Why Snapchat Launched Dynamic Travel Ads
Just in time for a crazy 2022 travel season, Snapchat has introduced Dynamic Travel Ads. This ad unit was developed for airlines, hotels, online travel agencies, and tours. It’s the first time Snapchat has introduced a category of Dynamic Ads outside of eCommerce. The ad unit comes at a time when the travel is roaring back from a slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a Snapchat blog post, 76 percent of Snapchat users in the United States are making plans to or already have returned to their pre-pandemic behaviors, and Snapchatters are more likely to travel than users of other platforms.
What Are Dynamic Travel Ads?
Dynamic Travel Ads are a form of Dynamic Ads that Snapchat launched in 2019. Dynamic Ads make it possible for businesses on Snapchat to automatically create ads in real-time based on their own product catalogs. Dynamic Travel Ads, per se, allow a business to upload a travel-specific catalog or feed, and dynamically serve up relevant trip information to users, based on an individual user’s travel preferences and intent.
Dynamic Travel Ads offer the following features:
- Customized Catalog setup that’s built to meet the needs of travel advertisers with different product attributes than traditional eCommerce advertisers.
- Advanced audience targeting based on a Snapchatter’s intent to travel to specific destinations.
- Locally-relevant campaign delivery to serve relevant trip details based on popularity, leveraging Snapchat’s visitation data.
Snapchat says that this ad unit delivers benefits such as:
- Reach a broader audience of travelers. The ad unit should help businesses find prospective customers who are interested in traveling, and who may or may not have been to a company’s site or app before. With Snapchat’s machine learning and product ranking capabilities, businesses can serve relevant ads to users based on travel interests, preferences, and popularity of listings and destinations.
- Drive bookings. Businesses can dynamically retarget users who have been to their site or app before with hotel properties, destinations, or flight routes that are most interesting to them. With locally-relevant retargeting, a business understand where its customers are looking to travel and serve them properties within the area to increase ROI.
The Gen Z and Millennial Connection
According to Snapchat, Millennials and Gen Z – which comprise the majority of Snapchat users — are leading the push toward Dynamic Travel Ads. Snapchatters are 37 percent more likely to book travel after seeing an advertisement. This avid travel audience actively uses location-based features such as:
- Location Data: Snapchat captures Snapchatter visits to more than 30 million unique places (locations of interest) in the world.
- Snap Map: the Snap Map reaches more than 200 million Snapchatters every month. More than 70 percent of Snapchatters use the Map because they like to see where their best friends are and what they are doing. Nearly six out of 10 say that the Snap Map helps them find their best friends when they are out and about.
- Places: Snapchat has added more than 49 million places to the Snap Map, which features stories, hours, reviews, and delivery options for local businesses.
And it’s no wonder that Gen Z and Millennials are such an important audience. This generation is fueling the rise of the entire travel industry. Travel is roaring back following a difficult downturn, and even though the industry is battling a personnel shortage and inflationary pressure, travelers are going full steam ahead with domestic and international adventures.
Snapchat shared examples of businesses benefitting from this ad unit. For instance, Booking.com used Dynamic Travel Ads in order to dynamically pull images directly from its product catalog and serve users ads with locally relevant listings based on products they had already viewed. This helped Booking.com unlock an incremental audience, resulting in a 20 percent lower cost per purchase than other U.S. advertisers. Etihad Airways was able to reduce its cost per flight search by 4x with Dynamic Travel Ads. Additionally, the business saw a 307 percent increase in return on ad spend and a 76 percent decrease in cost per purchases, compared to its non-dynamic campaigns.
What Businesses Should Do
At a minimum, travel brands should become more familiar with Snapchat and its audience before trying ad units. Start with the creation of a Snapchat Public Profile (similar to a Facebook page) to understand how to interact with Snapchat’s audience. And understand how the Snapchat audience interacts with content. According to Snapchat, its user base has these characteristics in common:
- 150 percent more likely than non-Snapchatters to prefer to communicate with pictures over words.
- Four times more likely than non-Snapchatters to gravitate to immersive video and mobile games, including augmented reality experiences.
If your brand already rocks Instagram with visual content, chances are you are well positioned to succeed on Snapchat. If you are on Snapchat already, it’s worthwhile to try this new ad unit as part of your paid media strategy. True Interactive can help you.
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