There are three main paid channels for hotel marketing: social media ads, search ads and display ads, and each has its advantages.
Social media is very sticky, with users spending anywhere between 1 and 3 hours on social media each day. Search ads are generally high intent and can convert well, while display ads offer greater reach for retargeting and ongoing engagement campaigns.
Savvy marketers must stay on top of each of these channels’ latest trends to ensure optimal performance. Social media is an especially dynamic environment, with new advertising formats appearing quite frequently. For display and search ads, the formats are more consistent but require you to speak to potential guests with copy and creative that resonates with their mindset at that specific moment.
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When building campaigns for social media, keep in mind that it’s not just intelligent guest segmentation that drives digital marketing success; it’s also the quality of your creative.
Since platforms reward highly-converting ads with more visibility at a lower price, it reduces your overall cost. So not only do you have more bookings, but you are getting them for less, which enhances your property’s overall profitability. Ideal!
As you design your digital social, display and search ads, set yourself up for success with these creative best practices.
Copy, Images, Call-To-Action (CTA) and Design
We’ve broken this guide into separate sections for social, display and search. We explore digital creative best practices around copywriting, imagery, calls-to-action, and ad design/layout in each section.
A quick primer for each:
Copy refers to all of the words in your ads. Even if your ad is primarily an image, your copy is any text overlaid on that image. It can be quite challenging to deliver crisp copy that jumps out at consumers and punches through the noise.
Some fundamentals about how to write great copy:
- Keep it short
Your copy should be sharp and to the point. Write and rewrite until you have removed anything extra. By unburdening your message of filler, you increase the odds of connecting with your audience.
- Keep it simple
One of the most useful tools in the copywriter’s arsenal is the readability test. Try to keep things at an 8th-grade level or below. Your message must be easy-to-grasp in the mere milliseconds you have to make an impression.
- Keep it on-brand
It’s difficult to write consistently in the same brand voice — especially if you aren’t lucky enough to have a dedicated copywriter on staff. Write slowly, edit vigorously, and compare each ad against your brand voice and tone guidelines so they all seem to be coming from the same person.
Imagery is your first impression. It’s what pulls in the eye and captures the attention. As someone scrolls through a feed or clicks around the internet, a lot is vying for attention. To punch through the noise and demand attention, it’s all about your images!
The Call to Action (CTA) is your moneymaker. It’s the closer. These are the outcomes that you want from a given ad, such as a booking or a newsletter sign up. A poor CTA will scuttle the hard work you’ve put into segmenting your
audience and building creative campaigns.
Design puts copy, images and CTA together into a layout specific to the ad format requirements.
Social Media Ads
Social media is the Zeitgeist. It’s “now” and “of the moment.” Social media is the place to be dynamic and bold, not dull or unimaginative. Your ads compete against a firehose of media from other brands, friends, and family. There are also influencers who monetize consumer recognition. It’s a Battle Royale for attention – so don’t waste your ad budget on predictable ads that don’t make an impression.
Social ads are challenging to get right. There are many different formats across various platforms. Tackling these formats takes a lot of organization on the digital creative front, as you have to make assets to match each format’s requirements. While we won’t go through each channel’s ad formats, here are some creative best practices that apply to all social channels in 2021.
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