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Why Hotels Should Be Using Dynamic Ads for Travel

This post was written for Hawthorn Creative and originally published here

Back in May, when Facebook announced it was extending its dynamic product ads to Instagram and tweaking them to include travel for a select few advertisers, there was a hefty amount of skepticism about the ability to successfully execute retargeting in real time. As one eMarketer analyst pointed out, retargeted ads can land in front of someone who’s already made the purchase, or worse, isn’t interested anymore. The potential for failure - or a bad consumer experiences, at the very least - was high. Many DOMs took a decidedly wait and see approach, letting early beta testers like Trivago and Marriott serve as the guinea pigs.  

If the proof is in the pudding, the pudding looks mighty tasty, when you consider that Marriott reported that in the first few months of using DAT on Instagram and Facebook, the company generated $20 of revenue for every $1 spent. That’s a guinea pig gamble well worth the work.

How Dynamic Ads for Travel Work
Dynamic Ads for Travel (DAT) work by allowing hotels and resorts to target those travelers who have visited the destination’s website or mobile app by showing an automatic and dynamic ad displaying an image, URL, availability, and pricing on hotels rooms within the traveler’s Instagram and Facebook. A hotel could also upsell by showcasing premier packages to capitalize on expressed interest, or expose a user to multiple packages by using the carousel ad format.

In terms of targeting, those using DAT can also dynamically create custom audiences to retarget or find lookalikes based on dates or locations served. For example, you can create an audience that includes those who have searched for a four-night hotel stay twice in the past week, but haven’t booked, or based on set parameters of certain actions, like page visits, time spent on page, or which device was used to visit a hotel’s site. Even better, you can exclude users from your target audience, such as those with a check-in date that has passed, to avoid wasting impressions and money.

Why Dynamic Ads on Instagram Works for Hotel Marketing
A few statistics will help make the case on why this type of advertising is so effective for destination marketing:

  • 48 percent of Instagram users utilize the platform to make vacation decisions.
  • 60% of Instagrammers say they learn about products and services on Instagram.
  • 75% say they take action, like visiting a website, searching, shopping, or telling a friend, after being inspired by an Instagram post.
  • Half of all trips booked digitally are expected to have been made on a mobile device.

What this all means is that hotel marketing has to embrace each and every emerging opportunity to make an impression on potential guests while those guests are using mobile devices. Instagram has 500+ million monthly active users, and one in five minutes spent on a mobile device will be on either Facebook or Instagram, so the reach of DAT is undeniable.  

Hone Your Retargeting with Dynamic Ads for Travel
If Dynamic Ads for Travel strike fear in your heart, but light up dollar signs in your head, enlist the help of a destination marketing agency who can run your campaigns, putting your ads in front of the guests who already know and love your hotels, but might need a little push in the direction of the booking button. 

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