In the next few weeks and all throughout March, schools across the US will be closing their doors for spring break vacation. There is usually a two-week traffic spike right in the middle of that period as a surge of last-minute bookers start to make plans and bookings. Popular spring break destinations see a 302% increase on average in clicks per day beginning March 1st.
Right now is when you should be getting ready and making sure your metasearch ads are showing in the upper positions. This is the planning phase for spring breakers as parents and students start making decisions about where to go and how to budget for their week off.
When preparing your metasearch campaigns for the spring break season, here are a few best practices to consider:
Start leveraging your multipliers on Google Hotel Ads. Users that come in on the default date are typically booking, on average, 12 days out. What that means is they are coming in and potentially changing their dates once they get on site. Users that are selecting their stay dates are typically more intent driven and booking, on average, 21 days ahead.
Intent-driven users exhibit different behavior. Users who are wanting a more specific spring break resort book further out and spend about 84% less than those who are not as intent driven. Meanwhile, as demand increases, we are going to see CPCs rise about 28%. Plus, as supply begins to diminish and demand will not, average daily rates will start increasing to stem some of the demand. This is important when bidding is a percentage of the average daily rate; CPCs will begin to rise and knowing and preparing for that will help you maintain your goals for March.
Start planning early. 46% of the booking volume for spring break occurs during the month of March, while 44% of booking volume is in February. With school districts and universities scheduling their spring break at different parts of the month, it’s never too early to prepare for the spring break rolling window. We must not forget that for advertisers, March is spring break every week until the transition to April, and a close focus on booking window will make that much better throughout the month. A full metasearch campaign will give you many levers to pull across the different publishers but goals are goals. Think about “when” to bid.
Consider device types. A lot of advertisers will go all in on desktop but keep in mind that we are seeing mobile deliver just 34% less in volume than desktop. Mobile has 10% more clicks that tablet, but it only gets on average 8% more bookings.
Highlight beach and ski destinations. A lot of travelers are going to be looking for sunny places to warm up after a long winter. But don’t assume that all spring breakers are beach goers, as some will be looking to take advantage of the end of the winter season, booking trips to ski resorts and colder destinations. Out of the top 10 locations that we found, 64% of the bookings can be attributed to beach locations, whereas 36% were for non-beach locales.
These are just a few tips to help you get started prepping for spring break bookings. At Koddi, we can optimize these scenarios using bid levers targeting booking windows and stay length as well as tailor strategies to your specific needs using your historical data. If you’d like additional help with your campaign strategy, reach out to your Koddi account manager or email us to learn more.