Why do we launch brand protection campaigns for our hotels on Google Ads? Have we ever questioned the reasoning behind this? It may seem trivial, but the answer I’m about to provide reveals a common mistake often made. We create brand protection campaigns to safeguard the traffic that could potentially be “stolen” by third-party channels.
NB: This is an article from Direct Your Bookings
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And who are these 3rd-party channels? Mainly the OTAs like Booking and Expedia. Sometimes other hotel competitors may try to get traffic who’s been looking for us and divert it to their site, but that’s going to be a tough job for them. We mainly protect our traffic from the OTAs.
And what can users do when they eventually land on sites like Booking or Expedia? They can only book through their sites. Can they submit a contact form to get in contact with you on Booking or Expedia? No.
Can they search for your phone number on these site so that they can call you? No.
If people want to contact you via form, or email, or call you.. They can only do that through your website or direct channel.
So, what’s the point of protecting traffic of people who may want to contact you via form, email, or phone? It makes no sense, because they only have your website or direct channel to do that. They can’t submit a form or call you from an OTAs’ site.
The only thing that OTAs can steal from us are online bookings that would have otherwise been made through your booking engine. That’s the only goal you should optimize your brand protection campaigns for: online bookings through your booking engine.
Optimizing a campaign towards other goals like Calls from Ads or Leads is useless, because you have no competitors to protect from when people want to either call you or get in contact with you in written form. It’s going to be a waste of budget and resources that you simply can’t afford to face.
It’s not the Brand Protection campaign that doesn’t work.
Unlike other industries, the hotel world has a unique aspect that significantly impacts marketing and advertising campaigns – revenue and distribution. It’s not always the case that an advertising or brand protection campaign fails because it’s poorly executed; it could simply be due to distribution or revenue issues making direct channels less appealing compared to other channels or hotels.