Airbnb Marketing Strategy | The Making of World’s Largest Hospitality Brand

airbnb marketing strategy

Airbnb Marketing Strategy

Before digging deep into the Airbnb marketing strategy, first let’s understand what Airbnb really is and what makes it one of the world’s largest hospitality brand without even owning a single hotel.

Check out this simple yet explanatory video

In layman’s terms – Airbnb connects people who have vacant homes and apartments with people wanting to rent them

Airbnb is revolutionizing the hospitality industry by keeping hotel rates in check and offer additional rooms available in the country’s hottest travel spots during peak periods when the majority of the hotel rooms sell out and tariffs are touching the sky.

The journey for Airbnb has not been a cake walk, they had their ups and downs but its the clean vision and the correct strategy that has helped the company deliver 10x return amid sharpening competition and increasing regulatory scrutiny.

A huge part of the company’s growth can be attributed to Airbnb’s marketing strategy.

But before discussing the marketing strategy of Airbnb, let’s have a look at the business objective of Airbnb which it was set out to achieve.



To become an inclusive hospitality brand that not only offers home and room rentals but also provides full-service including local recommendations. Let’s check out the marketing strategy of Airbnb that helped the company achieve this business objective


Market an Experience, Not a Product :

If nobody wants what you are selling, you don’t have a business

In 2009, AirBnB was earning a mere $200/week in revenue and the team tried to identify reasons why there was hardly any growth.

The team went back to the storyboard to find out the missing link and realized that the customers buying from them are not buying the website or the app, they are buying the EXPERIENCE. They are buying the TRIP TO PARIS or STAY IN A TREEHOUSE.

And when they found out that the photos of their property listing looked amateurish and uninviting.

Instead of asking room owners to improve their images, the team traveled to selected areas to take professional photos of each available room and talk to the owners so as to make their listings more accurate.

Going ‘Glocal

The fundamental tension that Airbnb has to solve is bridging the global-local gap. The company paid proper attention to the standardization of the customer’s travel experience and made sure the same is maintained in all of its listed properties.

To enhance the experience of customers of different countries, regions and dialects, coming to their website/app, Airbnb displayed profiles/properties in the local language and added an optional translate button to each

Not only this, but Airbnb also customized its offerings based on the local payment options.

Use Smart Content Formats

Publishing “Innovative content ” is not always what the consumers want to read. Sometimes they simply just want to consume EXPERIENCES.

Content formats don’t move consumers per se, stories do. It’s all about finding the right channel that gets the job done and is able to communicate that story to the consumer.

Airbnb uses both digital as well as conventional medium (like an actual print magazine) to convey its stories. Airbnbmag is a fine example of how Airbnb connects with its consumers.

Build and promote user Community

Airbnb features host and guest stories on almost every digital channel available. They produce interview videos and upload them to YouTube, design short stories and share them on Instagram, and even maintain a blog where the same type of content is provided in written form.

That’s not it, Airbnb is a master in leveraging user-generated content and using it for its promotional purposes. They invite guests to submit stories about their travel experiences using the hashtag #Airbnb on Instagram.


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