Bing Hotel Ads are moving out of BETA into general release as they join with Koddi to help drive revenue and bookings for hotels. Bing has been running its Hotel Ads offering while in BETA over the past 12 months. Bing Ads has now decided that they are going to be releasing these ads fully through a general release. Koddi is partnering with Bing Ads in this general release as they had also participated in their BETA as well. Koddi is an advanced reporting and bid automation platform for metasearch publishers that helps provide the world’s top travel brands to maximize their return from digital advertising programs. Metasearch engines are search tools that gather data from other search engines in order to produce results of their own. Metasearch engines can utilize data provided by the end user to provide queries at the same time to third party search engines that display these results. Some more prominent, or popular, “Hotel Ad” metasearch engines are TripAdvisor and Trivago. These types of sites are not to be confused with OTAs (online travel agencies), such as Expedia or Priceline, which actually complete the transaction of reserving a hotel; whereas metasearch engines simply provide the end user with the data, and then send them to the site to finalize the purchase.
Early last year (2017), Bing hosted and turned out a controlled BETA test, to select advertisers, as their new Hotel Ads offering. As I previously mentioned, Bing is now releasing this to the general public. Prepare for this big marketplace change as this will give customers increased options to book hotels through a new metasearch outlet in Bing.com, as well as more channels for advertisers to display openings directly to Bing users.
Here are some of the features that you will see in the new Bing Hotel Ads (as described on Koddi.com):
- Options to sort search results by “Best Match”, “Price”, and “Rating.”
- Hotel cards with multiple feature images.
- A TripAdvisor integration that clearly displays number of reviews and TripAdvisor ranking to the user.
- An interactive map fueled by Bing Maps that allows users to refine and customize their search.
…see how the new Bing Hotel Ads will appear in the image above.
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This means a number of things to advertisers, but the main thing to understand is increased visibility. This is another place that people are going to be able to search for their prime vacation destination. Rather than having to check multiple different websites for a nice place at a great price, they will be able to accomplish that all from one place (other than actually placing the purchase itself).
Bing Hotel Ads is just another media source to help bring a new style, or demographic, of customer to the digital marketing strategy of any given advertiser that hasn’t previously advertised directly with Bing. As time goes by, and metasearch continues to grow, identifying new and unique groups of customers that show trending growth patterns is an extremely important component for maintaining a healthy portfolio.
Something else to consider heavily are the demands of customers. Customers are always looking for a place that gives them everything that they are looking for in the same place. One of these demands is customer reviews. Bing Hotel Ads is unique in this field as they have integrated customer reviews in very visible ways, such as on the hotel card and also in the sorting options. In order to be successful to any degree, it will remain very crucial for hotels to maintain a multitude of impressive reviews.
Bing Hotel Ads offer an experience that closely resembles Google’s. Bing Hotel Ads gives the user an interface that offers a quick way to search for traveling dates, instantly showing the best pricing from a plethora of different travel search engines. As with all other travel search engines and metasearch identities, all advertisers will have to be able to present Bing their accurate hotel information. This is to ensure that they will have the ability to pair the proper hotels with their listings, giving them the ability to be active in each auction.
As it is with any new product that is going through its initial launch, we should anticipate a myriad of different advertisers all trying to jump the gun and start working with their new product right off the bat. So, it’s important to remember that these types of advertisers are all going to be able to provide great historical data. This data could give them a leg up on the competition further on down the line when it comes to having the ability to couple, or pair up, with other hotels more quickly than the competition that comes to the game late. Having this learning curve early in the process will equate to a large advantage over their competitors.
Another factor to consider with the use of Bings Ad Hotel, as well as any other metasearch engine, is distribution. There is no denying the fact that the impact distribution holds on your revenue total is going to be affected by many factors such as speed and accuracy. The availability, rates, and room data will all need to match up with your data source for the metasearch results to come back accurate, which will show in your end data. This is how accuracy will end up affecting your overall results. Speed doesn’t necessarily relate to the time it takes your site to load, although that is something to consider when monitoring your user friendliness / experience. Instead, in this case, speed is referring to the time that it will end up taking to return a particular search result after the metasearch engine has been able to digest the return data it has found from it’s source. Of course, you will also need to have your data updated on a regular basis, which will usually result in the need for additional resources. This is due to the extra time that it will take to setup and manage properly in order to confirm that the proper and most accurate search results will always be returned by the metasearch engine. Similar to what we discussed earlier, you will also notice benefits by diving into the Bing Hotel Ads metasearch engine pool sooner rather than later. The quicker you learn the intricacies of Bing Hotel Ads, the easier it will be further down the line when the stragglers join the game.