Facebook has just announced a new advertising feature that’s sure to be of great interest to both the travel agent community and the travel industry more generally. It will now be possible to reach travellers online – even before they have decided on their destination.
The Trip Consideration feature is not yet available to all Facebook page managers, but is currently being phased in across North America and should be on offer shortly.
What’s it for?
Did you know that 68 per cent of millennials say they have found their most recent travel idea thanks to Facebook? Or that 60 per cent of millennials have been inspired by an image or video posted on Instagram?
These results, from a GfK study published in 2016 entitled Digital Travel Research Journey, show the importance of being visible to these potential travellers before their mind is made up about where to travel.
Picture the scene: a couple in their thirties visit various travel websites about the Caribbean, showing an interest in cruises. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to position an advertisement in their Facebook news feed, suggesting exactly this type of package or trip?
Advertising – an absolute must on Facebook
For some time now, travel agents have understood that presence on Facebook is essential to reach past, present and future clients. However, we now know that posts no longer enjoy the type of reach they commanded in years gone by – thanks, in part, to the recent 'Facebook Zero' changes.
In this context, advertising placement becomes mandatory in order to reach our target audiences. We can always ‘boost a post.’ But there are also more comprehensive advertising options, prompting the user to visit a specific website or URL, view a video, fill out a form or buy from an online catalogue.
In 2016, Facebook introduced dynamic advertising for travel – a very useful feature, but mainly for hotel chains, airlines or travel wholesalers who have an online catalogue. For travel agents, however, resources and budgets are likely more limited.
Trip Consideration, at your fingertips
The most important aspect of the new Trip Consideration feature, then, will be its accessibility for travel agents wishing to reach Facebook users who are thinking of booking a trip. To use the feature, you just need to do the following:
- Install the Facebook pixel on your website.
- Choose the ‘Conversion’ advertising objective in the Facebook Ads Manager.
- Define the budget, placement, and target audience in the ad unit. Then, in the ‘Optimize Ad Delivery’ section, you will see the option of targeting according to travel intentions.
- Complete the budget and calendar criteria, then define the creative advertising to use: images, text, links, and more.