TripAdvisor’s Hotel Sponsored Positions: Everything You Need to Know

TripAdvisor is making waves in the hotel marketing world at the end of 2017 with the roll-out of their Sponsored Placements program. Now, and for the first time, any hotel can bid to be at the top of the listings for any given destination. What does this mean and is it a good choice for every hotel?  Before we get to that answer, let’s first dive into what Sponsored Placements are and how you can choose to participate.

What Are TripAdvisor Sponsored Positions?

TripAdvisor has rolled out the entirely new Sponsored Positions for hotels in December 2017.  This is the first opportunity for hotels to actually bid on the position of their hotel on the destination page. Previously, users could view the results by ranking, best value, lowest price, or distance, but if a hotel didn’t have the rankings to appear at the top of any of those criteria, they were all but invisible to the TripAdvisor customer.  Now, this is not quite as big of a deal if a customer already knows of a property and is simply looking for reviews. In that case, a customer would search for the hotel name.  However, for the growing number of users who use TripAdvisor as a shopping platform, if you’re not at the top… you don’t exist.

This is where the Sponsored Positions shine.  Just like a search engine PPC campaign, hotels can now bid to be at the top of the listings.  The actual click cost depends on the individual destination and competition.  In our examples below, we have found the average cost per click for Myrtle Beach, SC. is $1.96.  Hotels are not able to set bids, unlike a traditional PPC campaign. Rather, they are only able to choose between three budget levels per day.  We expect to see TripAdvisor expand the program as it matures, but for now, it is a very simple platform with minimum options and zero tools for optimization.

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