7 “Aha!” Facebook Ad Targeting Tactics for Hotel Marketers

Want to reach newly engaged couples? What about those visiting for a big game? Or those who almost booked? We share some of Facebook’s ad targeting secret sauce.

The bad news you already know: Facebook organic reach is at a low point and poised to dip even lower in 2018 for marketing impact. The good news: Facebook ad targeting goes way beyond the obvious demographics you might expect. And because Facebook owns Instagram, it means your ads can appear on both channels. Here, we dive into some of the nuanced targeting tactics that could prove a gold mine for hotel marketers today as a part of your social media marketing strategy.

1.) Couples Celebrating Anniversaries

Spark a romantic escape, perhaps tied to a particular package, around a couple’s anniversary. You can select how far out from a user’s anniversary you want to target (ex: 0-30 days, 31-60 days), the markets to reach, and also decide if you want to show your ad to both men and women (perhaps having some fun with the ad creative and messaging, playing off the idea of helping husbands look like heroes with this surprise weekend away).

2.) Newly Engaged Couples

Looking to boost your events business by hooking newly engaged couples? Facebook makes it possible through those who change their relationship status. Considering how many venue and vendor booking decisions are made in the first few months of engagement, pair this with the right age range and geographic targeting and you’ve got the start of a campaign that we’ve executed for clients and shown some seriously impressive ROI.

3.) Sports Fans Traveling after Their Teams

Some fan bases travel with their teams, particularly for big games. Is your hotel near the arena/park/stadium of a college or pro team? Some of the opposing team’s fans will define their team as one of their Interests. Exclude the area directly around your hotel (since locals who are fans of the opposing team won’t need to stay at your hotel to go to the game). Also consider targeting solely Frequent Travelers.

4.) College Alumni

Playing off the above sports fans idea, if your hotel is near a college, you can turn on this ad at key times of year for those who attended the college – to get alumni back for big games, for homecoming, or other events in the calendar year. Just make sure to exclude people who live in your area (and overseas), so you’re not paying to get in front of locals, and also consider excluding the youngest alums who may crash on a friend’s couch.

5.) Young Families & Seasonal Family Events

Maybe your hotel is near a theme park or a seasonal family attraction (ex: Polar Express train rides). Capitalize by reaching out directly to parents, since users can opt-in with details on the age range of their kids. You’d target whatever age ranges make sense for the nearby attraction. Consider adding the additional filter of Leisure Travelers in the Detailed Targeting section.

6.) Almost Bookings

How about those who almost booked, but didn’t quite pull the trigger? By installing a Facebook pixel on your website, Facebook can track viewers’ behavior, including those who visited the booking webpage but didn’t get to the booking confirmation page. Think of it as remarketing within Facebook.

7.) Past Guests

Hopefully you have access the email list comprising past guests. You can put that to use in the Facebook ad ecosystem, too, by uploading an email list to the platform and building a Custom Audience around it.

Bonus: 4 Top Guidelines for Building A Good Facebook Ad for Hotel Marketing

No matter the ad targeting or type, remember that Facebook users are inundated with images in their News Feed – you, as an advertiser, are competing against their friends, families, and interests for attention.

Customize Your Creative
– The targeting for all the ideas is very specific. Your ad messaging and imagery should be, too, to maximize ROI.

Images Matter. A Lot.
– Bold, original, eye-catching visuals are required to slow the scrolls (and swipes) as users race through the News Feed.

Build a CTA with Love and Attention
– If you succeed in grabbing a user’s attention, you’ll only have a moment, so work to craft a clear, compelling CTA. Be lean, economical, and memorable in your language – this deserves just as much attention as your visuals.

Create Two Versions…with Only One Difference
– You hear all the time that it’s important to A/B test – but remember a basic principle of scientific experimentation: Don’t change more than one variable between tests, otherwise you won’t know which change to attribute a difference in metrics to.



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