Chris Torres, author of How To Turn Your Online Lookers Into Bookers, demystifies Facebook ads to help you build brand awareness (and an enviable marketing list).
Facebook Ads won’t build sales and bookings. That will come. The problem most tour operators face is they dive into Facebook ads to promote a tour or activity without first telling their target customer why they should book with them. Raising brand awareness, showing your value and building trust with your audience before they book is paramount.
If you haven’t paid for an advertisement on Facebook before, you may be a little intimidated by it. However, Facebook has made it incredibly easy to target specific types of people. In fact, I’m not aware of another advertisement platform (not even Google) that allows brands as much control over the audience their ads target.
The Facebook ad system allows you to precisely choose your audience’s location, language, age, gender, behavior, interests and so much more. It even allows you to select what time of day you’d like your Facebook ad to run. If your target demographic tends to spend more time browsing Facebook in the evening, for example, you can set your ad to only run in the evenings.
Not all ads are alike, however. Different types of Facebooks ads have varying objectives, and it’s important to use them strategically for the biggest payoff.
Find below a Facebook ad funnel structure I’ve created explaining how you can run ads to increase website visitors, build your email marketing lists, and lead a potential customer to make a purchase—even on a shoestring budget.
Brand Awareness Ad
The purpose of this ad type is to drive targeted traffic to your website to raise brand awareness. This is a single-image ad that promotes your business or can lead the target customer to a blog article that would be specific to their market.
For example, you may write a blog of the ‘5 Top Cycling Routes’ or ‘Top vegan Restaurants’ in your destination. Whatever the main interest is for your demographic, create a piece that is valuable for them.
Target your main demographic with this ad and start with a budget of around $10 per day.
Free Value Ad
The purpose of a Free Value Ad is to provide your potential customer with something of value in exchange for their email address. You are effectively buying their permission to market to them.
The item of value can be a PDF download, a fun video or a discount code. I prefer a PDF download, as you can create a guide around your destination’s top 10 places to eat or a map showing events happening in the area. This guide can also contain a discount code that would further entice them to sign up.
By building your email lists in this way, you can market to potential customers not only through email newsletters, but also you can upload these customers into Facebook to target specific ads, too.
For this ad, target only those customers who visited your website from your first ad. This allows you to know that you are targeting people who are interested in what you offer. Because you’ll be targeting website visitors, you do not need to set any location or specific interests on the ads.
Start with a budget of around $10 per day.
This ad is designed to build upon the trust you have started to gain from the information from the first two ads.
For this, consider using a two-minute video in which one of your guides takes the viewer on a quick tour of one of your experiences. This humanizes your brand and helps communicate their passion. Mix into this video shots of customers providing testimonials of their experiences and showing how much fun they’re having (I hope!).
Target visitors who have visited your website and who have downloaded your guide. Again, make sure you are doubling down on your targeting and start with a budget of around $10 per day.
With a Sale Ad, the objective is to continue to build brand trust while also asking for the sale.
Try running a 30-second version of the first video from the Trust Ad, or use a completely different video. Use the same guide as before, as this makes it easier for your customers to relate to. Like the first ad, this tactic helps humanizes your brand.
Target your ad to visitors of your website and to those who downloaded the guide or watched the video in your last ad. You can even set this to target past customers by uploading their data into Facebook and aiming your ads to them. This may encourage repeat or referral business. Again, I would set the budget for this ad at around $10 per day, increasing if so desired.
Budget and Test
When running simultaneously, the daily budget can be as low as $40 per day—the cost of one low-cost day tour, so it’s more than worth the effort. If successful, ramp up your budget to get even more out of the partnership.
There are many other types of campaigns you can create and run on Facebook. Once you are comfortable using Facebook ads, experiment a little. Testing and measuring are always required as it allows you to see opportunities that may work wonders for your booking rates, and help you identify low performing ads which should never run again.
Chris Torres has 26 years’ experience working in brand development, design, and marketing, and he’s spent the last 13 years running the Tourism Marketing Agency. Chris is responsible for researching travel and tourism trends and has also written the first, and only, tours and activity marketing book, How to Turn your Online Lookers into Bookers (Tourism Marketing Agency, 2019). The advice in the article above has been adapted from Chris’s book. Feel free to contact Chris at: [email protected]
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