The reality is that you need to promote your Airbnb listing to be successful as a host. However, some hosts mistakenly overlook how to advertise on Airbnb properly. This could mean they miss out on big opportunities to market themselves elsewhere.
Here at Pikl, we love helping hosts get started in their Airbnb journey and protecting you via Airbnb insurance. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to advertising on Airbnb so you can maximise your bookings and supercharge profits.
Everything we’re going to cover is something you can do yourself; you don’t need any outsourced marketer or support to use what’s in this guide.
If you’re ready to make the most of your Airbnb experience, let’s get started.
The Airbnb listing template: How to add a listing on Airbnb effectively
Before anything else, you need to list your Airbnb. This is an opportunity to advertise – your listing photos and description are crucial to the success of your hosting journey.
To start, simply create a listing on the Airbnb website once you’ve signed up as a host. We’ve already covered a whole host of different tips in our ‘How to become an Airbnb host’ article, but here are a few useful steps to creating a successful listing.
Think about the guests you want to attract
- Marketing your listing isn’t just about presenting things nicely. Think about what kind of guests you want to attract to help you decide what information you include in your listing.
- Prevention is just as important as insurance when it comes to protecting your property and you should consider this when marketing your property too. For example, don’t advertise your listing as being a great place for parties if this is something you’re concerned about. Promote your property in a way that appeals to the target market you’re after, but be careful not to be discriminatory either. Should something happen at the property following a guest booking, specialist Airbnb host insurance such as the kind provided by Pikl will give you the best protection.
Present and price your listing well to attract guests
- Choose clear, high-quality photos showing your space in its best light. Consider using a DSLR camera or high-end smartphone for these. Alternatively, consider hiring a professional photographer as an upfront one-off investment.
- Write an accurate and detailed description of your listing, including information on amenities, sleeping arrangements, and check-in/check-out procedures. Use this description to speak personally to guests – don’t be afraid to come off as friendly and approachable. Think tour guide over landlord.
- Make sure you use an attention-grabbing headline to describe your property and include a ‘call to action’ in your description. This is a simple statement that encourages action such as ‘book today.’ You can also incentivise it by adding a scarcity statement such as ‘our availability is highly limited so book today to avoid missing out.’
- Set a competitive price that reflects the value of your listing. Research your local competition and tweak your prices to suit what you offer but also undercut where you can. You can adjust prices as you grow and can set different rates for different nights. Part of your advertising journey is to use smart listing prices to win attention when guests search by lowest price/availability. Our Airbnb pricing guide can walk you through this topic in more detail.
Be attentive and respond to guests
- Respond promptly and personally to all guest inquiries. Reviews are the lifeblood of your listing and communication from the start will help attract good ones.
- Be attentive during a guest’s stay and then follow up with them after to ensure there were no issues and try and attract a positive review. Leave a good host review for the guest too.
How to advertise your Airbnb listing on the platform
Airbnb has its own unique search engine and there are ways to improve how your listing appears when guests look for listings. Your goal is to make your listing fulfil the criteria that Airbnb’s search algorithm prioritises. The platform evaluates and displays your listing based on quality, popularity and price.
Quality is determined by reviews, photography, listing descriptions etc. Polish your listing up and ensure every amenity is described as relevant to guest needs. Popularity is a broader criterion and will depend on guest engagement factors like your property being added to their wish lists and how communicative you are as a host. Price is assessed based on local competition against pricing data.
There are other ways to get ahead in your listings, such as learning how to become an Airbnb Superhost so your property is served ahead of non-Superhosts, beating competitors on pricing or describing and tagging certain amenities a guest may filter for.
Airbnb does not allow for paid advertising on its listing results. Instead, the platform offers plenty of tips to help you stand out and rewards hosts that take the time to polish their listings to perfection. The most important part of your hosting activity is trying to win 5-star reviews by offering a great experience and communicating with your hosts. This will help raise your listing’s visibility in the results and encourage more bookings.
Using the opportunities hub
Your hosting page also allows you to view the opportunity hub to review travel trends in your area. This shows local data about what guests want in your area and what amenities they’re searching for. You can use this to tailor your listing, but also to adjust pricing to suit more competition or quieter periods.
Just because your property is on Airbnb, you don’t need to stick solely to the platform itself when advertising. Instead, try some traditional marketing techniques that are easy to implement and can be highly effective.
There are lots of ways to collect emails in the digital age, but some are frowned upon as intrusive. Try something more personal such as a guest registration form or leaving a guestbook or bowl with post-it notes in your property and ask guests to leave their email addresses if they’re happy to be contacted with future news or offers. Collect these and then email them in the future when you have special pricing or an event approaches.
Seasonal conditions lead to different guest requirements. If you’ve got an open fire in your home, you can tailor your listings during winter and appeal to those looking for a ‘cosy’ atmosphere. Similarly, summer listings with great outdoor space can perform well. In all of these scenarios, consider updating your listings, photography and description to reflect the season and how your property can enhance the guest experience.
An Airbnb property is ultimately going to attract guests from outside of the area, who in turn want to spend their cash on local businesses. As an Airbnb host, you can suggest specific restaurants, bars, shops and more to your guests.
Whether you leave any recommendations in your own property or not, you can still reach out to any local businesses and see if you can advertise your listing in some way. Anything from a post on their social media channels to a leaflet in their establishment can help you win more custom, and it’s mutually beneficial.
How to advertise your Airbnb on Facebook and elsewhere
You can use your personal social media profile to promote your listing. All you need to do is create posts about your property and then link to your Airbnb page. You could, for example, showcase a collection of great reviews you’ve attracted recently – or simply share a photograph of a room you like in the property.
Some hosts that manage multiple Airbnb properties will set up a specific hosting business page to post from, but at a local level, using personal profiles is a good way to boost your audience to your existing friends and their extended networks.
Some social media platforms like Facebook let you pay to boost the reach of said posts, so that may be worth experimenting with – especially during peak dates. You could try, for example, posting about your city centre location ahead of a busy weekend when an event is happening in your area.
Remember: this is about things you can reasonably manage as a host without taking up too much of your time. Social media is a minefield, so stick to one or two channels rather than trying all of them.
Creating a video tour
In an age of fast-moving media, using a video to promote your Airbnb is a great idea. You don’t need to be an expert filmmaker, you can just walk through the property and film a basic tour to show it off. Upload it to YouTube, link to your Airbnb in the description and share it on social media.
Considering guest-specific offers
If you’re going to collect guest email addresses, why not also explore the idea of creating repeat booking offers? You can offer discounts to guests on repeat bookings but we’d suggest a low-pressure approach. Try something like leaving a leaflet behind on your property for the guest to take or leave behind.
Tracking your efforts
All types of marketing activity require tracking to ensure your efforts aren’t being wasted. Airbnb allows hosts to track their efforts easily through your hosting page. Here you’ll be able to review all your previous and current bookings as well as feedback from guest reviews. You can use this data to gather a benchmark of where you are now and where you want to be.
Return to this same data every month and use it to chart progress. If you’ve addressed the issues in guest reviews one month, you would expect to see better reviews next time. You’ll see data-driven insights around your listings and can even review travel trends to help you anticipate periods of high demand in your area.
Top marketing tips to increase bookings
We know we’ve covered a lot, so let’s make things easy by boiling our advice down into simple marketing-friendly tips.
- Optimise your listing around guest-facing needs such as certain facilities, locations or amenities.
- Invest in quality photography for your listing and update your photos to reflect seasonality.
- Pursue Superhost status as soon as possible and practice great Airbnb habits like replying to guest enquiries, leaving host reviews and more.
- Practice proactive guest communication and always invite good guests to return, incentivising them with a discount offer.
- Use social media, but focus your attention on one or two channels instead of becoming too overwhelmed.
- Liaise with local businesses to see if you can post leaflets or advertisements on their premises in exchange for you recommending them in your Airbnb.
As you build your profile and secure more bookings, remember that you need to protect your investment and property. Choose Pikl’s Airbnb insurance for extensive coverage that can protect your property and income.
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Read more of our Airbnb guides
If you’re wondering how to become an Airbnb host, how to grow your business or want to learn more about hosting-specific topics, take a look at our 30+ Airbnb guides.