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This month’s blog post features a guest article written by Meredith Rauch.  This article was originally posted on ScreenPilot’s website.

Earlier this month, we shared four key elements in personalizing ads to increase engagement and bookings.

In order to do things like write compelling headlines, choose relevant images, develop enticing offers, and create user-friendly landing pages, you must first be familiar with the data in order to create advertisements that speak to your audience’s current interests and needs.

For those that are a bit more technical, there are additional elements you can integrate into your campaigns for better performance.

All of us, as marketers, are familiar with the old adage “no two customers are alike” and with personalization in marketing reaching its apex, we should not be sending the same ad out to all audience types in hopes that it maybe – just might…perhaps, catch the eye of a handful. Our job is to customize our efforts to relevantly reach users through all stages of their customer journey.

Through custom dimensions, custom intent, and in-market/affinity audiences, we can reach new users and deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time.

Custom Dimensions

In Google Analytics, Custom Dimensions are user-defined data points that can be retrieved whether or not a user is logged in to their Google account. These are also particular points of data that will not be revealed in Google Analytics unless you tell it to. Your hotel’s own web pages offer a plethora of data that digital marketers can then use to customize and personalize efforts towards your different audience groups. Your potential customers may be searching for a hotel room in July, and by utilizing Custom Dimensions in Google Analytics, you can tailor your ad copy to users looking for specific dates or time-frames:

By breaking out ad groups based on days, months, or holiday searches, you can provide compelling copy that creates a sense of urgency and relates to the customer. Benchmark your ad engagement before and after you customize your ads and take note to see which strategy provides the highest Click Through Rate (CTR), Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), or other KPIs such as Time on Site, Form Submissions, etc.

By customizing ad copy using custom dimensions, the Search Marketing Team here at Screen Pilot have seen a 314% increase in CTR and a 140% decrease in Cost Per Click (CPC).

Custom Intent

Recently, Google released Custom Intent Audiences, giving advertisers the ability to reach customers based on their Google search queries. For example, you can create an audience based on users who search “resorts in Charleston” or “where to vacation in South Carolina”. As users do research during their early stages of travel consideration, it’s important to get your brand out there to match the users’ search intent and gain new user website traffic. The content of both your advertisements and your landing pages should match the intent of the user.

Shouldn’t users researching “where to vacation” receive more brand awareness advertisements – while users searching specifically for “resort packages in Charleston” should receive an offer and/or package specific advertisements to give travelers what they’re looking for when they need it most?

So, what are the results?

Since launching these new campaigns as soon as custom intent audiences were available to us, Screen Pilot has seen brand awareness ads with a 4:1 ROAS, averaging 2-3 conversions a month using this targeting method.

Audience Insights

In-Market and Affinity audiences are additional avenues you can explore when deciding who to target your ads to. Google categorizes users as “in-market” by those actively researching or comparing services across the display network. “Affinity audiences” is simply associating user’s browsing activity with a specific interest category. For example, a user who likes hiking and is planning a trip to Boston might have an “affinity” for the outdoors while being “in-market” for rental cars according to Google.

By targeting our In-Market users in search campaigns, the team here at Screen Pilot see, on average, a 20% increase in conversion rates and a 20% increase in view rate for our YouTube ads.

You can either guess what audiences your customers fall in to, or, you can use audience insights to determine where your users actually stand. By reviewing insights from your All Converters audience list, you can see which in-markets and affinities are associated with your hotel guests.

 

 

With these three new targeting methods in mind, not only can you write compelling headlines, choose relevant images, develop enticing offers, and create user-friendly landing pages – you can reach users with personalized marketing that tailors to their current need or interest.

Segmenting out your audiences and customizing content in your ad copy is key in order to increase engagement and conversions.

You will not only find new audiences you weren’t reaching before, but you’ll provide compelling content that matches your customer needs.

About Robert A. Rauch, CHA

Bob serves as CEO and President of RAR Hospitality. He is an internationally recognized hotelier with over 40 years of hospitality-related management experience. Recognized by his “hotel guru,” moniker, Bob shares insights and industry trends at www.hotelguru.com. He has held nearly every position in the hotel business including General Manager of full-service four Diamond hotels for Hilton and Embassy Suites. His education includes a bachelor’s degree in Hotel Administration from Western International University and a master’s degree in Tourism Administration from Arizona State University. He is a Certified Hotel Administrator and has served as chairman of numerous tourism organizations nationally and locally (San Diego and Phoenix) and is editorial advisor and board member for CCR-Magazine and Destination Elite.

Bob has been directly involved in developing several hotels including the Del Mar Marriott, Hilton Hotel Gaslamp Plaza, Hilton Garden Inn Carlsbad, Hilton Hotel Santa Clara and several Marriott resort hotels. In addition to being the “Hotel Guru” he publishes Hospitality Innsights, an electronic newsletter and is a Faculty Associate at Arizona State University where he teaches Hospitality Entrepreneurship.

Contact: Robert A. Rauch

rauch@hotelguru.com / 858.239.1800

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