Travel giant TripAdvisor has launched an advertising feature for restaurants, offering restaurant owners the opportunity to showcase their company to millions of potential visitors - in particular tourists and travellers - by utilising sponsored placements within the site's organic search results, which in turn drives consumers to their TripAdvisor listing.
TripAdvisor boasts more than 200 million monthly visitors from across the globe, who collectively conduct some 4.4 million searches for restaurants, making this new advertising initiative "an easy next step for owners looking to maximise TripAdvisor as a marketing channel," the press release said.
The company was quick to point out that "diners searching for the perfect place to eat can continue to rely on rich, descriptive reviews of restaurants and customer photos to help them in their decision-making, and a popularity ranking driven by review and bubble ratings and not by a commercial arrangement with TripAdvisor", but TripAdvisor ads allow owners to buy targeted ad slots in addition to their popularity ranking.
Ads will also allow for the targeting of diners based on search queries such as meal price, cuisine type and timing - breakfast, lunch or dinner - which prospective diners will see appear in the first spot of a relevant restaurant category, as well as in the top spot of search results.
According to the Census and Statistics Department of the Government of the Hong Kong SAR, the total restaurant receipts in Hong Kong for the first half of 2017 reached HK$54.8 billion, up from HK$52.6 billion over the same period last year.
"We want to provide restaurant owners with the best possible suite of products and solutions to entice and convert potential diners into loyal customers," said Bertrand Jelensperger, senior vice president, TripAdvisor Restaurants.
"We launched our premium for restaurants subscription service at the end of 2016 to help owners better showcase their business to prospective diners. Now with TripAdvisor ads, we are providing them with another way to increase their visibility through targeted sponsored placements. Whether you operate a Michelin star fine-dining restaurant or a popular neighborhood deli, this solution ensures that your restaurant’s ad will be displayed to relevant diners at the optimal moment."
Similar to a number of social media ads, TripAdvisor ads for restaurants will work on a cost-per-click basis. Advertisers will need to set a monthly spending limit, and will be charged at the end of each month for the number of clicks received on their ad, to the limit of the set budget.