What is Airbnb marketing?

Airbnb marketing refers to the strategies and tactics used by hosts to promote their listings on the Airbnb platform, increase their bookings and, ultimately, grow their revenue. 

It involves optimising the listing with high-quality photos, compelling descriptions, and competitive pricing to attract potential guests. Airbnb marketing also includes leveraging the platform’s features such as Instant Book and Superhost status to increase visibility and credibility. 

Outside the Airbnb platform, hosts often engage in off-platform marketing activities such as social media promotion, email marketing, and search engine optimisation to drive more traffic to their listings.

In short? It’s making sure more people see your listing on Airbnb and book with you – but it’s also much more than that. 

This blog will take you through an entire guide to Airbnb marketing.

Why is Airbnb marketing important?

Airbnb marketing is crucial for hoteliers looking to tap into the platform’s unique community and potential customer base. Established in 2007, Airbnb has carved out a niche in the online travel agency (OTA) landscape. Unlike traditional hotel booking sites like Expedia and Booking.com, Airbnb offers a sense of community and exclusivity that other OTAs often lack.

But what does this mean for you as a hotelier? It means that to find success on Airbnb, you need a unique approach to marketing. You’re not just listing a property; you’re inviting guests into a community. Your marketing efforts must reflect this.

The purpose of Airbnb marketing is not just to increase bookings, but also to build relationships with guests, enhance their experience, and foster a sense of belonging. The significance lies in its ability to connect you with a wider audience who value unique and personalised travel experiences.

The impact of effective Airbnb marketing can be huge. It can boost your visibility on the platform, attract more guests, increase your revenue, and elevate your brand. By integrating Airbnb into your marketing strategy, you can unlock a new avenue for growth and success in the competitive hospitality industry.

So, while Airbnb might have been around for a while now, it still offers a unique opportunity for hoteliers. With the right approach to marketing, you can make the most of what Airbnb has to offer and set your property apart from the rest.

What strategy does Airbnb use for marketing? 

Before we get into the marketing techniques that matter, what marketing strategies apply to Airbnb?

The first thing to note is that your individual Airbnb listing isn’t particularly search engine optimised, and is unlikely to appear as a result on Google. Potential guests will instead find your listing by navigating to Airbnb and searching within the platform.

The realities of Airbnb marketing means that the most immediately effective strategies will focus on enhancing your visibility on the platform. But ambitious hosts will also have one eye on the future, searching for marketing methods that help to expand their online presence beyond Airbnb, which can lead to greater business success in the long run.

What are the Airbnb tips and marketing techniques that matter? Here are some of the most effective Airbnb advertising strategies.

How to market on Airbnb 

1. Develop a brand

All marketing efforts are built on a foundation of branding – this is as true for a multinational corporation as it is for the smallest and most boutique of Airbnb properties. By simply giving your property a name and a logo, you give guests something to remember, something to search for, and something to engage with.

Begin with a name and logo, and as your Airbnb business develops add other branding elements like a colour palette, a slogan, values, typography and tone of voice, as these bring consistency and structure to your marketing efforts.

Once you’ve set yourself up with a solid brand, you can start expanding it with broader marketing strategies to bring people not only to your Airbnb listing, but also to your website for direct booking. Airbnb content marketing efforts go well beyond just that single platform!

2. Invest in professional photos

To attract more guests you need to show your property in the best possible light, which can only be done through the lens of a professional photographer. 

Sure, modern phone cameras are very impressive, but they are simply no match for a professional with a DSLR and editing software. If a picture tells a thousand words, your business should be yelling ‘book me!’ at the top of its lungs.

Be sure to capture not just the best angles of your property, but all the key elements and amenities that guests will want to know about, such as full views of the kitchen, bathroom and laundry.

Image showing how proper lighting can improve how a hotel rooms looks in a photo
How professional photography can help your hotel – get more tips here

3. Check all the boxes to become a Superhost

If we think of the Airbnb search results page in the same way as the Google results page, the aim should be to optimise your listing much like you apply SEO to your website in order to rank better on Google. Airbnb advertising doesn’t exist on the platform, so the most effective way to top the listings? Become a Superhost.

Becoming a Superhost is a matter of checking four boxes:

  • Complete at least ten trips or a minimum of three reservations that total 100 nights.
  • Reply to at least 90% of new reservation-related guest messages within 24 hours.
  • Keep your cancellation rate under 1%.
  • Achieve an overall review score of 4.8 or higher.

Superhost listings are placed at the very top of all Airbnb search results, which is part of the reason why, according to AirDNA, Superhosts earn an average of 60% more revenue per day than standard hosts. 

4. Create a website and Google Business Profile

If you’re using Airbnb for business rather than as a hobby, you’ll soon realise that a wealth of marketing and business opportunities lay beyond the platform. The switch from humble host to professional hotelier can be a surprisingly simple and rather profitable one, and it begins by establishing an online presence for your business.

Begin by setting up your Google Business Profile, which will add you as a result on Google Maps and make your property searchable across the Google ecosystem. 

Once your profile is set up, use a service like the Little Hotelier website builder to create your own site. Not only does a website give potential guests more information about your property than Airbnb allows you to share, it makes you searchable across the internet and grants you the ability to accept more lucrative direct bookings.

5. Set up social media profiles

Social media gives Airbnb hosts a fast way to expand the online presence of their property. Beautiful, fun and aspirational, travel content has always performed well on social media, and you can use this to your advantage.

Set up two or three profiles on what you deem to be the most relevant channels – Facebook and Instagram are a good start, but depending on your target market you might add TikTok or LinkedIn.

Social media algorithms reward consistency, so post a handful of times a week at minimum. Focus on those beautiful, fun and aspirational posts, and avoid getting too salesy too often.

6. Encourage, reply to and share reviews

Airbnb is a platform built on community. Hosts and guests are actively encouraged to review one another, to the point that three separate review reminder emails are sent over the two week period following a stay. And the stats back up the importance that Airbnb places on reviews.

90% of people read online reviews before visiting a business, and 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends.

An Airbnb host can capitalise on the power of reviews in three simple steps:

  1. Encourage your guests to review by sending them a message at the end of their stay, perhaps by explaining how important reviews are for your business.
  2. Offer up a bespoke reply to approximately 40% of your reviews, prioritising those that may be mixed or negative.
  3. Share the positive reviews wherever you can: on your website, across your social media profiles, or pinned atop your listings.

7. Utilise email marketing

Email marketing is a powerful tool for Airbnb hosts. It allows you to maintain a connection with past guests, keep them informed about any updates or special offers, and encourage them to book with you again. Staying top of mind is crucial for Airbnb marketing.

Start by collecting email addresses from your guests (with their permission, of course). You can then send out regular newsletters featuring updates about your property, local events, or special promotions. 

Remember, the key to successful email marketing is to provide value to your guests, not just promotional content. This could be insider tips about your area, interesting stories about your property, or exclusive discounts for returning guests.

8. Implement pricing strategies

Pricing is a critical aspect of Airbnb marketing. It’s important to set a competitive price that reflects the value of your property and the demand in your area. 

Consider using dynamic pricing, which involves adjusting your prices based on factors like seasonality, local events, and occupancy rates. For example, you might increase your prices during peak tourist season or lower them during slower periods to attract more bookings. 

Airbnb also offers a Smart Pricing tool that automatically adjusts your prices based on demand and market trends. However, this tool doesn’t always work with competitors who aren’t listing on Airbnb – that’s why we made Little Hotelier competitor insights that provide pricing research and automatic adjustments no matter which platform your competition is listing on.

Remember, the goal is to find the sweet spot where your price is attractive to guests but still profitable for you.

Outgrow your Airbnb marketing plan with Little Hotelier 

If you’re an ambitious Airbnb host who is looking to maximise the potential of your property, your efforts should begin on Airbnb, developing a basic brand, optimising your listing and doing all that you can to become a Superhost.

But once those boxes have been ticked, your aim should be to outgrow the platform, building a presence that attracts guests from across the internet, and that allows you to make more money by cutting out the OTA middleman.

If that sounds like the path you’d like to travel, Little Hotelier is here to help.

Little Hotelier is a hotel property management solution designed to grow your hotel business and earn you more. It helps up-and-coming hoteliers with every aspect of running and growing a business: channel management, building a website, taking direct bookings, processing payments, managing hotel operations and more.

  • Streamlined management. Little Hotelier simplifies Airbnb marketing for small hotels by providing a central platform to manage all bookings, including those from Airbnb. With real-time synchronisation across all platforms, it ensures accurate availability information, preventing double bookings and enhancing the guest experience.
  • Boosted online presence. Little Hotelier helps small hotels expand their online presence beyond Airbnb. With features like a mobile-friendly website builder and a direct booking engine, it allows hotels to reach a wider audience, increase direct bookings, and reduce reliance on third-party platforms.
  • Data-driven decisions. Little Hotelier’s comprehensive reporting suite provides valuable insights into business performance. This data can inform strategic decisions, helping small hotels optimise their Airbnb marketing efforts, increase occupancy rates, and maximise revenue.

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).