What TripAdvisor’s New Sponsored Placements Format Means for Hotels
Gaining visibility on websites such as Kayak, Expedia, and the largest travel website with over 570 million reviews and opinions across the globe, TripAdvisor, is a core component to any hotelier’s distribution strategy. Therefore, when TripAdvisor comes out with a new product, the industry is abuzz trying to understand implementation and determine if it’s a good fit for their property. Following the recent announcement of TripAdvisor’s new ad format called Sponsored Placements, we have outlined some of the top questions hoteliers may have and some tips for implementing this new offering.
First, What Are Sponsored Placements?
Sponsored Placements are sponsored listings that appear on top of the hotel search results when users search hotels in a destination. They appear on both the desktop and mobile sites, in theory providing additional exposure to the property.
Sponsored Placements offer advertisers:
- Top Placement –Sponsored Placements sit on top of search results, allowing hotels to get premium exposure.
- Highly Qualified – Since Sponsored Placements appear in search results, they will drive the right travelers to the property just as they’re making booking decisions.
- No Risk – Advertisers only pay for clicks and can cancel the campaign at any time.
- Easy to Use – Campaigns can be set up in minutes.
On a destination results page (i.e., New York, Mexico City, Tokyo, etc.), a Sponsored Placement ad gives the hotel advertiser first position in the search results, with a clear label of “Sponsored” in order to distinguish it. With an ad budget as low as $6.00 a day, any qualifying hotel can take advantage of Sponsored Placements and appear at the top of this results page.
Who Can, and Should Be, Participating in TripAdvisor Sponsored Placements?
With Sponsored Placements, TripAdvisor is giving hotels the opportunity to pay to be the top placement above Traveler Ranked, Best Value, and Distance results. However, the OTAs already dominate TripAdvisor’s Metasearch Program and Instant Booking—these OTAs generate over 80% of the CPCs in these programs. Outside of the major hotel chains who participate in the Instant Booking program and treat it as just another OTA channel, very few independent hotels and resorts participate directly in TripAdvisor’s Metasearch Program and Instant Booking. Most of them appear on these programs via the OTAs. In this sense, very few independent hotels and resorts will even qualify to participate in the new Sponsored Placement program. Branded hotels whose brand participates in the Instant Booking program will qualify if they have an active Business Advantage subscription.