You've heard the timeless adage: Expensive sunglasses eventually get lost in the ocean, but the memories from an exhilarating kayaking adventure last forever!
OK...we invented that saying. Two minutes ago.
But at ZOZI, we really do believe in experiences over stuff. And when it comes to giving, we'll always champion gifts that get people out there—discovering, learning, exploring, doing.
Science even backs us up: When it comes to research on why we should spend our money on experiences, not things, the proof is as prevalent as bad Christmas sweaters during the month of December. Studies shows that purchasing activities, like bike tours or rock climbing classes, creates more happiness than buying more stuff.
Not to mention, gift cards can be good business: Gift Card Granny reports that gift cards have been the most requested holiday gift nine years in a row, and 65 percent of gift card holders spend an extra 38 percent beyond the value of the card. Selling e-gift cards online is also important, since 56 percent of consumers like to keep gift cards stored on their phones.
For tour, activity, and rental businesses, there's no better way to market gift cards than through Facebook. So to help you bulk up these ancillary sales during the holiday season, follow these simple steps to promoting your gift cards through one of social media's major platforms:
Step 1: Post Creative Photos About Gift Card Sales as a Status Update
Whether you have a few hundred Facebook fans or a few thousand, make sure all of your fans know that you offer gift cards for tours, activities, and/or rentals. Create ads specifically for Facebook using an easy graphic design tool such as PicMonkey or Photoshop to promote gift cards as the perfect gift for the holiday season.
A canvas size of 1,000 x 1,000 pixels is large enough to get noticed, and can be resized for Facebook and other social media sites as needed (for a easy social media image re-sizing tool, check out Landscape). In PicMonkey, select a square canvas to start the project and use the resize tool to resize your image after it has been created. In Photoshop, edit your canvas size when you start a new project.
To create eye-catching ads, use images of different tours and activities as part of the ad as a teaser, or use a stock photo featuring a gift card to communicate the message. iStockPhoto.com and shutterstock.com are a few sites with high-quality, royalty-free photos and illustrations you can use for creating your own images and ads.
Run these posts a few times throughout the week to get the most eyeballs on them. Make sure to include a link to your gift card sales page or contact information within the post so that any interested parties can make a purchase right away. Encourage fans to share the post with friends and family to extend your reach even further.
With an online booking system like ZOZI Advance, it's also super easy to sell discounted gift cards. Our friend Raquel Navarro, owner of See.Eat.Love Food Tours in Oakland, loves this feature because it "lets customers understand the value of what they're purchasing." Being able to charge customers a lower amount than the actual value of the gift card is a great way to help incentivize people to purchase them.
Step 2: Add A Custom Page Tab
Make it as easy as possible for customers to get through the purchase process. One way to do this is by adding a custom page tab on your Facebook page, which essentially acts as a mini web page, or landing page, that can be fully customized. In this case, you could create a tab that says "Buy gift card." The page could contain more information about the gift cards you offer, along with a link that sends customers directly to the gift card booking page on your website.
In order to create a custom page tab, you must log into Facebook as a Facebook Developer and configure your custom tab from there. This can be a little confusing if you're trying to figure it out on your own, but it's definitely worth it if you have a friend or team member with Facebook Developer experience.
Alternatively, you can also use third-party services such as GiftFly to easily install custom tabs and manage gift card sales with a small fee per transaction. GiftFly gives you the option to sell digital and mobile gift cards with custom banners and images, and also promote your gift card under a custom tab setting on your Facebook page. Check out one of their how-to videos here.
Step 3: Run Targeted Facebook Ad Campaigns
You can use Facebook Ads specifically for promoting gift cards throughout the holiday season. These ads show up on the right sidebar on the Facebook desktop version when a user is browsing their news feed. You can target these ads to specific users by location, interests, and other factors within Facebook.
You will need to use the Facebook Power Editor tool to manage your ad campaigns. It will also let you create multiple campaigns with different blocks of text and images. Once you've set up an account, you can get started with creating a campaign.
Select the "Send people to your website" option as the first step for creating your campaign objective. Enter the URL of your gift card landing page on your website, or the checkout page of your website. This lets the customer proceed with the purchase instead of trying to find the "buy" button upon arriving at your site.
From there, Facebook will walk you through creating all elements of your ad—the accompanying image, text, your target market (who you want seeing your ads), and your daily budget. Make sure to include a "gift card" reference in your headline to drive people to the gift card sales page.
You'll be able to track in your dashboard the number of clicks from each ad, so it won't take long to figure out which ones are performing well and which ones aren't. You can tweak your ad copy along the way if needed.
Tour and activity operators that offer digital gift cards may be able to generate more sales—not only from the gift cards, but from the recipient's additional purchases made during the booking process, and after the experience has been redeemed (think about add-ons, souvenirs, etc). Use these tips to promote gift cards on Facebook to stimulate more business throughout the holiday season—and beyond!
With ZOZI Advance, creating and selling e-gift cards on your website is a cinch.