We want to pitch you an idea. Imagine you can log onto a website and book a bed in a stranger's home in a foreign city where they speak a different language, all without ever having met. You provide your money upfront, and sometimes, you just have an email providing scavenger hunt-like directions to the key when you show up. There’s no front desk. There’s no help. It’s all done online without any tangible proof that this home exists.
It sounds like a scam, doesn’t it?
Actually, it’s the entire premise behind Airbnb. Clearly, it’s a winning idea as this accommodation booking giant was valued at $35 billion in 2019. So how did the founders of Airbnb, Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk, and Joe Gebbia, take what seems like an internet scam and turn it into a tech company dream come true? A significant aspect of their success is due to excellent timing and recognizing a market need and trend. Another aspect of this company's success is its excellent content marketing.
If you want to market your business as well as Airbnb does, you have to employ these 5 key strategies:
1. Seek out user-generated content.
User-generated content is a gold mine! This form of content builds community, boosts engagement, is naturally keyword rich, and acts as word-of-mouth feedback for future customers. The bonus is that you don’t have to do much. Focus on empowering your followers to create content through a social media contest or rewards for reviews.
Airbnb does an excellent job of this due to the nature of its platform. A lot of Airbnb’s content marketing efforts are handled by the homeowners and travellers that use the platform. Technically, many of the reviews are for specific properties, but they still help to boost the brand awareness and SEO score for Airbnb in general. The driving idea behind Airbnb’s Made Possible by Hosts marketing campaign is to thank the hosts that create the content, provide the accommodation, and make it all possible. Airbnb’s Instagram and an entire blog section are also largely user-generated content.
2. Be authentic and passionate.
Airbnb is no stranger to taking a stand on major issues, having been known to incorporate their beliefs into their marketing campaigns. You can look at this as simply a marketing move. However, this company shows that it genuinely believes that safety and feeling empowered to be yourself while travelling are essential. These marketing campaigns promote Airbnb, but they also send clear messages about acceptance and compassion. A great example of this is the Love is Welcome Here promotion that takes a look at the travel experiences of the LGBTQ2S+ community.
3. Provide value.
Airbnb is a successful platform because it provided a necessary service at the right time. Even during a global pandemic, this service was helpful as it allowed travellers to isolate themselves in their own space rather than be in a hotel or other shared space.
It’s not just the service that provides value, either; Airbnb has a beautifully designed blog that offers a ton of helpful information, from photo tips for creating a stellar listing to planning a trip to Chicago that includes the local list of the best.
4. Consider design and user experience.
We want you to notice how beautifully the website and blog are designed. The site is easy to navigate and use, which increases the overall SEO rating of the platform. There’s more to content marketing than just creating quality content. Airbnb’s content marketing efforts also involve the technical aspects of good web design focused on the user experience.
5. Have a clear brand voice and have some fun!
Airbnb’s recent content marketing efforts include the adorable “Strangers” video. This video shows that the people visiting our homes on vacation are not strange. The idea of allowing strangers into your home for vacation is clearly not so odd — otherwise, the company wouldn't be the successful tech giant it is today. This video is an excellent example of having fun with your messaging and content while staying on brand.
Even with all this said, it can be challenging to develop creative, valuable, well-designed, and authentic content marketing like Airbnb on your own. If you’re looking for help to create great content like Airbnb, our team is here to help. We have a team of professional writers, photographers, designers, ads specialists, and web designers ready to help. Get in touch today, and let’s make a plan for the future to boost your business.