What is Traditional Remarketing?
You will have heard about remarketing in hotel marketing from various grapevines for a few years now and may be familiar with its use. Google made remarketing available in 2010 and allowed website owners to display advertising to users that came to the website but didn’t convert. It’s the tool that allows you to ‘follow people around the web’.
It is a really handy tool and a great place to start in the world of AdWords; it builds brand awareness and brings people back to the site that have already shown a certain level of interest.
However, at Umi, we think there is a lot more you can do to supercharge your remarketing efforts and make sure your media budget goes further each month. It comes in the form of dynamic remarketing.
What Is Dynamic Remarketing?
Dynamic remarketing takes traditional remarketing one step further and allows you to be far more targeted in your marketing approach. With dynamic remarketing, we pull extra event data alongside the remarketing event and store it in our Adwords audiences. We can then use this additional information to tailor and personalise the advert when it is shown back to the user; it allows hotels to remarket at a product level rather than the brand or topic level. In a nutshell, a use case might be something like this:
A user browses through your hotel website and navigates through to the ‘Junior Suite’ page and takes a look through the facilities. On this occasion, the user does not decide to book but has shown intent at this particular room type.
The website then tracks this interaction and passes the following information back into an audience in Google Adwords:
- Room ID
- Location ID (good for multi-property companies)
- Page URL
- Room Value
- Business type (Hotel, Travel, B&B etc.)
We combine this data with our very own product feed which contains all sorts of useful information about each room that we might want to use in marketing.
Dynamic remarketing adverts then match each user to a specific product in our data feed, based on a selection of data points. The user is then served a highly personalised, product-level advert to entice the conversion.
Why should we use dynamic remarketing over standard remarketing?
At Umi, we have seen this method achieve significantly higher conversion rates than traditional remarketing due to the higher levels of personalisation. The only drawback is that it does require specialist setup due to the data flow between the different systems; but hey, that’s what we’re here for!
How to get started with dynamic remarketing?
Create a product feed
In order to display the right information to our prospective guests, we need to collate our potential marketing information for each product offering into one standardised document. This document can contain all sorts of offerings from rooms and conference venues to wedding spaces and restaurants. To get an idea of the fields that you’ll need, download our csv template to get started!
We need to create our own room and location IDs to be able to match everything up. You can create your own system for this but we like to use three-letter room codes for a property ID and the first three letters of the city for location ID. It’s up to you though! For image URLs, these will need to be hosted images from your website server and it’s really important that you use UTM links for your conversion links too! We don’t want to be flying blind do we?
Once this is complete you will need to upload it into the Business data section of your adwords account.
Setup dynamic remarketing event parameters
This is where it gets a little bit fiddly and you will need access to or posses some technical skills to be able to implement the next phase. Essentially we need to send data along with our remarketing event each time it is triggered on our site.
Let’s think back to the information list from above. We want to be able to tell Google exactly what room and location our user was interacting with in order to match it up in our product feed. The best way to do this is to have a unique id and location on each product-based page on the website. I’ll be brief on the technicalities but it will involve something like this if you’re using WordPress:
- Create a custom field for ID and location in your rooms page or custom post type
- Push these variables/arrays to the GTM Data Layer using datalayer.push()
- Set up GTM Variables for these Data Layer variables
- Add a new remarketing tag in GTM and select “send dynamic remarketing event data”
- Use your recently made GTM variables as the values.
- Setup the trigger for either all page views or just use it for room-based page views
Didn’t follow? No worries at all. That’s all the stuff that we can help with!
Create Responsive Ads in Adwords
Responsive ads are dynamically created adverts based on a library of images, text and links and can generate in all sorts of shapes, sizes and combinations. They are also created as HTML5 adverts rather than the static images that we normally see.
The difference with dynamic remarketing is that we are using our product feed data to source the content for the responsive ads, rather than a general library of content. Responsive ads is a topic for another day but we will hopefully write some content about this soon!
Once the responsive ads are set up, the remarketing tags are firing and collecting the right data and the product feed is in place, the magic starts to happen. The Google Ads Product Recommendation Engine gets to work combining the best product (or a mix of products) for each advert based on intent and how a user has interacted with your website. Pretty cool, huh?
Scaling your hotel advertising
One of the amazing benefits with this type of marketing is that it caters for growth and scaling beautifully. If you need to add more rooms or revenue stream, or perhaps change the marketing information, you simply need to refresh your product feed and you’ll be good to go.
Further to this, you can use real-time bid optimisation to ensure an optimised bid for each impression and make use of the high-performance layouts that learn over time to increase click-through rates.
Just when you thought that was all quite cool, there is ‘just one more thing…’ without wanting to completely rip off Steve Jobs.
Dynamic prospecting is focused on acquiring new visitors rather than trying to convert existing engaged users. To do this, we combine user/demographic information with product information and then leverage Google’s machine learning to identify personas (based on gender, income, age, location etc.) that are best suited to specific products in our product feed. That’s right.. which can prospect using machine learning and identify new audiences at a room and price level.
We’re having so much fun implementing this with forward-thinking hotels and seeing some great results. We would love to work with you on it! Let us know if you’re keen to stretch your media budget further each month.