airbnb marketing strategy
Digital Marketing

Airbnb Marketing Strategy – 1 Couch to 5.6 Million Holiday Experiences

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Did you know that on average, six people are checking in for a stay at an Airbnb every second?

Airbnb is a business, and the target audience is the six people-per-second making those bookings.

Statistics show that 50% of small to medium businesses have no strategy to reach potential customers.

But with nearly 4 million hosts worldwide, having an online presence that drives brand awareness with a strong marketing strategy is how you stay ahead of the competition.

Are you asking yourself, ‘What marketing strategy does Airbnb use?

An effective Airbnb marketing strategy is essential to company growth and helps create more revenue, partnerships, and great travel experiences for potential users. Let’s take you through the steps.

4 Types Of Marketing Strategies

A Harvard Business review article tells us that four types of strategies aid in business growth. Each strategy is defined by whether you are looking for new products or markets versus existing ones.

What are the four types of marketing strategies?

  1. Market penetration strategy
  2. Market development strategy
  3. Product development strategy
  4. Diversification strategy

Here’s how some Airbnb listings try to stand out against the rest.

Market Penetration: Focus on Existing Products and Buyers

A market penetration strategy is when your company focuses on selling current products to its existing consumers. You put a strong emphasis on building customer loyalty to protect against competitor loss while attracting your competitor’s customers.

Market Development: Expand Your Business for New Buyers

A market development strategy is one to use when you expand your products or services into new markets.

Strong brand marketing is required to generate awareness and generate demand in the new market. You may also need to develop your product to fit the needs of the new local community.

For example, you may notice that certain fast-food restaurants have different offerings in other countries – they likely adapted their menu to reach their local audience better.

McDonald’s Favorite Internal Menu – From Women’s Day

Product Development: New Innovations to Reach New Buyers

The third type is productdevelopment strategy. The focus here is on creating new products and selling to existing customers.

Developing new products and reintroducing your customers to a new product marketing funnel can be costly and time-consuming. But, if the product meets their needs, then brand awareness should come faster with existing customers familiar with your products.

Diversification: Diverse Products in New Areas

The last type is called diversification strategy, which follows new products into new markets. This is the riskiest strategy as this is essentially creating a whole new business.

What does an Airbnb marketing strategy look like? Let’s dive deeper into the heart of what Airbnb is.

A Short History of Airbnb

Airbnb was founded in 2008 by Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia when they realized they could make more money by renting an air mattress in their living room to people visiting a conference in San Francisco. This evolved into an Airbnb website that allowed others to do the same.

how airbnb started
How Airbnb Started by Adioma

What Is Airbnb’s Growth Strategy?

The founders of Airbnb started as two guys trying to afford rent, but they grew it into a successful business with many local partnerships.

Airbnb’s have transformed from air mattresses and complimentary breakfast to a unique traveling experience. The service connects two markets, hosts and guests, and gives them a platform to work together on.

Live Like A Local – Airbnb by The Creatives Coundrel

In the early days, the founders saw that the pictures hosts were using were unflattering, and guests did not book there. They took it upon themselves to hit the listings in New York City and take professional pictures for the host. This opened a new page in the life of Airbnb as they saw immense growth and revenue doubled.

When options like Expedia and Trivago exist, why are Airbnb listings so popular?

Some may say it’s because the listings tend to be cheaper, but it isn’t about pricing. It all comes down to the experience. Many hosts offer a unique experience to guests: live like a local at your destination.

What Is Airbnb Platform Strategy?

It operates as a digital marketplace that offers lodging like homestays for vacations and tourism. None of the properties are owned by Airbnb, but it profits off of commission for every booking made on the platform. Users can either rent out an extra room or the entire property.

The design of the mobile app is inviting and an intuitive process for users. The key features included a unified user interface for both Android and iOS, which struck home to the welcoming style of the brand name and message.

airbnb app
Airbnb app from Medium

To get guests to their properties – owners must use the Airbnb platform and have a strategy that will set them apart from the competition.

Let’s look a bit further into the marketing of an Airbnb service.

Airbnb Marketing Strategy

Now that you know a bit about Airbnb let’s get into exactly what an Airbnb marketing strategy will look like.

Digital marketing is vital for accommodation owners and can even allow them to cross-sell other services in addition to an Airbnb listing.

People sometimes invest in digital marketing agencies to help them with certain online tasks to further perfect their online presence.

The right influencer will create a promotion for guests that advertise their location as personality and character. The goal for Airbnb experiences isn’t cheap accommodations – it’s about being part of the community.

Your Brand Is Your Identity

To attract guests from around the world, accommodation owners create advertising that drives users to make bookings at their property.

airbnb listing | airbnb marketing strategies
Airbnb listing on Airbnb

Like many businesses do, they need to create their brand. Companies that have a strong brand identity that users can search for have an advantage over other hosts.

Advertising With the Right Message

At the heart of Airbnb’s marketing strategy are creative ads that tell guests that listings are homes – not a simple hotel room.

An excellent example of this is the “Don’t Go There, Live There” campaign that helped drive growth with local hosts by rooting the experience in communities and experience.

Email marketing is another advertising technique that helps a host communicate not just with repeat guests but also reach new travelers.

Travelers will want to know things like credit card required or cash only. Home owners offer previous guests discounts with referral marketing as well.

Creating an Online Presence With Digital Marketing on Facebook

58% of millennial users say that social media is a significant factor in their booking decisions.

Digital marketing is vital for a brands’ success in its early stages. Properties should be visible to as many people as they can reach, and social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram are great ways to boost identity online.

For example, with access to Facebook hashtags and location pins, hosts can use posts to gain views for their property. Users who search for those hashtags and locations will find beautiful homes and listings in those locations.

Some owners connect with micro-influencers who match their Airbnb’s marketing audience. If their property is near great trails for hiking, a partnership with impact in the hiking community can increase their brands’ popularity.

Keeping Listings up to Date

Keeping listings up-to-date with local comings and goings helps travelers always understand what is hot near them.

Airbnb marketing lives to increase and personalize the experience, so an outdated listing with out-of-season amenities listed will put off potential guests.

The Price Should Be Right

While the heart of Airbnb’s marketing strategy shouldn’t be focused on price, it’s still an important part of the owner’s strategy.

Pricing is a strategic measure: too high, they won’t attract too many bookings, too low, and they won’t make a profit.

Prices should be adjusted to meet peak and off-season pricing to coincide with demand.

Travelers want to save money, but they also care more if a product meets their needs.

Build An Experience

Airbnb marketing mix includes the price, promotion, place, and product. Those parts combined equal a strategy to an effective method for an Airbnb.

This process can be creative and innovative.

live there airbnb marketing strategy
Airbnb Marketing Campaign from Digital Ready

Owners familiarize themselves with statistics like what type of guests are looking for lodgings. For example, statistics show that 36% of users are between ages 25 and 34. With many guests being millennials, the ecological friendly home-sharing is more preferable to a hotel.

Airbnb is about building an experience. Guests across the world are looking for a listing that is more than just a basic hotel room. They want to live as you do, with all the comforts of home away from home. Your Airbnb can provide them that unique chance to live like a local.


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