Insider Tips: How Tour Operators Can Get The Most Out of Facebook’s Tools

Frida Kops   ● 6 min read
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When it comes to social media, the majority of users consume information through videos over written copy and imagery. 

Yet, even though we know this, many tour operators still don’t use video marketing (or aren’t using it enough). It can feel intimidating and a daunting skill to learn for those who have never created a video before. 

There’s also a misguided belief that a video ad must be high quality and polished. In fact, this could not be further from the truth. Consumers appreciate authenticity and if producing videos that are a little more “rough around the edges” means you’re putting more content out organically and via ads, then I say go for it.

I’ve curated this article 9 Ways to Level Up Your Facebook Video Marketing to provide some additional tips specifically for travel companies like yours so you can get the most out of Facebook’s tools.

1. Choose the right type of video content

User generated content often sees positive results for tour operators because when potential customers can see real people enjoying the experience you offer, it’s much easier to picture themselves there too. It’s the best kind of social proof. Other types of video that would work well for you, especially right now, would be behind-the-scenes footage.

2. Ensure your video is mobile-friendly

“Smartphone users hold their phones in vertical (portrait) orientation 94% of the time.” Therefore if you only have time to create one version of a video, go for portrait or square size.

Image courtesy of business2community.com

3. Grab your viewer’s attention in the first 4-6 seconds of your video

There are many ways tour operators can do this, such as asking a question, showing something unexpected, or simply talking to the camera amongst an interesting backdrop.

4. Always be crystal clear on your call to action

We see great results for our tour operator partners who provide a free lead magnet, such as “sign up for a free 6-part email course on planning your trip to Cambodia”.

5. Use captions every time

Because “only 15% of Facebook users watch video with the sound on”.

6. Consider the length of your video

For Facebook ads, the optimal length is between 15 and 60 seconds.

7. Don’t take a one-size-fits-all-approach

Create videos for all stages of the funnel – awareness, consideration and conversion – because travellers require different messages to help move them through the decision-making process. For example, at the consideration stage, use video to demonstrate the ways in which you are different from your competitors.

8. Choose a campaign objective that best fits your goal

I’d advise browsing through the different campaign objectives that Facebook offer so that you choose one that’s the best fit for your goal (i.e. the stage of the funnel you are targeting).

Image courtesy of business2community.com

9. Segment your audience by using the “aha” moment

“The “aha” moment is the point in a video when the user should have a clear idea of who you are and what you do.” By segmenting those who stopped watching your video prior to the “aha” moment or after the “aha” moment means you can create retargeting campaigns accordingly. Before “aha” means you’ll need to retarget with videos explaining what your tour operator business has to offer still.

“If the user hasn’t seen the “aha” moment yet, you should likely continue to serve them ads that explain your company and how you can help. For those who have passed the “aha” moment, you can likely move on to a more sophisticated or further down funnel message.”


Does this help clarify your approach to video marketing?

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Here’s last week’s…

Users are first and foremost drawn to Facebook for its visual inspiration and community. As a result the platform gives tour operators a wealth of tools to build brand awareness and generate bookings, organically and through advertising. Facebook Messenger chatbots, live videos and carousel ads are just some of the tools that tour operator businesses can hugely benefit from. I’ll explore each of these further. 

Let’s get started.

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Here's this week's roundup:

How Video Consumption is Changing in 2020 [New Research]

Source: Hubspot

This article highlights six ways that video consumption habits are evolving. For tour operators, I believe the most interesting nuggets are as follows:

  • Your customers now expect to see marketing videos from your tour operator business. If they can’t find a promo video or video review that’s related to your company’s offering, the chances are they’ll buy a tour from another travel business.

The top two reasons why people watch videos is to relax, escape and learn something new. How can your tour operator business produce content that’s entertaining or intriguing? Alternatively, can you build educational videos into your content strategy? For example, insights into local communities or new foods.

U.S. Packaged Adventure Travel Segment to Bounce Back Faster than the Overall U.S. Travel Market

Source: ATTA

These findings come from the ATTA which show that adventure tour operators predict travel spending in 2021 to only be 7% less than it was in 2019. 

By comparison, a recovery similar to 2019 expenditure for the U.S. travel industry as a whole is not expected until 2024. 

One insight into why adventure tour operators are more prepared for a post-covid world (and heavily trusted by adventure travellers) is because they already exercise a safety-led approach to travel. Safety and risk management plans are commonplace and executed all your round.

Guest Post: What Do Consumers Want From a Post-Covid Travel Experience?

Source: Travolution

The pandemic and resulting lockdown has had a hugely negative effect on mental health which explains why the desire to travel and plan trips is still high despite threats of a second wave. 

This article focuses on the UK, but I think it’s fair to say this is felt globally also. What does this mean for tour operators? Consumers are seeking out escapism experiences to “calm the soul”. Therefore repositioning or tailoring your tour packages to offer elements of escapism would see positive results.

How To Expand Your Tour Operator Business Into New Markets With Horizontal And Vertical Scalings - wellness-tours

Here are my top-tip articles:

Using Facebook Live to Quickly Create Content

If you’re a procrastinator or perfectionist then using Facebook Live to create content is for you. Live means no retakes and actually people love authenticity when things don’t go quite to plan

Does going live terrify you? 

This article suggests testing it out a few times on your personal Facebook profile where you can change the privacy setting so only you see it. 

I’d recommend reading this article in full or listening to the podcast because you’ll learn about The Five Ps: planning, pre-promotion, production, post-promotion, and re-purposing as well as being given useful content ideas.

5 Ways Facebook Chatbots Can Boost Your Business

Facebook Messenger chatbots are still a relatively untapped tool by those in the travel industry. This article delves into the five main benefits of using chatbots so you can get the most out of Facebook’s tools.

These include: 

  • Saving you time
  • Generating leads
  • Building a subscriber list
  • Handling sales
  • Having the ability to tailor them to suit your tour operator business. 

Do you already use a Facebook chatbot? How effective are you finding it?

chatbot-inquiry-form

12 Creative Facebook Carousel Ads Examples + Templates

Source: Banner Snack

Tour operator businesses can really utilise carousel ads in a number of great ways. For example, you could showcase up to 10 of your various tour offerings, or hone in on one particular tour and tell a story. 

If you’re artistic then you’ll particularly like #5 – creating a split panoramic.


A statistic I found interesting:

 1.79 billion people on average log onto Facebook daily and are considered daily active users for June 2020. This represents a 12% increase in year-over-year. (Zephoria)


A question for you:

On a scale of 1-10, how comfortable are you creating videos for Facebook? What needs to happen to improve that number?

Share your thoughts and comments on our Facebook and Linkedin page or drop me an email at [email protected] – I’d love to hear from you.

Did you enjoy reading the above?

The 10xpress is a weekly series curated exclusively for travel companies like you

Every week, I provide you with:

  • Reports, opinion, case studies and key findings that directly impact the tours and activities sector.
  • Educational articles to guide you through the changing world of online sales and marketing from industry leaders.
  • Tips and tools on how to improve your tour operator business, generate more sales and make your life easier.
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