Help your ads take flight this winter travel season
The onset of winter evokes different emotions, typically dividing people into two camps – the winter embracers and the winter escapers. Winter embracers love breathing the chill in the air, seeing snow in the street lights, and wearing layers of sweaters. Winter escapers dread the rain and the snow, instead preferring to dress lightly for the heat, feel the sun on their skin, and spend time outdoors.
Whether travelers are searching for the perfect powdery slopes, or for sun-kissed white-sand beaches, more than half are using a search engine to plan their upcoming winter travel.
The winter travel season is second in spending only to summertime vacations. According to eMarketer, 128 million people, or 63 percent of internet users, will research travel online or through their mobile device this year. Approximately 106 million people will book. That’s a staggering 83 percent. Let me repeat. 83 percent of people who research travel online or through their mobile device will book.
Effectively reaching these travelers is key. Fifty-one percent of travelers book their winter travel more than 31 days in advance.
This long lead time for travel bookings gives you plenty of time to capture searchers with the right ad copy. The researchers at Bing Ads recently looked into the best word combinations for pay-per-click (PPC) ad copy in the high winter travel season and this is what they found.
Airlines and flights
- PC/tablet searchers are putting together travel packages when they search for airlines and flights, as “Hotels” in the ad title with “Online” in the description get high clicks. Mobile searchers, on the other hand, are looking for last-minute deals and discounts.
- Car rentals are very specific to location and ads with the name of a city in the title instead of in the description get more clicks.
- When booking travel, car rentals appear to be one of the last items a traveler will schedule, as evidenced by high clicks on ads with “last minute” in the title and “save/savings” in the description.
- For both PC/tablet and mobile, “Discounts/deals” in the ad title and “Exclusive” in the description make an ad highly clickable. Here the ad combines incentives (deals!) with fear (exclusive – don’t miss this!) to generate a response from searchers.
- Oddly, “Quality” in the title or description is not favored. Is the search audience for cruises jaded?
- “Last minute” in either title or description cues clicks, owing largely to the industry trend of offering deep discounts on last-minute cruise bookings to fill boats.
For more trends, insights, and best performing ad copy to help your ads take flight, read the full winter travel insights presentation. Happy traveling!
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 Source: Yahoo and IPSOS OTX Media CT, “Holiday & Winter Travel”, Dec 2013. *: % of respondents.
 Source: eMarketer. The US Travel Industry Digital Ad spend forecast and trends 2014