TravelAds, our flexible, pay-per-click advertising solution, is being used by hotels around the world, both independents and brands, to drive room nights. Some hotels use TravelAds as a quick twitch solution to fill rooms in impending low periods, while others make plans to use TravelAds throughout the year when they anticipate needing the extra boost. Yet regardless of how proactive a TravelAds user is, we see places where they can improve the results they are getting from their sponsored search campaigns.
If you’re already seeing results from your TravelAds campaigns, why would you want to put in more effort to optimize it? What do you stand to gain?
TravelAds is unique in that your ads don’t show unless you have supply for the travel window that the shopper is looking to book. And, if your ads do show but the travel shopper doesn’t click on them, you don’t pay. So, these ads are a low risk way to reach a targeted audience ready to book. Additionally, TravelAds help hotel revenue and marketing managers book rooms without sacrificing their average daily rate (ADR).
For all of these reasons, TravelAds users who optimize their programs see better and better results. We asked a few of our TravelAds experts to share tips on how TravelAds power users are maximizing their results. This post is the second in our series on optimizing TravelAds. If you are working on establishing best practices for your TravelAds program, check out the first post, “Maximizing your TravelAds Outcomes with Planning.”
Many of our TravelAds experts had something to say about how TravelAds users miss out on opportunities for impressions and clicks. What causes these missed opportunities? Often is it misaligned daily budgets that keep sponsored listings from showing throughout the day.
“TravelAds partners frequently don’t understand how impactful it is to last the entire day versus running out of budget at noon,” says Cassandra Blomberg, Senior Business Development Manager for Expedia Group Media Solutions in North America. Cassandra sees TravelAds users who miss potential revenue because they have already spent their daily budget before midday. But what if they still have room nights that need to be filled? If their ads were able to run continuously throughout the day, and if those ads were booking rooms that would otherwise go empty, then your TravelAds would be driving even more room nights. As it stands, we still see many TravelAds users who limit their room night outcomes by limiting their daily spend.
Robert Martin, Senior Business Development Manager, North America, says the same thing in a different way: “Do not handcuff the campaign to an assigned daily budget – that is short sighted. Strive to drive that daily budget up. Your end game is to be live 24/7 which will require you have a larger daily budget than daily spend.”
There’s an additional benefit to letting your ads run around the clock. If you are spending your daily budget wisely, there will be a certain point in the day when your ads will outlast the ads of your competitors. Cassandra explains that, “by strategically running 24 hours a day, you can even lower your overall cost-per-click. The hotels who are not running out of budget, are capitalizing on those who are, because when those others hotels are out of funds, it’s a less competitive market which works great with an auction model CPC.”
The always-on approach might sound intimidating, but the important thing to keep in mind is that your ads only show when you have supply available for the travel window that is being searched. We recommend that you set a window to test this approach and go for it. Measure your results and then decide if the extra room nights that you gain justify the ad spend. Or, consult with your TravelAds account manager to understand the pros and cons of testing ‘always on.’ If you do decide to test this approach, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Want to get even more out of your sponsored listing program? Check out the TravelAds Essentials Guide to learn the most fundamental elements of the TravelAds tool and why it is a fast and easy way to get up to speed.