Facebook Ads remain one of the hardest ad platforms to master as a vacation rental marketer and those new to the vacation rental industry. Search ads from Google (or PPC ads) give you specific keywords, display ads allow you target only your site visitors, but Facebook Ads offer so many campaign goals and targeting options, even experienced advertisers can get overwhelmed.
In this guide we want to demonstrate the Facebook marketing campaigns that we’ve had the most success with running ads for dozens of vacation rental companies (managers/owners) as well as break down the most successful ways to get started with Facebook Ads.
Expanding marketing for all of your rental properties instead of just relying on Vrbo, Airbnb and Booking.com is a critically important piece of your long-term marketing strategy. Facebook is one of the few platforms that allow you to generate direct bookings quickly (along with Google Ads).
In the world of digital marketing for vacation rental owners and property managers, it takes a mix of many different Facebook advertising styles and techniques to get great results. Below are a handful of our best vacation rental Facebook ad strategies that’ll drive more bookings and inquiries to your vacation home property.
Quick note: many of our clients are dealing with Facebook disapproving their ads due to Housing advertising restrictions. If you’re having this issue, contact us and we can help get your ads approved!
Setting Up & Running Your First Facebook Ads Campaign
Getting started with your first campaign can often lead to some confusion: even knowing what campaign objective to choose can be overwhelming for the first-time advertiser.
Our recommendation is to start advertising to those most familiar with your brand and rentals. Instead of just targeting “cold” social media users across Instagram and Facebook for your vacation rental business, it’s often best to run your ad campaign first to those you know. Most often your potential guests can come from a list of past inquiries, website visitors and even those who’ve already liked your Facebook page.
True for both vacation rental owners and for managers, understanding both the goal of your campaigns and how to target ads will lead to more success.
Step 1: Create A Facebook Ads Account
Before you can build out a Facebook Ads campaign, of course you’ll need an account. Many vacation rental managers are simply using a personal ad account, but to utilize all of the features of Facebook Ads, you’ll need a Business Manager account.
Step 2: Connect Ads Account To Business Manager
Connecting an ads account to business manager is typically very straightforward, find the ad account ID and then click “add” under the ads portion of business manager settings.
Step 3: Add Payment Method
Once connected, make sure to add a valid payment method to your account.
Step 4: Install Facebook Pixel & Verify Domain Name
Lastly, but a vital part of the Facebook Ads setup process, make sure to both verify your domain name + install the Facebook Pixel (tracking code) on your website.
Facebook Ads Campaign Ideas For Vacation Rental Leads & Bookings
Retargeting Website Visitors
Retargeting is often the best campaign to focus on early – it’s typically the easiest to set up and yields great returns in terms of traffic back to your vacation rental website. Most people don’t convert the first time they view your website, so reminding them with retargeting ads is a great way to bring traffic back to the website and earn more direct traffic and bookings.
Retargeting Facebook Ad campaign setup isn’t difficult with tide targeting, making sure that Facebook users that are viewing your website can be brought back.
Custom Audience Targeting Past Guests & Leads
Many of our rental managers that we work with focus heavily on collecting email as part of their direct marketing strategy. That’s a great idea, and with Custom Audience Targeting those emails are even more useful. It’s simple to build a target audience based solely on past guests and then serve those past guests ads in the news feed on Facebook, Instagram and everywhere ads show across Facebook.
Promotion of a specific vacation rental property or earning page likes is easier when you’re targeting guests who are familiar with your property management business. Any Facebook post can be used as an ad from your page or of course you can write your own copy, design a custom image and promote that post to these past guests.
Lookalike Audience & Interest Targeting
While both retargeting and custom audience campaigns can help target those who already have stayed with you or visited your website, you can also target possible guests you are similar to your past guest list using Facebook’s intelligent Lookalike audience targeting.
With just a few clicks, you can create a list of possible guests that are similar to all of your own past guests. What better way to tell Facebook who may be a good target audience than starting with an audience that’s already stayed with you?
Lookalike Audience targeting can be effective to attract new top of funnel website visitors and to introduce your brand to new potential guests, however don’t expect Lookalike campaigns to drive bookings right away. You’ll need to first introduce your brand, your properties and entice these possible guests with posts on Facebook before you can earn a website visitor or property inquiry/lead.
Interest-based targeting is another option in Facebook Ads, where you can select pre-built audience interests to build your targeting set. For example, you can target demographics + psychographics along with interests based on your idea guest profile.
Visitors to Orlando, Florida might include: Females, aged 25 – 45, based on east coast/midwest states and have interests in Disney + Theme Parks.
Use Facebook Pixel To Track Results
No matter what objective you have with your Facebook Ads traffic, measuring the results of your paid Facebook Ads traffic is key to earning the best results.
Facebook has created their own tracking code, known as the Facebook Pixel, to help you understand how ads traffic is behaving on your website. While you may also analyze campaigns and traffic through Google Analytics, Facebook’s Pixel is worth running alongside your analytics package to help measure other data points.
The pixel may already be installed on your website (for use in retargeting campaigns), but there’s more to do than just install the pixel. Installing the pixel on every page should be considered table stakes for Facebook Ads: more impactful insights can come from adding in conversion actions.
The pixel can track leads, online bookings, revenue from bookings (to calculate your ROI), engagement in the vacation rental search process and phone calls with additional configuration. Using the Events Setup tool, some of this tracking can be done without any additional programming or assistance from your website developer. However, many more advanced tracking tools like ecommerce/revenue tracking from online bookings will likely need to be installed by your website developer.
Relying only on Google Analytics will miss out on some key Facebook tracking like view-through conversions — so while you can use both systems to measure traffic from Facebook, the Pixel has a unique set of analytics measurement advantages.
Common Mistakes With Facebook Ads
While we’ve covered at length the ways that Facebook Ads can go right, there’s also some easy to fall into traps that can cause poor performance.
Choosing To Boost Instead Of Run Ads
While the “Boost post” functionality has improved significantly in the past few years, it still pales in comparison to the regular Facebook Ads Manager targeting toolset. We recommend rarely if ever boosting posts and instead relying on Ads Manager to setup your Facebook Ads campaigns. Using Ads Manager, you can still run Facebook Ads from posts on your page by finding the post ID from a regular organic post on your page.
Engagement Only Ads Without Links
Engagement-only ads can serve a purpose, in particular on new pages or pages that have “gone dark” in terms of organic engagement. However we often see vacation rental managers running engagement only ads without links to their website and wondering why the ad didn’t drive much traffic! Focus only on engagement only campaigns in specific scenarios and use link posts when you want to drive traffic to your website.
Messenger Ads, But No One Is Home
Facebook has increased their encouragement to utilize the Facebook Messenger ad destination instead of websites where possible. That may be beneficial for Facebook and it may work well for you, but only if someone is “manning” the inbox and is ready to help needy guests. There are sadly more negative outcomes than bookings made when you encourage messenger traffic and then don’t have the infrastructure to respond quickly to those messages.
When we say quick, we do mean quick! A guest will expect you to respond in a matter of minutes to questions on property availability, location and more. Can’t respond quick enough? Turn off the messenger ads.
Sales Or Last-Minute Only Ads
Reaching the right guest at the right time is key, but few guests can drop what they’re doing today and visit your destination tomorrow (even if they’d like to). Be careful of promoting last-minute offers that are truly last minute. We’ve found that the average booking window applies similarly regardless of the source of paid traffic (in other words, guests from Facebook aren’t looking at different dates compared to those coming from Google).
Sale ads can work well if there’s legitimate urgency (this property is open next week for 3 days due to a cancellation) but showing a special like 10% off all the time tends to lose its luster quickly.
Dividing Budgets Too Thin
No vacation rental manager has an unlimited budget, so it’s tempting to take a smaller budget and divide it equally between 4-5 campaigns. While this may sound like a great way to test many campaign strategies at once, it can fail if none of the campaigns earn statistically significant data (for example, a top of funnel guest awareness campaign with $3/day budget). It’s often better to try just 1-2 campaigns at a time with a stronger budget, then moving on and pausing targeting that didn’t work for you and trying a new campaign strategy.
If you're new to Facebook advertising, the simplest choice is to use Advantage+ Placements. When you select this option, Facebook will automatically place your ads across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and the Audience Network when they are likely to get the best results.
Facebook's 20% rule stated that no more than 20% of an ad's image could be occupied by text. While it's still a guideline today, it's no longer enforced or a reason that ads get outright rejected. Much to marketers' delight, the social network decided to do away with the “20% text rule” in 2021.
The truth of the matter is that anyone can build a successful Facebook ad campaign with just $5 per day. If you run the ad continuously throughout the month, you're looking at an advertising budget of between $150 and $155 per month.
You start off by creating at least 1-5 Facebook Ad sets with a budget of $50-$100/day. I recommend doing this through Facebook's campaign budget optimization for best results. In each ad set test a different audience related to your potential clients.
That means for just $1 per day, you can get 37k impressions from people who wouldn't have otherwise seen your ad. Spending $1/day on Facebook ads is a great way to get started with Facebook ads and get familiar with how Facebook ads work.
It's always a good idea to run multiple Facebook ads in each ad set. We recommend running 3 to 5 ads per ad set. This allows you to optimize your campaign and helps you to drive down cost per acquisition and keep your campaign running longer before it burns out.
Facebook Ads are really hard.
This all needs to be wrapped up neatly in Facebook's Power Editor. Along with that, you need to know how to advertise, which audience to target, how much to pay per day/per ad and so on and so on. There are seemingly endless factors and modifications to take into account.
Without a doubt, $200 is more than enough to get the ball rolling after creating a page on Facebook! The infographic at the end of this post gives advice on how to spend the money -- but first I'll give you my take on the tips.
- Embarrassing pictures of other people. ...
- Your birth year. ...
- Strong political or religious opinions. ...
- Curse words. ...
- Other people's big news. ...
- Details of your vacation. ...
- Posts intended to make others envious. ...
- Drinking photos.
- Don't create a profile instead of a page for your business. ...
- Don't have multiple Facebook accounts. ...
- Don't neglect the posts or comments on your page. ...
- Don't ignore negativity. ...
- Don't leave the meta description as is. ...
- Don't just post photos. ...
- Don't make your posts too long.
The Dollar-a-day Strategy
Created by Dennis Yu, the $1 A Day Strategy, involves running multiple ads at the same time, each running on a dollar a day of ad spend. You'll need to boost a post for seven days in a row while continuing to layer on new boosted posts every subsequent day.
The reason why people lose money on Facebook ads is because they're operating at the wrong level. In marketing and business (and in life) there are 3 different levels that we all operate in – tactical, strategic and principal.
Well, for new accounts, Facebook sets a daily $50 cap limit for security measures. This is simply to ensure that an account's payment method is legitimate and that nothing untoward is occurring. When this daily $50 cap is reached all current ads are paused.
For ad set budgets, most advertisers who are charged for impressions should allocate at least $1 per day for daily budgets. Minimum budget requirements may be different depending on when you choose to get charged for ads.
#1: Establish Your Facebook Advertising Budget
For most of my clients, the goal is to make money, which means they're focused on getting leads and making sales. Typically, a marketing budget for any business is 5%–12% of revenue. Newer companies may want to spend closer to 12% because they want to grow aggressively.
How much does it cost to advertise on Facebook per month? Companies spend an average of $300 to $1000 on Facebook ads per month. Depending on the size of your business, as well as investment in social media advertising, you may spend more than $1000 or less than $300.
How much does Facebook advertising cost? Research suggests that advertisers should expect to pay: $0.94 per click or $12.07 per 1,000 impressions. Facebook bills advertisers based on two metrics: cost per click (CPC) and cost per mille (CPM)—otherwise known as cost per 1,000 impressions.
Average CPM for Facebook ads
If reach and awareness are your goals, expect to pay $12.07 to reach 1,000 people through the Facebook app.
Facebook Ads are a little cheaper than Google Ads. A business in the apparel industry might have to pay a mere $0.45/click on Facebook. The most expensive types of businesses to run ads on Facebook would be insurance and finance. The average CPC for them is still only $3.77.
Running Facebook ads for businesses in your area can be a great side hustle opportunity. It allows you to help business owners achieve their marketing goals while also earning extra income. What is this? Business owners will pay someone else to do this work, as new customers are essential for their success.
According to the research by Buffet Library in 2021, the best weekly time schedule to run ads on Facebook is as follows: Best times: Wednesday to Friday 8 to 9 a.m. Best day: Wednesday. Worst day: Saturday and Sunday.
If your ultimate goal is to promote brand awareness, then you probably want to strongly consider boosting a post. If you want to drive traffic to your website or have another goal that is not brand awareness, visibility, or audience growth on Facebook, an ad may be a better option.
The $100 per day is a great number if you want campaigns that can help you run your tests quickly, reach large audiences well, and scale fast, but adjust the ad spend as needed to fit your business (or your client's' business, if you're running their campaigns for them).
Facebook advertising is still relevant in 2022. Leaving Facebook out of a paid social media strategy means losing out on its huge user base, market share, and technological capabilities.
Video ads are the best path to dominate Facebook ads in 2022 and beyond. For many businesses, they've become their bread and butter for ad creative. Have you been running Facebook ads for some time and you're still not seeing the returns you hoped for? Then video ads are likely what you need to focus on.
If people are clicking on your ads and not converting, there could be problems with your website or landing page that run deeper than your ad copy. Issues could arise from: Inconsistent messaging. Poor UX and loading times.
Outside of unrealistic expectations, there are many reasons Facebook ads actually fail. They can be broken into two main buckets: Technical mistakes and creative mistakes. Technical mistakes include things such as faulty installation of the Facebook pixel, poor ad campaign structure, and incorrect budgeting.
Now, for a typical campaign my advice is to aim to run your ads for a minimum of 2 weeks. Let me break down why this is: If you create an ad that runs less than 2 weeks, you limit the learning that you (and Facebook) can do from that ad campaign based on the data collected.
Facebook ads can be a powerful marketing tool for your small business. With simple measurement and unparalleled ability to target based on interests and custom audiences, Facebook ads can be the difference maker—to help you cut through the noise, reach your customers, and grow your business.
Essentially, Facebook recommends targeting a minimum of 1,000 people with your ads. You can start with that and scale from there as you get a better understanding of who your audience is. Or, you can kick off with a broader audience of 10,000 people or 100,000 folks – depending on your budget.
Facebook prohibits content that includes profanity, sexual innuendo, and discrimination. You will not be allowed to run any ads that contain this type of content, so keep it out of your copy and creative.
It is generally recommended to post 1 time per day, and no more than 2 times per day. In fact, some studies have even found a drop in engagement if you're posting more than that… so don't get too post-happy. Aim for quality over quantity. The average Facebook Page shares 1.55 posts per day.
- Follow suspicious groups or add suspicious people to the friends list. ...
- Perform too much or too little activity. ...
- Use Facebook business account only. ...
- Delete comments. ...
- Don't try to respond to customers' complaints. ...
- Make someone who broke Facebook rules the admin of the store.
In your Facebook ad copy, avoid using the words you and your too often. While those words work well in email marketing, the Facebook algorithm doesn't favor ads that are full of them.
- Unconscious power of words. Language is not exactly question of our deliberate choice. ...
- Forbidden words. ...
- Problem. ...
- Probability and beliefs. ...
- Fillers. ...
- Passive voice. ...
- We, our… ...
- Truth and honesty.
Using trigger words such as “free, sale, limited time, join my team, follow, buy, like, share,” and so on, were the norm in traditional advertising messaging.
Advertising across platforms and devices is easy. Just build your ad once, then select automatic placements to run your ad in the places that are most likely to achieve your marketing goals. No resizing or reformatting required.
The basics of Facebook marketing are not that difficult to learn, but figuring out the best strategies is harder. Facebook Ads is complicated, and Meta is constantly making changes to Facebook, so getting the most up-to-date information is important when you are learning Facebook marketing.
Along with this, however, comes ever greater complexity. It has become increasingly difficult for beginners to break into the Facebook Ads world, and it's becoming more expensive to learn how to do so, too.
How long should you run your Facebook ad? Generally you want to let your ad run for 3 to 5 days before you try and interpret how it's truly performing or make any adjustments. Note that your ads will appear at the times selected in the time zone in which they are served.
Facebook usually needs around 30-50 conversion actions within 7 days to exit the learning phase. So, if you're optimizing for landing page views you'll need 30-50 landing pages views. While, if you're optimizing for purchases, you'll need to generate 30-50 purchases to exit the learning phase.
By the end of the 4 weeks you should feel confident creating your own Facebook ads, creating a strategy for your Facebook Ads, managing your Facebook Ads budget, and reading/understanding reports.
Advertising alternatives to Facebook for small businesses: sixads, Instagram, Twitter Ads, Quora Ads, Google Ads.
So if you want to use Facebook to reach a wider audience, generate new leads and convert more customers - Facebook ads are 100% worth it. In fact, Some companies need to invest in highly organised campaigns with well-produced creatives to stand out from their competition.
Google Ads can be faster to get started with and have a wider potential reach than Facebook Ads, but Facebook Ads can offer more nuanced targeting with its pixel and potentially much more powerful tracking insights than Google Ads.
All ads on Facebook cost money to run. If someone is paying to run an ad for long enough that it gets over a million views, it's because that person is seeing a return on their investment in the form of sales, and if they're getting sales selling that product, you can too.
Never PAUSE Facebook ads at night. Because Facebook keeps collecting data points and the moment you stop it or pause it, the ad loses its optimization. The advertisement can go back to the learning stage too if your luck is bad.
Facebook advertising is still relevant in 2022. Leaving Facebook out of a paid social media strategy means losing out on its huge user base, market share, and technological capabilities.