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2021 Guide For Setting Up Profitable Facebook Ad Campaigns For The Hospitality Industry

2021 Guide For Setting Up Profitable Facebook Ad Campaigns For The Hospitality Industry

 

Introduction

 

For the hospitality industry, Facebook ads are here to stay.

 

The Facebook advertising platform can help your restaurant or hotel reach 2.14 billion new people. 

No wonder why 3 million businesses are already using the platform to advertise. 

Advertising on Facebook also helps you advertise on Instagram and other partner sites. 

There are many reasons to advertise on Facebook and you can read about it here.

This article is about setting up profitable Facebook ads for local businesses. 

Not in the Hotel or Restaurant industry?

If you want to read a more general article, I have written another article for no specific industry:

Step 1: Planning & Strategy 

Before you begin any setup of your Facebook campaign, first you should strategize what your campaign is going to be about. 

Who are you going to target and what are you going to offer? 

I have encountered many business owners who say to me “I want to target everyone”. 

This is a very pleasant thought, but it should not be your marketing strategy. 

Let me paint a picture for you. 

You scroll on your phone on Facebook and see pictures of your friends and family.

You see an ad trying to sell you something so you quickly scroll past it. 

Then you see more pictures of friends until finally, you notice something. 

You see a new post that has your own name in it. 

Yup you heard me, your first and last name in the post.

The post mentions a very specific problem you have been facing in your personal life and gives a new solution for that problem. 

“How do they know that!?”

You are captivated by how this ad feels like it is really speaking directly to you. 

This is how you should think about your advertising campaigns. 

Now of course you can’t get that specific on who you target where you will know their first and last names but you can focus on a very specific customer profile. 

Creating An Avatar / Customer Profile / Buyer Persona

Each business deals with dream clients and nightmare clients. 

I’m sure if you have been in business for a while you know exactly what I mean. 

No one wants to pay for ads that target nightmare clients, right? 

Your avatar is an idea of who you want to target with your campaign.

So what are the common characteristics of your dream clients? 

Wealthy? Parents? Older than 48? 

Ask yourself these questions and write down your answers:

  1. What product do they usually come to your business for? Ex: fine dining, cocktails, a clean hotel room, etc. 

  1. What pain point (problem) do they have that makes them need your product? Ex: haven’t been out in a while, need a place to stay while on a business trip, celebration (father’s day or mother’s day), etc. 

  1. What do they want for their professional life most of all? Ex: Success, notoriety, etc.

  1. What do they want for their personal life most of all? Ex: Happy family, successful friends, personal connection, etc.

It is important to write these characteristics down so you can visually see any common connections you may have missed. 

Now you should have a clear idea of who you are going to be targeting and why. 

Creating An Irresistible Offer

When you truly understand someone, you know what they want and you have negotiating power. 

Think of when you would make deals with your siblings when you were in elementary school. 

It is kind of the same thing. 

The offer is what you are advertising. Your avatar is who you are advertising to.

You need to create a specific offer that your avatar cannot pass up. 

Dig into a specific pain point of your avatar and explain how your business can move them from pain to pleasure. 

“Not spending enough time with your family?” 

“Need to get out of the house?” 

“Haven’t eaten a real meal in a while?”

“Does the work never stop?” 

“Does everything seem to keep going wrong? 

“Here is how you can fix this” 

Side note: The examples above are very basic and you should have a more in-depth offer. This should be easy if you have a deep understanding of your avatar. 

Once you define the pain point and the solution for your avatar you have to sweeten the pot a bit. 

Think of every opposition someone could have to your offer and write in the text your response to it. 

“Maybe I will visit later” – The Deal Ends In 7 Days 

“What if I need to cancel my reservation” – Call Our 24/7 Support Number If You Have Any Questions 

“What if I can find a room cheaper somewhere else?” – We Price Match All Of Our Competitors

“How do I know this is a good hotel to stay at?” – See Reviews From Our Past Guests Below

Your goal for the ad copy and creative should be to fully convince your dream clients that they should visit you, and buy your food over your competitors, or at least try your business out. 

Knowing who you are targeting, with oddly specific messaging and answers to every initial opposition should be a great place to start with your creative (Ad design and text). 

Setting Campaign Goals

Next, it is time to clarify your goals for your campaign.

However, when I speak about “goals” I am not speaking of vague goals like “I want to grow my business”. 

I mean setting temporal (time) and quantitative (numerical) benchmarks that will come into play with your Facebook ad campaign. 

Here are a couple example goals: 

  • 15 conversions (new guests directly from the ad) per week / Average conversion value of $80 each / Ad spend $1200 per month 


  • $1000 in revenue per week directly from the Facebook advertising campaign


  • 200 new followers per month split between business social media and email list

How much are you willing to spend on advertising on the Facebook Platform? 

Facebook allows budgets as low as $2.50 per day. 

However, I would advise against this. 

For the hospitality industry, a general rule of thumb is to spend at least $20 per day on ads. 

You also have to understand if you are selling a luxury experience you may need to spend more money to build more trust. 

If you are selling $10 dinner plates you can probably sell 5-10 per day with a daily budget of $20.

If you are trying to sell a $600 per night hotel room you may need a minimum budget of $1000 per day.

Also, something to note is that it takes about 10 interactions with a company before a new prospect buys your product. 

So advertising should be looked at as an investment. 

A campaign may not start converting (making sales) consistently until after 2 months of running. 

People need to go through a funnel with each advertiser (Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion). 

If you are just starting to advertise and spread your message, you may not get the conversions you are looking for right away. 

Side note: If you sell an inexpensive product, keep in mind the Customer Lifetime Value.

Customer Lifetime Value is how often a customer returns and purchases again. 

Maybe $100 of ad spend made you a $20 sale to a new guest, but what if that customer came back each month and at the end of the year you made $120 total from that one customer.

Your goals cannot be set by a blogger on the internet but an easy way to figure out what you are trying to achieve is to follow this simple formula. 

(How much do you want) x (When do you want it). 

How much money, leads, followers, sign-ups, etc.

When do you want it by (a week, a month, this quarter, this year, etc.) 

Be realistic with these numbers, if you want $10,000 per month you may need to spend at least $5,000 per month in ad spend. 

It all depends on how you market your hotel or restaurant.

Now you should have your avatar, offer, and goals set to start your Facebook campaign. 

Step 2: Setting Up Your Campaign 

Facebook Pixels & Retargeting

Before I start any campaign I make sure I begin with the end in mind. 

The beginning step of a campaign is the most complicated one.

If you are unfamiliar, there are advanced I.P. tracking pixels that help you stay in front of people who have shown interest in your ads in the past.

For example, if an interested lead types into google “Where should I eat tonight” and clicks on your website, looks at your menu, then decides to look at other options, you can then show that person who showed interest in your business an ad for a promotion to try to close the deal later on. Sometimes people need to be reminded a few times of a restaurant before they visit. 

Also staying in front of interested leads will come in handy when they are with friends or family trying to think of where to eat. 

“Oh I keep seeing this new place I wanted to try”

This is called retargeting or remarketing. 

For Facebook, it is called a Facebook Pixel 

Here is an article on how to set up your Facebook Pixel on your website

I highly recommend that before you spend money on the Facebook Platform you properly set up your Facebook Pixel to get information on your leads and to use for retargeting campaigns in the future.

Side note: Retargeting campaigns are the lowest cost advertisements that yield the highest conversion rates because the audience you are targeting already knows your business. 

Creating The Campaign

To access your Facebook Ad account or if you need to create one, click on your personal Facebook profile’s sidebar and find “Ad Manager”.

Ads Manager App

You can also type in the search bar on Facebook to find the Ad Manager

Ads Manager Search

Once inside the Ad Manager dashboard click the green “Create” button in the top left corner

Now you should see the “Choose a Campaign Objective” window. (Shown below) 

Choose A Campaign Objective

Most of the time the typical campaign is a “Traffic” campaign under the “Consideration”.

 

I mentioned earlier in this article about the funnel process of Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion, here it is reflected in the Facebook Ad Dashboard. 

 

If you are a new business and just starting your first ad campaign I would highly recommend starting with the often overlooked “Brand awareness” objective. 

 

The Brand awareness objective may not get sales right away but it is warming up a new audience to your brand which will make conversions easier down the line. 

 

Also Brand awareness objective usually costs the least for CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions). 

 

However, for this guide, we are going to continue with the “Traffic” objective. 

 

The Traffic objective will help bring new eyes to your website, where you will have the opportunity to offer a discount code in exchange for their email and contact information.

 

Once you get enough traffic and conversions you can start running a “Store Traffic” campaign, where Facebook will optimize itself to get people from the ads to actually go into your store. 

 

Facebook tracks where its users are from the app so if a person sees your ad then go to your store Facebook can track this. 

 

For the hospitality industry, a Store Traffic objective can be the most profitable if you went through the brand awareness phase and consideration phase first.

 

Traffic Objective

Once you select your objective Facebook will ask you to name your campaign.

 

I made it a little easier for you to visualize. 

 

The Campaign is the big folder that holds your ads and audiences.

 

The Ad Set is your Audience.

 

The Ad is your creative design and copywriting or “Offer”

 

When everything is properly named click “Continue”. 

 

Congratulations you have set up your campaign and now it’s time for the fun part.

 

Properly Setting Up Your Campaign

 

Special Ad Categories 

 

Special Ad Categories is for specific industries that have more regulations than others. 

 

If your business is offering Credit or Loans, Employment opportunities, Housing, or promoting politics you will have to check this box or else your Ad will not be approved. 

 

Once this box is checked you will have limited tools for your ad but they will be compliant with rules and regulations. 

 

You can learn more about Special Ad Categories here. 

 

If you can avoid checking this box I would recommend doing so to have access to all the tools Facebook has to offer.

 

For the hospitality industry, you most likely won’t need to click this box.

 

Campaign Details

 

This box can be passed up unless you want to change your Campaign Objective. 

 

A/B Test

 

This box is to test two campaigns side by side to see which one performs better. This is really great to use if you have a decent budget to test both (minimum of $10 daily for each campaign). 

 

Remember in science class when you had to hold everything constant except your manipulated variable? 

 

When A/B testing you want to test only one thing at a time. (Objective, audience, or ad)

 

Campaign Budget Optimization

 

I usually leave this box unchecked also. 

 

If you have multiple Ad Sets and Ads you can check this box and Facebook Machine Learning will determine which Ad Sets and Ads will get the most of your budget (usually the best performing ones). 

 

I leave this box unchecked so I can manually have control of the budget of the campaigns. 

 

But it is a useful tool if you are running several Ad Sets at once. 

 

Properly Setting Up Your Ad Set

 

Remember your “Ad Set” is just your target audience. 

 

We came up with your avatar earlier in this article and now it’s time to target them specifically.

 

Traffic

 

Here you can choose where you want to send traffic from the ad. 

 

When someone clicks on your ad, where do you want them to go to? 

 

Most of the time you should choose your website and if you want to get the best results you should set up a landing page for each campaign you run with a specific Call To Action (CTA). 

 

Your options are: Website, App, Messenger, WhatsApp

 

The App option is good if you are looking for downloads of your mobile app. 

 

The Messenger option is great for starting conversations with potential guests who need a more personal touch. 

 

WhatsApp (communication/texting app) is one I have never used personally but it is good to grow a WhatsApp community to speak to your followers and promote more deals later on. 

 

Dynamic Creative

 

This box can be checked to have Facebook’s Machine Learning decide which Ad Creative and Ad Copy will be shown. 

 

This is based on the best performing combinations. 

 

I usually leave this unchecked so I can do this manually myself but I have seen great results using this option also. 

 

Offer

 

The Offer box is different from the offer you created earlier in this article. 

 

This is a great option for restaurants or hotels that want people to download a discount code (which gives you a list of who downloaded the code). 

 

The lead can then get reminders to use the discount or coupon before it expires. 

 

When they come in to redeem their offer, you can track how many sales you made directly from the ad. 

 

For this example campaign, I am going to leave this box unchecked.

 

Budget & Schedule

Budget & Schedule

Now we get to set our budget.

 

Remember digital advertising is based on a bidding system. 

 

To simplify what that means, whoever is paying the most will get the click. 

 

This is why different industries are more competitive than others. 

 

The hospitality industry is only as competitive as how many competitors are near your store front. 

 

In downtown areas you may need a budget of $50 per day, where in more rural areas $15 or $20 per day will yield the same results.

 

It is important to set a budget you are comfortable with but the higher the better for results. 

 

Also when beginning a campaign I usually start with 25% of the budget to start testing everything before I go all in. 

 

I also recommend switching “Daily Budget” to “Lifetime Budget” so you can set hours and days your ad runs. 

 

I have run ads for companies that only received conversions on the weekends between the hours of 3pm and 11pm. 

 

We started running the ads for those times and days only and our $ 500-lifetime budget really yielded great results because we pushed a lot of ads in peak conversion hours. 

 

Audience

 

This is the part where your buyer persona or avatar really comes into play. 

 

Facebook adds and changes these options quite often and it is fun to see what targeting options I can choose for my ad. 

 

Remember, we only want to target a specific audience who our Ad and Offer is specifically made for.

 

It is easy to get lost in the estimated impressions with larger audiences but I would keep my eye on the prize.

Most businesses with only one location should only target your city or zip code within reason. 

 

You can also advertise to people in your area who are just traveling through or only target people who live in your area.

 

This should take into account your messaging of your ad.

 

For the rest of the targeting fields, use the avatar you created earlier in this article. 

 

Here are some common options I select for Detailed Targeting for the hospitality industry: 

 

Engaged shoppers

Household income 10% – 25% ZIP codes (US)

Parent With Pre-Teens 

Parents With Teenagers 

Parents With Children

 

I would also highly recommend using the “Exclude” button.

 

Exclude any competitors when advertising on Facebook. 

 

Usually, I would exclude “Restaurant Owner” “Restaurant Manager” “Hotel Manager” from your detailed targeting.

 

This helps show your ads to the right people and not waste money on preaching to the choir. 

 

Placements

 

Here is where you select where you want your ads to show.

 

Most novice marketers will select “Automatic Placements” because it is recommended.

 

I like to create ads for specific platforms to make them more personalized. 

 

I usually select “Manual Placements” so I can turn off any platform that I do not want to advertise on and use more of my budget in the areas I want.

 

If you are starting a campaign in hopes to get sales I would recommend “Manual Placements” and turning off “Messenger” and “Audience Network”.

 

Optimization & Delivery 

This is a very important box for your Ad Set. 

 

For traffic campaigns, I always use “Landing Page View”. 

 

You will find a lot of people will click your link by accident or will not wait for the page to load and cancel the browser script. 

When you are optimizing by Landing Page View you will only be charged when someone clicks your ad and makes it to the landing page. 

 

Properly Setting Up Your Advertisements 

 

We have finally made it to the last part of the campaign creation process. 

 

Before you even reach this phase you should have already come up with your offer and created your ads. 

 

Working with an outside marketer or agency can help create the ad and text properly to encourage your avatar to take action. 

 

This is the part of the campaign I test the most. 

 

Copywriting is everything when it comes to conversions. 

 

You have to make sure you are speaking to a specific pain point and have a solution within the avatar’s budget with no consequences if the experience does not deliver what it promised. 

 

Identity

Identity

 

Make sure you have your Facebook page and the Instagram page linked to the same account to be able to advertise on both platforms. 

 

Only click the Branded Content box if you are advertising someone else’s product. Ex: a musician or event taking place at your business.

 

Ad Setup

 

This box is very simple. 

 

I will give you a very quick run down of these options. 

 

Videos will always perform better for conversions. 

 

If you have the budget to have a video created for your campaign you absolutely should. 

 

I have seen conversion rates 10x just from switching a picture to a video. 

 

If you are selling multiple products. 

 

For instance, if you are promoting several dishes or variations of hotel rooms and want to display several options, you should use a Carousel ad where your products will be rotated based on the highest-performing cards.

 

If you are selling services, like event hosting or catering, I would highly recommend the “Collection” option.

Ad Set Up

Also, a newer option that I have not explored as much as I want to is the “Fullscreen Mobile Experience”. 

 

Remember most of the time your ad is going to be seen on a mobile device so tailoring your messaging for mobile will yield higher conversions. 

 

Instant experiences are great for interaction and engagement. 

 

In short, these will give you more time to pitch your offer to your audience. 

 

Try one out and let me know how it worked for you!

 

Ad Creative

 

This box is where the magic happens.

 

Just kidding!

 

You are just uploading the images or videos you previously created, targeted to your avatar. 

 

I really hope if you get one thing from this article is that you should have all this prepared before you get to this point in the set up process. 

 

Upload the images or videos you have prepared for this campaign. 

 

Make sure you upload the proper dimensions. 

 

There are 3 dimensions for each image you upload: 

1080×1920

1200×628

1080×1080

 

Never upload only a single image. You should have 3 variations in size for each ad creative you upload. 

 

This will allow Facebook to show your ads properly and have them fit perfectly where they are shown. 

 

Finally, once everything is uploaded it is time to showcase your offer and stand out. 

 

Your Headlines should be between 6-8 words and your Primary Text should be long enough to show your audience you know what you are talking about. 

 

I actually find a longer copy in the Primary Text converts a lot better. 

 

Start with the avatar’s pain point, ask rhetorical questions, and tell a story that moves the avatar away from pain and into pleasure. 

 

At the end of the Primary Text remember to include a specific Call To Action. 

 

“Get 25% off your bill by clicking the link below” 

“Reserve your stay now”

 

Tracking

 

Now, this is a box that is often overlooked by newer advertisers. 

 

This is related to the Facebook Tracking Pixel we set up in the first step of the Campaign Set-Up Process. 

 

You want to select the proper pixel to make sure you are recording data from your advertisements. 

 

Later on, you can use this data to stay in front of that audience who already showed interest in your business. 

 

Retargeting campaigns yield the highest conversions for the lowest cost. 

 

I will write an article in the future on how to set up a retargeting campaign. 

 

Subscribe to my email list to be notified when that article comes out. 

 

Now you are ready to click Publish

 

Once you click publish Facebook will put your campaign under review status to make sure everything is compliant with Facebook Advertising Policies

 

This usually takes anywhere from 2 hours to 24 hours to be reviewed and set to active. 

 

Making sure your campaign is profitable 

 

Setting up a campaign does not ensure it will be profitable. 

 

Earlier in this article, I encouraged you to set numerical and temporal goals for this campaign. 

 

“10 conversions in 30 days”

“200 followers each month” 

 

Once the campaign is active, it is your responsibility to check up on the campaign and start “cutting the fat”. 

 

What I mean by that is to pause the bad performing ads or audiences and reallocate the budget to the better performing audiences. 

 

See which copywriting is performing best, which Ad Creative is performing best, and match them together.

 

With that, test out different audiences to see which one is responding to the message the best. 

 

Over time with consistent optimization, you should move your campaign closer to your goals. 

 

If you made it this far to the end of the article, I applaud you. 

 

You did something half your competition in the hospitality industry is not willing to. 

 

I know firsthand that running a business is time-consuming and stressful. 

 

If you want a professional agency to run your ads for your hospitality business, I could not recommend Big Sea enough. 

 

I currently am a part of the Big Sea team and the experience and knowledge base shared amongst the team is like no other agency. 

 

If you want to make the most out of your budget and get the highest returns (and also work with me!), please fill out the form on the Big Sea website

 

Good Luck,

Brenden The Marketer

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