party’s followers by showing how close you are to the event
  9. Racial Affinity
    • It’s possible, we just don’t use it

Behavioral Targeting

  1. Interests
    • There is a vast amount of interest-based targeting options. Facebook interest-based targeting seems a bit more robust than PPC platforms, but all have some form of interest-based targeting.
    • One that applies to almost all hoteliers would be In-Market Audiences for Travel or “Trip Consideration” in Facebook. If your area is available to target, we highly recommend testing this type of targeting. One we use often with our Myrtle Beach clients is “Trips To Myrtle Beach & Grand Strand”.
      • Google has identified people who are in the market for a trip to this area and we are much more likely to target those people either by using bid adjustments or creating clone campaigns and using exclusions on original campaigns.
    • Another that we come across often is Fitness & Wellness.
      • Example: There is a marathon happening in your area that people travel for. You can promote to runners to stay at your hotel. Maybe even offer a discount to those showing they are participating
        • Side note: you may also want to partner with the race and get links back to your website
  2. Placements
    • Placements allow you to show a display ad on a specific website, YouTube channel or mobile app.
    • Not all sites/channels/apps allow display ads, but if you can find one that aligns closely with your typical guest’s interests, it may be well worth testing.
    • Example: If a local tourism site has a YouTube channel/app/website that allows display ads through Google you could promote your hotel through that.
  3. Time Of Day
    • Time of day targeting allows you show your ads during specific days of the week and/or specific times of day.
    • This works well if you have data showing that the majority of your bookings come on a certain day of the week or a certain time of day. This can be very effective for hotels with limited marketing budgets.
  4. Website Visitor Lists
    • Visitors of any page of your site
      • Those who are familiar with your brand
    • Visitors of specific pages on your site
      • They have made it to a specific room page
    • Converters List
      • You may not be able to capture this information if you visitor leaves your site to book, but you likely have email lists
      • With the Fuel Booking engine, you can easily create a converters list because the user never leaves the site.
    • Use Case Example:
      • Create a list of people who have visited a specific room page, but do not fall on the converter list.
  5. Similar To Audiences
    • Similar To Audiences are created by the advertising platforms
    • They look a the characteristics of people on your existing lists and create a list of new people who share those characteristics
    • Example: Create a “Similar To” list of your “All Converters” list
  6. Email List
    • You are able to upload email lists to both Google and Facebook
    • If you can segment your email lists based on specific behaviors and/or demographics, you can create campaigns that target those people.
    • With the Fuel email platform, you can link your custom email segments with Google & Facebook and the system will dynamically keep the lists up to date.

Layered Targeting

    • While all of these targeting options can have great impact on their own, you can get much more granular when you start layering.
    • Including more than one of these lets you really begin to personalize ads and get closer to the 1 to 1 communication we strive for in marketing.
    • Example: You could run Facebook ads to people who are interested in college football, layered with college graduates, promoting an Alumni returning for football game package.
      • Layer on top of that a remarketing list for people who have visited that specific package page and show them display ads for the package with FOMO ad creative.
    • Exclusions are almost as important as inclusions.
      • You wouldn’t want to promote new deals/specials to people on your converters list. You risk the cancellation and re-book at a lower rate

A Caveat here is that cookie-based targeting can be inaccurate. If you want to see what your cookies are saying about you, visit – https://datacloudoptout.oracle.com/registry/
New in 2019, the HSMAI Sales Leader Forum is a unique event that advances the hotel sales discipline by elevating the knowledge and skills of off-property sales leaders when it comes to important trends, critical insights, and best practices…and what it means for leading hotel sales teams in today’s landscape.
What: HSMAI Sales Leader Forum
Where: Westin Stonebriar Hotel & Golf Club ? Frisco, Texas
When: November 5-6, 2019
Agenda Highlights
» Strategic conversations, tactical solutions sessions – all designed to build business acumen to elevate sales as a whole.
» Cindy Novotny: An icon in the hospitality industry, Cindy is the original founder of Master Connections Associates and is an internationally renowned leader in sales, leadership, and customer service. Cindy will emcee the day, and deliver a compelling and powerful keynote.
» Scott Edinger: Executive Advisor, Consultant, and Author of “The Hidden Leader: Discover and Develop Greatness Within Your Company,” will close the day with a thought-provoking and inspiring talk.
Direct Booking Summit – Miami
22nd – 23rd October, 2019
Discount for the TripTease Direct Booking Summit: 

In The Newsaroos:     

Submit your questions and topic ideas on Twitter to @_travelboom or info@admin.travelboommarketing.com.

Schedule a Free Evaluation

Stop settling for mediocre results. Partner with TravelBoom and transform your data into a competitive advantage.

Schedule a Free Evaluation