Did you know that TripAdvisor is one of the most visited travel sites in the world with an estimated 500+ million reviews of hotels, restaurants, attractions and other travel-related businesses?
TripAdvisor was also an early adopter of user-generated content which was free to users and has now over 315* million reviewers (active and inactive) according to Wikipedia and has now been around for 18 years!
How important is TripAdvisor for a Bed and Breakfast owner?
With this level of activity, it is not surprising to learn that TripAdvisor is just as important as your own business website and the likes of Google in generating bookings and new customers online!
TripAdvisor recently introduced a marketing platform for those in the accommodation sector that allows for sponsored placement. Let's review what this could mean for you as a Bed and Breakfast owner!
Similar to Googles Ads this sponsored placement option allows you to appear at the top of a page after a visitor makes a search query. This also operates (like Google Ads), on a cost per click basis, meaning you only get charged when your ad is clicked. By the way, in general, a click will cost you approximately US $3.
Prior to this new sponsored placement option, the only way to be found on TripAdvisor was to align yourself favorably with the algorithm set up by TripAdvisor by getting plenty of reviews, 5-star ratings and ensuring you have recent reviews.
What's not to like about the TripAdvisor sponsored placements?
Some Bed and Breakfast owners that have invested time and resources into making certain that they were found at the top of TripAdvisor are now complaining that their click-through rate from the site has decreased due to these sponsored ads.
Not only are they complaining about the position, they are afraid that the quality of Bed and Breakfasts found at the top of each page may decrease due to the fact that you can simply bypass the position by paying more for each click!
If this does happen then fewer people will visit and trust TripAdvisor as a credible platform for tourism. This risk had to be managed when Google introduced paid ads and in our opinion, TripAdvisor will need to manage this to ensure they provide a quality experience for all.
Before you can advertise on TripAdvisor you need to have a property listing as well live inventory available. You also need to follow the TripAdvisor guides to quality. You can view these requirements here.
* Image of Sponsored Ad
The top 6 reasons to use sponsored ads in TripAdvisor
- You can reach a highly qualified audience and with over 455 million unique users what is not to like? With 74% of travelers who book directly on the accommodation's website after reviewing TripAdvisor, why wouldn't you Advertise for a slice of this pie?!
- You can show your Bed and Breakfast brand at the top of a search results page which exposes your accommodation to millions of eyeballs - think brand awareness!
- Exact placement and position within TripAdvisor with the capability to only show up when the end-user types in a query that matches your requirements.
- Flexibility to show up in TripAdvisor or not - one of the best features ever! Your accommodation will only show if you meet availability - what a blessing in saving money! It does obviously mean that you must have live rates and availability on your TripAdvisor listing which means you must also have a TripAdvisor business listing.
- You pay only when clicked - meaning you only pay when your ad in TripAdvisor is clicked!
- You get to control your investment each month - you get to set your budget from three options; high, medium or low.
With TripAdvisor's massive traffic volume and quality based customer reviews, we think having a strategy and a small budget to try it as a platform to generate new business is most definitely worth having a look into.
Time will tell how sponsored ads will work but if I was a Bed and Breakfast owner it would be high on my radar to check it!