Sponsored Placements will give your hotel top ranking on TripAdvisor – for a price

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Good news for hoteliers but perhaps bad news for impartiality today as TripAdvisor has launched Sponsored Placements – an advertising solution that helps accommodation businesses reach the top spots in search results when TripAdvisor users are looking for hotel reviews.

In order to capture the attention of booking travellers, TripAdvisor has launched a Google-like ad placement called Sponsored Placements. It will help businesses get targeted online traffic to their property by advertising in high visibility placements on the world’s largest travel review site.

According to a recent Path to Purchase study conducted by comScore, TripAdvisor is the top most-visited site when it comes to booking for travel. It claims 60% of all online travel purchases globally and the new solution will allow businesses to capitalise on its influence over consumers’ buying decisions.

“We decided to build a product to help accommodation business owners reach potential guests”

“Given the influential role TripAdvisor plays in the inspiration, shopping and decision phases of a traveller’s planning and booking experience, we decided to build a product to help accommodation business owners reach potential guests at this critical stage of the path to purchase journey,” said Martin Verdon-Roe, vice president of B2B product and marketing, TripAdvisor.

A three-month beta period has already begun in which over 100,000 accommodation customers have already launched thousands of ad campaigns across more than 5,500 destinations.

The screenshot below demonstrates how the new Sponsored Placements ad will look like on the site:

Customers can set up a Sponsored Placements campaign by selecting from three monthly cost-per-click budget options. It allows them to set their maximum spend threshold and with customisable budgets coming soon. The ads are automatically targeted to highly-qualified traffic searching for relevant accommodation options in the area and they are only charged for the clicks their ad receives.

“We’ve seen a 20% increase in direct bookings in 40 days”

Gianfranco Acamparo, owner and general manager of the Grand Hotel Aminta in Sorrento was an early adopter and said: “TripAdvisor is currently our most effective marketing tool. With the new Sponsored Placements, we can appear above search results and people are able to contact us directly via our Business Advantage links.

“It’s saving me commission costs because people are contacting us directly or booking on our website. So far we’ve seen a 20% increase in direct bookings in 40 days.”

Sponsored Placements are now available to all accommodation providers with an active Business Advantage subscription who share rates and availability through TripAdvisor. Business Advantage is an evolution of the popular Business Listings product and allows businesses to ‘influence booking decisions, differentiate themselves from their competitors, and strengthen their online reputation’.

Business Advantage together with Sponsored Placements will enable owners to increase exposure, drive high-quality traffic and make their property more appealing to booking-ready travellers.

“The advertising solution the sector has been waiting for”

“Sponsored Placements is the smarter advertising solution the sector has been waiting for – developed to increase a property’s exposure on TripAdvisor and reach highly-qualified travellers with high booking intent,” concluded Verdon-Roe.

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