How Brands Can Prepare Their Social Ad Campaigns for the “Comeback Travel” Wave

Riikka Söderlund Apr 20 2021 6 PM | 4 min read

As the vaccine rollout pushes forward across the globe and we prepare for our second summer of the pandemic, consumers are increasingly hopping online to book their “travel comeback” vacations. With some having not left their own city  (or gone anywhere outside of the grocery store) in over a year, many are itching for a  getaway – with 82% of consumers already having made travel plans for 2021.

This is all part of the comeback spending trend. Bloomberg Economics estimates that Americans alone have about $1.7 trillion to burn from excess pandemic savings. Globally, people are looking to have the best summer yet. So, how can travel marketers and advertisers prepare and capitalize on this anticipated surge in demand?

Connect with Consumers Throughout the Shopping Journey

Some brands have already launched their campaigns, catering ads specifically to these new shifts in consumer behavior. According to our research, Facebook remains the most popular among brands, with 76% of companies saying they will be increasing social ad spend on the platform this year. Twitter and Instagram are also in the mix, with nearly half of marketers (44%) planning to invest more on Twitter, and over one-third (38%) increasing spend on Instagram in 2021.

While all of these platforms have their own individual advantages, to make the biggest impact, advertisers should be developing a multi-platform strategy to connect with today’s travelers across the entire consumer journey. 

Personalized Ads with Dynamic Creative 

Travel brands are taking note of the increased momentum over the last few weeks – and have been steadily increasing their spend starting in February. CPM prices have been on a rise for travel advertisers as well due to growing demand – just from the beginning of the year the increase in CPM has been over 30%.

The comeback is driven by all areas of this large vertical, from airlines and hotels, cruise lines to booking sites and even ride-hailing apps. Since the reemergence of travel is focused (for now) in the U.S. and Asia, with Europe still largely under lockdown, pushing efforts towards creative and dynamic social ads is more important due to the need for personalized and localization based on region.

Making a splash during what we can now refer to as the travel-comeback season requires travel brands and retailers to stay focused on the right modes of engagement and investment. As marketers digest the current landscape, dive into social ad data and determine the correct platforms to target based on the numbers and audience, they’ll need to hone in on what can truly make an impact and drive hard-hitting social campaigns: creative testing, localization, personalization, dynamic ads and automation. These are the core elements needed to boost advertising strategies and provide the needed level of consumer engagement that can break through the online noise.

Becoming a Creative Testing Pilot

Now is the time to be testing and experimenting with different creatives and messaging to see what resonates with your audience. Since the pandemic and travel conditions have been ever-evolving, advertisers should be incorporating different language around cleaning policies, flexible cancelations or mask regulations to see what resonates most with viewers.

By working closely with data in your creative execution, you’ll recognize these consumer insights are the answer to a sustainable advertising performance that will position your brand well for the travel wave. How your brand responds creatively will be the key to success as your travel-related social ad efforts ramp up.

Flying High with Localization & Personalization 

Unlock your consumers’ engagement potential with personalization and localization across top social channels to create successful social ad campaigns and drive sales. To enhance your brand presence during this surge, launch localized offers at scale by targeting travelers with customized messaging, personalized offers and local pricing.

In fact, according to new research from Adweek, the number of consumers booking vacations increases when discounts and deals are in the mix.

A One-Way Ticket Toward Dynamic Ads & Automation

Ready-to-go travelers are sucked into a constant scroll searching for deals and destinations. The only way to break-through and grab attention is to produce customized image and video ads using dynamic ads that combine brand elements like your logo, along with tempting prices and dreamy destination details from your internal assets. 

Ultimately, when it comes to the travel surge, the same rule applies as any other time or trend: adaptation is the name of the game. To be successful, marketers will need to continuously adapt their social ad strategies to align with the ever-evolving travel economy and their consumers’ preferences.

Even as in-person touchpoints return to our daily lives, social media ads will still play a significant role in how consumers discover, follow and purchase from their favorite travel brands. By implementing solutions and strategies around the main social ad success pillars, and targeting the correct social platforms, your brand will be on the right road toward a successful take-off during this monumental travel season.

Learn more about our advanced suite of product capabilities and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about your social advertising strategies - our team is happy to help you!

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