When you know what to do and how to do it, marketing can do wonders for your Airbnb business. Clever marketing tactics can make your listing more visible, credible, recognizable, and enticing. Once you manage to get more guests to come across your listing, with some creative marketing steps, you can build trust and separate yourself from the herd.
We’ve put together a list of marketing strategies for promoting Airbnb listings that are proven to work.
1. Run Promotions
Special offers, discounts, and promotions aren’t just attractive to guests because they’ll save money; this marketing strategy also creates a feeling of urgency and drives guests to book the rental ASAP.
How to run a promotion on Airbnb? For starters, you can make your space available for longer stays and enable discounts for guests. You can set up weekly discounts that apply to reservations of over 7 nights or monthly discounts for bookings of 28 nights or more. This is a great strategy for increasing your longer-stay reservations.
If you are new to the Airbnb community, Airbnb has a listing promotion campaign that offers a 20% discount for your first three bookings. The criteria are that the listing has no previous bookings, instant book is enabled, and smart pricing is disabled. Offering the discount to guests will make your listing stand out, and, according to Airbnb, attract your first three bookings 30% faster.
We’ve talked more about Airbnb discounts and how you can set them up in our Airbnb Pricing Strategy article, so feel free to check that out for additional promotion ideas.
2. Take Advantage of Social Media
Social media marketing has become somewhat of a must for hosts who want to maximize their marketing efforts. Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest can help make your listing more visible, establish your rental as a brand, and build a community of your guests that will bring you more return bookings.
Why social media? Because they are visual platforms and most guests are initially attracted to the rental solely based on the visual aesthetic. On top of that, as the name suggests, these are social platforms where people connect, and building a connection with new and old guests can help you grow your business.
Since social media marketing is a world on its own and there are numerous strategies that you can use for every platform, we suggest that you head to our in-depth posts about social media marketing:
- General Social Media Marketing Tactics
- How to Market Your Rental on Instagram
- How to Market Your Rental on Facebook
- How to Market Your Rental on Twitter
- How to Market Your Rental on Pinterest
3. Share Great Content
Marketing strategies that demand content creation won’t be successful unless your content is amazing. People are swamped with content daily, so you need to provide them with something that’s worthy of their time and attention.
This means that you need to work on your website content, social media content, and email content. If you want to know what type of content works best for guests at vacation rentals, we have an article that gives you the ins and outs of content marketing for Airbnb.
4. Offer a Free Stay to Bloggers, Journalists, or Influencers
Did you know that 61% of people trust influencers’ recommendations? Influencers, popular bloggers, and journalists have immense power to direct people to your rental. You can use this to your advantage by offering a free stay to a popular journalist, blogger, or influencer in exchange for an article or post about your short-term rental.
To contact them, you can usually find an email address for bloggers and journalists on their websites, while you can get through to influencers by sending them a DM (some of them even have an email address in their bio).
If you’ve heard about the head-spinning prices of working with influencers, you should know that the high costs usually refer to influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers. We suggest you reach out to an influencer with a few thousand followers. That’s how you can find someone who’ll be more than happy to post about your rental for free accommodation.
5. Initiate an Email Marketing Campaign
One of the oldest—and most reliable—tricks in the book is email marketing. You can use emails to inform your guests of attractive offers or spark their desire to come back to your rental by reminding them of how amazing their experience was.
You can go to our guide on Getting Started with Vacation Rental Email Marketing for more detailed information about email marketing and how you can make the most of it.
6. Use Rental Management Software or Build Your Own Site
If you want to be less dependent on booking sites like Airbnb and Vrbo, you can take direct bookings via rental management software or build your own site. Not only will you be able to get out of paying other platforms’ fees, but you’ll also have another outlet for promoting your rental and attracting new guests.
There’s also the fact that your short-term rental business will look more professional and trustworthy when you have your own sleek website. You can use a unique URL that contains the name of your rental to make it more recognizable.
To learn all there is about taking direct bookings or building your site, use our practical guides:
7. Drive Traffic to Your Site by Learning a Bit About SEO
Don’t fret when you see the word ‘SEO’ because using search engine optimization to your benefit is actually much simpler than it seems.
SEO, or ‘Search Engine Optimization,’ refers to ‘optimizing’ your website to rank higher in search results and get more clicks on your website link. If you manage to get to the top of the search engine results on popular engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and so on, your bookings can go through the roof.
Optimization practices include adding keywords to your website content that guests often search for, including quality links to informative content, and getting links to other quality websites (this is where the bloggers can help).
These marketing strategies are for those who want to do more than sit with their arms crossed and wait for new bookings on Airbnb. Simple efforts such as these that anyone can master can not only help you earn more but can also turn your vacation rental into a brand that guests will be queuing to book. Increased exposure together with quality content and attractive promotions are a winning formula that can skyrocket your bookings.
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