2022 Travel Marketing Trends
2022 is looking to be the year that travel makes its long-awaited comeback to pre-pandemic levels. Some even think that this year’s summer s
2022 is looking to be the year that travel makes its long-awaited comeback to pre-pandemic levels. Some even think that this year’s summer season will eclipse previous ones to be the busiest travel season ever. Take a look at some of the biggest travel marketing trends so you can prepare your marketing strategy to find new customers and ultimately, boost revenue.
1. Short-Form Video Content Continues its Meteoric Rise
While TikTok was once viewed as a platform for Gen Z to recreate their favorite dances, the rapid growth and potential of this app can no longer be ignored. TikTok’s short-form videos are perfect for the average attention span - which currently sits about 8 seconds The platform averages close to 1 billion monthly users and represents a key tactic in reaching younger markets. 55% of 18-24-year-olds use the app while research shows that its demographic range is only growing.
Along with TikTok, imitation from competitors now gives brands even more options for promoting their short-form content. YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels and Facebook Watch are just a few of the options to take advantage of. The multitude of options means short-form video content is great to be easily repurposed and distributed with little editing for different channels.
Wondering where to start on your short-form content? Some options to get started include:
- Highlights of your activities
- A behind-the-scenes look at your business
- “How to” or educational videos
- Responses to customer questions and comments
Though TikTok may not be the biggest part of your marketing spend, its success shows that short-form content is here to stay.
2. Membership and Subscription Boom
From movies to chocolate to hygiene products, subscription services took off during the pandemic. Americans spend an average of $273 a month on subscription services, and the subscription economy is expected to double to a worth of $1.5 trillionby 2025.
Subscription services have already infiltrated the tourism industry through programs like TSA PreCheck, America the Beautiful National Parks Pass, and Selina Hostel’s CoLive digital nomad subscription.
With the future of subscription and membership programs looking bright, now is a great time for more tourism businesses to offer some sort of subscription pricing plan. Subscriptions generate recurring revenue while creating brand loyalty among customers. Options for using memberships to your advantage are endless, but here are some examples to help you begin:
- Seasonal memberships
- Loyalty programs for frequent customers offering exclusive offers
- Punch passes gifting a free activity or discount after 5 uses
Programs like these are great ways to start taking advantage of this membership boom happening throughout the tour and activity space. Watch for more operators to integrate a membership program into their operations in the coming future.
3. The Arrival of VR and Metaverse
If Facebook’s recent multibillion-dollar bet on the metaverse tells us anything, it’s that we’ll be seeing more and more industries make the jump to virtual reality in the future. While still in its early stages, the tourism industry already made a jump into VR. Over the past few years, museums have introduced more creative ways to interact with exhibits. This practice only accelerated during the pandemic when we wanted a piece of history or art, but couldn’t physically go to our favorite museums.
Travel company Thomas Cook let customers get a test drive before booking through 360° VR videos. These VR videos of available destination results were incredible with the initiative helping grow New York bookings by 190% and showing that there is a place for VR in tourism. While real-world travel isn’t disappearing any time soon, technological advancements such as VR offer endless possibilities for the future of tourism. Watch out for more major companies investing in VR programs as the technology becomes more inexpensive and available.
4. More Opportunities for Influencer Promotion
When used correctly, influencers can be a relatively cheap way of marketing that pays dividends. Influencers are becoming a force in marketing, as studies show that nearly 2 out of 3 consumers trust messaging coming from influencers rather than directly from the brand. Not only are these “micro-influencers” (influencers with 10,00-50,000 followers) more trusted than brands, but relatability is also a key component to influencer success. 70% of Gen Z consumers put more trust in YouTube content creators than celebrities. This growing trust is the reason why last year 71% of marketers had plans to increase their budget to include a greater focus on influencer marketing.
Remember that while influencers can help you reach new markets and grow your customer base, you should be doing your research on what the results should be from offering your services free of charge. Make sure you get all necessary information like number of subscribers, general demographics (age, location, gender) and ROI from previous collaborations.
5. Google SEO is Alive and Well
With marketing budgets growing and strategies becoming increasingly more complex, it’s easy to consider SEO an afterthought with so many other options for marketing your business available. While it’s important to have a well-rounded strategy, SEO should remain a top priority for its importance in driving direct bookings, long-term effectiveness and overall cost-effectiveness.
Getting your name on the first page of results is crucial to success when 93% of searches start with a search engine and more than 25% click the first result that comes up. This organic traffic is key to boosting bookings directly from your sights rather than a third party or even worse, a competitor. While you may have already spent on SEO in the past, it’s a good idea to have an SEO check-up from time to time to make sure you’re following strategies that are relevant to Google. Since Google owns close to 92% of the search engine market share and is constantly making changes to its SEO algorithm, it’s important to keep your site updated even with your core practices set (quick loading times, relevant keywords, and an easy to navigate site).
Not only is SEO still very relevant, but it’s also cost-effective. Spending on paid ads can get expensive quickly and doesn’t guarantee results. SEO, on the other hand, is relatively inexpensive to maintain. Improving your SEO can be obtained through tools like including functioning links and quality content that increases time spent per page. Now, this isn’t to say SEO isn’t worthy of marketing budget allocation. The price you pay to not cut corners will ultimately be worth it when you see your ROI.
With these trends in mind, you can now create the marketing strategy that best fits your business and demographics. Remember that while these trends are popular in the industry, your marketing strategy is unique and you should choose tactics that best fit your business and customer demographic. Keep an eye out for new marketing trends that could help you get a leg up on your competitors in the new year!
4 Ways Helicopter Tour Operators Can Prepare for Summer
Managing a helicopter tour company is never easy. There are a lot of moving parts and your team has to be on the same page with bookings, co
Managing a helicopter tour company is never easy. There are a lot of moving parts and your team has to be on the same page with bookings, confirmations, and payments. You want to make sure your site is easy to navigate and your booking software is reliable, while also helping you to boost revenue. With travel and in-person experiences set to restart and customers beginning to look for the best tours, it’s time to prepare for this new wave of business. We’ve highlighted some of the key tools you need to automate check-in, boost revenue and manage your flights from the ground while your customers enjoy the amazing views from the sky.
As you head into your peak season, contactless check-in is key to building trust with guests and starting their experience off right. Here are a few ways to cut down on time spent waiting in line and avoid unnecessary contact with staff:
Embrace the Power of Digital Waivers
We all agree: safety is of paramount importance for any helicopter tour. This is even more true with safety measures during a pandemic. Digital Waivers (like Peek Pro’s) allow guests to sign before or at arrival from any device, saving everyone time and cutting down on contact. See who’s all set for takeoff and who still needs to sign off in the same place as all your booking info. Best of all, digital waivers collect the emails of all customers who sign a waiver, giving you quick access to contact them for that five star review after the tour is over! Never worry about scrambling for a pen or clipboard to sign those pesky paper waivers!
Check-in shouldn’t be a long process. That’s why QR Codes are perfect for streamlining your guests' in-person experience. The QR code market already exists in a big way, with 37% of Americans saying they used QR codes in 2019. Complete the process from a safe distance using any QR Code, whether it's embedded in an email or printed out on a ticket or receipt. Standing in line at the front office is a thing of the past!
Multiple tours happening at the same time? Manage and send information to your pilots with Custom Manifests. All information for specific tours found in one place and sent directly to those in charge means knowing when to take off and when to land without worrying about communication in the middle of the tour.
Set Free Your Pricing
Control your activity prices effortlessly with these three amazing features. Set prices to fill up every tour and seat you offer to maximize profit while providing a cost suitable for your customers.
Set Up Dynamic Pricing Rules
Specific times call for specific pricing. Airlines and major retailers change pricing for certain days, so why shouldn’t your helicopter tour? When the department store Sears implemented price changes on 25% of its products during the holidays, they saw a 17% increase in online sales! Whether it's holidays, peak summer, or just a particular day of the week, automatically optimize your pricing based on the time or day to grow revenue. Charge more in the busy season or offer discounts for offseason to maximize sales no matter the time of year. Looking to fill seats on a flight? Easily lower the price once your tour has met the minimum to encourage bookings so that all tours are filled with happy customers.
Cash or Credit? Doesn’t matter! Facilitate larger group bookings by offering the option to split payments. Split Payments allows customers to pay for the tour among multiple people with any form of payment. Not enough cash? No problem! Charge custom amounts and see the remaining balance updated in real time. If one customer needs a refund, easily manage the transaction with the click of a button. Don’t hunt through the register or rack your brain getting the correct change ever again!
Bundle Tours Together
You’ve probably got some amazing tours. Let your customers take advantage of reserving multiple tours at once! Encourage your customers to book another tour with the Bundles feature. Offer sunrise and sunset tours with a simple, one-click booking rather than offering them as separate activities to increase revenue. Build itineraries for longer trips, offer group discounts and combine popular tour packages together to upsell the best experiences to all your customers.
Boost Revenue At Every Step
Finding new ways to grow revenue is never easy. That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you! Showcase additional services with ease with tech features that help you boost cart sizes and reach new markets.
Upsell with Add-Ons
Do you offer a VIP service for your helicopter trips, such as celebratory champagne, photography or video packages? Offering premium products is a great way to increase shopping cart size and add additional revenue to existing activities. In 2020, Peek Partners saw a revenue uplift of 3% when using Add-Ons. Easily include these services right from your booking flow so that your customers enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience that helps you grow revenue at the same time.
Custom Gift Cards
Customers leaving satisfied? Let your previous customers bring in new ones through the option of Custom Gift Cards. On average, helicopter tour operators using Peek Pro see that gift cards make up 4% of their total revenue! If your guests loved their time in the sky, they’re more likely to want to share it with their friends and family as well. 76% of adults decided to purchase at least one gift card or e-gift during holiday shopping last year. Gift cards go unused? No problem - you receive the revenue when the card is purchased, not when it’s redeemed. Easily create your gift cards using Peek Pro’s pre-customized templates to boost sales during slow season, holidays or for any special occasion.
Personalized Reseller Links
Explore different ways to advertise your business aside from the conventional tactics. Working with hotels, influencers or other resellers is a great way to grow revenue and market yourself outside of your own endeavors. Make reselling simple with Personalized Reseller Links that direct customers from the link directly to your tours. Just set up your trusted affiliates and attach their commission. Then include specialized URLs to track the bookings that go through your resellers and remain organized as the reservations flow in. Don’t worry if the customer abandons the booking - Peek Pro automatically tracks the purchase so we’ll know if they come back to purchase later.
Automate, Automate, Automate
Focus more on your experiences and spend less time in the office. Time-saving automation tools will save you the hassle of repeatedly contacting customers with messages for reviews and follow-ups.
Capture Abandoned Bookings
Everyone hates abandoned bookings - that’s a given. Customers may leave your page to search for similar options or simply to forget to return to their cart. Make the most of this lost opportunity with Abandoned Bookings. Peek Pro gathers contact information early on in the booking process and follows up with an email if customers leave the page, allowing them to pick up exactly where they left off. Find extra success by offering promo codes or highlighting customer testimonials to reel in those lost customers. Best of all, Peek Partners have seen a 10+% increase in bookings using this must-have feature.
Reviews spread out over different sites? Build customer trust and grow interest by highlighting all of your stellar reviews using the SmartReviews tool! Our reviews widget is embedded directly on your page to showcase honest and verified customer comments. This is a great tool to increase reviews and some Peek Partners have even tripled the amount of their reviews through this feature. Your customers shouldn’t have to switch from site to site to find honest testimonials about your helicopter experience and won’t have to anymore!
Use Automated Emails
Did you know that 51% of businesses use some kind of email automation? You should too! Whether it’s a confirmation or reminder, Automated Emails reduces the time spent contacting customers and allows for customization to include your own personal touch. Even if it’s a cancellation, you can stay friendly and offer a rescheduled tour later on. Streamline your email process while staying consistent with your message using this simple feature!
Google Analytics: Top Tips for Operators
Tracking the metrics of a company can be a challenging task. You’re introduced to a lot of information initially and it can be confusing whe
Tracking the metrics of a company can be a challenging task. You’re introduced to a lot of information initially and it can be confusing where to focus your attention and what metrics to consider important for your tour and activity business. However, Google Analytics offers you the opportunity to gain important insights into your customers' behavior and how they interact with your site. If utilized correctly, Google Analytics can help you increase your revenue, drive more conversions, and allow you to focus your attention to better understand your site’s traffic. We’ll take a look at some of the key metrics and dive into what they mean for your business to take advantage of the wealth of information offered in Google Analytics.
Discover Key Information About Your Customers
One of the easiest and most essential pieces of information you can access from Google Analytics is the demographics of your customers. You likely already focus your marketing attention on certain demographics - you should do the same for your website visitors as well! In the Audience reports, you can see who your visitors are by age and gender by going to the Demographics report. This is the most basic view of who your visitors are but you can explore more by looking at Geo reports to see what countries visitors come from and what language they speak.
This is a great option for tour operators that have a lot of foreign visitors. One example might be discovering that there is a high usage of Spanish-speaking visitors on your page. This might inspire you to offer your tours in both English and Spanish if possible to reach more customers and increase bookings. Or maybe you see that there are a lot of site visitors from other major cities nearby. A great idea would be to focus some of your marketing on reaching potential customers living in those cities since there is already a clear interest.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for looking at visitor demographics! Discover more about your clientele by choosing new metrics to track based on sessions and pages per session.
How Did Site Visitors Find Your Page?
Spreading the word about your business is important, but so is figuring out the best channel to reach new customers! Whether it’s organic searches, social media, or Google Ads, you should be tracking where your site visitors are coming from to best decide where to focus your attention. By going to Acquisition reports, you can see where these visitors come from and decide where to focus your efforts. You may find out that even though you’re paying for Google Ads, your visitors tend to come from your social media accounts instead. That’s a sign to possibly invest more in your socials and allocate some of your budget to showcasing quality photos on your accounts rather than trying to win over customers through paid ads
Another aspect to consider is Referrals which can be accessed from Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals. Here, you can see what sites your visitors are coming from and which ones generate valuable traffic by looking at metrics like transactions, revenue, and average session duration. Those with a high average session duration are valuable since they show that visitors spent more time on your site and were more interested in your content as well as more inclined to book with your business. You may also see that while paid listings such as Tripadvisor are driving traffic, they’re not generating a worthwhile ROI. This could be a good sign that the paid listing isn’t working as well as you thought and it might be helpful to focus your attention on other referral channels. Take a deeper look into the Referrals reports to see which travel sites and referrers are helping drive the most traffic and helping you grow your business! If you notice they’re not driving traffic to your site, then it may be time to rethink your referral strategy and partners.
Metrics to Watch
While there are many different metrics to track in Google Analytics, there are some that can be seen as more useful than others. Here are two easy metrics to start with - Bounce Rate and Site Speed. Once you've got the basics down, you can move on to tracking more advanced metrics to discover new information and statistics about your customers' activity on your site.
You want your visitors to spend time on your site and take a look around. It’s expected that there will be instances where visitors click on your site but then leave or ‘bounce’ without clicking another page, making a purchase, or completing a registration. There are of course exceptions such as when a visitor accidentally clicks on your site, but a high bounce rate can be a cause for concern. An average bounce rate is 41% to 55% so if you see your rate around 60%, then it might be time to consider making changes - especially if this occurs on your homepage. This may mean your home page content is not enticing visitors to search further or it’s difficult to find key information regarding your activity. Your home page should have a clear call to action, easily accessible booking links, and mobile optimization to best ensure a low bounce rate.
On average, you have 8 seconds to capture the attention of your audience. That’s a short amount of time to get your point across and maybe a reason why your bounce rate is so high! By going to Behavior > Site Speed, you can gain valuable insight into how fast your site is loading and why it may lead to lost revenue. Take it from Avital Food Tours who used Google Analytics to recognize their site speed issue:
"We can have the most amazing website in the world, but if it doesn't load, it's useless. GA helped us identify a site speed issue, which allowed us to investigate the issue and make the necessary fixes."
Your site may have great content, but you may lose out on potential customers if it’s a pain to access. Monitor your site speed regularly to make sure you’re not missing out on customers because of slow loading times!
Looking to gain important insight on how visitors move through your booking flow? Try adding Enhanced Ecommerce to your Google Analytics tracking to analyze which of your activities are performing the best. Peek Pro’sEnhanced Ecommerce integration links directly with your booking flow to pull relative data to better understand how customers use your site. With this integration, you can track abandoned bookings or see how long it takes for customers to move through your booking flow. You can also take a closer look at certain data in your booking flow such as Product ID/Name, Activity Date, and Number of Guests. This information can be found in the Ecommerce reports section of Google Analytics as seen below.
These data points offer a more in-depth look at site visitors' shopping (or purchase) behavior. You can use this information to create Google Ads that specifically target these audiences or retarget those that showed an interest in your booking but ultimately didn’t follow through with a purchase. This is achieved by creating new segments for certain actions that account for all the product data linked from Peek Pro. Discover how to build new segments to track specific data from ecommerce in this step-by-step guide from the Google Partner, Optimize Smart
Learn more about how to integrate Enhanced Ecommerce directly into your Peek Pro account here or check out this helpful video on how to add the integration into your Google Analytics account.
Google Analytics opens up a world of possibilities to effectively track your customers and better understand their behavior when using your site. Avital Tours also discovered key insights on their site through Google Analytics:
"GA is a very robust platform that can feel intimidating and overwhelming if you've never used it before. I'd recommend starting small and simple by using many of the built-in views, like Audience Overview. Then, as you feel more comfortable, you can view more reports, use filters, and explore flows."
Interested in using Google Analytics to track customer behavior on your site? Learn more through this helpful article or set up a demo with Peek Pro to learn more about Google Analytics integration and other tools to increase bookings and grow revenue!
PPP Loan Forgiveness: How to Access the New Portal
With the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans ending earlier this year on May 31, the time has come to apply for loan forgiveness for man
With the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans ending earlier this year on May 31, the time has come to apply for loan forgiveness for many small businesses. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced the opening of a new portal that will streamline the process of helping over 11 million small business owners in a quick and efficient way. Did your small business receive a PPP loan in 2020-2021? See if you have the opportunity to have your loan forgiven using the new portal!
What do I need to have my loan forgiven?
To have your loan forgiven you need to meet a few requirements. The first requirement is that you must have borrowed $150,000 or less to apply for forgiveness. If you received more than this amount you are automatically excluded from using the portal. The earliest you can apply for loan forgiveness is once all loan funds have been used, which can be after the 8-24 week coverage period ends. Remember that you must apply within 10 months of this coverage period in order to receive a deferment on your loan payments. If not, you’ll have to begin to make payments to repay the loan.
In order to qualify for full forgiveness, you must have followed certain requirements during the 8-24 week coverage period after receiving your loan. Employee and compensation levels must be maintained and 60% of the loan proceeds must be directed towards payroll costs. That means the other 40% is allowed to be allocated towards non-payroll expenditures such as business rent/lease payments, covered property damage costs and covered supplier costs. The necessary requirements can be viewed more in-depth on the SBA site here.
If my lender isn’t a part of the portal, what should I do?
While over 900 of the 5,500 lenders have already signed up to be part of the portal, many bigger banks, such as Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, have opted out. You can search to see if your bank or lender is participating in the portal by downloading this spreadsheet located here.
If your bank or lender is not participating in the portal, then you must apply to have your loan forgiven directly through their own process. Your lender can provide you with one of three forms to apply for forgiveness and guide you through the process.
Read up here to learn more about the necessary criteria for the different forms or on how they differ.
What if Womply helped me obtain my loan?
Womply was greatly successful in helping over 1 million businesses obtain a PPP loan over the last year. However, Womply will not have any involvement in the loan forgiveness process and recommends contacting your lender directly for more information. If you applied for your loan through Womply, read up on their FAQs to see the next steps in getting your loan forgiven.
I submitted my loan forgiveness application to the portal, now what?
Now that you’ve submitted your application to the portal, you’re one step closer to getting your PPP loan forgiven. The portal has been successful so far in speeding up the loan forgiveness process with some applications being approved in less than 72 hours. There is a possibility that the SBA performs a review of your application meaning you will be contacted directly about the following steps to take and if needed, how to appeal any decision made by the SBA.
For direct assistance, you can contact the direct hotline: 877-552-2692. The hotline is open for assistance Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. ET. You can also consult this helpful guide created by SBA or the FAQ page for any other questions.
Apple iOS14.5: How Will It Impact My Campaigns?
If you currently use Facebook and Google Ads, there are a few things you can do to prepare for these changes. This could also be a great excuse to take a step back and reassess your marketing strategies. Below we’ve put together some useful info and advice to get you started, including some awesome tips from industry leaders Chris Torres, Director of Tourism Marketing Agency and Marica Mackenroth Brewster, CEO of Von Mack Agency.
Take a look below to get prepared and find out the best strategy for your business.
Peek Pro’s booking flow integrates with Facebook ads using pixel tracking. For more info on this feature, check out this Helpdesk article. Not on Peek Pro? Use this link to book time with a member of our team to run you through what this would look like for your business.
- What do these changes mean?
- How will this impact my Facebook or Google Ad campaigns?
- What if I don’t use Facebook ads?
- How should I prepare if I do use Facebook Ads?
- What else can I do to prepare for iOS 14.5?
What do these changes mean?
Currently, when you click on a Facebook advert for shoes you’ll be sent to the shoe shop’s website to make a purchase. If the shoe shop is using the Facebook Pixel, Facebook is able to track what you do on their website, how long you spend on the site, whether you make a purchase, what items you purchase, etc. Facebook then uses that information to measure the success of the advert and to categorize you as a consumer – did you buy any shoes? If you did, are you an Oxford or Brogues kinda person?
Apple’s new restriction will block Facebook from tracking some consumer behavior once the consumer leaves Facebook’s site; so they won’t always be able to know whether an advert caused them to make a purchase or what kind of products they’re interested in.This reduction in data will impact the breadth of targeting and reporting that was previously available with Facebook Ads Manager.
The good news:
Facebook has been super proactive about this new policy and has introduced a new system to help you track the progress of your ads post iOS14.5. You will still be able to track up to 8 events that occur on your website. Jump to section 4 for instructions on setting up the new system.
Top Tip: Check how many of your customers currently book on iPhones
To get a clearer idea of how much this will specifically impact your business, take a look at your website traffic in your Google Analytics account. This update will only be available for consumers using an iPhone, so make note of how many iPhone users are viewing your site and how many purchases are being made using iPhones.
To check this out go to your Google Analytics account, and click Audience > Mobile > Device. You can filter for Apple Mobile devices and see the % of your total traffic they represent.
How will this impact my Facebook or Google Ad campaigns?
Now that iOS 14.5 is live, Facebook and Google will likely have access to a lot less data than before, which will mean they will less effectively be able to produce:
1. Ads measured by Conversion Data
If you run Facebook Ads or Google Ads that are measured by events that occur on your website, such as purchases or registration sign-ups, you are likely to see a reduction in the data you have to measure these Ad campaigns. When this happens these campaigns may be paused and stop working.
2. Retargeting Audiences
This change will also likely affect your ability to create targeted audiences. Previously, Facebook was able to identify which customers are likely to be interested in your products based on their previous purchase history. Facebook will still be able to do this, but they will probably have a lot less data without Apple iOS users, so these lists are likely to be smaller.
3. Ad Optimization
Currently Facebook optimizes the design and placement of your Ads based on their performance and on data from other campaigns. When the update is released Facebook will have less data to inform these decisions which may impact the effectiveness of this method.
What if I don’t use Facebook ads?
If you don’t use Facebook ads but you do use Google Analytics, you are still likely to see some effect from the iOS 14.5 update. As far as we know this shouldn’t have a massive impact on your tracking, but given that iPhone users will have the option to opt out of some tracking you are likely to see a general decrease in the data that feeds into your Google Analytics.
Take a look at the last section of this blog for some effective marketing practices you can employ that don’t rely on consumer tracking data.
How should I prepare if I do use Facebook Ads?
We asked some marketing experts in the tours and activities space to share some advice on how to prepare for this update. Here’s a rundown of how to make necessary changes in your account as well as their top tips:
1. Verify your domain with Facebook
This is a pretty simple step. Just head to Brand Safety > Domains in the Business Manager section of your Facebook Ad account. Facebook has a detailed helpdesk article and video explaining the exact steps, which can be done by you or your webmaster. Check out the instructions here.
Why should I verify my domain?
Verifying your domain gives you ownership of your website and allows you to authorize Facebook to track events that occur on your website. Without it Facebook won’t be able to track the 8 events mentioned below.
2. Select up to 8 conversion events for Facebook to track on your website
Once the update is rolled out, your facebook Pixel will only be able to track up to 8 conversion events that occur on your website.
Have a look at your current campaigns and website activity, figure out which events best measure the success of your Ad campaigns, confirm whether these are the only events that can be used for remarketing and select those. You can do this in the Events Manager section of your Facebook Ad Manager account.
Follow Facebook’s step-by-step guide to selecting your 8 conversion events.
Things to note:
- When the update is released any impacted ad campaigns may be paused for up to 72 hours while Facebook configures that necessary changes. Any ad campaigns optimizing for events outside of your chosen 8, will be paused.
- These 8 events must occur on your website or on a verified domain, in order for them to be tracked. This means that if you use a booking software and your customers purchase your products through a widget (i.e. they will leave your website), you will not be able to use one of these 8 events to track what your customer does after clicking the purchase button on your website.
- You will still be able to track more than 8 events that occur on your website, the limit of 8 only applies to the events you can use to set-up conversion-driven ad campaigns.
What do the experts suggest?
Chris Torres, from Tourism Marketing Agency says “First, don’t panic. Although these changes mean you will gather less data, it does allow you to refocus what to track and what is important for your business.
You can only track 8 events, and these events are in order of priority, top being the highest, the bottom being the lowest.
Think of the lowest priority item as the top funnel, like viewing your website or a specific landing page that you may be running for a campaign. That page may have a newsletter sign-up that allows you to capture the customer’s details. This would be classed as ‘Complete Registration’ or ‘subscribed’.
The next step for that customer may be to view a product/tour page and be inspired to click ‘enquire’ or ‘book’ – this can fall under ‘Initiate Checkout’. If that customer submitted a form or booked a product, this would be classed as either a ‘Lead’ or ‘Purchase’.
You can have multiple pages classed as any of these events, but Facebook will report this back as one set of figures. So for example, if you have an event set as ‘view content’ for your home page, as well as all your product pages, then all the views would be combined. This is where Google Analytics will become even more important in tracking users behavioral flows.”
3. Measure your Ad campaigns using events other than conversions
Marica Mackenroth Brewster, from Von Mack Agency, says “Optimize your campaign strategies to be measured by clicks, click outs to your online booking system, or views instead of ecommerce conversions.
This is where targeting in destination is key, and as we know, it’s been historically recommended to test feeder market vs hyper local anyway. If you know your market’s behavior while in town, you can serve ads to travelers locally while using a super limited, perhaps 3 day max, booking window.
Your retargeting campaigns will likely change in messaging and in tone, as you will not have data from Facebook regarding booking confirmations or who abandoned at any given place along a check out funnel. So no FB auto optimization there. You will have to manually review the inbound clicks from Facebook UTM codes in your Google Analytics to get a sense for behavior.”
4. Tag your Facebook Ads to make sure they show up in your Google Analytics
UTMs (Urchin Tracking Modules) are tags you can add to the end of links to track more data in your Google Analytics, they help you learn more about your audiences and your marketing campaign performance.
How to add tags to your Facebook Ads:
- Select your Facebook ad campaign
- Head to the Page and Links section in your Facebook Ad Manager account. Select the campaign you would like to create a tag for and click Show Advanced Options.
- Fill out the website URL
- This will be the exact page consumers are sent to if they click on the ad
- Fill out your Display Link
- The tracking UTM adds lots of extra text to your website link which looks messy and confusing to consumers. Using a display link allows you to hide all this from the consumer. Most users make this their homepage.
- Add in the URL parameters
- This is where you add in text that will be strung behind the URL, this text will tell your Google Analytics which advert the consumer has clicked on. Remember the more info you add to your tag the more data you’ll have to work with in Google Analytics.
- Example of URL parameters:
Top Tip: Add UTM tags to all your marketing campaigns – not just your Facebook Ads.
Google Analytics has built out this tool to help you create URLs with UTMs.
Marica says “Your copywriting will also no longer be able to speak directly to people who fell out of your booking flow. It will now have to be more broad, and thus must pull from your brand’s unique selling proposition at a higher intensity level to convert. But if that USP is nailed down and golden, and you get super familiar with your Facebook UTM code traffic click paths, your approach will evolve to become much less of a numbers game anyway. And that’s the point of this. It’s about inherently understanding the strategy of creating mass movement for your brand.
For example, if you see in Google Analytics that your website traffic from Facebook UTM’s generally bounces out at a certain page, you need to make sure that whatever your ad is promising is not countered on that page. Maybe even check that page for mobile functionality. Get really used to next-level sorting that traffic by device, booking conversion window, even by gender. This is the data discovery you’ll need to continue optimizing your campaigns on Facebook.”
5. Tracking your Facebook Campaigns in Google Analytics
Now you’ve added detailed UTM tags to each of your Ad campaigns, you can easily track their performance in Google Analytics.
- Go to the Acquisitions section
- Select the All Traffic dropdown
- Click on Source/Medium
- Choose the parameter you would like to track by selecting the Other dropdown and choosing the Acquisition group you would like to look at
You can adjust the Primary Dimension to assess the performance of your ads on the campaign level, ad set level and individual ad level.
If you used Google Analytics’ UTM builder to set your parameters, you can use the following primary dimensions to break down your tracking:
- Campaign: this will allow you to track your Facebook Ads Campaign performance
- Keyword: use this to deep dive into your ad set performance
- Ad Content: this will allow you to analyze individual ad performance
It’s important to track your marketing campaign performance in Google Analytics, so you can adapt and optimize them to more effectively achieve your goals.
For more info on how to use Google Analytics check out their YouTube channel. They’ve created a bunch of bitesized videos that break down all their tools and help you create effective reports to inform sound business decisions.
What else can I do to prepare for iOS 14.5?
Focus on marketing campaigns that don’t rely on consumer tracking.
So far we’ve only talked about how you can prepare your Facebook Ads for this update. Another way to combat this imminent reduction in customer data is to pivot your marketing strategy and focus more on projects that don’t rely on consumer tracking.
Marketing solutions that won’t be affected by the iOS 14.5 update:
1. Boost direct traffic to your website
Increasing your backlinks signals to Google that your website belongs to a legitimate company. The more Google trusts your company is real the better ranking and visibility you’ll get in google searches.
What is a backlink? A backlink is when your website URL appears on a third party website, e.g. when a company links to your website in a blog.
How can I get backlinks?
- Offer to write guest blogs on popular sites and publications
- Add your website to all your social media profiles
- Get your company listed on local DMO and association websites
- Find blogs that appears high on relevant Google searches and develop your own take on the same topic
Check out your website on the Google Search Console to see how many backlinks you already have and keep track of how many new backlinks you get.
Good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial for driving consistent traffic to your website. It’s all about stuffing your website content with the kind of buzzwords that your target audience are most likely to search. When you research keywords look out for the ones that have the most search volume but that are used the least on other sites.
How do I figure out which keywords to include?
- Make a list of the words customers are most likely to search if they’re interested in doing a tour or activity in your local area
- Use keyword research tools such as Keyword tool to narrow down your search and locate the words with the highest search volume
Where should I include these keywords?
- Website URL
- Website titles & headings
- General content like activity pages, FAQs and blogs
Be sure to publish new content regularly and keep it genuinely engaging. For some extra tips on effective blog writing, check out this blog.
c) Brand awareness
Review, reviews, reviews! Reviews are the most powerful content for driving tour & activity bookings. Make sure you’re taking every opportunity to collect review content from your customers and that that content is feeding to sites such as TripAdvisor, Google and Yelp.
How can I boost my review content?
- Use Peek Pro’s SmartReviews+ feature to capture reviews from every single customer and populate the world’s biggest review sites with the best ones. Find out more about this feature in this helpdesk article.
- Make sure your reviews are visible on your website. Peek Pro’s Reviews widget will automatically feed positive reviews onto your site. And you’ll get the added benefit of displaying your star ratings and reviews count in your Google search results.
- Create a Facebook fan page about your company. You can allow customers to write reviews on your fan page so that others searching see social proof wherever they go.
- Ask customers to share their experience on social media and tag your company in their posts.
2. Invest in your marketing emails
Did you know? Email marketing is still the #1 source of bookings for many companies. Emails are a great way to re-engage past customers and draw in new ones.
Top Tip: Use Peek Pro’s Zapier integration with your marketing software to leverage customer data and give your emails a personal touch.
Email marketing campaign ideas for tour & activity operators:
- Launch a weekly newsletter filled with customer testimonials, exciting pictures and new updates
- Feature your staff, interview each of your employees and help your customers relate to your company on a more human level
- Catch the anniversaries: depending on your repeat buying cycle reach out to past customers just before they are most likely to make a second purchase and remind them of the incredible time they had before!
3. Boost your social media presence
With even most of our grandparents on Facebook these days no one can deny that social media is having its heyday. Here’s a few ideas to get your followers up and your likes rolling in:
- Launch competitions that involve following your accounts and engaging with your content
- Host Instagram and Facebook ‘Lives’ – show your customers what goes on behind the scenes and let them get to know you as individuals
- Collaborate with local influencers and get them to document them loving your experiences
4. Optimize your ‘Google my Business’ account
Optimizing your ‘Google My Business’ account is a great way to boost your google search rankings and drive more direct traffic to your website.
Check out how tour operators Namaste in Nature and French Quarter Phantoms leverage GMB by making the most of their promotion tools in this blog: Google My Business: 10 Key Optimizations for Tour and Activity Operators.
Top Tip: Add a post-purchase survey / custom question at the end of your booking flow to ask customers how they found your website
Post-purchase surveys are a great way to capture data and feedback from your customers without relying on automated tracking. You’ll be able to see which marketing channels are most fruitful for your business which will help you more effectively allocate your marketing spend.
In Peek Pro you can easily add a custom question at the end of your booking flow to capture this information; find out more in this Helpdesk article.
Peek is monitoring these changes very closely and wants to stay close to the feedback that operators have to inform future marketing enablement features. If you have any feature requests or questions regarding this update and its impact on you as a Peek operator, please reach out to our partner support team.
Director, Tourism Marketing Agency
Chris is an author, podcaster, and brand & digital tourism expert with over 26 years’ industry experience. Chris speaks at many tourism events worldwide, offering his advice and guidance on how travel, tourism, and destination businesses can gain brand recognition and increase bookings. Chris has focused his business, the Tourism Marketing Agency, on tour operator marketing and works with some of the biggest players in the industry.
Marica Mackenroth Brewster
CEO, Von Mack Agency
Marica Mackenroth Brewster is an award-winning marketer who helps tourism businesses grow. As founder and CEO of The Von Mack Agency, her nearly two decades of experience is put to work leading tour companies, attractions, CVB’s, hospitality entities, and motorcoach companies to success, before and most especially throughout this time of COVID.
4 Ways to Maximize Your Reviews
Over the past few years, 5 star reviews have become worth their weight in gold. With sites like Yelp and Tripadvisor growing in popularity
Over the past few years, 5 star reviews have become worth their weight in gold. With sites like Yelp and Tripadvisor growing in popularity, reviews have become even more important to the success and profitability of businesses. Not only that, customers see the importance of reviews when choosing to book an activity or tour. Tripadvisor found that 80% of travelers read at least 6-12 reviews prior to making a booking and 53% won’t even commit to making a booking or reservation until reading at least one review. Stats like these show why not only having but effectively showcasing reviews is crucial to bringing in new customers. See some of the other reasons you should consider highlighting your reviews.
Online Reviews are the New Word of Mouth
While a recommendation from a familiar source like a friend or family is always key, online reviews are becoming almost equally important. As social media usage has skyrocketed and online review sites have become more popular, people are now turning to reviews as a trusted form of social proof. In a recent study from BrightLocal, 79% of people said that they trust reviews just as much as a personal recommendation. This shows that though word of mouth is still a great way to improve your reputation and grow your business, online reviews are becoming just as important.
It’s also worth noting that online reviews will reach more people and help influence a greater number of potential customers than word of mouth. Customers are much more likely to turn to the internet before asking for word of mouth recommendations when inquiring about a business. That’s why you should showcase your reviews on every possible platform. Highlight them on your website with the Reviews Widget and sign up for sites like Tripadvisor, Viator or GetYourGuide to bring in more reviews. A personal recommendation will always be key, but it’s clear online reviews have carved out their importance in the industry and are here to stay.
To Boost Revenue, Aim for Quality and Quantity
Even though 5 star reviews look great from afar, it’s a common misconception that having only perfect reviews generates more revenue. A study conducted by Womply on small businesses discovered that having an average rating of 5 stars doesn’t directly translate to an increase in revenue. Small businesses that fall within the 3.5 to 4.5 star range are in fact the ones that see the most revenue. Even more shocking is that businesses with a 5 star average actually earn less than 1 to 1.5 star businesses.
It’s important to note this difference since it’s expected to have customers that leave lower rated reviews and customers won’t always leave 100% satisfied. The same study also found that the quantity of reviews is the most important factor for many. Businesses with greater than the average number of reviews earned 82% more revenue than those with less than the average review. This shows that though it’s important to get 5 star ratings, it’s even more important to get a review from every customer.
Boost the amount of reviews by ensuring you collect emails from every guest, not just the person booking - Peek’s SmartReviews+ feature collects emails from waiver signatures and sends out an automated request after the activity. Another great way to generate reviews is through asking the customer directly at the end of the activity, placing QR codes and signage up around your office, or incentivizing your guides with rewards.
Address Every Negative Review - They Matter Just as Much as Great Ones
Not every review will be 5 stars and you’re bound to have some reviews from unhappy customers who weren’t satisfied with their experience. In the past, it was common to ignore these reviews as outliers and try to hide them altogether. However, this isn’t the case as most customers actually seek out negative reviews. Let's be honest, we’ve all filtered reviews to look at the worst of the worst experiences. They exist and shouldn’t be ignored. While a 1 star review may seem problematic, customers actually spend five times as long on a site when they interact with negative reviews and see an 85% increase in conversion rate. This is because negative reviews make your business more credible and near perfect ratings can appear suspicious to customers. Use this to your advantage by responding to negative reviews quickly.
Replying to reviews - good or bad - leads to better ratings. Be transparent about your mistakes, offer a solution and even show your concern by providing an incentive such as a discount. If you don’t have time to get to those bad reviews, enlist the help of SmartReviews+ to automatically follow up with low-rated reviews
Covid Has Made Reviews Even More Essential
2020 was a year to forget for the travel industry with many struggling due to the global pandemic. Nevertheless, it’s safe to say that there’s a lot to learn from with the tourism industry adapting to this difficult situation. For one, customers want a greater focus on health and safety precautions taken by a business. 23% of people said they chose a different business if the other didn’t follow health measures, and 17% wrote negative reviews of businesses that didn’t follow the necessary Covid-19 health measures. The Reviews Widget showcases the most up-to-date reviews on your website so potential customers don’t have to search different review sites for comments on safety protocols.
Customers want to feel safe when choosing a business now more than ever and aren’t afraid to speak up when the health and safety of a business are not up to standards. Share your protocols with customers through clearly stating them in the booking flow or on your website. This will let customers know you’re serious about keeping them safe before and after the activity to put them at ease when booking.
If you’re interested in showcasing reviews on your website, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to get the Reviews Widget on your page in only 5 minutes!