25hours Hotels is a group of 13 properties across Europe that is facing the challenge of how to stand out from the crowd Alexander Schuster, head of digital, encourages travellers to book one of their properties using TripAdvisor.
In a world where travellers have a wealth of options of places to stay, and there are plenty of places for a hotel to advertise, Schuster focuses on TripAdvisor: "I use TripAdvisor to increase our visibility, highlight the 25hours brand, and get more direct bookings."
To build relationships between customers and the 25hours brand, Schuster uses content marketing. "We focus on content marketing instead of solely relying on promotions, discounts or packages. Content allows us to tell a larger story about how guests don't just stay at our hotels. They can have a fun, relaxing, immersive adventure at our hotels, which are designed to embody the city and neighbourhood they're in," he says. "Our photos and videos reinforce our brand, and our blog for each hotel offers local insider knowledge."
Maximising visibility with Sponsored Placements
To maximise his reach to travellers and drive more traffic to 25hours, Schuster decided to try Sponsored Placements.
"Relying on search for travellers to find our properties isn't effective. With Sponsored Placements, we expand our visibility to travellers who are already on the customer journey, especially when they're searching in a dedicated city, but don't have a specific brand in mind," he says.
"The five properties that tried out Sponsored Placements each received more than 100,000 impressions on average in two months - meaning they were seen 100,000 more times than if we didn't have Sponsored Placements."
Sponsored Placements have also helped Schuster get more booking referrals. "As well as increased visibility, Sponsored Placements create leads so more travellers make bookings at our hotels. We saw a 20% boost in booking referrals on average. We also saw an increase in page visits to our five properties' TripAdvisor listing pages," he says.
Seeing the benefits of Sponsored Placements, Schuster believes the ads are a worthwhile investment.
"Sponsored Placements are valuable because I'm able to raise awareness of the 25hours brand at multiple touchpoints of the customer journey. Every click means travellers are engaged and interested - if travellers see our ad, it's highly likely they'll be back later with high intent to book with us," he says.
Since TripAdvisor introduced Sponsored Placements last year, many business owners are switching to this new and targeted way of being seen by guests who are ready to book.
The Caterer caught up with Ricardo Arcifa at TripAdvisor to hear his top seven reasons for using the product:
1 Reach the right audience
Almost half a billion people visit TripAdvisor every month, and 74% of travellers who book directly on an accommodation website visit TripAdvisor at some point.
2 Be seen by potential guests
Adverts appear in prominent places on TripAdvisor, including above the search results on desktop, tablet and mobile. Ads are seen wherever your potential guests are searching.
3 Targetingâ¦ with no extra effort
Unlike many other ads, Sponsored Placements automatically target travellers who are looking for an accommodation like yours. Your ad only appears if your property matches the traveller's search, including their chosen location and amenities.
4 You advertise only when you have rooms to fill
Sponsored Placements only appear when you have availability for the traveller's search dates. If you're sold out for those dates, your ad won't appear.
5 You only pay when a traveller clicks on your ad
Your adverts are cost-per-click. This means you'll only pay when a traveller clicks on your ad.
6 You know exactly what you're spending
Set a budget for the maximum monthly amount you're willing to spend. You'll never be charged more.
7 It's easy to manage
You can start your Sponsored Placements campaign today. Once it's activated, you can make changes at any time.
Sign up today
Sign up today to take £100 off your first Sponsored Placements campaign. Use promo code UKSPONSORED.
Offer expires 31 March 2019.
To get started, visit TripAdvisor.co.uk/AdsManager