Facebook Expands Flight Ads to Prospecting Audiences in Latest Update for Airline Advertisers

Facebook’s “Dynamic Ads for Travel” have been a huge win for airlines, hotels and other travel-related advertisers. Dynamic ads for travel allow advertisers to automatically reach people who are likely to take a trip – and to tailor the ads based on date, destination and other details.

Facebook has been slowly rolling out more and more functionality over the past year or so to make these ads even more effective and reach a broader audience. Initially, advertisers were limited to retargeting for hotel bookings. In October 2017  they added prospecting (broad audiences) for hotel bookings and dynamic retargeting for flight bookings.

Since then we’ve been hoping they’d introduce dynamic prospecting for flight bookings and we finally got our wish!

In an announcement on the Facebook for Business blog on September 6th, Facebook announced that Flight Ads could now be run with Broad Audiences (Facebook speak for “not-retargeting” when it comes to dynamic ads).

Why is this a big deal?

In the past, advertisers could only retarget their own traffic so the audiences were limited. Now with Broad Audiences, Expedia could theoretically target a traveler who has been searching on Travelocity for flights because Facebook will automatically serve ads with destinations that the user has been looking for across the web.

The already cutthroat travel industry just got more competitive!

Here’s a visual from Facebook on how these ads function:

So you want to test these ads out? Not so fast, here are a couple requirements that you’ll need to fulfill upfront:

  1. Flight Catalog – make sure you have a catalog with your flight info and it’s uploaded to Facebook
  2. Pixel – ensure you are passing the required standard events for travel – Search, View Content, Initiate Checkout, or Purchase

Once you have those in place, here are a few best practices from Facebook’s guide:

  1. Targeting – For prospecting, use audiences of 7 million people or more
  2. Bidding – start with lowest cost bids to ensure maximum delivery
  3. Creative – be sure to include a static ‘universal creative’ in addition to your dynamic carousel creative. This way if Facebook doesn’t find a match in your catalog for what a user is looking for, you can still serve them a general prospecting ad.

Are you looking to run Dynamic Ads for Travel? Contact us today to learn more!

Chris Root is a co-owner of eBoost Consulting and works out of our Boulder, CO location. He writes primarily about social advertising and gets overly excited when Facebook releases new targeting capabilities.

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