You’ve finally listed that second home on Airbnb, but you’re not getting the number of bookings you need to pay the bills and/or turn a profit. There’s so much competition here that renters are often flooded with choices and don’t have the time to wade through all of the offerings. What can you do to grab their attention, hold it, and get a reservation?
Marketing an Airbnb
A vacation rental property is just like any other product; if you don’t let potential customers know that it exists, it won’t get any traffic. At this point, you should understand the importance of creating a fantastic page for the property, with detailed descriptions, amazing photos, easy contact info and the right price. But everyone else is doing that too; it’s time to think about doing some digital marketing to boost sales.
IGMS has a clever strategy for Airbnb owners: establishing your own brand. Devise a catchy name for your new business, and design an accompanying logo; even if you only have one property to rent, customers tend to develop relationships with brands that they trust. Consistently use this to market your property on social media, and people will come to recognize you and your property(ies).
Using Social Media to Market Airbnbs
Instagram is a highly visual platform, and is used by 500+ million users daily. It’s big with millennials and Gen Z travelers, who love sharing their travel experiences with their followers. Users can also search for properties, so you can post yours and use smartphone apps like Afterlight, VSCO and Snapseed to enhance your photos − don’t over-edit though, because you don’t want to mislead anyone. You can also use Instagram Reels, iGTV videos and Highlights for marketing purposes.
You’ll also want to consider using Facebook, since more than 40 percent of its posts are travel-related. Create a Facebook business page for your property (or brand), and link your posts back to your listings that are on Airbnb. Sharing helpful content with potential customers also builds trust and forms bonds. For example, if the property is in Atlanta, share a list of the top five restaurants, the easiest ways to get around the airport and the best historical landmarks.
More Ways to Increase Airbnb Traffic
You’re probably not surprised that social media marketing is an important Airbnb marketing strategy, but there are other less obvious ways to do it as well. Short Rental Pro recommends collecting as many visitor emails as possible to use for your mailing lists. The addresses are also good for sending thank you notes, too. You’ll also want to leave marketing literature at your property, as long as you don’t overdo it. Have a sign in sheet or book, and ask your guests to leave a few comments; incorporate the best ones into your website, vacation rental platform and social media.
Incorporating the best search engine optimization (SEO) practices into your website and social media will help your website rank higher on search engine results, and users often don’t look past the first page. If you have a “three-bedroom condo rental in Sarasota”, you can incorporate those very words into your content. Remember though, you’re not writing a sales pitch; you’re providing useful information that travelers are looking for. The words should flow naturally, not be sales-pitchy, be engaging and helpful for your audiences (see the above advice about postings for Atlanta).
Another effective, albeit more costly method is buying targeted Facebook ads. These are good for targeting people who live within 10-mile radiuses of properties, so it can be great for people who might have relatives coming into town that need somewhere to stay. Travelers also book stays at the last possible minute, so if they’re looking for a rental and are nearby, you might just be able to snag a booking.