Facebook Ads. You’ve seen it, you’ve heard about it and most likely, you’ve done it. Facebook Ads are the cornerstone of almost every digital marketing strategy. Which brings us to the problem. Everyone is advertising on Facebook, including the well-funded OTA’s. We’re not going to lie, competing with the big budgets from larger companies is going to be difficult. However, it doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
If you’ve got a smaller budget, don’t worry. This just means you’ll need to better optimize your ads and make every dollar count with the best Facebook advertising tools available. This means finding the most relevant audience to your business and ensuring the likelihood of them clicking on your ads are as high as possible!
Just before we get into the tools you can use. Here’s a major warning for something you shouldn’t use.
Do NOT touch the Boost Post Button! It’s an evil piece of monstrosity, designed by Mark Zuckerberg himself to take all your money. Unless your goal is getting some engagement, then that’s fine, go for it!
However, if your goal is to drive more conversions or bookings, avoid it at all costs. The boost post button was created so users could pay for Facebook Ads without learning how to use Facebook Ads Manager. Meaning, it was designed for users to pay the same amount for ads, without being able to utilize the full suite of tools available to optimise those ads.
In short, you could deliver MUCH better results with the same advertising spend if you jumped onto Ads Manager and utilized all the tools available.
The first step to effectively advertising on Facebook is to know your customers. Of course, most tour operators who have been operating for many years would know who their typical customers are. However, Facebook Audience Insights would be able to backup what you know about your customers with data. And sometimes, it presents you with little details you might have missed out on.
Facebook Audience Insights allows you to see data behind the Facebook users who are connected to your page:
These are all useful pieces of data that could be used to more effectively target new customers when running your Facebook Ads.
This is one of the main tools that make Facebook Advertising so powerful. However, it’s often under-utilized. Here’s how it works:
In short, Facebook can automatically find and advertise to the customers who most closely resemble your best customers. Meaning, Facebook will help you locate new customers who are most likely to make a booking.
There are various ways you can upload the data of your group of customers. The most popular methods include:
Once you’ve selected your audience source, you’ll be able to pick how closely you want the lookalike audience to resemble your audience source. The higher the percentage, the broader the targeting will be, but the larger your potential audience.
However, in most cases 1% will at the very least still have a size of a couple hundred thousand, so we’d definitely recommend sticking to 1%.
Okay, so this one is not that special. In fact, it’s one of the most commonly used targeting options. However, it’s never been more important than now. Especially since the majority of travel in the near future will be local travel.
The great thing about Facebook’s location based targeting is that you’re not only able to target users depending on where they are, but also why they’re there. In usual times, selecting ‘people travelling in this location’ was perfect for tour operators. However, as we begin to focus more on local or nearby travelers, you may now need to opt for ‘people living in or recently in this location’.
Location-based targeting is also important because the rules for travel are constantly changing. For example, in Australia, at this moment in time, people are not yet allowed to travel between states, meaning most travel would either be day trips or short weekend getaways to nearby locations. In this case, you could target a 50 mile radius from where you are. You can then expand your location criteria as the travel rules change.
The marketing rule of 7 suggests that the typical customer needs to be exposed to your brand at least 7 times before making a purchase. The good news is, Facebook makes it extremely easy to retarget your audience so they’re exposed to your business multiple times.
You can do this by creating a custom audience then selecting ‘website’ as your source. This’ll allow you to retarget anyone who’s been on your website. You can also select your audience based on how recently they’ve been to your website. Depending on how much planning is needed for a customer before jumping on your tour, you may want to increase or decrease the recency.
For example, if you were a 4-day hiking tour, you may want to select all website visitors in the past ‘90’ days because your potential customers will need more time to train and consider whether or not they’ll be able to do the tour.
If your #1 priority is bookings, retargeting is not an option, it’s a must.
As we mentioned earlier, you should be advertising where your competition isn’t. These tools allow you to find that niche so you can run the most efficient campaign possible.
These 4 facebook advertising tools are incredibly powerful and easy to implement. However, the true beauty of these tools can only be seen when they work in collaboration with each other. For example, using lookalike audiences in conjunction with location targeting so you’re only targeting customers similar to yours in a 100-mile radius from you. Then retargeting those customers to push for conversions.
Full disclosure, setting up the perfect campaign for your business will require some time and a lot of testing, however, the rewards will be worth it.