So, how do you keep growing when everyone already knows who you are and will probably consider you as an option for your holiday, regardless of your marketing? How do you ensure that people who have stayed with you before do it again? How do you convince people to open up their home and allow guests to stay?
And how do you ensure those hosts are happy enough to keep renting out their places? This case study aims to answer all of the questions above by taking a deep dive into the specifics of each of their digital marketing channels and tactics. History Airbnb started out in 2008 when founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia realised they could make a quick buck by renting out an air mattress in their living room to people visiting San Francisco for a big conference.
The idea then evolved into a website where others could do the same, and travellers could get a cheaper option than a hotel. My favourite example is how they leveraged Craigslist to drive traffic and listings on their own site.
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. The home owner would then spread the word about this new booking platform. After finding success in doing this manually, they created a script that would automatically email all new listings on Craigslist and notify them about Airbnb. This sounds like a lot of very complicated technical work, but the key is that they proved success by doing it manually and then did whatever they could to make it scale.
It also shows that they realised early on that the key to success on the platform would be getting hosts to list their properties. As is the case with most two-sided marketplaces, without supply the entire thing falls apart.
A well-rounded and entrepreneurial individual with more than 10 years experience in working Is Airbnb a winner take all market? and launching startups, Tam is skilled at managing multiple products simultaneously. The product In its simplest form, Airbnb is an accommodation booking engine.
So why was it perceived as being so different to the booking engines that were already around at the time, and are still huge today. Why would a traveller rather use Airbnb than Hotels. But there are plenty of properties on Airbnb that are more expensive than hotels and still get booked out, so what else is there?
By listing the properties of ordinary people, they set themselves apart by offering a different experience to travellers. Sure, you can visit the Louvre, Is Airbnb a winner take all market? Buckingham Palace, and climb The Empire State Building but you can do it as if it were your home town, while staying in a place that has character and feels like a home.
Airbnb has turned me into a huge advocate by just connecting with my preferred way to travel. I visited Japan last year, a place where. When I searched Airbnb for somewhere to stay in Osaka, I could only really find hostels and guest houses, so I ended up booking through a different site entirely.
Airbnb created a whole new kind of vacation just by providing spaces other than hotels to stay. Then, once they did that and became a household name, they found ways to evolve their product and offer even more variation to a holiday. To counter this, they created a premium product called Airbnb Plus.
Every home is verified through in-person quality inspection to ensure quality and design. Meanwhile, the hosts are all rated 4. By creating this new tier of product, Airbnb have provided a solution to potential travellers who have reservations about the quality of their properties. Given that most of their pitch to consumers is to experience a location like a local, it seems like a very simple and logical step to offer paid activities provided by local hosts.
An accommodation platform would never offer experiences as a product, and nor should they. Not only did they understand what their customers wanted, they created the desire in the first place! Assurance through insurance As previously stated, Airbnb understand the importance of maintaining a healthy supply of properties.
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. They either rent out a spare room or their entire property when they go away. For these people in particular, letting strangers Is Airbnb a winner take all market? their home can be a scary concept. So how do Airbnb ensure that hosts are comfortable enough to rent out their property, and continue to do so? In 2011 Airbnb had to come up with an urgent answer to this very important question when a that their house was trashed after renting it out for a week.
With this guarantee, Airbnb have assured hosts that should the absolute worst happen, they will be covered by the company that enabled the transaction. Something that every business should aspire to do if they want significant success. By positioning themselves as a way to experience travel, rather than as an accommodation booking engine, they were able to connect with a segment of the travel market who felt their options were fairly limited.
By offering a guarantee on Is Airbnb a winner take all market? they took away the biggest fear that their hosts and potential hosts have, ensuring that they feel comfortable renting out their property. Once they had built a solid base of customers and reputation, they expanded their offering.
A well-rounded and entrepreneurial individual with more than 10 years experience in working with and launching startups, Tam is skilled at managing multiple products Is Airbnb a winner take all market?.
Remember the days when the home page was a scrolling image Is Airbnb a winner take all market? a big search bar? When going through the site now, there are 3 key characteristics that stand out to me. The layout and the functionality of the site is what makes it so easy to use.
Airbnb have a reputation for using personalisation arguably better than any other big brand business in the world. Once with me logged in and once using incognito mode. Non personalised — Above the fold First thing that strikes me is just how simple it is. The use of the word unique is what I find particularly interesting — they could have gone with a number of different adjectives that could be used to describe a home.
People go onto Airbnb to look for cheap properties and luxurious properties, in busy cities and remote Is Airbnb a winner take all market?. For small and large, for packed and sparse, for quiet and loud, cultured and corporate. Above all, they are looking for a property or experience that suits them — unique.
And very fitting with the headline they selected. The location is pretty interesting too; it evokes a feeling of adventure, of doing something different. It has a feeling of and makes me want to travel. From a practicality point of view, I also like that it allows the navigation bar at the top to be read very clearly.
A website should do more than make you look good, it should also help your user understand and use your business. Navigation bar Back to the main navigation bar. 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.
Non personalised — Below the fold N. I will say though that the infinite scroll does help to show off just how many different homes they have in such an array of locations. The Is Airbnb a winner take all market?
are small and hard to make out, and so not that intriguing. This is particularly strange given that every other section on the home page spans the full width of the screen.
The next section makes a lot of sense — jump into the upsell. If the user is seeking reassurance on the quality of homes, or is just Is Airbnb a winner take all market? having a scroll, then an upsell to a more premium service should fit in nicely. Unfortunately, I think it misses the mark, again.
The image is great, it looks like a well designed, high quality home, but the header and description leaves a lot to be desired. Next we have a recommendation section. Ok, this is much better.
Experiences are still a fairly new product and so introducing it on the home page makes sense. In particular, note the header and sub header. They speak to the desire of the traveller, rather than define or describe the product itself. The statements are emotive and intriguing, making me want to find out more.
I think they would benefit from providing that information on the home page itself.
I now realise this section is more for people who are just interested in browsing cool looking homes around the world, either without a destination in mind or hoping they spot one in a destination they want to go to. Though in my experience, nobody has picked a location based solely on the accommodation.
It could just be that beach destinations Is Airbnb a winner take all market? the easiest to categorise, or the most popular generally. The experiences section is very clear — these are the top rated experiences around the world. As far as I can see, nothing is actually personalised yet. I either have to select homes, experiences or restaurants, or click the search bar at the top. One element that does change to my advantage is the navigation bar. To give you some context, I booked an Airbnb a few months ago for a trip to L.
A, so it makes sense that it appears as the first tile. They know my stay there ended a while ago, do they think I want to go straight back? But what about my browsing history before that?
Now we come to the sections that really show personalisation in use. At first glance they look similar to the sections we saw in incognito mode, but there are subtle and important differences. Well now they are more Is Airbnb a winner take all market?, with two in particular Bali and Phuket as common places for Australians to travel to.
The difference here is a lot easier to spot. All of the personalised options are based in Los Angeles, the location of my last booking and searches with Airbnb. Their job as a business is to promote the properties and the hosts so that people want to book them. They may not own any of them or have significant control over what is said on the pages, but they can choose to lay them out in a way this is most likely to lead to a booking. Above the fold Airbnb knew early on that good photographs are essential to getting a booking.
In fact, back in 2011 they of their properties. In fact, when they do charge, they actually review and suggest which pictures you go with for maximum impact. As you scroll down, more is revealed about the property. Certainly not at the expense of anything else that was already there. What I like most about it is Is Airbnb a winner take all market? the right hand side of the page is reserved for it. No matter how far you scroll down the page, the booking form is always visible.
So as soon as the user has enough information they need to make a decision, they are immediately able to act on it. The form itself is also very simple. The number of views the property has had recently is a ploy at making it seem scarce, and therefore more desirable. Property details Next we get some useful details about the property. For example, here are 3 verified pieces of information that Airbnb provide to help secure the booking. The self check-in box also puts at ease people who worry about having to coordinate being at the property at the same time as the host in order to get access.
By doing this, Airbnb have ensured that important information is visible, just in case the host leaves it out. The link to more information about the property opens up to several more paragraphs, and while they are also written by the host, Airbnb set the structure to ensure the important aspects are covered. The amenities section displays some more key features, but does so in a more visual way through the use of icons, breaking up the text-heavy element of the page and providing the information at a glance.
By no means essential given you can enter the dates, but a very helpful and useful feature. Reviews Next we get into a section that Airbnb does famously well — reviews. Every single business with an online presence needs to have some form of social proof listed on its site, and most would aspire to do it as well as Airbnb. Supplier information Next we have some information about the host. This seems as good a place as any for it on the page. For some people, the host can be an important aspect of the trip.
The information that Airbnb highlights here is interesting as most of it is, again, written by the host. These all help put a user at ease and reduce friction when booking. The rest of it is then Is Airbnb a winner take all market? to the host to make sure they have a profile that people feel they can connect to so that they want to stay there. The fact that Airbnb have this content at all is a testament to their commitment of giving their users the feeling of living somewhere rather than visiting it.
Not many businesses go above and beyond in this way. This is pretty standard for most product pages, but Airbnb do it well. As with other sections, they provide guidelines for the host and let them fill in the rest. Similar products Like this product? Here are some more that you may want to consider. If a user has shown some interest in a particular product, why not show them similar ones that meet relevant criteria?
Website conclusion As a digital platform, Airbnb rely almost entirely on their website to make bookings and sales. However there are so many options when it comes to booking that it can be tricky to navigate.
As an Acquisition Marketing Consultant, he specialises in optimising paid media campaigns and building landing pages that convert.
Brendan brings both an analytical and creative Is Airbnb a winner take all market? to his portfolio and is always ready for a challenge. Paid search Airbnb are running a big operation on paid search. According toapproximately 12% of Airbnb. It is also worth noting that paid search is capturing one website visitor for every two visitors captured from organic search — in my experience, this is fairly typical of late-stage high growth companies that operate larger websites.
Here are a few important insights: 1. This applies to all other singular words listed above. So why is Airbnb bidding on accommodation terms at all then? I suspect it comes down to volume. Headlines The most frequently used headlines are below: And below is a breakdown of one of their ads which showcases how the headlines appear in the search results: Guests are definitely the key target of their paid search strategy.
This is a smart play from Airbnb — their conversion-oriented messaging helps to prioritise their paid search spend towards people who are ready to book, as people looking to browse are less inclined to click on ads that target people further down the marketing funnel.
Taking a step back, from the 50,000 ads I exported there are over 11,900 headlines, of which 6,100 are unique and are not used in any of their other ads.
Airbnb are doing a combination. Beyond the hero section, the rest of the page is slim, but tailored to the user based on their destination of interest: Airbnb feature highly-rated homes that have upcoming availability and homes that have recently been booked.
This is also a testament to the volume of home ratings and testimonials Airbnb have collected, because for this approach to be successful requires highly rated homes and glowing testimonials, across multiple cities, and multiple countries, while also aiming to tailor the results to users based on the travel duration and location, and potentially factors like affluence as well. However, with respect to paid search, they are paying for every click through to their website and margin performance improvements are tremendously valuable when working with big budgets.
Their ad copy speaks to their unique points of difference and so stands out from their competitors, which one would assume would lead to significantly better performance.
When it comes to landing pages, they mostly feature local imagery to help provide a more relevant result, and it would seem they are testing short form pages against longer ones to see which converts better. As an Acquisition Marketing Consultant, he specialises in optimising paid media campaigns and building landing pages that convert. Brendan brings both an analytical and creative mindset to his portfolio and is always ready for a challenge.
This sequence is triggered when a user logged into the website starts looking at a city they wish to visit, or particular homes in that city, but has not proceeded to check-out. The search box is a deeplink that takes me directly to the associated search results for Santa Monica 9-12th April. Airbnb recognise some travel credit associated with my account and insert this into the email to remind me. Would be exceptional if Airbnb are basing these recommendations based on average cost per night of previous bookings or the booking value of similar users.
Recommendations could also be based on the style of home, studio apartment versus family friendly options, or what amenities are associated with my previous bookings, for example, am I always booking places that have wifi or a pool.
Also worth noting the low intent call-to-action. From this email Airbnb are trying to get me back to their website. The experiences section speaks to Airbnb moving horizontally to become a one-stop shop for travellers.
Zooming out, Airbnb have shared that, not surprisingly, their email content is tailored based on information they have about the user. Be it data from our wish lists, search trends, seasonality, there is a component of every email that is rooted within data.
As you can imagine we have a lot of different data points on our users. Without a doubt, this is one of Is Airbnb a winner take all market? big issues data-centric companies are battling on their quest to maximising return on marketing Is Airbnb a winner take all market? 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.
One of the ways smart organisations like Airbnb work around this is by aggregating user data and relaying this back to users. For example, in a separate browser abandonment series of emails that was triggered by me looking at Is Airbnb a winner take all market? Angeles accommodation, Airbnb reference in the subject line and hero section of the email that people travelling to Los Angeles typically book their accommodation at least 2 months prior: Airbnb astutely Is Airbnb a winner take all market?
me this email 2 months and 13 days prior to the travel dates I specified as part of my search. Here are a few more key takeaways from their browser abandonment sequence. Email alerts to notify you of discounts offered by hosts: 2. Some browser abandonment emails feature specific homes you looked at in the hero section and insert the home name into the email subject line, while other emails focus more on the destination and instead Is Airbnb a winner take all market?
a grid of different available homes: Host acquisition In terms of their host acquisition strategy, they use email automation to communicate potential earnings to previous guests: This is particularly resourceful as past guests are already familiar with the Airbnb brand, their processes and the benefits.
In addition, they are more affordable to communicate with via email marketing, as opposed to reaching cold audiences via paid advertising. Booking confirmation Once a user completes a booking, Airbnb use the confirmation email to increase the value of this customer or transaction in two ways: 1.
Incentivising referrals Referrals are typically one of the most reliable sources of new customers. These experiences are presumably curated based on their recommendation engine, and this email can be dispatched to all users for which there are adequate Airbnb Experiences in their destination to populate the email. You can see another variation of this email. Destination emails Airbnb routinely showcase some of the amazing cities and trip experiences with curated emails that narrow down on one popular city or trip type.
After stumbling into digital marketing through a whim internship application in 2013, Jacqueline discovered a passion for creating engaging and effective growth campaigns. With it now almost unthinkable to plan a holiday or a night away from home without first doing your research on the internet, Airbnb has found their sweet spot in offering private accommodation to suit any budget or situation.
While Airbnb is estimated to be capturing close to 12% of their total website traffic through paid search channels, as detailed by Brendan, estimates the total traffic they receive to be in the region of 1. But how have they done this? The primary contributing factor appears to have been through keyword ranking growth, which — as anyone who has followed our other case studies will know — can be influenced by a number of other activities, such as onsite optimisation, backlink profile, and content marketing strategies.
Keywords When it comes to keywords, Airbnb is limited only by the locations in which they have a presence. And the top performing organic keywords are The Airbnb homepage is currently receiving 57. The next best-performing page is Melbourne, Australia with 1. Branded search term Generic search term This shows that in terms of success, branded keywords currently play a huge role in their organic success, and should continue to be a primary driver of organic traffic in the future.
However, at some point Airbnb will reach a cap in the amount of branded search traffic they are able to achieve. We recommend a more aggressive content marketing strategy to build this organic non-branded visibility. Organic visibility The organic visibility of the Airbnb website can be attributed to both the growth in the number of keywords ranking to positions on page 1 of Google and the increased backlink profile of the site which assists with driving third party referral traffic to the website.
As you can see in the screenshot above of organic visibility above, the brand first began to gain keyword traction in January 2014, when traffic grew by 133% month on Is Airbnb a winner take all market?. From 2014 Airbnb experienced a consistent growth trajectory until December 2015, Is Airbnb a winner take all market? over a two month period Dec 2015 — Feb 2016 traffic grew by another 96% from 257,640 to 505,165 visits.
This final jump is hard to attribute solely to branded keyword growth due to the sheer amount of growth. This could cause a favourable result.
Of note, since February 2018 the growth trajectory has not been consistent, and there have been fairly significant dips in the monthly estimated traffic.
In fact, estimated traffic year on year from February 2018 to February 2019 is down. Competitor visibility For such a competitive space, Airbnb is considered one of Is Airbnb a winner take all market? more competitive players. Note: The larger the circle, the more visibility a domain has. For this reason comparing the sites is not like comparing an apple with an apple, and more like comparing an apple to a melon. Keyword gap analysis To break down the visibility differences between Booking.
This traction is reflected in the keyword gap analysis report when comparing the terms Booking. Overall, this report shows that there is still a significant amount of keyword improvements and consequent organic traffic to be gained by Airbnb, which would result in huge traffic increases similar to those seen in previous years by the brand. However with the above strategy they could certainly become more of a competitor for Wotif.
How did I determine this? When searching using a Site Operator on Google for the Booking. Onsite optimisation Title tags and meta descriptions Currently the Airbnb website has a number of templated Title Tags and Meta Descriptions across their different types of location pages. 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.
Basically it is the hierarchical structure of a website. For example, the below is a very basic diagram of what a site structure might look like as an organisational chart for a site like Airbnb: What this translates to on the website looks like this: And when the breadcrumb structured data of the website is optimised correctly, it can pull through the breadcrumb structure to show the hierarchy in a simple and clear way for the user.
As for why it is not consist, it may be that the markup was not enforced across all pages, or that pages were missed when adding the markup across the site if done through a manual spreadsheet. This is because they are an essential part of any organic search strategy if you wish to succeed. But why are they so important?
After all, who is Google going to trust as a more authoritative and relevant source — a site with no backlinks, or a site with 100+ backlinks.
This is why the historical number of backlinks is shown as 2,650,000. This substantial difference in backlink profile will be largely contributing to the difference in non-branded keyword rankings, organic traffic, and also brand awareness. And a primary reason for this huge discrepancy is due to the Is Airbnb a winner take all market? of accommodation each Is Airbnb a winner take all market? offers. However there is still less linking to booking sites than you might expect, as the commercial properties themselves generally prefer bookings be made direct, which saves them the commission required when a third-party site takes the booking.
This further increases the scope of potential links they could be achieving. Both could be applicable in the below scenario. As you would expect for a site like Airbnb, the majority of their backlinks have been achieved through travel-related content, such as articles on a certain destination, links from travel-related companies, and links in media Is Airbnb a winner take all market?
forums. Airbnb seem to have concluded that there are more opportunities outside of just private accommodation listings, and have now branched into partnering with tour providers, hospitality companies, and more to provide a more comprehensive travel-related site for the user.
This in turn will have an overall positive effect on the website if the Experience pages continue to be optimised over time, particularly with the inclusion of internal linking to the relevant accommodation pages on the website. This Is Airbnb a winner Is Airbnb a winner take all market? all market?
takes them beyond the scope of a simple accommodation booking tour, however does not quite match the integrations available through main competitors Booking. And most of all, they provide a large amount of content for relevant destinations on their side, giving them a huge organic backlink strategy. 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.
Backlink opportunities The best way for Airbnb to improve their backlink profile ties into the recommendation given for keyword ranking improvements: develop a more aggressive content marketing strategy.
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 Is Airbnb a winner take all market?
of their marketing budget to hustling for links. With a creative flair and an eye for detail, he is data driven, analytical and thrives on turning insights into initiatives. Jason began his career at Webprofits as an intern and six years later he is now one of our leading social media specialists, managing a number of our long-standing Australian Fluid clients.
Facebook overview Facebook is 1 of 3 social media platforms that Airbnb is currently most active on. Facebook page: Not all businesses are lucky enough to have a recognisable logo that they can use as their Page profile picture but, as a globally-renowned brand, Airbnb have that privilege.
Their cover image appears to be the interior of an Airbnb property and promotes their overall aesthetic well — cultured, colourful, and stylish. For a company like Airbnb, this is important as it may help to capture messages that may have otherwise ended up in the comments section of posts.
At the time of writing, the Airbnb Fan base is sitting at 15. Frequency of posting On average, Airbnb post every 3-4 days on Facebook, in comparison to Instagram where they post almost daily.
I believe the overall goal of posts like these is to trigger a sense of adventure and interest in the location in question rather than just a single property. By doing this, Is Airbnb a winner take all market? are aligning their brand with a sense of travel, hoping that when people start thinking about their next travel destination, they will think of Airbnb. This makes sense when you refer to that was shared by the company towards the end of 2018, where they predicted which Australian locations would be the top 10 trending destinations for 2019 based on internal data for bookings made in 2017 vs.
They Is Airbnb a winner take all market? previous bookings and keyword searches to curate their Facebook content. This is an excellent strategy as it Is Airbnb a Is Airbnb a winner take all market? take all market? allows them to give their audiences a little extra nudge down the sales funnel. They make people aware of places that are already trending, which then allows the user to consider that location with Airbnb, and they then have their remarketing campaigns set up to prompt the conversion.
Australians tend to travel more in their own back yard rather than go abroad, which makes total sense. Video posts Alongside their image-based content, Airbnb do share some video posts. Currently, video is used for their more polished, brand-focused posts and does not feature user-generated content. I think this is a clear missed opportunity for them to better engage with their audiences in a more personalised way. My suggestions would be on producing more video content that is localised to Australia — this could be on hosts, guests, experiences … they have a lot of opportunities at their disposal.
It should serve to educate, entertain and add value to users at the top awareness and bottom loyalty of funnel. Using video over image Is Airbnb a winner take all market?
does have one major advantage for Ads strategy though, and that comes in the form of. These audiences can be great for honing in on your audience targeting later down the track. For example, if Airbnb shares a video which relates to Japan and this gets 50k views, creating an audience of viewers who watched 75% or 95% of this video would be great for their next Japanese-themed post, as they know these people are interested in video content to do with Japan.
These audiences can also then be used for Lookalike audiences. Similarly to their video content, the posts which link back to their websites are often shared across their Global Facebook Pages, rather than being specific to that location.
It could be said that best practice on Facebook for sharing links is using the Link Preview option, rather than sharing links in the post copy with a separate image. In 2014, Facebook that links in the link preview format receive twice as many link clicks on average compared to links that are in photo captions. Airbnb regularly chooses not to use the Link Preview option when sharing links, instead they opt for a custom shortened link in the post copy and share a separate video or image.
For certain links that they share, I think this strategy works quite well. They can still capture the viewers of this video, without needing to worry about capturing them through website remarketing. For example, when they share an image separately instead of using the Link Preview option, I see this as counterproductive to the objective at hand, which is to drive people to a website, and Link Previews have been created by Facebook to provide Page owners with the easiest, most conversion-focused way of doing this.
Community management Airbnb does a good job at community management on Facebook, and I expect that they have a dedicated team managing this. Any posts shared to the Page by Facebook users are usually answered within a matter of hours, and they also do a great job of replying to feedback in the comments section on their posts. Many disgruntled customers use the comments section as a way to complain; this is seen across numerous industries, but Airbnb is clearly trying to show that they are a brand focused on customer service and experience, as they try and reply to most of these types of comments.
Is Airbnb a winner take all market? only does community management help brands find opportunities to address complaints, but it also helps to foster positive conversations, which in itself can create and maintain more happy customers.
You can try this out for yourself by visiting the tool. There are some great tools out there for advertisers that can automate this process for you, including and. These work off rules which you set within the software, leaving you time to focus on the more important things. Idea to save money for your next trip: use Airbnb. I feel this kind of content could really benefit the campaigns. This needs to be done in the right way though, as it still needs to come across as authentic.
They could also promote this competition for free to all of their hosts via email. They utilise imagery well especially with user generated contentand share articles regularly, but could be doing more on video given how much Facebook prioritises it in their algorithm.
When it comes to advertising for guests, it seems that a lot of what they do is based on dynamic remarketing, which is a great idea. Airbnb are very active on Instagram — they share content to their Feed as well as to their Instagram Stories. The image instantly grabs your attention. I believe their inclusion of the Superhost is to give the post added credibility, as Superhosts have an average user rating of 4.
Superhosts must also satisfy other criteria in order to qualify for this status, including maintaining at least a 90% response rate and receiving five-star reviews 80% of the time. All of this means peace of mind for any prospective guest. Even if this is not done on purpose, I think this is clever, as it allows the user to imagine themselves there. The focus is on the outstanding property and the equally beautiful backdrop. Using the Instagram Engagement calculator, I can see that from their 4.
Airbnb have put a lot of work into designing a marketplace that is built on. This whole experience in itself is something which I think is very special, rare and something to be celebrated.
If we compare their current 0. On average, Humans of New York are achieving an engagement rate of 3. This type of strategy will always have an expiry date.
Instagram Stories offer brands a great opportunity to get creative, but the trick is keeping your audience engaged enough to keep clicking through, rather than swiping to the next Story in their feed. They could benefit from using their Instagram to tell more stories, as these are a great way to connect with people. Speaking of stories, they use Instagram Stories really well. Their posts there are clever, creative, and leverage a number of features within it to make sure their followers actually engage with their content.
Twitter In 2018, a Sensis social media found that 19% of Australian social media users accessed Twitter — this was compared to the 91% who had used Facebook. For this reason, I think Airbnb have been smart to not make Twitter an integral part of the Australian Airbnb strategy.
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.
Tools such as and make this very easy for businesses to do. Outside of sharing updates and engaging with audiences, where I have seen Twitter work well for brands in Australia is as a platform for customer service.
Airbnb have also gone down this route, creating an account which is their go-to account for all customer service related issues. I see value for both brands and customers when offering customer service through a platform like Twitter, as any response you provide is then in the public domain.
Always thinking ahead, Chloe is interested in transformational changes to businesses and how relevant content and targeted messaging can catalyse high-level goals. Content marketing Storytelling is the bedrock of a quality content marketing strategy, and Airbnb has understood this from the beginning.
Airbnb were looking for those who wanted to be a traveller, not a tourist, and for this audience there is one fundamental ingredient: authenticity. And, perhaps, this is what has really driven the Is Airbnb a winner take all market? of Airbnb and played the greatest role in building their content strategy to date. As documented in this study, Airbnb is no longer a one trick pony. You can now book your accommodation but also meet your host or book a local experience to discover.
This is being seen across many sectors and the value of which has been seen from the food industry and retail sector through to technology and Is Airbnb a winner take all market?. Whether your focus is B2B or B2C, tackling this trend by placing emphasis on creating a more seamless Is Airbnb a winner take all market?
personalised offering will be a vehicle for growing sales and boosting margins. A strong content strategy can assist in supporting the entire customer journey and plays a huge part in communicating the value of your brand, establishing trust, and forming an enduring connection. For Airbnb, it underlines everything they do and has transformed their site from a marketplace to a travel platform which engages users and Is Airbnb a winner take all market?.
But this expansion has also put the spotlight on content and localisation, both for guests and also for hosts using the platform. Airbnb has taken an impressive approach to content using storytelling and curation to drive growth.
With the introduction of Stories, Neighbourhoods, and Guidebooks, we see how the brand is not only revolutionising the way travellers discover unusual rooms and memorable activities in every pocket of the world but encouraging users to stay on the platform to plan and book their trip.
For instance, — a design student whose life changed forever when his experience in Airbnb caused him to break out of his shell. As most businesses know, testimonials are extremely valuable. Targeting the consideration phase of the customer journey, the stories leave readers daydreaming about how their life could be changed from their next Airbnb. And yet, this subsection of the site is currently an underutilised opportunity by Airbnb.
Neighbourhoods Airbnb understands that most travellers care about location. Curated like a blog feed of suburbs within a chosen city, Neighbourhoods is a more visual version of an old fashioned street directory.
This content truly differentiates Airbnb from the big hotel booking sites, highlighting interesting places in different cities. Airbnb partnered with local photographers to really capture the essence of the area from a native perspective, inspire viewers, and create a connection to the Is Airbnb a winner take all market?.
This could actually be replicated and rolled out on Airbnb Stories to achieve a similar impact. Airbnb could improve their organic search traffic by optimising these pages with more copy. As the pages are predominantly image-based, they are missing out on opportunities to rank on page 1 and drive traffic for more location-based keywords.
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.
Like the Stories section of the Airbnb website, the Neighbourhoods section is not easily found within the Airbnb navigation, and is largely instead found internally through location search. Externally, we would presume any traffic is driven through organic search, email traffic, and through social promotion.
The site structure of these pages is strong due to the way each category acts as a directory page to the other listings, giving greater value to the site and also helping the pages rank for high volume search terms. As to how people are arriving at this section of the site, this is likely through organic search, email traffic, and social promotion.
In addition, I found it interesting to see the similarities in style between this section of the Airbnb website and popular travel site TripAdvisor. Of course, without insights from Airbnb I can only assume this is the case!
Offsite Airbnb has also created an offsite Is Airbnb a winner take all market? content strategy with two separate domains. Both are discoverable in the footer of their main site: Blog and Airbnb Citizen. The Airbnb blog Living on the domain of atairbnb. People appreciate stories about people, so this is very enticing content. These often include a small curated local list of things to do, location-specific information, and mini travel journals.
We assume that Airbnb is creating content with a purpose and focus on distribution to drive that content to their audiences. It also seems like the most valuable content on the blog is that which focuses on acquiring new hosts.
Airbnb could double down on this strategy to lower the barrier to entry and improve retention with a stronger content-driven approach to educate and raise awareness on becoming a host and building your Airbnb business.
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. In fact, you could argue that Airbnb is predominantly a B2B business. By offering more information and support, they will attract, convert and retain more home and experience hosts on their platform.
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. Having built and scaled a startup to millions in revenue per year, Dan truly understands the crux to marketing and growth success — understanding the motives and characteristics of customers inside and out.
Embracing his core values of integrity, innovation and passion for the industry, Dan knows the online marketing game and is in love with his job and industry. Referrals Referral marketing is one of the best forms of marketing you can have for your business.
However, there are many businesses who never seem to nail it. Getting users to advocate and tell the Is Airbnb a winner take all market? of Airbnb was particularly crucial in getting it right in the early stages of Airbnb, as mentioned earlier.
So, why are referrals so important? Referrals are more trusted than any other form of marketing. They needed to find a way to establish trust, and an incentive for users to spread the word. So, what better way to advertise the product than those who have experienced the platform? It was all about trusting people, not logos. How do you execute a good referral strategy into your business so that customers start doing the work for you? Their referral strategy is so easy that even my grandma Is Airbnb a winner take all market?
used it before with referrals from her friends. Design experience and mechanics Airbnb first launched their referral features in 2011, and below is the original look and feel. Do you remember these designs? It sure was a long time ago. From what started off as a small feature as part of the Airbnb platform, the referral system has certainly come a long way since then to now in 2019. Guest referrals: Desktop Airbnb have kept the mechanics simple when it comes to referrals.
Seems like a very simple process, right? Again, as a normal user it really is, but as marketers or anyone working in technology, Is Airbnb a winner take all market? can appreciate there is a lot more work that goes behind the scenes. The clean and minimalistic design is certainly done on purpose. On the right, I can see the credit I currently have, and what I need to do in order to get more. And then down the bottom, I see very easy instructions with simple steps of Is Airbnb a winner take all market?
the process works. We will check out the mobile app later. Why is this the case? The assumption is that Airbnb wants to focus on the goal of the user at this particular step. Why would the user want to send this in the first place? And you know who really wins with this process?
Users are now really motivated to send invites because they know the recipient gets amazing value. Email import So how does the email import functionality work? This feature makes it easy and thoroughly enjoyable for the user. Simple and straight to the point, and only one action is required. Step 3 Where to next? I get directed to a page where a modal instantly pops-up. This seamless experience makes me want to continue with the sign up process.
The whole experience was streamlined. For new users, Airbnb ensures that each individual feels important to be part of the platform. So that in itself is the whole sign up process — pretty impressive how streamlined it is, right? The way you invite friends to the platform is on purpose very similar to how other platforms work. Share a link to your friends to a custom landing page or via email.
When you share the direct link, you get this landing page. So what happens when you share via Facebook or Whatsapp? The more people you can share it with and sign up, the more travel credit. And think about it for a second … would you share referrals like this via email? So what do the messages look like when you share with friends?
Of course, you can edit the template message yourself, but this does make it easy for the user to share. The pending view is definitely a smart feature to include. With Available, this view shows who has successfully accepted and signed up to the platform from the users invitation. This will help spur users once they get a couple of referrals to keep getting more users signed up if they want more credit. Copy: how invites work When we scroll down the page, we see the instructions for the process.
Having simple instructions on this page gives more context about how the referrals process works. A successful referral process is a simple one, so summing it up in 3 small sections makes it easy for the user to understand, which entices them to go through it.
What is clever is the positioning of this section on the page. If a user loses attention by scrolling down the page, then there is a second opportunity to capture their attention by illustrating the simple process of how it works.
The final pull — more ways to earn And then if a user keeps scrolling, we see one more block section which is about Host referrals. Having this on the page again highlights to users that not only can you get credit by inviting your friends to use the platform to stay for accommodation, but also invite friends to host people to stay at their places.
Guest referrals: Mobile So what does the mobile experience look like for sharing referrals for guests? It keeps it consistent for the user to know where key pages are.
A lot of the invitation mechanism is the same above, just done in a different experience with mobile considerations. However, there is one key difference that is prioritised in the mobile app which is different to the desktop experience. When you land on this screen, you see a very similar experience to the desktop. Step 2 The recipient gets … Again, a tailored email. So, why were these 3 extra elements included for hosts but not for guest referrals? The primary reason is that it comes down to the decision-making process.
Step 3 The landing page experience After I decide to learn more, I come to this landing page specifically personalised to me and, more impressively, my location. Is Airbnb a winner take all market? is an awesome reception. I instantly feel special and welcomed to this page. To save on time, there are other elements of this page which certainly helps with the decision-making process to take the next step.
Social proof to ensure those interested that other people are happy with their experience as a host. This section is particularly important to have on the site. It ensures prospects know that Airbnb have got them covered in their words! In addition, they offer more information Is Airbnb a winner take all market? becoming a host. More social proof again impressive numbers, right? In summary, the invitation for new hosts is carefully crafted and personalised to give the best possible experience for a new host.
Host referrals: Mobile So what does the mobile experience look like for Hosts? Similar to inviting friends, we can see it in the main menu in the mobile app when signed in. Once you press the link, you get to this screen. Is Airbnb encouraging referrals more through their mobile app? Or are they simply testing based on my previous app behaviour?
If it is, I like the strategy. There are a couple of fantastic resources online + a you can explore in detail. So, how do you measure an effective refer-a-friend system? To measure its effectiveness moving forward, Airbnb looked at Time in Video — 12:46 and forecasted data to interpret what can be achieved through compounding growth over time.
Ultimately, over time this has helped Airbnb. To this day, Airbnb continues to use the model above as a baseline to predict, determine, and prioritise features to keep improving conversion rates across the products they roll out.
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. Having built and scaled a startup to millions in revenue per year, Dan truly understands the crux to marketing and growth success — understanding the motives and characteristics of customers inside and out. Embracing his core values of integrity, innovation and passion for the industry, Dan knows the online marketing game and is in love with his job and industry.
Building a community is one of the most powerful assets a company or brand can build. In fact, we on it not too long ago. However, building a highly-engaged, growing community that works for advocating your brand is also one of the hardest strategies in the marketing sphere to achieve.
When it comes to Airbnb, they are a fantastic, world-class example, and a brand that has built and continues to grow a successful community. 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?
Acquiring hosts through the hosting community is paramount when it comes to scaling the platform globally and, equally as important, retaining them. How has Airbnb structured their community centre for success? What has Airbnb done well? Their structure of pages through their community content pillars.
Homepage key features When it comes to the homepage, we are instantly presented with plenty of content we can view. But where do you start? As a user on the site, I instantly see what the top articles and discussions are for the month and which the community cares about. This section makes me curious as to what content people are talking about right now. As I go down the page, I see what the hot discussion topics are at the time in the worldwide community.
Users can then explore top answers that may result in high engagement for various reasons e. The value of seeing this also shows what matters in terms of discussion around hosting across the globe. You could argue, why does this matter to me? As there are threads started by people from other parts of the world. The content gives instant value that there is content for hosts wanting extra support through toolkits or webinars which help with their hosting experience.
As a Is Airbnb a winner take all market? potential host, this instantly illuminates that Airbnb and the community are here to support. Top Contributors are consistent inside the 3 core content pillar pages, which we will go into detail further below. The design of the tags and recent conversations looks clean and minimalistic. Each tag and the recent conversations are tailored based on the content pillars you explore, helping the reader experience a personalised journey with content that matters to the user and their community.
Aggregator Business Model
Airbnb has purposely positioned this on the right-hand side of the page to make it clear that users can explore, find or ask any question desired which may be holding them back from continuing to use the platform or wanting to become a host.
This could be a barrier to entry for prospects wanting to sign up to the platform. Why would Airbnb have this content pillar specifically? Having this content ensures retention by keeping hosts engaged with other users of Is Airbnb a winner take all market? platform. The Is Airbnb a winner take all market?, tips, and tricks all help to reinforce the positive feelings that hosts get as part of being part of the Airbnb community.
As a potential new host, seeing content from other hosts involved in the conversation certainly helps in the decision making process to join. Content pillar 2 — connect locally This is a part of the site I really like and also find quite interesting.
This section of the community centre is fairly similar to the previous one, but it focuses on much more localised content.
Each city has its own forum where the hosts can discuss the local issues or services specific to them. Why would people globally care about tours in Melbourne, or suggest property management services in the area? By creating a hyper-local section of the community pages, Airbnb have reduced the clutter on the main section, while also building a community within the Is Airbnb a winner take all market?. I think this section really goes to show their commitment to providing the user with relevant information as much as Is Airbnb a winner take all market?.
One thing that is noticeable however is how low the engagement on this section is compared to the previous one. Airbnb could probably do more to send hosts to this part of the community centre to build stronger local communities. Content pillar 3 — get support In this section of the community site, this is where related to anything and everything takes place. What I have noticed on this page is that average user engagement is quite high.
From what we can see, there seems to be many new posts created daily, which you would expect from a support section. What is also interesting as an observation is the amount of posts that date back almost 2 years ago. For example, if I start a conversation and ask a question, it will come up with the links of similar questions which have been asked before.
Now, it makes sense why some threads seem large with the amount of comments. This is clever by Airbnb. Who wants the same question asked over and over again? This way, anyone who wants to ask can go straight to this thread and, even without contributing to the thread, they may have their questions answered. Do Airbnb get heavily involved in the discussion? By doing this, Airbnb are one again fostering a stronger sense of community between the hosts, but they are also saving themselves a lot of internal resources.
To date, there are over 4470 pages of support threads, so users should be able to find a question already asked and hopefully answered. Having all of the negative posts in their own section keeps them out of the minds of users who have been having a good experience. By creating different and distinct sections, they are able to keep the conversations relevant to the user, which should improve the experience for everyone involved.
A well-rounded and entrepreneurial individual with more than 10 years experience in working with and launching startups, Tam is skilled at managing multiple products simultaneously. Offline marketing Marketing is not just about acquiring new customers or creating a recognizable brand.
Their marketing is a reflection of what they believe in. Their campaigns have not and they are not strangers to. But the following examples illustrate not only how they market their services, but represent a conscious expression of who they are.
They are known for creating great online user experiences, but they also excel in experiential and live-event marketing. Their goal is not just to help people find a great place to stay, but get to know their destinations in an intimate way. Taken together, these offline and digital marketing efforts are closely tied to their values as a company and the relationships they strive to build with their community.
Working with renowned local artists, they — Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Detroit, Havana, London, Paris, Florence, Nairobi, Cape Town, Tokyo, and Seoul.
But the designs did more than give artists an opportunity to display their talents — they brought some of the magic back to traveling, allowing users to immerse themselves in local communities. 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.
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. Called The Acceptance Ring, people were encouraged to wear it to show their support — and acceptance — of same sex marriage.
We are committed to helping people belong no matter where they are in the world and strongly believe that everyone should have the right to marry the person they love.
In December 2017, Australia passed legislation to recognize same sex marriage, following a survey in which. The company produced an event in Seoul, Korea, that.
There were several terrarium-making stations open for participants to come up and try. However, the event was something of a dud — participants mostly stayed away from the stations, preferring not to engage.
Although the event was not quite as successful as they hoped, the company did gain a valuable insight. Through feedback from attendees, they learned that far from not appreciating the commitment to beautifying their spaces with terrariums, they actually wanted to participate.
They just considered it rude to start making a terrarium without an invitation. Local customs dictated a more direct invite, with participants preferring a more personal overture from an official Airbnb representative before joining the activities. This experience illustrated to the company the importance of beautifying their host spaces, but also how important it is to incorporate local insights into their offline, experiential events. By being different and showcasing their values, Airbnb stand out in an industry where there is often little to differentiate one supplier from another.
That being said, there are still definitely elements of their marketing that could be improved, which just goes to show that no business is perfect and should always strive to do better. Airbnb created a new type of traveller through their product in 2006, and since then have developed that persona further and grown the market.
This review has been completed using publicly available information on the internet. If you would like to get in touch with me, A well-rounded and entrepreneurial individual with more than 12 years experience in working with and launching startups, Tam is skilled at managing multiple products simultaneously.
I love this case study and the rest of your case studies too. They are so well researched and highly educational. I always learn new things about digital marketing and business in general and always look forward to studying these case studies. All the Is Airbnb a winner take all market? you put into creating such valuable case studies are highly appreciated. Keep up the amazing work. On top of that, they are globally recognised brand — they could easily get away with just a.
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