Advanced Strategies – get that extra edge

This is Section 5 of the series ’45 things you can do to get more bookings’

Section 1 – Build a website and take bookings
Section 2 – SEO – get to the top of Google
Section 3 – Content strategy – keep telling your story
Section 4 – Social Media & PR – talk to your people
Section 6 – Monitor your Progress – monthly stats are essential

40. Set up Facebook retargeting

You know that slightly spooky thing where on Facebook you get shown ads that are highly relevant to you?

You might visit a certain website then over the next few days you see advertising from that company.

You can do that too.

Even if you’re not ready to run ads yet, get the Facebook pixel correctly set up on your website so you start collecting data, known as ‘building an audience’.

Then, when you’re ready to run some ads, you’ll already have a file containing all the people who have visited your website in the last 6 months.

Even better, you can ask Facebook to generate a ‘lookalike’ audience, which means they look at all the people who have actually been to your website, then give you a whole lot more people that are similar. That’s some next level voodoo magic right there, huh?

You need to get your pixel in place!

Create a Custom Audience so you can retarget people who visited a specific webpage

41. Run Facebook retargeting campaigns

Retargeting campaigns are a highly cost effective form of advertising.

Show your ad to people who have visited your website in the past. They have already shown they have some sort of interest in your business – they’re a ‘warm’ prospect. It’s easier to convert warm prospects into paying customers than to start afresh with brand new (‘cold’) prospects.

You have a variety of options available with your ad. You can ask people to like your page. You can send them to a new blog post. Or you can tell them about a new offering or a special deal.

People visit your website.

Then they go to Facebook.

Bingo! They see your ad. 

42. Set up Google Adwords retargeting

You can also retarget people outside of Facebook.

No doubt you’ve seen it in action yourself. You do a quick bit of research about blenders and before you know it, all you’re seeing for the next week is blenders. It seems like there’s a blender advertisement on every website you visit.

Before you can run these kinds of ads you need to get things set up properly. Specifically, there’s a bit of code that needs to go onto your website.

Read how to create your first display remarketing campaign at Google’s ‘Adwords Help’ page for more information about what you need to do.

Put your ad all over the internet

43. Run Google Adwords retargeting ads

Retargeting is often used when people abandon a shopping cart. When a customer thinks about buying something but doesn’t complete the purchase they’ll often see an ad inviting them to come back.

You might have noticed this yourself. Sometimes you’ll even be offered a discount, which is particularly handy if you were intending to make the purchase anyway but got caught up making dinner.

One problem for accommodation providers that use channel managers is that the ‘shopping cart’ is not actually on your website, so you can’t retarget people that looked at prices but didn’t complete a booking. You can only collect data on your own website. If you were able to set up a ‘thank you page’ on your website, where guests were directed after completing their booking, it would make this possible. The last time I attempted to make this happen though, I hit a brick wall.

If you’re using a channel manager and you’re successfully retargeting people who think about booking but don’t, I’d love to hear from you.

People visit your website.

Then they go to other pages on the internet.

Bingo! They see your ad. 

44. Use UTM codes so everything can be properly tracked

If you’re sending people to your website in a number of different ways, you want to know the effectiveness of each method so you can get the most bang for your buck in future marketing.

You do this using a thing called UTM’s. I interviewed expert Chris Mercer about UTM’s.

Basically, you attach a label to everything you do, then you can look at the labels and see what happened.

For example if you post 3 updates on Facebook, you can check to see which one resulted in the most clicks to your website.

This kind of information is gold because it helps you refine your strategy rather than constantly guessing what will work and what won’t. When it comes to marketing, the more data you can collect, the better.

POWER TIP – Chris Mercer

Measurement Marketer
Learn Google Analytics – Start by learning to track traffic using UTM’s.

That’s the end of Section 5.

Head to Section 6 – Monitor your Progress – monthly stats are essential

Cath, can you help?

Yes, I can.

I work one-on-one with hotel owners to help with all these things so you can get more bookings.

Find out more here.

What do you think?

What else do you do to increase bookings?

What have I missed? Have you spotted a typo or some other error? Do you agree or disagree with a particular point?

Or, if you found this information helpful please let me know. My casual thought about putting together this series turned into an obscene amount of time, blood, sweat and tears, so I would be chuffed to hear from you.