Tuesday 17 May 2011

Advertising Your Mobile Travel Site on Facebook

This is a follow-up on our previous discussion on Facebook advertising for hotel and tourism mobile marketing (previous study)

The conclusion is discussed here and illustrated in the video below. 

Case 2 - Advertising TravelOnTheGo.mobi to Facebook Desktop users

The study tracked
advertising of the AXSES site http://TravelOnTheGo.mobi on Facebook. 
TravelOnTheGo.mobi is home to hotels and tourism operators who are using AXSES SmartphoneTraveller.com marketing Services. This is a comprehensive mobile marketing platform that includes listing hotel and travel mobile-optimized sites on our own TravelOnTheGo.Mobi directory, as well as marketing via the DotMobi distribution. Each client gets a 14-page .Mobi website that includes map location, photo galleries, a booking engine and the ability to add specials and packages.

Call to Action on the Landing Page Essential

The specials and packages are very key to the study. In the first study, we advertised Special offers to Facebook users, but travelers had trouble finding the specials. They had to visit each hotel site and, as several suppliers did not have a special deal or a package, we found that they were getting frustrated and quitting early. 

In the second phase, we added specials to the directory. This means that mobile travelers see the specials being offered right on the first page they visited. Facebook desktop users who click the ad see the same.

High Interest from Facebook Fans

The results were tracked using Clicky and showed a marked interest. Visitors stayed on average over 2 minutes on the site and visited several pages. They went directly to the suppliers' offers and even chose to look at options using the booking engine. 

The cost of the ad was on average .19 cents per click (CPC). The campaign resulted in just under 1 million impressions and 330 Clicks to the target websites. The Click-Through Rate (CTR) was 0.037%


Comparison with Google AdWords to Mobile Users

By contrast, a campaign on Google's AdWords had an average stay of under 30 seconds and many visited no pages. This was not a split test, as the format and wording of the ad were different. The target was similar, but it was limited to Smartphone users. The ad had good CTR and comparable costs. We expected that by targeting Smartphone users, the length of stay and activity on the site would have been better. In that respect Google Adwords under preformed where Facebook exceeded expectations. We will review and explore this in a following case study.


Facebook clearly attracts attention and gets qualified traffic, (i.e.: consumers who have an interest and stay on the site). We know that this works for traditional websites (see first test) and for mobile websites, even when the mobile site is viewed on a desktop!

Facebook Ads, unlike Google and the Search ads, do not target people who are actually searching for a product or service. This does not mean that the Facebook visitors are not interested in buying, but only that they have not got to your site by searching for your product or service.

The Facebook visitor is interested in your product and service and may well want to buy it, but we suspect that the decision to book will not be immediate in most cases (two of the visitors in this time span actually contacted the hotel directly). 

Most travel shopping is a long process where travelers will visit 25 sites on average.

Converting Travel Shoppers is a complex issue but we know that offering rate guarantees is a vital feature.

Special and packages do entice buyers, but it may be important to also say that it is the best price. Without this, travel shoppers tend to look around and may drop off the radar.
Keeping your hotel in front of the traveler is where Facebook can be very important, especially if you engage them with interesting stories of happenings, offer Best Rates to Fans, and get them to be your Fan.

Fans are good prospects for your service and you can keep in contact with them throughout the Facebook pages.

All research shows that Fans like to stay within the Facebook setting.

Mobile is Significant in Travel Research and Planning

Mobile users are 100% connected most of the time. Those with smartphones are browsing the net to plan shopping and travel (smartphone devices are the fastest-growing sector, accounting for about 25% of all mobile and expected to be near 50% in 2012). Currently about 34% of smartphone users use the device for travel shopping.

For more on this, read our FREE Mobile Travel White Paper at http://arcres.com/smartphonetraveller-whitepaper-download.cfm


Hotels and tourism companies need to be seen on mobile searches and have a mobile-optimized website in order to feature in this market.

Hotels and tourism suppliers should have Fan Pages and encourage guests and potential guests to become Fans. Travel companies should add "Like" buttons to all mobile web pages.

We recommend that Hotels and Tourism operators add Special Rates, quotes and bookings directly to their Fan Pages. 

Fan pages should have all of your rooms, products and the best pictures right on the pages where Fans might make a booking.

Advertising should contain a mix that includes Facebook. We see Facebook as having long-term benefits. For marketing, it has targeting and engagement benefits not available on other platforms.

Keep Tuned in on Insights, Developments and Case Studies

Google AdWords allows you to target your ads to smartphone users, and this is a distinct benefit. We will be looking at this channel of advertising in a future case study - To keep tuned in - please follow us

arcResBookings Fan Pages Builder and Facebook Bookings 

We invite you to a no-obligation Free trial - go to http://facebook.arcres.biz
  • TravelOnTheGo.mobi directory listing
  • dotMobi publishing to 1000s of directories
  • Your hotel special promotions displayed on networks of 100s of travel sites
  • iPhone and Android application
  • Advertised on the Internet and direct to mobiles/smartphones
  • 14-Page mobile-optimized website; get more "Direct Bookings"
Related link

Google latest study show Smartphone users searching on mobile: " Make sure you can be found via mobile search as consumers regularly use their phones to find and act on information"   see this study at http://googlemobileads.blogspot.com/2011/04/smartphone-user-study-shows-mobile.html