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Top feed marketing tips for travel companies

July 29, 2019

Travel companies like hotel chains, travel agencies, airlines, ticket sales companies and so on, all face the same challenge. Ensuring that they have an up-to-date and well-structured data feed. The difficulty arises from the vastness of the data within the feed, often in multiple languages, and also the incredibly dynamic nature of the data. Prices and availability constantly change in a travel feed. Creating the perfect feed may seem complicated, but it is vital as many forms of online marketing require a well-structured, updated feed. Feed management can help travel companies improve social media, PPC, retargeting, and more. Channable shares some of its top travel client’s best practices.

Top feed marketing tips for travel companies

Some examples of when a data feed is used in online marketing for travel include:

  • Using social media, like Facebook or Instagram, for retargeting and prospecting
  • Advertising with affiliate platforms such as Criteo and TradeDoubler
  • PPC campaigns for Google Ads and/or Microsoft advertising
  • Retargeting campaigns with Google display

Many of Channable’s clients operating in the European travel industry, such as Norwegian Air Shuttle, Pierre et Vacances/Center Parcs, and RIU hotels, are using Channable to perfect their complex data feeds. Channable has now become an integral part of their digital marketing strategies. Whilst their strategies differ, Channable has proven to be the perfect solution for a large portion of their online marketing activities. Their uses of Channable will be covered in this blog to provide other travel industry players with the possibilities feed management can open and problems it can solve. 

Create specific accommodation ads for each social media audience

Social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Snapchat, allow companies to reach their target audiences in a more specific and profitable way, compared to traditional channels. Many travel sector brands supply the social media networks with a manually created Excel or CSV files containing their offerings to benefit from the platforms advertising opportunities. However, each platform serves a different audience, and a travel company will need to ensure the right message is sent per audience. Therefore, it is necessary to tailor the file to the different audiences, but it is no easy feat.

By using a tool like Channable to easily restructure a feed and select which information is necessary for each social media channel, digital marketers in travel can properly make use of the potential social media platforms have to offer. In Channable, travel companies can even create separate projects to create feeds from information in different languages or for different countries.

Once the information is well structured, creating a travel data feed for each social media channel is simple. Channable has two tips that can help in creating personalized feeds for a travel company’s social media strategy:

  • Group services (hotels, routes, etc.) without making changes to the original feed. This way you can easily promote only certain services.
  • Add additional images and information by combining import feeds. You may have a separate feed with additional images. Instead of modifying your master feed, simply combine it within Channable’s setup step. You can then include a load more information to further personalize your messages.

Add UTM tags to measure website traffic easily

Jasnina, head of measurement and online attribution at RIU Hotels, identified Channable’s ability to add UTM tags as a perfect solution for measuring traffic and results. “The correct measurement of traffic is fundamental, and this is achieved thanks to the possibility of customizing UTM tags. These tags allow you to define the hotels in each feed based on the measurement parameters that we want to indicate. In this way, it is very easy to analyze the traffic that comes from the different marketing channels we use.”

UTM tags provide travel businesses with more exhaustive performance data. They can then adapt marketing strategies based on the results obtained. It is easy to see which hotels and destinations are performing well in the countries that they are advertised in.

Retarget to lower cart abandonment

It has been proven that retargeting can help improve sales, as it assists in retrieving website users who showed interest but did not yet purchase. Affiliate networks such as Criteo or TradeDoubler help to remain on those potential customer’s radars. In addition, display actions, like the one offered by Google, can help you achieve this goal. Retargeting is especially valuable for companies in the travel industry, as customers are more likely to be comparing prices and finalizing details before securing reservations.

Channable has the specifications of over 2500 channels including hundreds of affiliate networks. The built-in platform makes adapting your information to the requirements of the channel easy, so you can utilize more channels, faster.

Automate Google Ads campaigns to generate more conversions

Channable’s SEA tool is a travel business’ perfect accompaniment for Google Ads or Microsoft Advertising. As it enables users to generate campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords from the information in a product feed. The simple template lets you build each level of your campaigns with dynamic values or static text. For travel companies, this can save heaps of time as hundreds of ads will be generated for every item in the feed. Maximizing each offering’s visibility with minimal effort.

Group offers/advertise the cheapest prices

With Channable, you can group hotels by city or flights by destination. You could even go on to select the cheapest flight in the group and advertise on that price. For example, the headline of your ad could read “Flights to New York from €80.” As Channable fetches your import feed daily, the price will be updated accordingly. 

Ads updated constantly

By updating the feed and therefore ads daily, the correct information will always be communicated. In addition, rules can be implemented to ensure that any service that is low in availability or undesirable is suppressed and its ads will be paused.

Keywords created automatically

Generating keywords from information in your feed is another common usage of Channable by travel companies. According to Ole Henrik Hasle, global digital media strategist at Norwegian, “by including all possible routes and combinations, we went from 18,000 keywords created manually to 200,000 keywords. Thanks to this we were able to optimize our ads and improve the performance of our marketing budget.” Through combining two fields e.g. ‘to’ and ‘from’ cities to create keywords, Norwegian appears in more people’s search results.

Create custom CSVs/XMLs for segmenting, organizing, and more

With a large data feed, travel companies often need to further dissect the feed into manageable data. Potentially per region, per KPI, or per price point. Transforming the data into a simple CSV or XML file is easy in Channable. By applying rules to the data, you can specify which data needs to be in the file and what is excluded, modify any names/descriptions (e.g. modifying the destination name ‘Charles de Gaulle’ to ‘Paris’), translate currencies to symbols, etc. As well as creating custom files for internal use, some travel companies build CSVs for other channels such as TripAdvisor.

Read more about our client’s success on our success story page. If you work in the travel industry and are itching to get started with Channable’s easy-to-use tool, create a free trial or just get in touch. Channable can help you save time, which can be better spent on optimizing your strategy

Read this in French, Spanish, Dutch or German

Written by Senni Whitaker
Marketing UK