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Is YouTube advertising an effective marketing strategy for hotels?

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Most hoteliers identify the options they feel are best suited to their business and then use them for their ad targeting.

Straight answer: YES, it is! 

YouTube ad is a pretty effective tool for getting people to know about your hotel.

Does it guarantee bookings?

Yes and no.

(How’s that for an oxymoron!)

Yes, if your ad is so engaging that viewers refuse the urge to hit the “skip after 5 seconds” button.

Otherwise, no.

So, what can you do to make sure YouTube ads work for your hotel every time?

Let’s find out, shall we?

How does YouTube advertising work?
Starting a YouTube ad campaign is quite easy.

But for the sake of those who're new to the system, here's a step-by-step breakdown.

  1. Upload Your Video Advertisement to YouTube
  2. Create a New Campaign in Google Ads
  3. Configure Your Campaign
  4. Select the People You Want to Reach
  5. Select Where You Want Your Ads to Show
  6. Select Your Marketing Video
  7. Configure Your YouTube Ads Video Ad

You can create a video advertisement by logging into your YouTube account and clicking the small camcorder icon on the top-right of YouTube.

Afterward, you’ll click ‘Upload Video.’

The beautiful thing about the YouTube advert system is that you only pay every time a user watches 30 seconds of your video advert. 

This means that if a viewer watches less than 30 seconds, you won’t pay anything.

How to create a successful YouTube advertising campaign for hotels

1. Start your video off with a hookY line:
I remember trying to re-watch the highlight of the fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury last night. And YouTube kept intruding my sessions with tons of ads.

It was so annoying that I skipped all the ads.

While writing this article, then I discovered something.

I didn’t skip those ads because they were entirely annoying. I did because they failed to hook me in the first five seconds.

When creating a YouTube advertising video for your hotels, always remember you have JUST 5 seconds to hook the viewers.

Five seconds to say something that will make them wanna watch the rest of the ad and probably discover a reason to try you out.

So, what are the examples of the things you can say to hook prospective guests?

  • Start with a story everybody knows but say it in an engaging and hotel-related manner. I remember watching an ad about a HEATER, which talked about how Pablo Escobar burned $2 million to warm his family.
  • Give a fascinating description of your location. This might intrigue someone's who's planning on traveling there. A good example can be something like, did you know the world’s tallest man lives in XYZ?
  • Give reference to a popular celebrity or personality who recently said or did anything relating to where your hotel is situated. E.g., "Hey, remember that amazing apartment Cardi B used in … blah blah blah.
  • Come up with out-of-the-box, creative video ideas. 

See how PG Tips (a tea brand) did something creative with their ad:

In the pre-roll ad, they showed cloth hands, making you wonder what exactly is holding this mug of tea. Oh, it's a puppet monkey. And it's adorable.

See how University of the People did theirs:

They showed a haggard-looking man living in an extremely rural African town. GUESS WHAT THE MAN was doing? He was getting first-class education from world-renowned professors on his laptop.

2. Give your website/landing page/YouTube channel the best outlook
YouTube's job is to expose your video to people; what these people do afterward is totally up to you.

Normally, if your ad video is engaging and compelling enough, viewers would click through to your website, landing page, YouTube channel, YouTube watch page, or anywhere you want them.

It is the experience you give them on these other platforms that would determine whether they place a booking or not.

If you’re sending ad clickers to a website landing page, you should ensure the page is well-optimized with the right CTAs (Call to Action) to show visitors how to place a booking, make reservations, inquire, or do other things.

If you’re sending them to a YouTube watch page, ensure the video on the page already has a great number of views, likes, and subscribers.

This is important because YouTubers have a habit of taking videos with meager numbers of views with a pinch of salt.

When they see that your hotel video watch page has many views and Likes, they get the impression that the hotel is credible and loved. 

So, how do hoteliers get plenty of views and likes on their channel videos? They buy them.

They buy YouTube views and Likes from Stormviews.net to boost the credibility of their hotel's YouTube channel and videos.

3. Broaden your targeting options
To implement a YouTube ad campaign, you're always required to specify important details to depict your ideal target audience.

This helps YouTube know who to show your ads to.

The common OPTIONS advertisers get on YouTube include TARGETING BY:

  • Geographic regions – i.e., by countries, states, cities, or places.
  • Languages
  • Gender
  • Job
  • Video Interest - politics, sports, entertainment, tutorial, colleges, cuisines, travel, rentals, accommodation, holidays, etc. 
  • Specific videos on the YouTube network – say, a particular music video, viral video, talk show, etc. E.g., the Dave Ramsey Show. (Provided the video owner hasn't disabled direct advertising).

Most hoteliers identify the options they feel are best suited to their business and then use them for their ad targeting.

Logically, this sounds like the normal thing to do. But you’ll be limiting your reach by doing so.

Instead, you should keep your targeting options relatively broad on the YouTube network for your first set of ad campaigns. 

Then from this audience, you can funnel down further, with groups based upon your viewer stats.

For example, if you see most of your ad views are coming from people aged 18-29, you can setup that as its own target group to bring down the average CPV and improve your ad performance.

Note: CPV means Cost per view. It is the amount you pay to YouTube per person that views your ad. Currently, the average CPV on YouTube is $0.026. 


Photo by Szabo Viktor on Unsplash

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