After reading the Sift article titled, ‘What’s Behind the Airlines Mess This Summer’ by Edward Russell, about all the issues travellers are facing due to staffing issues (amongst others but will not go into here), it got me thinking back to a conversation I had a couple of weeks ago with one of the operators I help.
Many operators use paid advertising to market their business to their target demographics, be it on Facebook, Google, Bing or other. From experience, most will focus on keywords or their overall target audience when running these ads, but in these turbulent times, you need to be a lot more nuanced to make sure you get the most out of your ad spend.
For example, if you are running a Facebook campaign targeting, say, a demographic in the UK to visit North America, what is the status of flights currently for that route? How easily can that market get to the target destination? Are flights running? If so, how many?
These are all questions you need to ask yourself as it will impact the effectiveness of your ads.
I have seen ads being targeted towards a destination but, when you dive deeper into the flight data, there are no direct flights, which makes it harder for your demographic to make a decision. This alone can be a significant element to stop someone from travelling to that destination.
If there are direct flights, you might want to think about informing your target audience in your ad messaging that there are direct flights for only X amount so ‘they have no excuse’ not to visit. In the UK for example, flights to parts of Europe are cheaper than a few days’ worth of Starbucks! Play about with the messaging to see what resonates with your audience.
In short, when it comes to paid advertising, don’t just look at your own customer data, Google analytics or who you ‘think’ is your ideal customer. Look at every step of your consumer's purchase and travel journey to see how viable it really is. You may find that doing a small tweak here and there can have a huge impact on your ROI.