The internet has revolutionised the travel industry, allowing anyone to explore their world with a few clicks. The competition between travel companies is fierce, and consumers are getting savvier when finding the best deals. Exciting things are happening to make global exploration more accessible than ever – there’s no limit on where one can go or what memories one may make!
Digital ad platforms such as Meta and Google Ads are powerful tools for government tourism boards and marketers in the travel industry whose aim is to increase awareness of their destination and encourage people to visit.
In our experience, gaining momentum through a clever mix of paid and organic is not about a few big programs but, instead, multiple mini-paid media programs combined with heavy up campaigns to always keep your offer top of mind.
We have found that creating a continued story that resonates with the audience and aims to defuse any challenges the destination faces and, in the process, facilitates actions.
As our Destination Canada case study shows, this is done by continually keeping activity in the market, combining an always-on approach via search with heavy-up campaigns involving more significant activations across more digital channels and a more extensive paid media spend.
Using a solid creative concept and a mixture of paid digital channels that have the proper reach among your target audience is a proven way to drive awareness.
Our approach is to be as relevant as possible at any given time, which requires a logical media strategy with the user-buyer journey in mind.
Paid social and programmatic advertising can be used for top-funnel messaging, generating awareness and engagement with your destination’s social media pages and encouraging people to visit the campaign landing pages or other relevant digital channels owned by you.
Our experienced team of data specialists can help you plan, purchase, enhance and review your marketing campaigns in many ways.
We apply data science to all digital formats. Data is not just a buzzword at Advant Technology. Data is the lifeblood of digital advertising, enabling us to understand and target potential customers in more precise ways.
By leveraging data, we can tailor our client’s messages to specific in-market audiences and maximize the campaign’s impact. It also provides actionable insights into user behavior, allowing us to adjust and optimize strategies over time.
(Screenshot from the Facebook ads platform) An example of the layered targeting we mentioned above. The estimated audience size in California, is between the ages 20 and 44, with a Doctorate, Master’s or University degree, likely living in a household in the top 25% income bracket who have shown interest in shopping (a key area of interest in the City Life Enthusiast) is between 3,000,000 and 3,600,000 on Facebook.
(Screenshot from the TikTok ads platform) While TikTok Ads do not offer the same level of granularity when it comes to targeting, e.g. compared to Facebook Ads, they could play an important role in the overall strategy when reaching your target audience. In the US alone, there are 138 million monthly active users, 64% of which are female.
If you don’t inform people of the unique experiences on offer, people are unlikely to discover them. As you can see, compelling content is critical to make promote your destination.
International digital media is our greatest strength. We have run hundreds of multi-market campaigns, including the following markets.
Video content makes up about half of the time people spend on Facebook; it’s an ad format consumers enjoy and therefore naturally lends itself to storytelling. Facebook video advertising has the power to captivate attention, immersing audiences into the narrative of the brand concept and affecting awareness, shifting consumers from a dream state to consideration. Video advertising formats are proven to deliver awareness. They also allow for complex stories to be told with the available frames, which is perfect, seeing as we will need to convey multiple messages around the theme.
High-quality video also opens up the number of digital channels and advertising inventory, allowing us to reach various target audiences, especially the of 18-44 yr old on key platforms, such as YouTube.
Suggested Video Formats
Instagram video in feed, Instagram story ads, TikTok video infeed, YouTube skippable ads & 6-second bumper ads, programmatic instream video.
Text ads are predominantly for search engine advertising. We commonly run text ads on the Google Ads platform.
Google Ads PPC search advertising can be a handy tool for destination marketing. PPC search advertising helps destinations reach potential customers at the right time by connecting them with people actively searching for their products and services.
By creating ads targeting specific keywords, destinations can ensure that their ads are being seen by their ideal audience at the precise moment they’re looking for information on your destination. For our clients, we always run a detailed user journey analysis, which helps us understand the purchase path. At different stages, from inspiration to information gathering.
Additionally, with our user journey research, destinations get valuable insights into the behaviour of their target customers in terms of what words and phrases they use to search for the products or services they offer.
This allows destinations to tailor their ad campaigns and better understand what messaging will perform best among their target customers. Finally, PPC search advertising offers a great return on investment compared to other forms of digital marketing, such as display or social media, making it an ideal way for destinations to get maximum value from their ad budget, combined with other marketing strategies, such as content creation and SEO optimization, Google Ads PPC search advertising can be a highly effective tool for reaching potential customers online and driving conversions.
Image ads are an excellent companion to video and allow for important testing between the two formats. Images ads can play an important role in driving a higher CTR. You cannot be certain which format will drive more clicks, but it’s important to have a range of formats in order to optimise between them.
Image ads also allow for engaging ad formats such as the Instagram carousel, which allow users to scroll through a series of images and thus tell a more complex story which will help with thematic and regional dispersal. Lastly, image ads are a great discovery tool when combined with powerful headlines and description texts which we can help you with.
Suggested Image Formats
Instagram image in feed, Instagram image story ads, TikTok image in feed, programmatic native responsive ads.
Audio ads present us an opportunity to generate awareness and get people dreaming of visiting your destination within yet another channel, thus allowing us to increase our reach and build our frequency across the digital online ecosystem.
They are proven to have higher recall rates than display advertising. Audio ads allow us to tap into an environment where we can create cut-through in apps extensively utilised by younger audiences, including Spotify. It allows us to target specific genres of music that appeal to the creatively curious and other common travel profiles and is, therefore, a natural contextual fit.
Suggested Audio Formats
Instream ads are inserted into podcasts and music.
By rich media, we simply mean a display ad with interactive elements built into the banner itself, thus allowing us to attract greater attention, tell a more complex story, and increase engagement rates by using moving images instead of a purely static display.
Rich media is perfect for tourism advertising because it’s a more engaging format, more immersive!
Suggested Rich Media Formats
Focus on larger ad formats to create a bigger impact, e.g. 300×250, 970×250 and 300×600.
Clear structure and process are paramount to good project management when planning, buying and executing paid media campaigns.
Our way of working is based on collaborative thinking, where we actively engage with multiple internal and external stakeholders. Our approach is analytical, where data is our guiding north star for decision-making.
This is the co-creation model working in harmony with our clients. The co-creation model is based on work, input and planning from all important teams, individual members and advisory teams.
A dedicated Account Director will own all communications and be responsible for reviewing briefs, and POs, managing internal teams and handling all communications in addition to delivering data-driven result reports.
Below you will find further details on anything from project management tasks to strategy, media management and reporting.
Here is an example of our digital media plan based on a media budget of €400,000, it provides a top-level overview of how we would split the budget. Greater detail would be provided to you for sign-off, showing how money is spent per format per asset for real-life campaigns. You can see how we view different stages of the funnel and how we use different channels for different objectives.
When developing a KPI model, you must look at different KPIs depending on the channel and the stage where the consumer might be on the path to purchase. Our recommendation would be to use a framework like this shown below, which helps us map the various KPIs depending on the type of content. We always set out clear goals at the beginning of the campaign, this allows us to constantly optimise the campaigns towards success. Success is exceeding the goals of the campaign.
For many of our clients, we use uplift surveys on YouTube advertising or a brand lift study on Meta Ads. Defining success needs a clear reporting framework, which is why we set up an analytics dashboard for our clients, with clear structured reports, combined with PowerPoint presentations on each order that is placed. These reports can be cut and filtered very easily by creative, format, by date and country, these results can then easily be shared with the stakeholders.
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