Every Shop Owner knows the Value of Re-targeting
If you have ever been a shop owner or brick-and-mortar sales person you know the feeling: the urge of wanting to run after a customer that comes in, looks around, seems genuinely interested then walks out of your shop empty-handed. Perhaps you could run down the road and offer them a coupon or a special deal. Well, that is sort of what happens with online re-targeting. It’s a way to remind travelers about your brand after they visit your site and then either go off to visit other sites or just close their browser at that point. Travelers look at 20 to 30 travel-related sites, so the chances of getting a booking on the first visit is highly unlikely (about 2% on average book; 98% do not).
Travel Shoppers Have a Long Buy Cycle
All travel shoppers will only book when they are ready and from start to finish, the buying cycle can take days, weeks or even months of research, planning and just considering the vast array of options and family wishes. At the start, shoppers are just doing research and they move on very quickly and can simply forget what sites they visited. Re-targeting can keep your offer in front of them as they browse the web, check out reviews and directories, look at articles and news and visit 3rd party information sites about travel. With re-targeting your site, visitors will see ads for your hotel on the sites they visit after leaving yours. It is a way to keep top-of-mind, reminding them of your brand throughout their planning journey. If you keep doing this, your ads will appear and showcase you while they are planning and, most importantly, when they are ready to book.
This re-marketing is very effective as it targeting people who have shown interest in your offer. It is also cost effective and a lower cost per click that most traditional internet ads like Adwords. That is due to the fact that it is dealing with real interest. The conversion rates are also higher than traditional ads which means it has a good Return On Investment (ROI).
Re-Targeting to Boost Direct Bookings
Re-targeting is a valuable and effective strategy in following travel planners whom you can re-target to book direct . It is a vital part of any “Why Book Direct Strategy“. We posted that article using a case study of a small St. Lucia Villa holiday resort that has implemented a BookDirect campaign. The important fact is that hotels need to court travelers and encourage them to bookdirect by reminding them of the benefits of doing so. Re-targeting is an effective strategy and it is all the more effective when used with other marketing tactics that boost direct booking. Meta Search channels are now accessible to small hotels and this is an import hotel channel that will deliver bookings that are free of OTA commissions. You do have to pay to get travelers to your website but generally it is far lower cost than the traditional distribution channels.
Reminding shoppers of who you are while they are still shopping is a main component of “Re-targeting Book Direct Strategies”. It may seen daunting to implement a re-targeting campaign to boost direct bookings. In fact, it is now quite simple with lots of helpful avenues to choose from.
Companies to Work With
There are several re-targeting companies that make it a breeze to be seen across the net. As long as you understand the basic concept, you will find that the new re-targeting ad platforms take care of all the work. The basic concept is that the Re-targeting company will put a bit of code – a cookie – that tags visitors. It can then monitor their behavior and deliver your ads to their “display network”.
The platforms include companies like AdRoll, Perfect Audience, Triggit, Fetchback, Meteora and ReTargeter. All work by targeting those travelers who have visited your site. Google offers search re-targeting. The advertising platform Chango also offer a search targeter for those searching on Google, Yahoo, or Bing. There are a growing number of specialized services like Vizury that specialize in cross device re-marketing and niche-specific solutions for enterprise-level businesses.
LiquidAds and Personalized Shopping
AdRoll has one of the more extensive traditional re-targeting networks, working with advertisers that include: Facebook Exchange, Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft. It reaches 98% of sites on the Internet. They also have a strategy called LiquidAds. These are ads that can change in tune with the pages that the traveler’s web browser has visited.
With these services your ad may appear anywhere on the internet that advertises 3rd party services and products. You may show up on Google’s network, on destination portals and in meta search channels that can direct shoppers back to your site to book or to look. This is the reason why we have stressed the need to offer a set of benefits for booking direct. In many cases the re-targeted ads might send shoppers to your own page that explains the benefits of booking directly with your hotel.
This is a clever idea, fully in line with the move to more personalized travel shopping experiences. New intelligent systems are analyzing users’ profiles and behaviors to deliver a highly personalized travel shopping experience. Tracking your searches and ad viewing is a good indication of you interest. Showing you ads for places you have looked at is getting quite personal. See also PersonaHolidays.com for the latest example of personality matching (link in Resources).
Resources for Re-targeting Book Direct Strategies
Moz has an excellent round up of the various platforms. https://moz.com/blog/comparing-the-top-4-retargeting-companies
Search Engine Land https://www.searchenginejournal.com/retargeting-ad-platforms/134168/
Personalized Holiday Shopping http://info.personaholidays.com