Technology

11 key takeaways from how Airbnb has grown into a $35bn business

Tam Al-Saad

Tam Al-Saad

Recently, Web Profits published a 29,000-word case study breaking down the growth strategy for Airbnb.

Here, the company’s principal consultant for strategy and growth, Tam Al-Saad, shares 11 key takeaways from analysing the $35 billion business:

Takeaway #1:

Airbnb has created products that it can upsell (e.g. Airbnb Plus) or cross-sell (e.g. Experience) to existing clients. That ensures a higher average value so it’s not reliant only on new customer acquisition or repeat purchases to drive revenue growth.

Takeaway #2:

Airbnb personalises the website experience by using previous user browsing and purchasing behaviour to display information that’s more relevant. Having said that, its website doesn’t use personalisation as much as you expect it to. (Though Airbnb still does it better than most).

Takeaway #3:

When it comes to paid search, 75 per cent of Airbnb’s spend goes onto accommodation-based keywords. This makes sense given that it’s the most relevant keyword to the key service that it provides, but Airbnb differentiates itself from their competition by using the tagline ‘Don’t go there. Live there.’

Takeaway #4:

Where Airbnb does use personalisation very well is with email campaigns that are highly relevant to search behaviour. Not only that, Airbnb’s emails are automated and timed to go out at the right time so they are more likely to drive engagement and conversion.

Takeaway #5:

One place that Airbnb’s digital strategy really falls flat is with search engine optimisation (SEO). It seems to be reliant on brand search to drive organic traffic, and lags far behind their competitors when it comes to ranking for accommodation-based keywords.

Takeaway #6:

Airbnb has tons of content on its site, and it mostly centres around the different locations where it has properties, or the hosts. The company could get more out of its content by either using it to push users through the funnel better, or using it to acquire backlinks from other websites.

Takeaway #7:

When it comes to social media, Airbnb relies on organic channels like Instagram to nurture its audience and inspire ‘wanderlust’, and then use paid channels like Facebook ads to drive the most engaged or high-intent people back to its site in order to convert.

Takeaway #8:

Speaking of Facebook ads, Airbnb’s ads targeting hosts do a great job of focusing on the benefits to the host, rather than the features of their service. This makes the ads more likely to resonate, increasing the click-through rate and, ultimately, the chance of conversion.

Takeaway #9:

Airbnb clearly puts a lot of time and effort into its referral system, and it works. It’s easy to understand, and leverages the relationship between the existing user and the person Airbnb is referring them to, so it increases the likelihood that they will sign up.

Takeaway #10:

Airbnb has built a community platform for users to engage with each other. As well as giving them a place to find support, this increases engagement with the brand itself, and should make it more likely that they continue to use it.

Takeaway #11:

Lastly, Airbnb is not afraid to try something different that showcases who it is rather than what it does. This helps the platform to stand out and builds a relationship with customers.

Airbnb has stuck to its guns by getting existing users and loyal consumers to become the advocators by becoming ‘contributors’. It’s hard to achieve this if you’re a small business, but if you’re a larger organisation, there’s plenty to learn from Airbnb.

For a more in-depth analysis, check out the case study here.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Comments are closed.

Destinations

Bali rocked by off-shore earthquake

by Christian Fleetwood

An off-shore earthquake has struck the south of the Indonesian tourist hotspot, with reports of damaged and evacuated hotels.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Brisbane lands Flight Centre’s Global Gathering in 2020 + pics from this year’s big event!

Do you wish you could’ve attended Flight Centre’s recent Global Gathering? Live vicariously through this collection of candid pics.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Boeing ‘renames’ Ryanair’s 737 MAX

by Christian Fleetwood

If images posted on social media are anything to go by, in the era of deepfakes, it looks like the embroiled 737 MAX brand is getting a cosmetic touch-up.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Two Australians gored by bulls at controversial San Fermin festival

by Christian Fleetwood

Two Aussies who have obviously read too much Hemingway have been gored by a bull on the final day of the controversial San Fermin Festival.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Aussie model avoids 21-year jail sentence for assaulting flight attendant

A former Miss Universe Australia finalist has broken down crying in a US court after avoiding a 21-year jail sentence for assaulting a flight attendant.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Aviation wrap: Emirates’ global sale, Royal Brunei Airlines’ new Brisbane flights + more

We do hope that you’re so wrapped about this week’s aviation wrap that you write a rap about it.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Hundreds of protesters storm famous Paris monument

Police on the scene said 200 to 300 protesters entered the well-known landmark where French national heroes including Voltaire and Victor Hugo are buried.

Share

CommentComments

Events

How to win at The Travel Awards

Planning to enter The Travel Awards this year? Consider this a very handy cheat sheet of sorts.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Thomas Cook rescue deal could do more harm than good, says expert

by Huntley Mitchell

Were you under the assumption that Thomas Cook was extinct? Well, as this story proves, the dinosaur of the travel industry is still clinging on – but only just.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Wild winds and IT outage wreak havoc at Sydney Airport

by Christian Fleetwood

Travellers flying from Sydney Airport have been met with massive delays due to an Australian Border Force outage and gale force winds.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Wholesaler wrap: Viva Holidays says hello to Harry Potter, Wendy Wu’s early bird specials + more!

It’s Monday, folks, and that means two things: it’s time for our weekly wholesaler wrap, and for some hair-of-the-dog treatment for Travel Weekly’s editor at the local pub.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

“How ridiculous”: Pauline Hanson likens Uluru climbing ban to closing Bondi Beach

by Huntley Mitchell

In an interview that is sure to have many an Aussie giving themselves a face palm, outspoken One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has provided her take on the Uluru climbing ban.

Share

CommentComments