COVID-19 Recovery Toolkit: Creative Trends and Recommendations for Your Ads During Recovery (Part 3)
Travelers are beginning to dream about and plan their future travel.
As countries start to reopen and restrictions lighten, we’re starting to see hotels and attractions kick into recovery mode. With your advertising now back up and running, we want to make sure you’re able to capture the attention of travelers dreaming of your destination. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of creative recommendations you can start using today.
Travelers are beginning to dream about and plan their future travel. According to Google Trends, YouTube searches for travel topics are up 60% in the last 30-days. You want these dreamers to have your property top of mind when they’re able to get back out there. Below you’ll see a list of recommendations to effectively target these dreamers and get them to book now for a future date.
Tap into these dreamers with headlines that focus on the exploratory phase like “Plan Your Getaway”, “Stop dreaming, start planning your next vacation”, or “Discover the Extraordinary in London”.
While New York and California have been slower to ease restrictions, residents increasingly want to get out of their houses. Arrivalist’s data revealed that drive market activity in Texas and Georgia has grown exponentially and people are typically staying within 100 miles of their homes. As more cities, states, and countries begin to ease travel restrictions you can expect to see more people taking advantage of staycations and drive market destinations. Consider using copy such as “Staycation in style” or “You don’t have to travel to create memories” you can also highlight a promotion for locals such as, “10% Off With Local Drivers License”. Here are some others you can use too.
The most popular ad copy right now though, is copy that highlights flexibility.
Travelers looking to book vacations later this summer want peace of mind in knowing that you provide flexible booking options, such as free cancellations or the ability to reschedule their bookings. We recommend highlighting this in the ad copy of your banner ads.
Travelers may also be encouraged to book a room or reserve a ticket to your attraction within the next year in return for a lower price. Consider offering discounted gift cards that can be purchased now and redeemed at a later date. Here are some copy ideas we suggest you try using.
Update your images to exclude people gathering in large groups, such as a crowded lobby or restaurant. Instead, show images of a family on a roadtrip or only a couple of people enjoying themselves at your pool or on a walking tour. We recently conducted a split test (also known as A/B testing) on hotel images. We found that exterior images of the property had a 55% higher click-through rate and an almost 4% higher conversion rate compared to lifestyle images, which are images that contain people in them such as a family at the beach, and amenity images such as a bar or restaurant, which had a 22% lower conversion rate on average. So when possible, use those exterior images. Showing travelers these types of images paired with our recommended copy is sure to turn heads and get them thinking about your hotel or attraction.
These are stressful times for everyone, and you need to empathize with your customers through your ads. Even though you want to inspire action, you should adjust your call-to-action to your market and the stage they’re in.
If your market is still under tight restrictions and travel bans, consider using a softer call to action to encourage travelers to ‘Start Planning’ or ‘Book Now, Stay Later’. Be sure to match the copy with the approach you’re taking in your advertising as well. For example, if you’re focusing on the local drive market, you should try using ‘Book Now, Stay Later’ or ‘Explore Vegas’.
Take into account regional-specific nuances. For example, another A/B test we conducted was focused on the Asia Pacific region to see if the higher funnel phrasing, ‘Start Planning’ would perform better than the more direct lower funnel phrasing, ‘Book Now’. What we found is that ‘Start Planning’ resulted in a 7% higher click-through rate and a staggering 88% higher conversion rate than ‘Book Now’!
If your market is starting to recover and travel is beginning to pick back up, you can consider using lower funnel call-to-actions to attract travelers looking to travel now. Consider using ‘Book Now’ or ‘Book Direct’ again in your advertising. Here are some other call-to-actions you can try using as well.
If you need help designing your ads, be sure to reach out to your Sojern representative to see how we can help you. We have a team of professional creative designers who build hundreds of ads for our customers around the world and their specific brands. Here are just a few examples of some they’ve created and how our customers are implementing these recommendations into their ads today.
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“Working with Sojern, it’s not just a cookie-cutter solution, as Sojern listens to our needs and recommends what’s best for our hotel. We have someone to bounce ideas off of, and Sojern gives us a higher-level perspective on how we can get the best value for our investment.”
“We love the simplicity of the solution and how clearly we can see results. The technology works so well that it leaves us to do our other day-to-day jobs. We are seeing increased interest in our superior and deluxe rooms as a result, which is improving the overall average booking value. I think we will be long-time customers for as long as Sojern continues to perform the way it does today!”
"Sojern and Roiback have a great relationship and work together to maximise our direct bookings. We have regular check-ins to review performance, and both Sojern and Roiback give us insights and recommendations for improvement. And the results speak for themselves! Their collaboration has been very helpful for us."
"I’ve definitely seen increased bookings. In fact, January through March is usually a quiet period for us, but this year, leisure bookings are double what we normally see, and this is due to Sojern. As a small hotel, I really value the relationship we've built with the Sojern team. You can tell when someone is genuine and willing to work with you, and I feel that with Sojern."
"I worked with Sojern at a previous hotel and had a great experience, so I knew I wanted to partner with them when I joined Ticino Hotels Group. Their Pay on the Stay package gives us a cleaner, more reliable business model to help with our direct booking strategy, and we’ve seen the results. To anyone considering Sojern for their digital marketing needs—I say go for it!"
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