The Ultimate Guide for Vacation Rental Facebook Ads

It is very important to include vacation rental Facebook ads in your digital marketing strategy. As a vacation rental owner you are constantly seeking for new methods to reach your target audience and drive more direct bookings. You have probably heard of or even experienced with vacation rental Facebook ads. However, succeeding with Facebook ads is not as simple as it may seem. When you fully read this article you will learn how you can use Facebook ads for your vacation rental business to drive more direct bookings.

Why Facebook Ads for your vacation rental?

YOUR audience is on Facebook, reach them. There are huge chances for travel websites to take advantage of Facebook and its powerful algorithm and partner websites. To be more specific, Facebook has some unique targeting options designed for travel companies which will be covered later on in this article. After completely reading this article you will know how you can use Facebook advertising to its full potential for travel companies.

Facebook Ad Basics

Facebook Page

In order to start advertising on Facebook you will need to have a Facebook page. If you have landed on this page you will probably already have a Facebook page, which is good. If you don’t have a Facebook page yet, don’t worry, it only takes a few minutes to set up a Facebook page. I suggest reading this article on how to set up a Facebook page for your business.

Facebook Ads Manager

Besides a Facebook page you will also need a Facebook ads manager account to start advertising. Setting up a facebook ads manager account is pretty easy, but make sure you read this article before you create a facebook ads manager. Moreover, I suggest creating a Facebook Business Manager account rather than using your personal advertising account. Read this article to fully understand why you’d want to set up a Facebook business manager account.

Facebook Pixel

Setting up a Facebook pixel is a crucial step in your vacation rental Facebook ads succes. A Facebook pixel is a small piece of code that needs to be placed in the code of your website. Once the Facebook pixel has been installed correctly, it will collect data about your website visitors AND it will allow you to use that data in your targeting options. For instance, imagine that you have 10.000 website visitors per month but only 300 of them convert to real customers, you are now stuck with 9.700 website visitors who are interested in booking holiday, but who haven’t completed a booking on your website yet. Because of the Facebook pixel you can now create a target audience of those 9.700 people and show advertisements to them in order to make them visit your website again and hopefully book with you as well. Learn how to set up your Facebook pixel here.

Useful Facebook Ad Campaigns For Vacation Rental Businesses

Engagement campaigns

Engagement campaigns are perfect for growing your vacation rental Facebook page. I recently ran a Facebook engagement campaign for one of my clients who just created their Facebook page and who felt the need to grow a following for their rental business.

When your target audience sees an engagement advertisement they only have to click on the ‘’like page’’ button and from then on you’ll have one more page like. Why would you do this? The more page likes you have the more people will see your organic Facebook posts. Pro tip: Make sure that you target people who are potentially interested in travelling to your destination. I will cover more on that later on in this article.

Conversion campaigns

Conversion campaigns are campaigns that are optimized for certain events that you can track with your Facebook pixel. Assuming that you have an online booking system on your rental website you could optimize a conversion campaign for the ‘’purchase event’’. In other words, facebook will find similar people to your current online bookers (tracked by the Facebook pixel) and will show advertisements to these people. This is a powerful method of advertising your rental property.

Facebook conversion campaign

Lead generation campaigns

Lead generation ads are extremely useful for you as vacation rental marketer. Lead generation ads are advertisements that when people click on them they can submit their contact details. Now why would they do this? To receive a discount coupon for example! One of the methods that I use is to show lead generation advertisements to website visitors who haven’t booked yet and offer them a 5% discount on their first booking if they submit their contact details.

This is beneficial for you in two ways:

1 ) You now have the contact details of your lead and you can use it in your e-mail marketing campaigns for the rest of your life! (assuming they won’t unsubscribe)

2 ) The lead has an incentive to complete the booking with your business and not with one of your competitors.

Messenger campaigns

Messenger campaigns are a good method to get to speak to your potential guests and to eliminate any doubts that prevent them from booking with you. First of all, messenger campaigns are the campaigns that when people click on the call to action a Facebook messenger conversation will start. I personally use messenger campaigns in my retargeting methods and I use texts such ‘’Have you already found your perfect holiday villa? Get in touch with our reservations team so they can help you with finding your next dream property.’’

Traffic campaigns

Traffic campaigns are a perfect way to reach a cold audience based on your knowledge of your ideal customer. In which country / region does your ideal customer live, what is their age, what is their gender, what are they interested in, what do they for a living, etc. These are all things that you can target on within the Facebook ads manager. To give you an example, one of my clients wanted to target rich people from country X and country Y so I targeted people who are likely to have a high income based on their profession and behaviour.

I suggest to use video advertisements in traffic campaigns for they tend to perform better when targeting a cold audience. Especially when you are renting luxury villas video advertisements will make you stand out from your competition and you could for example use drone videos of your properties in the advertisements.

Targeting Options for Vacation Marketers

Most importantly you have to know who your target audience is and where you can find them. The more data you have about your current customers the better you can reach them with Facebook advertising. Moreover, if you want to target a new market segment (for example a country that you are not generating bookings from at the moment) then you can use the data about your current customers as well. I am covering some of the most interesting targeting options for vacation marketers:

Target on age, gender, location, interests, behaviour AND combine these options

I love Facebooks advertising platform because it has so many targeting options AND it allows you to combine multiple targeting options. For example, if your ideal customers are: Women, 40-60 years old, live in the United Kingdom and are frequent travellers, then you can precisely target your ideal customer. This is a powerful method of reaching a cold audience who have never heard of your business before.

Combined targeting on Facebook

Retargeting

Retargeting campaigns means showing advertisements to people who have already interacted with your business at some point. For example:

1. Website Visitors

You can target your website visitors in the past X days with a retargeting campaign. Now why is this interesting AND crucial in your digital marketing strategy? Very simple, almost no one will book their holiday during their first website visit. People tend to orientate themselves online and also visit your competitors websites during this process. If you show advertisements to these potential guests after their first website visit then you are making sure that YOUR BUSINESS is staying top of mind rather than of your competitors. Retargeting campaigns often have the highest Return on Investment.

Facebook Custom Audience

Choose website as your source to create a look a like audience based on your website visitors.

Facebook retargeting audience

You can now choose the date range of website visitors that you'd like to target. For example every website visitor in the last 30 days.

retargeting audience website visitors

2. Pages visited on your website

You can not only target all of your website visitors, you can also target website visitors based on the pages they have visited. To be more specific, imagine that you have 8.000 website visitors per month and only 120 of those website visitors book their stay with you. You could show retargeting advertisments to all 7.880 ‘’not-bookers’’ but you can also choose to only show advertisements to your ‘’hottest leads’’ by targeting the visited pages. For example:

Home page                                      8.000 website visitors

Property page                                   6.000 website visitors
Availability Page                               2.000 website visitors
Contact details Page                       1.800 website visitors
Booking page                                   1.200 website visitors
After Purchase page                       120 website visitors

3. Time spent on website.

Facebook also allows you to target website visitors based on the time they have spent on your website. This is a very interesting targeting option, because you can leverage this data in your campaign set up. For example, let’s say you are targeting your top 10% of website visitors in the past 7 days based on time spent on your website who HAVEN’T booked yet. This target audience is obviously interested in your products and services, but something is holding him back to book. In this case I would use a messenger retargeting campaign to get in touch with the potential guest and to offer him personal help in his search for his perfect holiday property.

Facebook retargeting visitors by time spent

4. Video viewers based on how long they have watched your video

This will only apply if you have been running video advertisements on Facebook. You can retarget people who have watched a certain % of your videos on Facebook. Let’s say that you have been running a 1 minute video ad for a while now, you can now set up a target audience of ALL people who have watched at least 75% of that video, but haven’t completed a booking yet. Why would you target your video viewers? It is a perfect way to create large retargeting audiences of people who haven’t got to your website yet.

Retargeting video viewers

Choose your content type. In this example I selected ''people who have watched at least 75% of your video'' as the content type.

Video engagement custom audience

You can now select the video or videos that you want to create your retargeting audience from by selecting ''choose videos...''.

retargeting 75% video viewers

Lookalike audiences for vacation marketers

A look a like audience is an audience of similar people of a current audience. To clarify, Facebooks algorithm can create a look a like audience based on interests, behaviour, etc. of an existing target audience or customer list. Lookalike audiences are very useful to succeed with your vacation rental Facebook ads. Let’s take a few examples:

1.Lookalike audience based on customer list

Your most valuable audience is your client list, so it probably is the most interesting for you to create a look a like audience based on your client list. In order to create a look a like audience you need to upload your client list in the Facebook ads manager. You can manually upload your client list but you could also use for example the Mailchimp integration that Facebook has. Mailchimp and Facebook will automatically synchronize and create a target audience out of your current customers.

Create a facebook look a like audience

You can now see which identifiers your customer list must include in order to create a look a like audience.

facebook look a like audience based on customer list

2. Lookalike audience based on LTV (lifetime value) of customer list

Besides a general customer list you could also leverage the lifetime value of your customers when creating a look a like audience. For example, you can filter your customer list by top spenders and only use those people to create a look a like audience. In this way Facebook will optimize your look a like audience with people who are similar to your top spenders. According to Facebook this will increase the ROI of your campaign.

3. Lookalike audience based on website bookers

If you have an online booking system integrated in your website then you are able to track online bookings and the return on investment of online campaigns. Assuming you have an online booking system integrated on your website, you are now able to create a look a like audience based on the events that you set up in the Facebook events manager (where you set up your Facebook Pixel). Like I said before, your most valuable audience are your customers, so you want to create a look a like audience based on the ‘’purchase’’ event on your website. To elaborate, this means that you will create a look a like audience of people who have completed on online booking on your website

value based lookalike audience

Potential Traveller targeting

This is an absolutely golden tip for vacation rental marketers. When setting up conversion campaigns you will have the possibility to include potential travelers in your target audience. Facebook's powerful algorithm will determine of someone is probably planning a trip. According to Facebook they determine this by search behavior on partners websites (for example booking websites or flights), browsing hashtags on Instagram, recently liked holiday pictures or clicked on other travel ads on Facebook, etc. in *this article* I cover potential traveler targeting more thoroughly.

Potential traveller targeting

Conclusion

In short, there are a lot of oppurtunities for rental marketers to promote their business using Facebook advertising. You need to keep the customer journey in mind when creating a digital Facebook strategy and leverage the Facebook pixel targeting options. If you prefer to let someone experienced help you with your vacation rental Facebook ads then you can contact us here!