January 27

Get More Guests with Online Advertising – Facebook & Instagram Ad Tips

Welcome to the webinar this month where we're talking about getting more guests with online advertising. That looks like Facebook and Instagram ad tips. As always, if you someone has questions either now or on a replay, please drop them in the comments and we'd be glad to address them.

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About Rest & Relax ROI

We're exclusively partnering with RV parks, resorts and campgrounds as a member of ARVC. We have the M5, which is an RV park centric marketing system focusing on reputation, resell and retargeting as our four steps up the mountain.

I am your host, Mark Rowan. Pleased to meet you. I grew up on a working West Virginia sheep farm campground -- a lot of fun. I studied communications at what's known as the world's most exciting university, Liberty, where I met my wife Jenny and got married in 2000. We now have four amazing kids. Elena Kay is a senior in high school. Then we got a sophomore, Cassia, an 8th grader in Josiah and a 6th grader and Addie. And Holly, I don't know, maybe she's still in kindergarten. She's our dog. I've been personally helping people with their online presence for more than 20 years. This agency has been running since 2014.

What You'll Leave With

Today we're going to learn some stuff and it's going to be about three areas that we're addressing in order to run successful ads on Facebook and Instagram. There's going to be some actionable information that we can leave with today. If there's any questions, as always, be glad to answer them.

Facebook & Instagram Stats

We're going to take a look at a few stats here. Facebook and Instagram account for over 80% of social media advertising revenue and they offer a wide range of targeting options when you do that with them, demographics, interest, behaviors, that allows us to reach highly specific audiences.

70% of high income adults in the US are active on these platforms. 59% of global internet users actively engage with social media. Obviously it's wide reaching. I think everyone understands that these days.

In addition, here's a little information on what it costs to advertise per click. $0.97 Facebook and a $1.07 on Instagram. These obviously have not always been the same and continue to adjust over time, but it gives an idea what that's like. A little bit more about social media advertising. Using networks like Facebook and Instagram deliver paid ads to your target audience.

They're cost efficient online advertising tools and it's a quick, effective way to connect with your consumers, your guests, boost your campaigns. This has changed within the last couple of years, I think maybe even less than that. Facebook and Instagram are now under the Meta roof, the parent company. All the ads can be managed in one place if one so desires.

Opportunity to Reach More Guests

As we often talk about, there's an opportunity here. It is to reach more guests that can come and show up at your park. We'll be talking about this and reinforcing: targeting your audience. You're able to measure the conversions with some accuracy. That is always great. Instead of just blindly shooting in the dark; get greater visibility with the unique features they have.

You can make the most of your organic content, as well. It works hand in hand. What do we with ads in tandem with organic is going to just help each other. Of course, we're going to drive traffic for bookings which very important. The other thing can be done is building the trust and loyalty with first timers and returning guests.

Is It Broke? Fix It.

We always have our little sad RV. It's no longer working. If it's broken down, we're going to try to fix it. These ad campaigns can be very powerful if done right. There's some common issues we encounter and we'll kind of double down on these just so repetition is always good, so we can remember better.

Congruent messaging across the whole campaign. Not using powerful visuals or videos. Copy that's too long. Focusing on a vanity metric. Vanity metric is all about how many times somebody liked it. Like does not equal dollars necessarily. That's the thing to avoid and targeting the wrong audience. It's another big one. Making sure we're getting in front of the people we want to not optimizing.

A landing page kind of goes along with incongruency. You can have a good ad and then you send it to a place that's not going to help people get to where they need to go.

Why is it important? 

Ads can help gain visibility, increase site traffic, boost engagement with your guests or customers. The Ads Manager, which will take a little bit more look at in a minute, is a great tool to start running those campaigns. They can be tailored to different objectives and audiences.

It's used to promote your RV park services. You promote campaigns, showcase your products, boost site traffic and more. It depends on once again, we're going to talk about objectives. It's all about that when it comes to running ads.

We're going to talk about three main areas. The setup portion, what kind of ads, the ad types, and then the design or the creative, which is very important. All these are important parts of running a successful campaign.

Facebook & Instagram Ads Set Up

Right into set up the ads. What's that look like? Ads Manager is a central place for both platforms. We'll say this first step you can get set up going into Ads Manager. Just search it on Google and you'll find it.

There are ways we ( don't talk about it much in this one) but there is a difference between boosting an ad just on your page versus running an Ads Manager campaign. There's a lot more detail and that's what we're talking about today. Boosting is a more simple way, not as much control.

After you've gone in and got your account set up and obviously make sure that there is a way to pay for these ads. Not going to do anything if there's no money behind it. Some objectives that we'll go into more depth here in a minute, like what are you trying to do? You want people to visit the site, you want people to download an app you might have or just get more page likes for your social media. Those are some things we're going to look at and select who to target based on demographic interest and more.

This is one of those things that's moving target, no pun intended. Facebook over time has changed. Used to be a little bit more granular, they've kind of limited some things, but you still are able to target people within Ads Manager. Of course, adjusting the budget and scheduling the ads. Once you got to that stage, you want to see how much you're going to spend and when they should be running.

Ad Objectives

Again, we've mentioned the objectives. These are different ones that are available within the Meta platform. Brand awareness, reach, website traffic, engagement, video views, conversions, lead generation messages. The reality is you're looking at what you're trying to accomplish. What do you want your guest, potential guests to be doing or what are you trying to do as a park? You just want to get the word out, get the brand, let people know who you are? That's brand awareness, reach is kind of within that realm of just trying to get as many people to see you.

The thing that most people are doing is website traffic, conversions or lead generation is all a little bit different. How Facebook manages the traffic and how it serves your ads is different based on how this is chosen. Traffic, you're sending people to the site. Conversions, for instance, you want to connect that into how people book online. Then Facebook can track, like we ran this ad, we know this person booked because of a pixel, which we don't really talk too much about in this, but it's how you understand a conversion is done because there's a piece of code that Facebook is tracking when someone does what you want them to do on your site. That's a conversion.

Lead generation is similar to that, but it's all within the Facebook platform. You're not leaving their Facebook and their Meta platform in order to generate that lead online. Store traffic is another one that you can do if you're selling something online.

Setting Up Facebook Ads

Facebook and Instagram are very similar, but we'll go ahead and go through each one. Once again, once you've got that objective done, you're going to get your audience, which could be the location, age, gender, work, likes, what are they going after? In this case, somebody that you're trying to find, those people that have RVs, go to campgrounds, etc.

I'm going to set that budget up whether it's a daily or a lifetime. If you're going to be running an ad, it's kind of a longer term thing throughout the season. Daily budget maybe going to do $5 or $10 a day. Lifetime budget would be more of, hey, we're going to run this for a month and we want to spend $500 during this time.

Of course, where you place your ads is important within the platform itself. We'll look at that more later and then you create your ad. Once again, it's a big part of what we're talking about today. We'll get into detail on that.

Setting Up Instagram Ads

Instagram ads are very similar as far as how that goes. The objective, this time, you're going to choose the budget and schedule up front here. At least that's the way it's done right now. Then there's that daily and lifetime that we just discussed. Identifying your audience, selecting your ad placements. This can be either automatic or manual. Typically we're going to always ask people or recommend people do manual placements, which we'll talk more about in a little bit. Then you get to create your ad.

Call-to-Action Buttons

A big part of this is call-to-action buttons, the old CTA, and these are the ones that are available, at least some of them. Once again, these things have changed, or probably will, but these are the most common ones. The one that's probably going to jump out to our audience is "Book Now." If you're going to run ads, you want to get people to reserve. That's a great one to use.

Another widely used one is "Learn More." That's really general. If you're just doing another type of ad that's not trying to get someone to book a reservation, that's a good one. These other ones are typically for different types of businesses, but there might be one in there, depending on what your campaign is about, that you might want to use it's more accurate.

Where should your ads appear? 

We talked about placement. There's the Facebook news feed, which is where as you can kind of see in this photo here, there's a person that looks like actually it looks like it might be on someone's profile. Sorry to misdirect, but it's commonly where everyone's at. Same thing with Instagram feed scrolling through to see what people are up to.

Then there's the marketplace on Facebook, there's video feed, there's the right column which would be more on the desktop, the Instagram Explorer. People are just looking around to see what they could find. Messenger inbox, the reels are stories of these platforms. That's the short form video vertical. All of these are places that are available.

Typically if you just go with what's recommended: automatic, the platform wants you to do as many places as possible. The reality is the news feeds: the Instagram feed, the Facebook news feed are primarily ones that you're going to target because that's what people are on. That's where people spend most of their time and you want your ad to show up as though it's part of the content that they want to ingest.

That's why, when we get onto our design portion of it, it's important to do that well, because if that's not in the right place then people are going to quickly scroll by so you got to grab their attention. Probably beyond that is the Reels and stories because most platforms today are really pushing short form video. If you're able to put some engaging type of ads on that, you can also see some success.

Common Ad Set Up Mistakes

Look at a few mistakes that we run across. Talked about a little bit earlier as well and once again, that wrong audience, that's a big problem. Failing to monitor ads consistently. Kind of letting it run without ever looking back to see there's some things to change. The wrong type of ad for the intended action, pretty self explanatory. Choosing the wrong objective and creating ads that are confusing and not self explanatory and we'll go more over that in a moment. Not tracking your performance. Those are things to not do.

Ad Set Up Best Practices

Make sure that everything that's done is about mobile. I believe the stat, we didn't included in this one, but like 98% of the people that use it are on mobile. They might also use their desktop, but that's how people get their social media. Strong call to action is important. The right objective as we've already mentioned multiple times, relevancy is huge and simple, easy to understand language. You don't want to get people questioning what you're doing and talking about and then the A/B testing. There's different ways that you can adjust your ads and get to find out what is the best performing one that you're doing.

Facebook & Instagram Ad Types

We're going on to section two of today's topic and that is ad types. Let's get a little bit deeper into that. Each has their own unique features and targeting options for each type. Depending on what you choose as the type of ad, that change on what you're trying to accomplish in those areas. The key to creating an effective engaging ad that resonates with your target audience is understanding your type.

Video ads tend to have a higher engagement rate than image ads. Stories ads reach those active in that area of the platform. Somebody might be a little more ... I know for instance, I got teenagers and they all seem to really latch on to Stories and Reels and just watching those short videos and so depending on who it is you're targeting, those could be a better fit, right? Image ads are definitely more general and better for a wider audience.

Facebook Image Ads

Here's a Facebook image ad. We got a mock up here that can give you an example. They're great for getting attention and showcasing a particular RV park attraction. Potentially you can use templates when creating image ads to ensure consistency so that way you're not winging it each time. They can be linked to a website sales page or Facebook page.

If it's like, hey, we're going to do this, this particular example is you're maybe targeting somebody that's that particular image really speak to. They want to unplug from the drama plug into nature or something like that. You're trying to get them to reserve so you're linking it off to reservation page.

Then you got to pay attention to image ad specs and ratios. That has to do with if you're going to use an image with text on it, you can't just put a ton of text on an image. They definitely will reject that. You have to make sure that you are following the ... I mean, they'll just reject your ad if you're putting too much text on an image. You can definitely use the copy space where it says time to get away to communicate more text and that sort of thing.

Facebook Video Ads

The video ad is another type to look at. Once again is a mock up. It's a great way to tell a story that conveys emotions and showcases your brand in a visually compelling way. It's good to have a short, engaging and creative version of that. Make sure that they are optimized for mobile devices. Of course that goes across the board, what we're talking about today.

While this is an example of a horizontal like I mentioned earlier, stories and Reels could be a great way to utilize the vertical version of videos. Make sure if you're going to do one or the other, you're using the right optimized type of orientation. There's a variety of different videos that are available: in stream out stream, stories ads, these stories and such reach users were their most active engaged. Keep that in mind. There's a little stat to back up how that a video ad has a conversion rate of 2.9% as a period compared to 1.8 for image ads. It's not double, but it's significantly better.

Facebook Carousel Ads

We got your carousel ads which will showcase multiple images, services, amenities, attractions for your part of course, people can scroll through the side and see however many you put in there. You can highlight those different things, explain the concepts, show features of different services. You've got a variety of images of your park, or maybe amenities or things of that nature.

Instagram Ad Types

We got some Instagram ad types stories, ad for followers, primarily of your account, and it goes away in 24 hours. Explore ads. Those are the people that have similar interests and they're already somebody you're targeting. Reel -- there's a short clips we've been talking about and they will not disappear 24 hours. Think about TikTok if you're familiar with that platform.

More Facebook & Instagram Ad Types

A few more types that we have here for the ads for both Facebook and Instagram, slideshows, collections, poll, Lead, Dynamic Messenger, augmented reality, shopping ads. They're always tweaking these things, right, as I've said before, and will consistently do that. They're going to try to find better ways to engage with your guests.

Facebook & Instagram Ad Design

Our final section is about ad design. We will jump into what it means to have an effective looking ad whether it's the copy, the creative, all those pieces. It's one of the most important parts of an effective ad. Doing this maximizes your engagement. Draws attention to key elements of the ad. Use creative visuals that capture how the RV park can make guests outdoor experiences better. You want to include compelling headlines and copy hiding benefits of your park, as well.

Ad Design Stats

Got a little bit of stats to back up some of the important parts of it. This is a crazy one. Using high quality images and videos can increase engagement by up to 650%. That's huge, right? If you're going to use really bad images because that's all you have, maybe wait until you get some good ones because that is astounding how much difference it makes.

Simple and minimalistic design elements can increase ad recall by up to 42%. You won't be able to remember what it is that you're talking to them about, so don't go too crazy. Clear and concise message can increase ad recall by up to 75%. Same concept, right? What you're saying and what you're showing can really help people remember what you were talking to them about.

A call-to-action can increase click through rates up to 42%. We talked about call-to-action earlier, and a strong one is very vital in the whole process of critique. I added this one in office that you miss 100% of the shots you don't take that's just a given. I had a little space there to stick that in there.

Facebook & Instagram Ad Design Tips

We have some tips to design. Use simple designs to stand out. Just don't overdo it. Keep the main thing front and center. Don't go rabbit trails on ads. It's not the place. As we said, those stats we showed earlier really emphasize that. Try to stick with branding color options that you already have. Don't get too off base of who you are. You want to be consistent in how you portray your park. The text, don't go overboard with that either. High resolution images, super important.

Then refine your designs with A/B testing. That is key as well. Facebook definitely will allow you to put multiple different pieces of copy in one ad and it automatically switches it out. Same thing with the images. You can get an idea of like, oh, this particular combination is working well to reach who would want to.

Common Ad Design Mistakes

We're going to highlight some things that you shouldn't do. We probably talked about some of these already, but a headline is also important. Make it clear. That low resolution image, bad news. Generic visuals and copy as well. Too much text, right? Stay away. Not being optimized for the mobile devices. If it doesn't have a call to action, that's a problem as well. Keep testing, keep optimizing.

Ad Design Best Practices

We're going to reinforce our best practices again, mobile first. Let's go. Everybody's on their phone all the time. We probably need to be on there less. But this is reality. That strong call to action is super important. That text within the ad, make it relevant, make it concise. Different versions of the ad, make sure that way you can test those well. Simple to easy to understand language. Focus on emotional content too, to drive engagement. Using people because people connect with people and things that go deeper than just the surface level stuff.

Facebook & Instagram Tools

We're getting close to wrapping things up and we want to give you some tools that you can use not only for ads, but just for social media in general. All these are good. Canva, it's pretty widespread these days. It's an easy to use photo and graphics website. They have an apps too, that you can design on the run. There's a lot of stuff already pre built and you don't have to be an amazing, super skilled, super experienced designer to be able to create some great stuff. Then Animoto is, while Canva does have some video capabilities, Animoto is all about video creation to help you want to do those type of either regular posts or ads.

Grammarly, if you're having trouble, like making sure that your copy is in good shape, that's what you want to go and use. Unbox Social is a software that you can use to track different pieces of what you're getting done on your social platforms.

Then we're talking a bit, a little bit about ourselves right here, the M5 planner. This actually allows you to do scheduling across these different platforms. Of course, it's more just for your organic posts in this case. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google, those kind of things. It makes it handy to post in different areas at different times.

Gifs, who doesn't love a good gift, right? It's still a great way to maybe you want to inject some humor in or to what you're doing or just different things, right? Gifs are all over the place and have been a fun addition to the online experience for several years now.


We're wrapping up and just rehashing what we talked about. The set up was our first section, and then we went into the different ad types. Of course, we just finished talking about the design as well. If you have questions, obviously can drop them in the chat or the comments. If you're watching the replay, be glad to answer those.

Of course, we're talking about social. We have social too, excitingly enough. You can connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn. If you just look up that @restrelaxroi handle you can find us.

Next month I believe it's, of course it's February. It's a short month. I think it is the 23rd. We usually do the last Thursday of the month on these. We try to stay consistent. It's going to be talking about "Get found more easily on search engines." It's a starter guide for SEO. If you want to know more about Google search and how to be more well positioned, that's next month.

Caleb chatted in here, "how do you determine if the campaign is effective?"

We didn't go in depth on that, but that's obviously one of the benefits of running these. Depending on what your objective is, how you figure out if it's effective, or if you're trying to generate bookings, then you're going to do a particular type of campaign that would be conversions or a lead ad. A conversion would be essentially driving them to your reservation and then when they book a reservation, you have a thing that would tell Facebook that that happened. Basically Facebook's tracking whether or not those ads are turning into bookings for you. You can figure out, we put in X amount of dollars, and we got this many different reservations because of that, specifically for Facebook or Instagram and things like that.

That would be one way to determine if it's effective. Like I said, that's probably one of the most common ways for an RV park to track it. The other stuff, it would just depend if you're just simply trying to get in front of more people, let them know that you're around, then you're going to look at stats like how many visitors have we come to our website? Or did our Facebook page grow? Or do you get more followers on Instagram? Because you can do ad campaign specific to those particular things, whether you're trying to drive likes or not likes necessarily, but page follows. Thanks for the question. Let me know if that covered what you need.

Chat With Us

Of course if you need more, Caleb or anyone else, we can always talk more. Glad to schedule a chat at https://book.restrelaxroi.com. Whether it's about ads on social media or like I said, we're talking about SEO next week. We've talked about Google Business. We try to get lots of different things that help. All of them with the end in mind of just generating more opportunities, more guests coming into enjoy your parks.

That pretty much is going to do it for today. Thank you for those that were able to join live and those that are tuning in at a later date thanks for watching, as well. Until next time, everyone, happy trails.

About the author 

Mark Rowan

Mark grew up on a campground in West Virginia. Since that time he's been guiding companies across the United States to a better online experience.

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