Facebook Ads for Tour Companies and Tour Guides

Facebook ads for tour guides and tour operators

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Can tour companies and tour guides benefit from Facebook ads marketing? Hi, my name is Francisco, and I am the owner of a digital marketing company called Planet Marketing. We specialize in Facebook ads, Google ads and remarketing. A number of my clients operate or own companies in this line of business. When they approach me, most are doubtful about the usefulness of advertising on Facebook. If you have these doubts, then this article will address them. The post is divided into the following section; 

  1. Do Facebook Ads work?
  2. Should tour companies and tour guides bother with Facebook ads?
  3. What to do before getting started.
  4. Creating your first Facebook ad.

Do Facebook Ads Work?

Before we go anywhere, we need to first determine whether or not Facebook ads work. Here, I am talking about Facebook ads in general, and not with particular reference to tour guides and tour operators. 

If you carry out research today, you will get mixed reactions on the subject. There are some people out there who swear by Facebook ads. They spend thousands of dollars per month on the platform. And they get meaningful returns for their investment. 

Then there are other people who will tell you that no, Facebook ads are overhyped. According to these people, ads on the platform do not work that well. You will be told that Facebook ads are not the best option out there. For these people, it’s better to go with Google ads or with some other options. 

So, what do I think? To begin with, I need to tell you that Facebook ads are no stroll in the park. But they work very well. As noted earlier, I specialize in both Facebook ads and Google ads. In my experience, Facebook ads work the same or even better than Google ads. 

The major challenge for people who say Facebook ads do not work is that they have just jumped in without doing much needed preliminary work. If you do this, you are likely to hit a brick wall. 

Facebook Ads have a problem with intent

In digital marketing, there is what is referred to as search intent. This is where Facebook ads can falter. People do not go to Facebook to buy stuff. They go there to socialize and to read the latest bit of fake news. 

So, when you arrive there with your ad, you need to be able to break into their mind-frame. It’s different for Google ads. When a person searches on google for tour guide Alaska, they are most likely already planning a trip and they are looking for a tour guide. 

The same cannot be said of Facebook. A person that sees your ad most likely has no concrete plan to visit Alaska (assuming that you are a tour guide in Alaska advertising your services on Facebook). 

Should Tour Companies and Tour Guides Bother with Facebook Ads?

So, should tour companies and tour guides bother with Facebook Ads? I get asked this question a lot. The answer to that question is a massive yes! In my experience, companies in this line of business stand to benefit the most from advertising on Facebook. 

If you go through this blog, you may notice that I have written seemingly hundreds of posts on the subject of Facebook ads marketing. Each article is unique, depending on the nature of the business that I am covering. 

As an example, the approach that one takes when creating Facebook ads for CBD stores is different from the one that’s taken when creating Facebook ads for online stores. Facebook ads are a vast subject. 

The overwhelming fact, however, is that Facebook is the place to be for businesses that wish to reach out to their customers on the one place where they spend much of their time. The following are some of the reasons why tour companies and tour guides need to start advertising on Facebook; 

Your target audience is very active on Facebook

The first major selling point for Facebook is that it’s a vast platform. At the time of writing this post, it had over 1.7 billion daily visitors. That’s a large chunk of the world’s population. You can see the current figures in the graph below from Statista. 

Statistic: Number of daily active Facebook users worldwide as of 1st quarter 2021 (in millions) | StatistaFind more statistics at Statista

But what does this mean? Well, it simply means that your target audience is already very active on Facebook. That’s particularly the case for tour operators and tour guides. People like to share their experiences on Facebook. 

That’s something that you can exploit. People use Facebook to check out the places that they are interested in visiting. Yes, the intent may not be that advanced, but it’s still there. Your challenge is to make sure that you raise their awareness of your brand. 

Facebook ads are affordable

How much do you need to pay when doing Facebook ads marketing for tour companies and tour guides? This is where it becomes very intimidating for most people. However, that needs not be the case. 

In fact, advertising on Facebook is probably the cheapest of the digital marketing options. You can boost a post for as little as a dollar, as an example. You can also create an ad that reaches hundreds of people for that amount. 

You can be precise in your audience targeting

Another great strength for Facebook ads is that you can be very precise in your audience targeting. That’s important in digital marketing. You cant just target everyone. The world is too big for that. 

You need to really zoom in on the people that you are targeting. Otherwise your ads will get lost in the noise that is Facebook advertising. The great news is that you have an array of tools at your disposal to help you reach the goal of precisely defining and targeting your audience;

Location

Facebook Ads for tour guides and tour operators

Choose the location where you wish to have your Facebook ads shown

Where are the people who you are targeting with your ads located? Truth is, you can target the whole world. That works if you are a multinational or something. However, most businesses are localized. 

Just to give an example, a gym usually only attracts people from about 4 miles around it’s physical location. So, if you are advertising a gym on Facebook, you will need to restrict delivery of your ads to about 5 miles around you. 

Tour operators, on the other hand, can operate either countrywide or worldwide. It’s possible for a tour operator in Rwanda to target people in the United States. It’s the nature of their business. 

For this example, we are going to go back to our example of a tour operator who is based in Alaska. Using that example, our tour operator will be targeting people living in the United States. So, that’s what we will choose as our target location, as you can see in the above screenshot. 

Age

You can also use the age setting to define your target audience when doing Facebook Ads marketing for tour companies and tour operators. How old are the people you do business with?

For tour operators, that could be anything from 18 year olds wanting to go on vacation with friends, to 65 year olds looking for a challenge. Be as versatile as you wish to be here. You can, as an example, run a promotion targeting people within a particular age bracket. 

Gender

Facebook ads can also be delivered to people based on their gender. As an example, you can choose to have your ads delivered only to women. For our example, we will target both genders. 

Languages

Language is another useful tool that you can use to define your target audience when creating Facebook ads for your tour business. Maybe you are looking to target people who speak a particular language, such as Spanish. For our example, we will leave this setting as it is. 

Detailed Targeting: Demographics, Interests and Behaviors

All the other settings outlined here help you define a rather broad audience. Yes, you can get some results if you run with it. However, you really need to narrow down on your target audience. To do that, you should use the Detailed Targeting option. For this example, we will target people who are interested in the following; 

  • Newly engaged (3 months)
  • Friends of newlyweds
  • Family Vacation
  • Newlywed
  • Package tour
Facebook ads for tour operators and tour companies

Detailed Targeting Options

You can create your own Facebook ads

My main focus here is to teach you how to create your own Facebook Ads. Of course, I encourage you to hire me if you don’t have the time. This is what I do every day. But really, you can learn how to run your own campaigns if you have the time.

That should be appealing to those that do not quite have the large budgets that are sometimes necessary for digital marketing. Where most people falter is the getting set up bit. If you fall into this category, check out my Facebook Ads Setup Plan

If you sign up, I will do most of the donkey work on your behalf. The only thing that you will need to do from there is to start running your own campaigns. I will even set up 2 live ads and a landing page for your business. 

Things to do before getting started

Before getting started with your Facebook Ads marketing campaigns, there are several things that you need to do. So, this section is important. First, keep in mind what we have just been saying; people are not on Facebook to buy.

They are there for other reasons. So, it’s a challenge to capture their attention. But, how do you do it? The following tips should help you turn advertising on Facebook from a hit and miss affair to a certainty; 

Set up Facebook Pixel for Remarketing

One way of alleviating the challenge that we have just been mentioning is by targeting remarketing audiences on Facebook. Remarketing is something that I have previously covered a lot on this blog. 

To summarize, remarketing or retargeting involves showing ads to people on one website based on their interaction with another website. Here, we are assuming that you have a website for your tour company or for your tour guide business. 

If you have ever run a website, you will understand the difficulties that come when trying to get an audience. That’s particularly the case for organic traffic. You may have been doing SEO, but that does not bear fruit in a long time. You may have to wait up to a year to start seeing meaningful returns. 

Having done everything you can to get people to your site, it can be galling that very few of these visitors convert. If we are talking about eCommerce, the conversion rate is a dismal 2%. So, what can you do to increase the odds? 

A model of remarketing

Diagram of Retargeting

Your best bet here would be to do remarketing. As you can see in the above diagram, retargeting gives you a second chance to make a sale. If someone has left your website without buying, you can convince them to do so on Facebook. Feel free to check out my article on Facebook remarketing vs Google remarketing

On Facebook, remarketing happens via the Facebook Pixel. That’s a piece of code that’s installed on a website. It tracks visitor interaction with that website. If someone visits your bookings page, as an example, that interest is noted. 

The next time that they go to Facebook, they can then be shown your ads. That way, you have another chance to convince them to make a booking. By doing this, you can increase your conversion rate by as much as 400%. 

Be very clear on your objectives

Because advertising on Facebook is fraught with challenges, you need to be very clear on your objectives before jumping into the fray. What is it that you with to achieve? What are your objectives? 

Please note that your goals may be different from one ad to the other. Just to give an example, a tour operator may launch an ad trying to attract newlyweds to take their honeymoon in Alaska. That’s the example that we are going to go with here. 

On the other hand, you could run another Campaign targeting retired people in your country. That ad would be different from the first. So, Facebook ads are not straitjacketed. You can play around with your goals depending on what you wish to achieve. 

Campaign objectives 

Facebook has what are referred to as Campaign Objectives. The moment you start creating your ads on Facebook, you will have to choose a Campaign Objective. Facebook provides 11 Campaign Objectives. You can only choose one from the list. The following are the available Facebook Ads Campaign Objectives; 

  • App installs
  • Video views
  • Catalog sales
  • Conversions
  • Messages
  • Lead generation
  • Store traffic
  • Brand awareness
  • Traffic
  • Reach
  • Engagement

Which one should I opt for when creating Facebook ads for tour companies and tour guides 

Facebook Ads for Tour Companies and Tour Guides

Choose a Campaign Objective

As noted above, there are no prescriptions when creating Facebook ads. Feel free to choose a Campaign Objective that’s in line with your goals at a given point in time. As an example, you can choose Brand awareness as your Campaign Objective. 

You can also choose video view if you have a video that you want people to watch. Let’s assume that you have shot an amazing video of the areas that you tour. You will want to have people see these. 

For our example, we will choose Conversions as our Campaign Objective. We will be targeting our ads at people who have been to our site’s bookings page as tracked via Pixel. Our goal is to quickly reach out to them so we can convince them to sign up for a tour. 

Conversion event location

Conversion event location

Conversion event location

After choosing Conversions as your Campaign Objective, you will also need to choose your Conversion Event Location. That’s where you wish to have the people who click on your ads on Facebook sent. 

For this example, we will have people who click on our ads sent to Messenger. We want to initiate a conversation with them. You also have the option to sent them to your Website, to an App or to WhatsApp. 

Creating your first ad

Now we get to the section where we can start creating the first Facebook ad for our tour operating company. Facebook Ads are created in Ads Manager. When creating them, you will need to go through 3 steps. Components of these steps have already been covered in the above discussion; 

  • Choosing a Campaign Objective
  • Setting up your budget and schedule as well as your Audience in the Ad Set
  • Creating the Ad

The Ad Set

We have already covered choosing a Campaign Objective. So, we will proceed to the Ad Set. Here, the most important tasks that you need to carry out are setting up your Budget and Schedule as well as defining and refining your Target Audience. 

Budget and Schedule

Facebook Ads, as noted earlier, are highly affordable. But you do need to retain control of your spending. Otherwise you are going to end up spending way more than you have bargained form. 

What happens is that Facebook retains your credit card information on file. It’s the same even with Google Ads. But with Google there is a way of signing up for an account without having to provide your credit card details. That’s useful if you wish to use the Keyword Planning tool of Google Ads, as an example. 

So, how do you maintain control of your spending when advertising on Facebook? Well, there are 2 ways. You can either opt for a daily spending limit, along with start and end dates for your Campaigns, or you can have a Lifetime budget. 

When you do this, you get a pretty clear picture of what you are going to have spend by the end of the Campaign. So, this is something that you will want to do. Otherwise Facebook will keep running your ads while deducting money from your account. 

Audience

The Audience section is one of the most important when creating Facebook Ads for tour companies and tour guides. I have already covered parts of this section.

I noted at the top that you can create a new audience based on Location, Age, Gender, Languages, Demographics, Interests and Behaviors.

Broadly speaking, you have the following audience creation options when creating Facebook Ads; 

  • You can create a new audience, as already noted. 
  • You can target Custom Audiences. These are based on interactions between your business and your other people in one way or the other. A Pixel generated audience is a custom audience that targets people who have been to your website. Custom Audiences can also be based on App activity, activity on your Facebook page, Events, Offline Activity and more. 
  • You can target a lookalike audience. That’s based on an audience that you have previously defined. 
  • You can also target saved audiences. The audiences that you create are saved, and you can use them later. That’s great because you won’t have to go through the process of creating a new ad each time. 

The Ad

Finally, we come to the point where we can create our ad. Your Facebook Ad needs to be good. That goes without saying. We have already noted that people are on Facebook for fun. They are not really in the mind to buy stuff. 

Fortunately, tour companies and tour guides have some of the easiest jobs in this regard. The services that they offer are more in sync with what people are looking for on Facebook than is the case with other businesses. 

When creating Facebook Ads, you have the option to use videos, single images or carousels. Your choice here depends on the nature of your business. For tour companies, I would try out the video format first. 

But note that Facebook advises that videos should be no more than 15 seconds long. People do not have the time to spend hours watching your video. Make it short and catchy, and you will get those clicks. Also feel free to experiment. 

Summary

That’s how to do Facebook Ads Marketing for Tour companies and tour guides. In this article, I highlighted some of the challenges that you are likely to encounter along the way. The most prominent of these is the fact that buying intent is pretty low on Facebook. 

But you can overcome this in a variety of creative ways. You can, as an example, target people who have been to your website and who were tracked using the Facebook Pixel. By doing this, you increase the chances of converting. 

I know that getting set up can be a challenge. That’s the reason why I created my Facebook Ads Setup Plan. If you sign up, I will do all the initial hard work on your behalf. From there, you can take over running your ads. 

I will set up Pixel for you and create 2 live ads. Also, feel free to sign up for my DIY Facebook Ads marketing course using the section below. I have different materials that will enhance your capabilities as far as creating Facebook ads is concerned. 

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