Of the many things that make your city a desirable place to visit, the services provided by local stakeholders are invaluable. Community and business leaders, attractions, restaurants, lodging providers, and the chamber of commerce all contribute to generating tax revenue for your destination. Including room in your marketing budget to promote these and other local stakeholders will both strengthen your relationship with them and provide just one more way to contribute to your city’s economic growth. In addition to featuring them on your website, promoting them in Facebook carousel ads is a great way to do this.
Facebook Carousel Ads
While you may be familiar with Facebook – arguably the king of the social media giants – you may not yet be aware of their newest advertising product, Carousel ads. These ads offer an affordable way to promote multiple features of your destination at once, and provide a fun, interactive and versatile way to engage visitors with all that your area has to offer.
Whether you choose to feature multiple stakeholders or just one, carousel ads use compelling images and/or video to tell the story of your destination. And they’re roomier, more flexible and more interactive than a simple image, link or animation. You can feature up to ten stakeholders in a single carousel ad, but experience has taught us that your typical audience can only process up to five at once – just enough to hold their interest and encourage them to find out more about your destination. We suggest to our clients that they feature carousel ads in their social media calendar rotation on a monthly basis.
Portland, Maine, for example, features a different stakeholder every month, with four of the cards promoting that specific stakeholder and the fifth card linking out to similar businesses in the area. This strategy continues to generate impressive results, with upwards of 20,000 monthly impressions and an average click-through rate of 3.89%.
When Building Your Own Carousel Ad:
- Feature stakeholders that share common characteristics and would pair well together for a suggested itinerary when exploring your town. This could be a boutique hotel, a hole-in-the-wall bistro and a shop that sells unique items. Or if your location is a family-friendly destination, featuring all the places that are “Kid Approved” is a great way to target families.
- Talk with your stakeholders about upcoming sales or promotions that could be leveraged to grab the attention of your audience. Or consider putting together a special package with a hotel partner, restaurant and attraction to promote.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel! Settle on a timeframe and a theme that coincides with other initiatives you may be currently engaged in – like a direct mail piece or an email campaign highlighting attractions and other notable hot-spots in your area.
If your current year’s marketing budget does not have any room to do this just yet, consider offering carousel ads as a co-op option where you are only responsible for a portion of the promotion cost. This might also help with the politics of not picking favorites as its based on the stakeholders that pitch in themselves.
Featuring notable attractions, lodging options, and places to eat in your Facebook carousel ads not only gives your stakeholders a boost – it tells the story of your destination in an interactive, engaging and memorable way.