The Tour Operator’s Quick Guide To Facebook Advertising
Once you’ve created and optimized your business’ Facebook page, it’s time to put it to work. With the ultimate goal of using your page to increase online bookings, the best place to start is with Facebook advertising. Simple and effective, Facebook ads give you the ability to target and raise brand awareness within your own tour and activity market.
Utilize the platform to get people talking about your business, making sure that your ads are targeted towards the people who are most likely to be interested in the type of tour you are offering. As opposed to other types of advertising, Facebook allows you to dig even deeper by targeting not only specific demographics, but more narrow categories like people traveling on vacation in and around your tour location.
You’ll find all the tools you need to get started in the Facebook Ads Manager. This tool is the motherboard of Facebook advertising. You’ll use it daily to create, edit and monitor ads.
When creating a Facebook ad from the Ads Manager dashboard, you’ll be prompted to chooose from different ad objectives. Working towards the ultimate goal of increasing online bookings, you should select the ad objective of “send people to your website.” From there, enter the URL of your business to proceed to the audience page. This is where the real fun begins – highly customizable targeting will allow you to hand select your future audience.
In order to make the most out of your ads, you’ll need to determine a specific, targeted audience for each ad. Facebook offers an incredible range of targeting metrics, including: location, age, gender, language, interests, behaviors, and connections. Select the metrics most relevant to your purpose, depending on the type of ad you are creating and what your final goal is.
For your first ads, you’ll want to focus on the following:
1) Target a specific age group that relates to your typical customer profile.
2) Target both genders, unless there is a reason to specify.
3) Select “More demographics”, “Life events”, and then “Away from hometown”, to target people who are vacationing or traveling in your area.
4) Add interests that relate to your specific tour or activity. For example, if you run a sunset booze cruise, target people who have expressed an interest in drinking beer and wine.
In the right sidebar, you’ll notice that the size of your target audience begins to shrink as you become more specific with your targeting demographics. In this case, less is more. A smaller, more focused audience will show more conversions than a larger, unrefined group. Know who your audience is, and create focused ads that speak directly to them.
The Budget Before finalizing your ad, you’ll need to set a daily budget. This can start as low as $5 per day. As you play around with your budget, a sliding scale on the right sidebar will show the potential number of people you can reach each day in relation to the budget you set. Start low and slowly increase your budget as you see results.
Designing the Ad
When it comes to building your ad, Facebook gives you the option to upload your own visual or choose from a library of free stock images. If you have beautiful, hi-res images of your tour or activity – use them! If you don’t, Facebook’s extensive free library will allow you to choose up to six.
Your image will be the first thing people notice. Take care to select an image that speaks to your business’ brand, captivates the viewer’s imagination and ignites positive emotion. The goal is draw in the viewer and deliver a consistent, engaging message about your business.
The ad text is meant to complement the message tied to your image. Write in a tone that’s relevant to your brand, and specific to your audience. Imagine your ideal customer – their age, demographic, average income, interests – and create copy that would appeal directly to them.
Each section of the ad will have a character limit. Keep your text concise and to the point, focusing on one or two main features of your tour, activity or experience. When that’s complete, add in a call-to-action, inviting the viewer to “Learn More” or “Book Now.”
Once your ad is approved and on the newsfeed, your role switches from creator to editor. Check in on your ad’s performance on a regular basis, making edits to your budget and content as necessary. To get the best performance out of your advertisements, continue to build ads with different copy or unique visuals, then compare their conversion and engagement rates to the originals. Use this data to continually edit and improve your ads.
Continue evolving your strategy as you go. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to Facebook advertising. It’s all about discovering what works for your unique business.