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Best digital advertising channels for independent hotel marketers
05 July 2019
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Top direct-response channels are Facebook & Instagram and paid search

A new report by travel marketers Sojern based on results of a survey of hotel marketers shows that for marketers of independent hotels:

Best channels for brand awareness are:

  1. Facebook and Instagram (52%)
  2. Private marketplace (i.e, real-time-bidding auction in which advertisers bid for publishers' ad space) (33%)
  3. Paid search (29%)
  4. Mobile (24%)
  5. OTA (18%)
  6. Other social (8%)
  7. Metasearch (5%)
  8. Video (4%)
  9. Programmatic display (2%)

Enthusiasm for Facebook and Instagram for branding was shared by all hotel segments: International Luxury, International Mid-Tier Chain, Hotel Group, Inn and Homeshare as well as Independent.)

Best channels for direct response are:

  1. Facebook and Instagram (38%)
  2. Paid search - like Google Ads (36%)
  3. OTA (25%)
  4. Private marketplace (24%)
  5. Metasearch (19%)
  6. Mobile (14%)
  7. Other social (5%)
  8. Video (4%)
  9. Programmatic display (2%)

For direct response, Independent hotel marketers were significantly less enthusiastic about Facebook and Instagram than were marketers in other segments (36% vs. 53%-64%), while all segments except Homeshare (21%) gave paid search marks in the 35% - 39% range.

Across hotel segments, digital video channels most marketers say they plan on using in 2019 are:

  1. Facebook (56%)
  2. Instagram (52%)
  3. YouTube (49%)
  4. Mobile (43%)

Sojern analysts note that video usage is less prevalent among smaller advertisers (Independents, Inns and Homeshares), perhaps because of the cost of video production.

Also, in 2018, only 8% of total hotel marketing spend went for video ads. But decreasing equipment costs should lead to increased video-ad spend.

Per Sojern, top 3 uses of data by hotel and travel marketers are:

  • Target travelers based on intent or position in buying cycle
  • Improve visibility into behavior across websites and apps
  • Understand where in buying cycle sales are made or lost



Lower preference among marketers of independent hotels for Facebook and Instagram for direct response, but same preference for paid search as in other segments, likely stems from owners of independent hotels keeping a closer eye on their cost of sales.

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Subhead Top direct-response channels are Facebook & Instagram and paid search
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