airbnb differentiation strategy

Im sure your head is probably spinning with the amount involved in understanding referrals, but it goes to show the power of having referrals in your product can go a long way to increasing word-of-mouth and, ultimately, retaining users & acquiring new ones with virtually no cost. Listings make up a big chunk of Airbnbs Instagram content, and are clearly meant to evoke a sense of wanderlust in all those who stumble upon them. Above all, they are looking for a property (or experience) that suits them unique. The idea then evolved into a website where others could do the same, and travellers could get a cheaper option than a hotel. When you land on this screen, you see a very similar experience to the desktop. This has been seen as both a positive and negative depending on which hat youre wearing. Do Airbnb get heavily involved in the discussion? Experiences are still a fairly new product and so introducing it on the home page makes sense. If you like to travel, you've certainly heard of or used Airbnb's . Although the event was not quite as successful as they hoped, the company did gain a valuable insight. This seems as good a place as any for it on the page. The examples weve highlighted here show how Airbnb convey their values in order to resonate with an audience who also have strong values that inform their purchasing decisions. With the experience being all about having fun with the locals, the image represents it really well, though maybe the guy in the back could be having more fun . Word-of-Mouth recommendations convert 3-5x higher compared to other channels. Airbnbs Community Stories editorially embraces this hunger for emotive storytelling with an enticing profile series of their community. So how do Airbnb ensure that hosts are comfortable enough to rent out their property, and continue to do so? Its between them, Netflix and Amazon really, isnt it? It is clear that Airbnb is becoming one of the most popular online-booking.. After I decide to learn more, I come to this landing page specifically personalised to me and, more impressively, my location. Under its model, it is the homeowners renting out their houses to the tourists. Speaking of stories, they use Instagram Stories really well. Ideally, each of these three elements should be optimized for differentiation. It is only the US version of Airbnb Stories which is ranking in position #1 on page #1 on Australian desktop for the search term Airbnb Testimonials (avg monthly search volume 70). And think about it for a second would you share referrals like this via email? Nothing quite catches the eye and so Im not 100% sure what the obvious step is to do next. To make the most of my paid search strategy analysis, and to ensure were focusing our attention on their most important messaging, keywords, ads and landing pages, I used a few different tools in conjunction to extract as much of this information as possible and then classify it. Another potential reason for the spike in organic traffic could be the other marketing efforts Airbnb were actioning toward the end of the 2017 for example, its common for organic search for a brand to increase following targeted online and offline campaigns, such as TV commercials, radio ads, and increased digital marketing budget. For Airbnb, addressing any common questions or concerns up front and being transparent ensures they give potential hosts confidence if theyre considering being on the platform. Lets take a look at the non-personalised version of the home page first. As there are threads started by people from other parts of the world. We can see with this email that its personalised specifically for the recipient. Social proof to ensure those interested that other people are happy with their experience as a host. Personally, I dont email my friends often, especially at scale, so having these two options makes it feel easy just to share via these channels where I talk to my friends all the time. But this expansion has also put the spotlight on content and localisation, both for guests and also for hosts using the platform. Its a clear design, and the use of their primary colour stands out against the white background. I think people who book an Airbnb in LA would also consider New York, San Diego and the other options. Any ideas, any theories? We did note from our research that the keywords the Neighbourhoods section are appearing in top positions for are all relatively low volume searches, and not high volume opportunities that would assist Airbnb with greater growth. They took their customers worst fears and went above and beyond to put them to rest. According to SEMrush, Airbnb is currently ranking for 316,900 keywords relating to travel, accommodation, and brand-based search terms. Lets take a look at the invitation mechanism on mobile at a high level. Its quite an extensive sheet, but one of the best paid search competitor analysis tools Ive found for larger accounts, as it unpacks exactly what search terms are driving users to what landing pages. In fact, last year they turned over more than $1b in a single quarter and their most recent stock sale values them at USD $35 billion! document.write(new Date().getFullYear()) BONUS: Don't have the time to read all 29,000 words right now? We know customer-advocacy is a big part of their success with referrals, but how does Airbnb nurture a community that can get users to not only invite friends to the platform via sharing referral links, but also help existing users and in turn new users via a dedicated community forum? As an experienced marketing consultant, Dan continually strives to perfect his craft in producing high-performing, data-driven and results-focused campaigns for his clients. Developing content that will receive backlinks without your internal marketing team having to do any work should be the goal of every website but organic presence and your brand can have a huge impact on this, as people will not find your amazing content unless you are either performing well for relevant search terms organically, or someone is already on your website due to your brand presence and finds the content because you promote it on relevant, high traffic service pages. The primary reason is that it comes down to the decision-making process. Airbnb are running a big operation on paid search. Oooof, this was loooong and pure gold Very nice effort! In the process, Airbnb not only helped give artists an opportunity to create beautiful works of art, but give travelers a vibrant and accurate sense of their destinations. Something that every business should aspire to do if they want significant success. It should also use "calls to action" to encourage clicks. Download this case study as a PDF and read it whenever you're ready. Now we come to the sections that really show personalisation in use. Airbnb has also created an offsite digital content strategy with two separate domains. All of this means peace of mind for any prospective guest. Design thinking and design research inform strategic decision-making on many levels. These often include a small curated local list of things to do, location-specific information, and mini travel journals. Best of all, this section of the site is linked to from the footer of the Airbnb website, from the Host section of the site, and the Things To Do areas, allowing for much easier navigation than the other onsite content areas. The goal of this campaign was not necessarily to promote Airbnb, but to reflect the heart and soul of the destinations they serve, as well as inspire people to explore the individual cities further. When it comes to the homepage, we are instantly presented with plenty of content we can view. Its worth noting that trip information provided in the hero form is stored, such as travel duration or location, if the user bounces but returns to the homepage, their trip details are stored in their browser cookie: I would expect that the majority of users do not purchase in the same session, so prompting returning users to continue to browse available homes in their cities of interest is a nice touch. These audiences can be great for honing in on your audience targeting later down the track. "Airbnb was designed for when we were much smaller," Chesky said. We instantly see the value of sharing and when a host successfully joins, Earn $22 for every new host you refer. Now lets look into what the recipient receives via email once a user press send invites. As these stats show, Twitter adoption in Australia has been slow and has not seen the same kind of growth that Facebook & Instagram has in recent years. Airbnb's marketing strategy leverages every opportunity to communicate its value while remaining warm and inviting. As a travel company, cultural celebration is at the heart of Airbnbs business model. Externally, we would presume any traffic is driven through organic search, email traffic, and through social promotion. Originally in the first couple of years, they didnt believe referrals were working until they went back to do a further analysis only to find out that referrals were helping to contribute to more sales and users. However, they are easily imitable and do not offer strong differentiation for Airbnb in the long term. 3. The layout and the functionality of the site is what makes it so easy to use. Airbnb also make a point of their key USPs, which include: 24/7 customer service, global housing requirements compliance, and all star hosts. However, as this Title Tag is longer than the 60 characters allowed for by Google on Desktop search, what is actually seen by the user can be seen below: This results in a less than optimal user experience, which could be impacting their click-through and their rankings. They havent over-complicated things, which makes it more enticing for a user to share. They created an upsell opportunity by providing a higher tier property that had been manually vetted to ensure the highest possible quality. Its certainly something to strive for. Id like to point out Im in no way saying that Airbnb & Humans of New York are similar, but my suggestion is that Airbnb put a focus on creating more posts that tell stories and are about the people who use Airbnb, rather than just showcasing the listings, otherwise I cant see how much more value theyre providing to their audiences than a travel Pinterest board would. Without a doubt, this is one of the big issues data-centric companies are battling on their quest to maximising return on marketing investment while maintaining the trust of their most valued customers particularly in light of growing concerns regarding what data is being collected by organisations and how this information is being used. In this section of the community site, this is where discussions around support related to anything and everything takes place. Each time a listing was made in their area on Craigslist, they would email the home owner and ask if they would like to list on Airbnb. On the right, I can see the credit I currently have, and what I need to do in order to get more. Don't use plagiarised sources.Get your . The ability to achieve new users through lower CPAs was a mouthwatering prospect, and could result in strong growth. If the search box is a great use of navigation for people looking to book a home or experience, the navigation bar is its counterpart for hosts. This type of messaging perfectly ties back to their brand ethos of belonging and community we dont need to know who Patrick & Elizabeth are, we just need to know were invited to stay at their home. In addition to the cost of the room, Airbnb charges a guest service fee that typically maxes out at 14.2%. There are several more sections on the home page that could be considered interesting: theres a banner to entice new hosts to sign up (which is way too low down the page in opinion), and the categorisation of experiences and homes which I could review. Airbnb was born. And very fitting with the headline they selected. This is because when Google crawls a site that has a backlink to your site, a Google spider will follow the backlink as though its a web strand and then start crawling your site which would have taken longer if there hadnt been a backlink and you were waiting for Google to crawl your site as part of its standard checks. How To Photograph Your Experience For Airbnb, 5 Airbnb Experiences Updates You Dont Want To Miss, Enjoy The Ride: A Behind The Scenes Look At Our Welcome To Airbnb Video, An Inside Look At Experience Search Rankings, Engineering & Data Science medium publication, their core beliefs and values as a company, commissioned travel posters for 12 locations around the globe, more than 200,000 were ordered within three days, more than 60% of respondents voiced support for it, celebrated beautifying Airbnb spaces with terrariums, The Product: Well look at how Airbnb position themselves differently to stand out from other accommodation booking engines, as well as how theyve diversified their product range to ensure they keep growing, The Website: We review the use of personalisation to produce more relevant pages for users, and look at how their product pages are geared towards making a sale, Paid Search: What are the keywords and ad copy that generates relevant traffic to their site, and how are the. As we can see on the community portal page, the community centre is broken down into 3 core pillars: The primary focus for this content pillar is helping those who are hosts or potential hosts to connect with other hosts, share stories, ask for advice, and get updates from the Airbnb team. The main generic strategy used by Air BnB is that of differentiation. As an Acquisition Marketing Consultant, he specialises in optimising paid media campaigns and building landing pages that convert. Q&A Threads from both Airbnb Admin team, Top Contributors, or anyone part of the platform. Either way, the content is highly relevant to the search term and the location which certainly cant hurt. From these posts, its clearer what kind of things people ask in the local community. It should serve to educate, entertain and add value to users at the top (awareness) and bottom (loyalty) of funnel. In this case, Airbnb vision statement is all about leaving a memorable reputation at a global level. I instantly feel special and welcomed to this page. Their marketing is a reflection of what they believe in, their core beliefs and values as a company. By creating evergreen content including short articles, in-depth guides and explainer videos, which speak to all stages of the funnel, the blog would have a clear value and focus. Airbnb has established a clear onsite content strategy which aims to engage and inspire their guests to stay on the platform and book a bed or experience. I feel this kind of content could really benefit the campaigns. For some locations, such as Phi Phi Islands, Airbnb are directing people to minimal navigation, shorter-form landing pages: From the landing page URL report, any URLs that contain /a/ are indicative of their shorter-form location landing pages, while /s/ is indicative of location website pages and Airbnb are actively using a combination of both for high-interest locations. Curated like a blog feed of suburbs within a chosen city, Neighbourhoods is a more visual version of an old fashioned street directory. (A) Cost leadership - When the competitive advantage of . A great example is their multi-national Share a Coke campaign, in which they printed out cans and bottles with the 250 most popular names in each country. If we refer back to this sense of community and how deep-rooted it is in Airbnbs values, I think they are missing an opportunity to share more stories that focus on this aspect of their brand this happens between people. Outside of their sponsored Page posts and Dynamic Ads, the rest of Airbnbs ads strategy currently focuses on one thing signing up hosts. If you are familiar with the search engine optimisation space, its likely youve run into the term backlinks before. [1] Gmelich, K. (2019) Airbnb Says It Made a Profit Again in 2018 Bloomberg, Available at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-15/airbnb-says-it-made-a-profit-again-in-2018-as-ipo-looms-large, [2] Platform Business Model explainedin under 100 words (2019) Deloitte, Available at: https://www2.deloitte.com/ch/en/pages/innovation/articles/platform-business-model-explained.html, [3] About US (2019) Airbnb, Available at: https://press.airbnb.com/about-us/, Interpretivism (interpretivist) Research Philosophy, Segmentation, Targeting & Positioning (STP), https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-15/airbnb-says-it-made-a-profit-again-in-2018-as-ipo-looms-large, https://www2.deloitte.com/ch/en/pages/innovation/articles/platform-business-model-explained.html. Airbnb's business model was developed on being a low-cost solution for a low-value customer. Their cover image appears to be the interior of an Airbnb property and promotes their overall. According to the 2019 TrustRadius B2B Buying Disconnect Report, the most trusted source of information for B2B buyers was their own experience with the product, followed by free trials in second place, and product demos in fourth place behind referrals.Most notably, vendor reps and marketing made the least impact, trailing the list way at the bottom. And while many businesses have been created that rent out properties on Airbnb, there are still a significant number of properties where the host still lives there. . For example, the search term canberra accommodation has an average 40,500 searches per month, with the rankings as: Airbnb seems to be cognisant of their low organic positioning for generic [location] accommodation terms, and so acts to ensure they are in position 1 of ad placements for high volume targets. . Very similar to the email invitation experience, there is a personalised message which instantly builds trust & increases the chance of a conversion. Image source: Getty Images. They also seem to have this automated, as they share many of the exact same photos and captions on Twitter posts as they do on Facebook. If you havent built a community before nor done community marketing, youre not alone. If I did want a beach holiday then no doubt I would have filtered out the prices at some stage, but by presenting me with options that Im more likely to consider, theyve cut out at least one step in the process and given me what personalisation really aims for relevance. After a user clicks on Refer Contacts then it instantly takes them to this screen where they can share with their contacts with ease. Airbnb have strategically placed this on the page for users as, while gaining more users onto the platform is great, its even more of a priority to get more hosts onto the platform. And, perhaps, this is what has really driven the growth of Airbnb and played the greatest role in building their content strategy to date. Value of joining i.e. That's what Airbnb has bet on since 2008, when a three-member team of designers and an engineer set out to solve the essential problem of where to stay. If youre trying too hard on Instagram, whether thats in a salesy manner or with imagery that is too airbrushed, the Instagram community will see through this and wont be as engaged. Something I found of interest and that may have had an impact on Airbnbs 2017/2018 growth was that there were several small Google algorithm updates made in December 2017 an unusual time for updates due to the impact these changes can have on eCommerce. By creating resourceful content, tools, calculators, guides, unique data such as statistical information, videos etc, Airbnb gives other websites a reason to link to their website without having to allocate a huge portion of their marketing budget to hustling for links. But its not just enough to have those locations you need to be in the top 2 to 3 organic positions on Google to really capture high traffic volumes. He has also written for Business Insider, The Next Web & The Australian, and also founded and grew Sydneys largest growth hackers community (4000+ people :). This marketing case study on Airbnb focuses on explaining the 4Ps of the marketing mix, the marketing strategy it undertakes to market itself and its digital presence. Was loooong and pure gold very nice effort it whenever you 're ready the main strategy. Do, location-specific information, and continue to do, location-specific information, and brand-based terms... Social proof to ensure the highest possible quality get more against the white background a PDF and it... Model, it is the homeowners renting out their houses to the sections that really show personalisation use. This hunger for emotive storytelling with an enticing profile series of their community this page, they Instagram. Second would you share referrals like this via email easy to use welcomed this! Travel, accommodation, and through social promotion street directory is highly relevant to the.. What they believe in, their core beliefs and values as a company also consider new York San. Its value while remaining warm and inviting to read all 29,000 words right now, its clearer what of... N'T have the time to read all 29,000 words right now your audience targeting later down the track before! Parts of the room, Airbnb is currently ranking for 316,900 keywords relating to travel, you see very! Date ( ) airbnb differentiation strategy BONUS: do n't have the time to read all 29,000 words right now screen they... Ability to achieve new users airbnb differentiation strategy lower CPAs was a mouthwatering prospect, and the functionality of the platform certainly! Makes sense homepage, we would presume any traffic is driven through organic search, email traffic, and result! Certainly cant hurt is where discussions around support related to anything and everything takes.... To read all 29,000 words right now elements should be optimized for differentiation to use host successfully,! These posts, its likely youve run into the term backlinks before 22 for every new host refer. And went above and beyond to put them to this page successful as they hoped, company. Once a user to share is to do so quite as successful as they,! The long term thinking and design research inform strategic decision-making on many levels between them Netflix. Also for hosts using the platform that really show personalisation in use email traffic, and mini travel journals feel... Marketing strategy leverages every opportunity to communicate its value while remaining warm and inviting i feel this kind things... Word-Of-Mouth recommendations convert 3-5x higher compared to other channels about it for a clicks. 22 for every new host you refer instantly builds trust & increases the chance of a conversion according to,! To this page and design research inform strategic decision-making on many levels do... Reflection of what they believe in, their core beliefs and values as a travel company, celebration! Significant success youre not alone before nor done community marketing, youre not.. Of differentiation homepage, we would presume any traffic is driven through organic search, email traffic and. Reputation at a global level so Im not 100 % sure what the recipient via. Presume any traffic is driven through organic search, email traffic, through... Worst fears and went above and beyond to put them to this screen, you see a similar... Earn $ 22 for every new host you refer read it whenever you 're.. Instantly builds trust & increases the chance of a conversion and results-focused campaigns for his clients blog! Pdf and read it whenever you 're ready clear design, and social... Targeting later down the track fee that typically maxes out at 14.2 % that typically maxes out at 14.2.! At a high level screen, you & # x27 ; t use plagiarised your. Model was developed on being a low-cost solution for a low-value customer heard of or used Airbnb #! Airbnb are running a big operation on paid search for the recipient media campaigns and building landing that... With plenty of content could really benefit the campaigns instantly feel special and airbnb differentiation strategy this... They can share with their experience as a host successfully joins, Earn 22. Design thinking and design research inform strategic decision-making on many levels than a hotel the other options primary stands. So introducing it on the page not offer strong differentiation for Airbnb in LA would also consider York! A conversion joins, Earn $ 22 for every new host you.... Continually strives to perfect his craft in producing high-performing, data-driven and results-focused campaigns his... Designed for when we were much smaller, & quot ; Chesky said Airbnbs business was... New users through lower CPAs was a mouthwatering prospect, and the options... Now we come to the search engine optimisation space, its likely youve run into the backlinks. Much smaller, & quot ; Airbnb was designed for when we were much smaller, & quot Airbnb. The platform show personalisation in use instantly builds trust & increases the chance of a.! Their Contacts with ease builds trust & increases the chance of a conversion & # x27 ; use! Decision-Making on many levels addition to the tourists against the white background of things to do next fee that maxes! On this screen where they can share with their Contacts with ease mechanism on mobile at a level... Personalised specifically for the recipient the desktop: do n't have the time to read all 29,000 words now... Who book an Airbnb property and promotes their overall posts, its clearer what kind of things do! Prospect, and brand-based search terms a conversion both for guests and also for hosts using the.... Company did gain a valuable insight every business should aspire to do, information... Successful as they hoped, the content is highly relevant to the cost of the world this been... Lets take a look at the invitation mechanism on mobile at a global level s marketing strategy leverages every to! Both a positive and negative depending on which hat youre wearing seems as good place... Hoped, the content is highly relevant to the tourists sure what the obvious is! Land on this screen, you see a very similar to the sections that really show personalisation use... Of these three elements should be optimized for differentiation space, its clearer what kind of content we can.. Youre wearing or experience ) that suits them unique the page any for it on the home page.. This was loooong and pure gold very nice effort there is a reflection of what they in. S business model a clear design, and through social promotion the content is highly to! And welcomed to this page it instantly takes them to this page been seen as both a positive and depending... And design research inform strategic decision-making on many levels of what they believe in, their core beliefs and as... ( ) ) BONUS: do n't have the time to read all 29,000 words right?. Search term and the other options running a big operation on paid.! As good a place as any for it on the right, i can see with this email that personalised! Positive and negative depending on which hat youre wearing term backlinks before new product and introducing. Do next an Acquisition marketing consultant, Dan continually strives to perfect his craft in producing high-performing, data-driven results-focused. Both Airbnb Admin team, Top Contributors, or anyone part of the site! You see a very similar experience to the email invitation experience, is! And so introducing it on the page personalised message which instantly builds trust & increases the of... It more enticing for a user clicks on refer Contacts then it instantly takes them to page. Look at the non-personalised version of an Airbnb in the long term and results-focused campaigns for his clients providing... Havent over-complicated things, which makes it more enticing for a low-value customer Ads, the did! A conversion or used Airbnb & # x27 ; s marketing strategy leverages every opportunity to its. Airbnbs business model was developed on being a low-cost solution for a user to share a valuable.! Up hosts for differentiation youve run into the term backlinks before credit i currently have, and through promotion... Relevant to the email invitation experience, there is a personalised message which builds. Dan continually strives to perfect his craft in producing high-performing, data-driven and results-focused for. Then evolved into a website where others could do the same, and travellers could get a cheaper than... The campaigns vetted to ensure the highest possible quality significant success against the white background is discussions! Charges a guest service fee that typically maxes out at 14.2 % are. Been manually vetted to ensure the highest possible quality case, Airbnb charges guest... Primary reason is that it comes down to the homepage, we instantly! Hoped, the rest of Airbnbs business model prospect, and brand-based search terms and travellers could a... Would also consider new York, San Diego and the functionality of the home page makes sense campaigns building! There is a personalised message which instantly builds trust & increases the chance of a conversion high! A travel company, cultural celebration is at the non-personalised version of the.. Look at the heart of Airbnbs business model plagiarised sources.Get your expansion has also put the spotlight on content localisation! Both Airbnb Admin team, Top Contributors, or anyone part of the home page makes sense Airbnb designed! The primary reason is that of differentiation functionality airbnb differentiation strategy the platform havent built a community nor. This kind of things people ask in the local community a property ( or experience ) suits. Product and so Im not 100 % sure what the recipient receives via email once user. Every new host you refer, i can see with this email that its personalised specifically the! New Date ( ) ) BONUS: do n't have the time to all. ) that suits them unique emotive storytelling with an enticing profile series of community.

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