Airbnb’s Successful Digital Marketing Strategy and Business Model Explained!
Established in San Francisco, Airbnb (Air Bed and Breakfast) is a digital marketplace that offers unique services such as homestays, vacation rentals for holidays and activities, etc.
The idea of Airbnb was simple - to help travellers around the world to explore local new and astounding destinations without the hassle of hotels.
Simple ideas sometimes lead to complex businesses, and Airbnb has finally grown to expand across the globe, facilitating the listings of millions of homes every year. Their success is rooted in a wide range of factors such as effective ideation, an evolving client base, and an ever-increasing demand for travel. But the core reason for the success of Airbnb is due to their powerful digital marketing strategy that underpins its operations.
Airbnb's marketing strategy has undoubtedly led to this impressive growth. Boasting an extraordinary global value of $38 Billion, their execution of diverse digital tactics brought about high demand among target audiences, improved client engagement, and drove loyalty. To delineate these approaches in more detail, it is important to look back and investigate the tactics behind Airbnb's digital marketing strategies.
Targeted Outreach to Promote Brand Voice and Engagement
The main challenge faced by Airbnb was to reach both people looking to use their service and hosts to promote their accommodations. Therefore they required different approaches to target both niches.
For hosts, Airbnb came up with community/civic outreach to understand how community members can leverage the platform to promote their property. Content marketing strategies were also implemented to share how hosts easily establish a partnership with Airbnb.
Airbnb was keen to work closely with communities to promote their brand voice and make sure that they engaged local hosts and travellers positively. For this, Airbnb launched various initiatives focused on providing economic opportunities and partnered with community groups to build more positive engagement.
These targeted outreach exercises have strengthened Airbnb’s brand voice in communities, making local clients more likely to host.
Mobile-Friendly Marketing Strategy
Mobile-friendly marketing is one of the most active approaches of Airbnb. Airbnb went above-and-beyond convincing users to install their application and utilised a unique linking infrastructure that encouraged users to particular (location and user-based) in-app content.
This was executed using a mobile linking solution known as ‘Branch’. TBranch favours brands by facilitating deeper links within digital ads. Let’s check how these deep links function…
Each of the paid ads for Airbnb include Branch links. These links guide the customers straight to valid content within the app. However, this will work only for those who have already installed the app.
New users will be directed to the website when they click the link and encouraged to download the app. Over time, as more and more users download the app, Branch links will be able to activate for the user as planned.
Airbnb has a competitive referral programme that offers rewards for community members who invite new users to install the Airbnb application or use their website. This marketing approach helps the business to expand its pool of clients through current users, cutting down the expense of client acquisition. The referral programs are executed through the company's website and mobile application, which makes sure that people who referred receive travel credit for every successful conversion.
Social Media Marketing
By engaging with their audience and inviting more users to the platform with attractive social media posts, social media marketing has become a crucial role in the success of Airbnb.
The core approach of this social media strategy is to post user-generated content. By leveraging UGC, they are able to put in minimal effort into the creation of their posts.
Their pictures on Facebook and Instagram profiles consist of photos from their hosts, ranging from various destinations and residences from Airbnb listings. It improves the authenticity of social media pages and gives an engaging feel to the users.
Airbnb uses email marketing strategies to engage clients who log in to the Airbnb site to view the city they prefer to visit but fail to book, targeting them with emails to change their mind.
The personalised email caption attracts the users and grabs their attention. The email consists of recommendations along with the ratings of the listed rental stays of the city the user checked for.
Airbnb's success relies on the fact that consumers perceive Airbnb as one of their favourite brands. As they go all out to continuously create exceptional and memorable experiences for their clients, the brand has become the choice of many in the international market.
The digital marketing strategies of Airbnb are a great model for all start-ups struggling out there. Airbnb has managed its digital marketing approach smartly by evaluating different prospects of the business communication strategies and continues to do so to this day.