There’s plenty of generic information online about how to develop an Instagram marketing strategy to drive traffic to an Airbnb listing. While some of this information may be useful, most of it barely goes beyond the basics. That’s precisely what today’s post is about.
(Social media is only one of 5 pillars in your marketing plan.)
An Airbnb Instagram marketing strategy should leverage visuals to increase engagement and feature hashtags and keywords for discoverability. It should also use “calls to action” to encourage clicks. Ideally, each of these three elements should be optimized for differentiation.
Read on to discover the essential elements of an Airbnb Instagram marketing strategy and some of the ways you can optimize them to stand out from the competition.
Table of Contents
3 Essential Elements of Airbnb Instagram Marketing Strategy
Not everyone is familiar with the essential elements of an effective Airbnb Instagram marketing strategy. If you’re just getting started, chances are you don’t know all the basics, so we might as well bring you up to speed.
At the bare minimum, an effective Airbnb Instagram marketing strategy should have the following elements:
1. Leverage Visuals To Boost Engagement
They say that boring pics don’t get clicks, and it’s true. Visuals are often the first point of contact between you and your target audience because they’re the first thing potential customers will determine if it is even worth their time clicking on your profile.
You want to make a good first impression as Airbnb hosts, don’t you?
And when you make that impression, you want it to stick for the long haul. In other words, you want consumers to keep your listing in mind until they’re making the purchase decision (in this case, booking).
Because someone looking to go on a vacation or book an Airbnb for other purposes will likely look at other listings before/after stumbling on yours.
This makes it easy to forget about your offer by the time they choose the best option for their budget and needs and is why you want to remain in the customer’s mind throughout every step of the buyer decision process. You want them to say, “remember that one property with the…”
Using visuals makes it more likely that your target audience will remember your listing beyond that first glance.
According to Brainrules.net, vision outperforms all other senses when it comes to information retention.
If you hear something today, you’ll likely remember 10% of that information three days down the line. By contrast, the average person will remember 65% of the information they saw in a picture three days ago.
Therefore, by using visuals to convey your marketing messages, you not only make a good first impression but also position yourself to remain in your target customer’s mind long enough to be considered when they make the final purchase decision.
2. Optimize for Discoverability
Optimizing for discoverability is one of the most critical elements of an Airbnb Instagram marketing strategy. If your listing isn’t appearing on the search results of people who’re actively looking to book an Airbnb, you’re leaving a lot on the table.
When users search for something, Instagram behaves pretty much like Google when it comes to choosing the results to display for that particular search query: It ranks the results according to relevance and prioritizes what’s fresh.
So, if your Instagram account and ads aren’t optimized to appear on the search results of individuals looking to book an Airbnb, you’re missing out on potential business.
There are several elements to optimizing your listing for Instagram discoverability, but they mostly revolve around two things:
- Using relevant keywords
- Choosing relevant hashtags (check out our article on Airbnb hashtags)
3. Feature Calls to Action (CTAs)
It’s one thing to generate leads and drive engagement through visuals and discoverability optimization, but converting those leads into bookings is a different ball game.
This is where a call to action comes in: It acts as your closer.
A strong CTA not only prompts your target audience to act but also tells them how to act. So when thinking of the type of CTA to use, consider what you’re trying to achieve with it.
Now, it might seem pretty obvious that “what you’re trying to achieve” is to turn leads into paying customers. However, business needs change, and you might find yourself wanting to increase page visitors or boost engagement (mind you, these are only two examples) so that your listing goes higher up in the search results.
When goals change, so should your CTA. To illustrate just how much of a change this needs to be, here’s a table showing examples of CTAs you can use to achieve three different goals:
|Business Goal||Goal Description||Appropriate CTA|
|Increasing conversions||Turning page visitors into paying customers.||“Book now.”|
|Boosting engagement||Sparking a relevant discussion in the comment section.||Including “What do you think?” after a post and asking users to voice their opinions in the comment section.|
|Lead generation||Urging visitors share your page so their friends can see it.||Including a “share” button or simply urging your followers to “Tell a friend.”|
Notice how the CTA changes with the goal?
It’s also worth pointing out that a CTA doesn’t always come in the form of a built-in button.
While you can certainly drive results with a “Book Now” button, you can also use text CTA’s as demonstrated in the second business goal above.
Airbnb Instagram Marketing Strategy: 3 Ways To Stand Out
Incorporating the above three elements of an Airbnb marketing strategy is a great place to start. However, you shouldn’t stop there because pretty much everyone you’re competing with is doing the same things.
You need to differentiate by optimizing your visuals, keywords and hashtags, and calls to action.
Here’s three ways to stand out with Airbnb Instagram marketing:
1. Evoke Emotion By Setting The Scene
More often than not, Airbnb Instagram marketers focus on having professional photos with the perfect lighting and miss a crucial aspect: evoking emotion.
Videos and images can be emotional, and it’s easier to manipulate how your target audience feels when they see your posts through visuals. Here’s a video we did for a vacation rental owner in California. Not only are people taking the time to leave Airbnb to watch the video, they are booking in droves too. He says he has been booked up so much that it’s difficult to do repairs, like painting or electrical:
Essentially, you want to make your target customers want to go on a trip and book your place specifically. That’s the decision that needs to happen before they book an Airbnb, which is what you’re offering.
How to go about this? Well, there isn’t a universal way to do it, so you should use a bit of creativity. To get you started, here are some examples of how you can use pictures/videos to evoke emotion.
- Capturing a beautiful view from the property you’re marketing.
- Showcasing an enticing romantic scene around the location of the Airbnb (potentially with a happy couple featured).
- A photo of a smiling family on the beach (it can be even better if they’re your past clients).
As you can see, not all these images showcase the Airbnb available for renting.* But what they do is essential: They make people daydream about visiting those locations, and when they decide to visit, they’re likely to book a place to stay from your Airbnb listing.
*Note: You still need plenty of images showcasing the actual Airbnb property as a starting point. These emotion-evoking images should complement the property photos, not replace them.
2. Focus On Location With Keywords and Hashtags
There are two elements to keyword and hashtag optimization:
- Choosing the right words
The most crucial element you need to capture in your keyword and hashtag words/phrases is location.
People include a location in their search phrases, and you stand a better chance to appear in their results if your hashtag/keywords match what they key into the search bar.
It also helps to include your business name and price (e.g., $500/night Airbnb).
As for the placement, your keywords/hashtags should be incorporated in your posts, ads, and bio. And while you can add up to 30 hashtags per post, you don’t want to add that many because you might come across as spammy to Instagram and its users.
Most well-performing brands use seven to eleven hashtags per post, so consider using that as a benchmark.
3. Optimize the CTA in Your Bio, Posts, and Ads
The first aspect of CTA optimization is ensuring it aligns with your business goals, as illustrated in the table above.
Once that’s done, you need to be strategic with the placement by doing the following:
- Adding a contact button to your bio. Typical examples of such CTAs include, “call”, “text”, “get directions,” etc.
- Adding CTAs to posts and ads. Keep things short here by sticking to about three words. Again, make sure the CTA aligns with what you’re trying to achieve with the post/ad. E.g., “book now” is a great CTA for increasing conversions.
Ultimately, there’s no “one size fits all” approach to Airbnb Instagram marketing. That’s why different businesses perform differently on the same platform, selling similar products/services.
As such, you should treat what we’ve covered in this post as a benchmark for your marketing strategy and adopt new tricks as the Instagram marketing landscape and travel industry change.
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