When it comes to pairing travelers from all over the world with unique and affordable vacation rental options, Airbnb is in a category all its own. These trailblazers of modern travel began by renting out air mattresses in their San Francisco loft in 2008 and in 7 short years have grown their company into a multi-billion dollar enterprise offering more than 800,000 listings in almost 200 countries.
Love them or hate them, you have to admit…these guys are doing SOMETHING right. After creating an online marketplace for people to share their unique living spaces with travelers looking for an authentic experience, Airbnb continues to drive their success, so here are a few of their marketing strategies vacation rental companies could learn a thing or two from.
Posting Quality over Quantity in Social Media
According to Facebook, 1,500 possible stories from friends and page likes are filtered per day on an average Facebook user’s News Feed. As the competition for prime real estate on Facebookers’ feeds gets tougher, companies need to be more strategic about what they are posting. You have an increasingly limited number of chances of your post reaching the eyes of your followers, so make the most of what you are distributing.
Airbnb knows how to maximize their social media exposure. Their Facebook timeline consists of a mixture of vibrant, unique photos from around the world; original blog posts; videos uploaded right to Facebook; and the occasional posting of pages from their website prompting their Facebook followers to book a vacation. They don’t post every day – sometimes they go without posting for a couple of days and sometimes they post a couple in just one day – it’s more about the quality over the quantity of things they are posting.
According to HubSpot, companies with less than 10,000 followers that post more than 60 times a month receive 60% fewer clicks per post than those companies that post 5 or fewer times a month. In order to move your followers to engage with your Facebook posts, your vacation rental company needs to focus on sharing interesting, engaging, and effective posts instead just trying to meet your daily posting quota. Make your posts count, even if that means posting less and taking the time to decide on just the right content to share with your audience.
Optimize PPC Ads
An excellent source of engagement and website clicks for vacation rental companies is Pay Per Click advertising. Not all companies know how to properly use PPC, but Airbnb is using this marketing tool the right way.
When searching for “room rentals in San Francisco,” for example, Airbnb’s paid ad shows up first on the search results page, but, what is most notable about their PPC ad is what happens when you click. Instead of directing you to their home page, like many other vacation rental companies do with their PPC ads, Airbnb takes you directly to their “Short Term Room Rental Search Page,” where you can enter San Francisco into the search bar in the middle of the screen and find exactly what you’re looking for in a matter of seconds.
Optimizing your landing pages for your PPC ads is a key factor in executing a successful ad campaign. If you are already paying for the clicks, you might as well make them count and make the extra effort to link your ad to a landing page that will better encourage your website visitors to take the specific actions you want them to take.
Create Content with Purpose
Airbnb’s content creation is something to be admired. In addition to videos, stories, Vines, short films and even their own magazine called Pineapple, Airbnb’s blog also boasts content vacation rental marketers should take notes from!
Offered in 10 different languages with a wide range of topics, their blog isn’t just an updated feed about “what to do in the area,” but is a full-bodied content resource for like-minded travelers. In a responsive, photo-driven design, their blog library offers readers real-world situations and accounts that are initially captivating, personally engaging and helpfully informative. With a smattering of stories, inside looks into areas less-traveled, and tips for hosts, among many other categories, Airbnb’s posts are significantly more purposeful than they are promotional.
There’s no better way to get rid of a reader and keep him gone than constantly producing promotional content. Just as no one wants to have a conversation with someone who only talks about themselves, the same goes for readers of your vacation rental blog. Take cues from Airbnb’s stellar performance at content creation and engage your readers with blog posts that will entertain and inform them instead of pieces solely geared towards getting their business. They will appreciate this and more than likely will consider you as source of knowledge in the vacation rental field, upping your chances of gaining their business when the time comes for them to book their vacation.
These are just a couple of the great marketing techniques that Airbnb exercises. Take a look and implement them however you can into your own vacation rental company’s marketing strategy to reach more potential renters online. For more marketing information and tips, visit our Vacation Rental Marketing blog!