Travel is one of the favorite activities of millions worldwide, all of whom want to discover new corners of the world. And the question plaguing these travelers: where should I go next? This is where travel ads come in, as they can directly influence users’ decision making. With every place competing to become the next go-to destination, the level of creativity in travel ads just keeps getting higher.
The competition is tough, and it’s onlygoing to get harder going forward. In this article, we’ll teach you everything you need to know to consistently make powerful travel ads that will captivate your audience and make a huge impact on the decision making of travelers.
6 Key Steps to Creating a Successful Travel Advertising Campaign
If you’re serving different markets in the digital marketing space, you’ll find that advertising has the same foundations across practically every industry. Travel agency ads are no exception. In-depth research will still be foundational for you to move further in the campaign. Whenever possible, we are going to make our insights specific to travel ads; however, the information you’ll find here will also be applicable to other industries that use digital marketing.
Step #1: Establish Why You Want to Create Travel Ads
Understanding why you want to create a travel campaign makes it easier for you to set campaign goals. Unless you want your campaign to be directionless, you can’t skip this step! The decisions and actions that you will take moving forward should be aligned with your goals for making travel ads. To give you an idea, here are a few things that you may want to achieve with your campaign:
- Increasing brand visibility;
- Improving user engagement with digital assets;
- Getting new customers to book;
- Having existing customers book again;
- Introducing a new offer.
Please note, travel ads can be useful for many things, but if you want to accomplish multiple goals, you may have to run multiple campaigns.
Step #2: Understand the Intended Audience for Your Travel Advertisements
After you have established the goals of the campaign, you should then answer the question: who do you want to reach? How you communicate will largely depend on who you’re communicating with. So, if you want your travel ads to be received well by your audience, first identify who your audience is. This ensures that you can meet them at a point of understanding.
Step #2.1: Identify Target Demographics and Psychographics
Demographics refer to data like age, education level, location and gender. It is usually objective data used to segment the audience for your travel ads (more on this later). Meanwhile, psychographics are subjective data that focuses on users’ thoughts, preferences and even lifestyles. When you create travel ads, you’ll want to know about your audience’s views on tourism as well as travel-related preferences, such as activities, weather, mode of traveling and other experiences. And how do you get that information? Interviews, surveys and polls can give you a lot of insights!
Step #2.2: Create Market Segments Based on Certain Traits
Normally, demographics are used to create market segments, which are highly beneficial for travel ads. For example, the priorities of younger and older travelers may be different. Financial status is also a popular basis for segmentation. After all, there’s no sense in showing someone travel ads for a five-star hotel if they’ve already decided that they want to keep costs as low as possible. Feel free to experiment with the data that you have. There are no rules for how to approach segmentation. Just make sure that your decisions are logical in the context of the travel industry.
Step #2.3: Make and Utilize Customer Personas
Now that you have the segments, it’s time to create the personas! To ensure that each persona is useful for your travel ads, really make it come to life. Having a lot of specifics and insights will help here, so review the information you have obtained from data gathering in Step 2.1. Then, use it to mold an imaginary person. As you go through the next steps in creating travel ads, you can refer to the personas, rather than all of the obtained data, and use them as the basis for your personalized campaigns.
Step #3: Choose the Right Platform for Your Travel Ads
The right platform will depend on where the personas you created hang out online. The examples below are just a few platforms that you can use.
- Google ads: Google travel ads are great for high-intent searches, where the keywords are very specific, as this indicates that the viewers are ready to book. An example of this would be “family hotels in Bali.”
- Social media ads: Instagram travel ads and other types of social media ads are great for reaching a wider audience and driving awareness for your offer.
- Email marketing: Unless you’re sending cold emails, email marketing already assumes a higher level of trust. So, this can be used for travel ads, but more specifically for running discount promotions and providing updates.
- MGID ads: MGID offers native advertising placement services through top-tier, verifiable publishers with highly engaged traffic. A variety of advertising widget formats allows you to choose the best option for any business story. In addition, MGID offers a rich and modern toolkit for creating advertising that stands out: its AI image generation feature helps you create unique creatives for your travel campaign.
Step #4: Leverage Compelling Visuals and Storytelling to Create the Most Effective Travel and Tourism Ads
“Living the dream!” That’s what you want your potential customers to experience even before they book. So, give them a glimpse of their future experience through captivating imagery and videos. To decide what to include in your travel ads, consider answering these questions:
- What do existing customers love most about the destination?
- Is there anything that the place is already known for?
- What do you want to show your target audience?
Again, most travel ads work best when used to transport the audience to the destination. So, try to incorporate authentic local experiences as well.
Step #5: Use Geographic Targeting so Your Ads Travel to the Right Places
Travel will always have a geographic element to it as people will have to get from Point A to Point B. So, it’s necessary to consider locations when you create travel ads. And how exactly do you do this?
- Geotargeting and location-based advertising: Google ads for travel agency businesses can be made more effective if they’re targeting location-based keywords.
- Tailoring campaigns to local cultures and languages: If you’re advertising in France, travel ads must be in French!
- Cultural sensitivities and relevance in ads: Make sure that you’re respectful of any customs or religions in the area you’re targeting so as not to turn off potential clients.
Step #6: Take Advantage of User-Generated Content (UGC) for the Best Travel Ad Examples
Are you up for some free advertising? Encouraging your existing customers to talk about their experiences is a good way to get it. User-Generated Content (UGC) is a great way to create a pool of valuable content that you can then curate for your travel ads. But how do you decide which pieces you will feature in your ads? Here are a few tips that you can use for curating and using UGC:
- Organize the content into categories;
- Promote content that fits your brand and the objectives of the campaign;
- Edit the content to fit the platform where you plan to publish.
But, before you publish, remember to get the consent of the original creator.
Travel Advertisement and Influencers: How to Maximize the Power of Influencer Marketing
Influencers are defined loosely as people who have gained a following online, usually through social media platforms. Incorporating influencers into your travel campaign presents a great opportunity for those who want the best travel agency ads. After all, according to Expedia’s Travel Value Index 2023, social media is one of the main sources for travel inspiration. Creating partnerships with those who already have a stronghold on a platform will help you improve the returns on your travel ads. Our suggestion? Strongly consider tapping relevant travel influencers to help you get bookings.
Best Practices for Selecting and Collaborating with Travel Influencers
When done right, influencers can be a great medium for your travel ads. So, keep in mind these best practices for your collaborations:
- Consider micro influencers because their audience tends to be more engaged and more loyal;
- Make sure that their content is aligned with the brand so the travel ads won’t look inauthentic;
- Be clear about and document the responsibilities of both parties;
- Create ways by which you can measure the effectiveness of the travel ads;
- Check the similarity between your target audience and those of the influencers that you’re targeting.
The work ethic of the influencer is important as well. So, if you encounter issues with the publishing of your travel ads with them, seek alternatives.
Analyzing ROI of Influencer Partnerships in Travel Advertising: Which Metrics Should You Look at?
The financial effectiveness of placing travel ads on an influencer’s page is not always a primary concern! However, if your goal with the partnership is to get new customers and drive sales, you should look at the following metrics.
- Cost per acquisition: The average cost to get a customer through influencer-published travel ads.
- New customers generated: This can be tracked using a code that users can use to get a small perk.
- Reach and impressions: Even though these don’t necessarily translate into money, they still widen your market of potential clients.
The effectiveness of travel ads should also be measured against industry standards. This helps set expectations for the results that influencers can deliver.
Successful Travel Ads and Companies That Used Influencers: What Made Them Work?
By working together, influencers and companies in the travel industry have been able to generate impressive results! Here are some of our favorite examples.
1. Live There by Airbnb
The Live There campaign was designed around a townhouse that people could visit to experience the local scene. Then, influencers helped spread the message and made it into a massive success!
2. Travel the World with Viajaway
Viajaway tapped major influencers and engaged followers to travel around the world with them. This allowed them to grow their Instagram account to 100k followers.
3. Snap’Eyes by Ibis
Ibis Hotels tapped Alex Vizeo to visit spots in European cities based on what subscribers chose. The level of interaction made this a huge success!
All About the Creative: Most Creative Travel Ads Examples
It goes without saying that influencer marketing isn’t the only way to market a travel package. As you have learned earlier in the article, there are many platforms where you can publish travel ads. But, you’re probably still wondering: what do successful travel ads look like? Let us answer this once and for all with a few examples. Here, you’ll find that creativity is a lot more than just making something that looks good. Regardless of their format or platform, these companies used true creativity in their travel ads to generate some amazing campaign outcomes.
Google Search PPC Ad from TUI Holidays
Typically, search ads are text advertisements; however, TUI Holidays went beyond that by including a captivating image. Mind you, this isn’t the only thing that makes the ad stand out from other travel ads. We love how TUI was able to introduce several of their offers using various extensions. The copy in the meta description also added new information and presented a strong and simple message that encouraged viewers to take action. Then, you have the headline summarizing what the offer is in just one glimpse.
Dynamic Ads for Travel from Marriott International
Creativity doesn’t have to be loud and elaborate. Sometimes, simplicity is what makes something amazing. That’s why we chose this as one of our favorite travel ads! A dynamic travel ad helps those in the industry retarget users who have started but not completed the booking process. It is meant to be a gentle reminder of the great offer that users can get. For this ad, Marriott International went with a very straightforward approach, showing attractive properties in Austin as well as the nightly pricing. Travel ads tend to show more. However, since the buyer is assumed to be at the bottom of the funnel already, not a lot of convincing is required.
Banner Ad from Cheapflights
If you think banner travel ads are too dry, think again! The Drag, Drop and Go ad from Cheapflights was a huge hit! This banner ad was placed in multiple articles about music, sports and art events. Then, users just had to drag and drop the image on the page to the banner ad to get the cheapest flight to that event from their location. Cheapflights have surely beaten a lot of travel company ads in terms of effectiveness! The clickthrough rate for this campaign was a whopping 92%, which is practically unheard of.
MGID Travel Ads
When it comes to travel advertising, MGID stands out for a multitude of reasons. Beyond providing prime advertising placement services, we offer comprehensive campaign creation from the ground up. Our team of creative specialists dives deep into your brand's essence, crafting captivating visuals and compelling headline appeals tailored to your unique audience.
But that's just the beginning. With MGID, advertisers benefit from:
- Targeted reach: Reach highly engaged travel enthusiasts with precision targeting options tailored to your campaign objectives.
- Optimized campaigns: Leverage our expertise in travel advertising to optimize campaigns for maximum impact and ROI.
- Engaging content: From stunning visuals to enticing headlines, our creative solutions ensure your travel ads stand out and resonate with audiences.
- Performance insights: Gain valuable insights into campaign performance with comprehensive analytics and reporting tools, empowering you to make data-driven decisions.
Below, we've curated examples of travel-themed advertising creatives to inspire your next campaign. Experience the MGID difference and elevate your travel advertising efforts today.
FAQs on Travel Ads
What are the key elements of a successful travel ad campaign?
Running a successful travel ad campaign is, in many ways, the same as making one in any industry. You should have:
- The right platform for travel ads;
- Sufficient audience research;
- Measuring and monitoring tools;
- At least two versions of the ads for split testing;
- A unique value proposition.
How can I effectively target my audience for travel ads?
Depending on where you’re operating, there may be regulations on where you can provide your services. So, the first thing you want to do is limit your target audience to those who live in these places. Beyond location-based targeting for travel ads, you should also consider these two tips:
- Create market segments to better communicate based on local cultures and languages;
- Ensure that the ad itself resonates with the local market based on current events and other factors.
Remember, targeting isn’t just about creating travel ads for people in a specific location. How you communicate is also very important.
What role do visuals play in capturing attention for travel advertisements?
Travel ads largely captivate through visuals. This gives the target audience a picture of the experience that they can get by going to a certain destination.
How important is storytelling in travel ads, and how can I incorporate it into my campaigns?
Storytelling of any kind transports people to a different place, which is exactly what you want to accomplish when you create travel ads. Here are a few ways that you can incorporate storytelling into your travel ads.
- If you’re selling a travel package, include an itinerary as part of the text description for your travel ads.
- Demonstrate how the amenities elevate the experience.
- Create a video of someone walking around scenic places.
What platforms and formats work best for travel advertising, and why?
Many platforms and formats can work for travel ads for a variety of reasons.
- In-feed and reel formats for photos and videos on social media platforms: This combination of format and platform makes it easy for your audience to engage with the ad and even share it with their friends and family.
- Dynamic travel banner ads on websites: This type of ad can be effective because it introduces a level of engagement, which means the viewer will truly pay attention to the offer.
- Native posts on publishing platforms: Travel ads can also look like your average articles where the author talks about their travel experience. A call-to-action or some links may be added as part of the article.
Are there specific trends or strategies that are currently shaping the landscape for travel ads?
Technology has created so many potential directions where the online travel marketing industry can grow. Among these options, we believe that these three have the biggest influence on travel ads.
- Augmented reality and virtual reality: Agencies are always trying to win their audience’s business. One of the strategies that they may use for their travel ads is to incorporate AR/VR to bring the experience closer to them.
- User-generated content: Social proof is still going to be an important ingredient to the success of any brand. So, the best travel ads may involve more pictures from travelers and narrations of experiences.
- Influencer marketing: Nowadays, users who are interested in traveling are part of various travel groups where they share tips, experiences and other travel-related insights. Micro influencers who post creative travel ads in such groups are expected to help generate a lot of inquiries, bookings and engagement.
How can I measure the success of my travel ad campaigns and optimize for better results?
Travel ads are still a lot like your average online ad. Therefore, you can use the same metrics, like clickthrough rates, customer lifetime value and impressions, to measure success. Make sure that the metrics you choose for assessing travel ads are aligned with the goals that you have set for the campaign. To make optimization easier, we suggest creating two versions of each ad, enabling you to identify the elements that work.
Are travel ads different from ads in other industries?
They are not fundamentally different. Ads for the travel industry benefit from having captivating visuals, which can be said for practically any advertisement nowadays. Giving the audience a taste of the experience is also an advantage regardless of industry because people always want to limit their risk exposure when purchasing a product or service.
Show the Beauty of Every Destination to Create the Top Travel Ads
No matter what ad format or platform you want to use, the visual impact will always be important for your travel ad. This same principle is true even for travel agent ads, which incorporate the effectiveness and trustworthiness of an agency. Set clear goals, do your research and make people’s travel goals possible!
Do you want to run successful travel native ads in 2024? Register on the MGID platform. By signing up, you get access to sophisticated tools, an expert manager and a department of creative specialists who can help you create the best travel creative ads. Simplify success in advertising today!