With 460 million user reviews and opinions (www.Statista.com), TripAdvisor has become a trusted site amongst travelers trying to plan a vacation, find the best place to eat, or the best hotel in the area. In an effort to help hotels gain more exposure on their site, TripAdvisor has now implemented paid, top-of-the-page placements with their sponsored placements.
What are sponsored placements?
They are paid placements that users will see at the top of search results. They will be indicated by a gray box labeled “sponsored”. Now any hotel can bid for top placement of any listing and any given destination.
While this is nothing new in the hotel industry, it is still something you need to understand as a hotel owner. How will it affect your business? Is this a program you should invest in?
As a hotel owner, you might have a few questions surrounding this recent addition, so let’s answer a few questions for you.
How does it work?
- Ads are targeted to a well-qualified audience of travelers who are searching for hotels to stay at in your area. We think this is the most beneficial piece of this program.
- Sponsored placements will appear on both desktop and mobile versions.
- Properties will pay for sponsored placements on a cost-per-click basis. There are three monthly budget options to choose from and at the end of the month, you will be charged for the clicks your ad received during that time-period.
- A click will count anytime a user clicks on your sponsored placement and is taken to another page.
- Once a user clicks on your sponsored placement via a clickable link, they will be taken to your hotel landing page on TripAdvisor.com.
- You will be able to set up and manage your ad through your management center with TripAdvisor.
- Ultimately the goal of the program is to drive more visibility to your hotel.
Is this a good Investment?
It is still too early to tell if TripAdvisor’s sponsored placements will be worth the investment, but as with any new advertising option, be sure to test and learn to see if this is something you want to add to your marketing budget. Here are some aspects to consider if you decide to move forward:
- Compare the cost of other cost-per-click programs through TripAdvisor. If you are seeing higher rates via sponsored placements vs. TripConnect CPC, it may not be worth it as users are only re-directed to your TripAdvisor page and ultimately would have to take another step to book directly or book through a third party booking engine. This will end up costing you more money down the road.
- On the other hand, if hotels are seeing an incremental booking due to the increased exposure, that’s a win, even if the booking comes from a third party at a higher cost.
Tips for moving forward:
If you think this is something your property could benefit from and you can add to your budget, here are some tips and tricks that can help you get started.
- Update your main photo.
- Make sure your amenities are up to date. TripAdvisor intelligently allows users to filter search results by amenities, so you want to make sure you are showing up for the appropriate search.
- Highlight any special offers you might be running during the time of your ad.
- Understand your current objectives and priorities and set a budget that will maximize your efforts.
- Be as competitive as you can with your pricing.
- As always, review and compare your results once your campaign is over.
Just because it’s new and exciting, doesn’t always mean it is right for your business. So be sure to evaluate and understand your business and marketing goals before moving forward with any additional ad campaigns.