Welcome to the Travel Marketeer, a weekly series where we examine data, insights, and ideas around marketing, creative testing, and ways travel brands can improve the online customer experience. In this week’s installment, we share ideas on how to utilize traveler personas to optimize ad creative.


Last week, we discussed different types of traveler personas and how to build SEM keywords to target them. To effectively engage different persona types such as business travelers, family travelers, and retirees, you must also develop and test creative that resonates with them. The following are tips to get you started.


Begin with a hypothesis

Let’s say you are a rental car company bidding on the SEM keyword “SFO rental car comparison.” You’re writing creative with three different personas in mind: families, solo travelers, and business travelers. The following table shows example hypotheses and messaging slants you might develop:


Rental car messaging by persona

Persona Hypothesis Messaging
Families Families traveling with a baby want their experience to be logistically smooth and simple “Free car seat rental when you book today.”
Backpackers Young solo backpackers are seeking adventure “Get off the beaten path with an all-wheel drive upgrade.”
Business Business travelers want convenience and efficient use of time “Book today for automatic check-in.”


Review your personas before writing ad creative

Personas are meant to help you refocus from what you are selling to who you are selling to. They are a tool to help you put yourself in your customer’s shoes, make a more emotional connection with your audience, and stand out from competitors.

Personas don’t have value if you don’t use them during the creative development process. Review them before writing new creative to keep them front and center.


Learn your customer’s language

Often included in persona development is a sampling language commonly used by individuals in the persona group. Use their language in ads to better relate to your audience and to improve textual relevance. Keywords people search on are likely to reflect their linguistic preferences. Mirroring search queries in ad creative improves quality scores.


Optimize mobile creative by persona

Don’t forget about mobile-preferred creative. Personas can help differentiate your approach to mobile ads. For example, backpackers are probably more likely than families to make last-minute bookings from a mobile device. Meanwhile, family travelers might be more likely to prioritize proximity to fun activities when making a mobile booking decision. Keeping examples like this in mind can help you craft better calls-to-action and highlight appropriate value propositions in ads.


Test and learn

You might be surprised at what does and doesn’t speak effectively to different personas. Your hypotheses may be wrong. But no matter what the results, the data can be used to refine your personas and improve execution in other areas of your marketing messaging outside of SEM. Get out there and start testing!


If you haven’t already, be sure to check out last week’s installment of Travel Marketeer, where we covered how to use personas to inform your keyword research and campaign structure.



About Boost Media

Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale.

The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.