If you are trying to get bookings for your holiday cottage or apartment, then Airbnb is one site that you might consider worth exploring.
With over six million rooms, flats and houses in more than 81,000 cities around the world and around two million people staying in an Airbnb each night (source: The Guardian), it is no doubt that the site is an absolute giant in the accommodation field.
But with so much competition on the site, it is easy for your listing to get lost in the noise.
And if you are not a copywriter, you may be wondering where to begin.
You need to make sure that your listing is absolutely on point to get those bookings in so we have put together some helpful advice for creating the perfect Airbnb listing:
1. Tailor your description to your audience
As with all marketing, when you are creating your property description, you need to know your audience inside out.
If you are not quite sure who you are trying to appeal to yet, it can be helpful to spend a little time creating some buyer personas.
This will help you to keep your target audience in mind when you are communicating your offering.
Be sure to highlight the features of the property which will be important to your audience.
Perhaps you are looking to host remote workers and so your free, super-quick Wi-Fi and desk space is important.
Or perhaps you are ideally located for surfers and so you should go to town when writing about the beach. And the outside shower you offer for rinsing off boards and wetsuits.
2. Showcase your USPs
Have a think about why someone should choose your property over someone else’s and then shout it from the rooftops!
Maybe your location is right next to a tube station or perhaps you have a hot tub for guests to enjoy.
Be sure to include these and up weight them within your product description.
It can help to run some competitor research and have a look at other properties in your local area.
Find what makes your accommodation different and be sure to mention this.
Stick to three to five key features that makes your property stand out from the rest and be sure to include these in the first paragraph.
3. Structure your Airbnb description
The best Airbnb descriptions have a tried and tested formula behind them and it is straightforward to create this yourself.
Not everyone who is reading your description will be looking for the same thing and so breaking your description down into sections will help them scan to find exactly what they are looking for.
Bite size paragraphs and descriptive subheadings
Break content up into bite-sized sections and add subheadings to make your listing easy to navigate.
Add your USPs to your introduction
Start with a short introduction highlighting all the best bits of your property.
Follow this with a description of each room, mentioning the décor style, the number of beds and any special features or amenities that the room contains.
Next up is the description of the outdoor area. Include any information about a hot tub or swimming pool and, if your property is dog friendly, be sure to describe how your outside area is suitable for dogs.
Describe the surrounding area
Last up in your description should be the description of the surrounding area.
Most people search location first when they are looking for accommodation (eg. “places to stay in North Yorkshire) and so chances are they are looking for something that is close to the places they want to visit.
Include your proximity to landmarks, popular restaurants, public transport or walking trails.
Remember our first tip here and concentrate on what your audience will be interested in. For example, if they are mountain bikers, where are the nearest trail centres?
4. Get rid of waffle
More is not always more and long waffly descriptions run the risk of not even being read.
Read over your description and remove any words which you think are unnecessary.
The words that you do use should be powerful and emotive, designed to paint a picture of your property in your guest’s mind.
Be to the point and back up any claims with facts. For example, if you are telling guests that you offer the best view in town, back this up by telling them what they can expect to see.
5. Craft a great title
First impressions always count and your title (along with your first image) are the first thing that people will see when searching your accommodation.
Use a longer title to highlight the strengths of your property.
Instead of “One bedroom cottage in Cornwall” try “Charming one bedroom cottage in Cornwall with hot tub” or “Beachfront dog friendly one bedroom cottage”.
6. Create your tone of voice
All of the best brands have an established tone of voice, which they use in all of their marketing and you should aim to do the same.
The ideal tone of voice for you will really depend on the property and your audience.
Guests do not necessarily just want somewhere to rest their head. They are also looking for somewhere which matches their personality and values.
Just as you would decorate a city apartment and a lodge in the woods differently, so you should describe them differently too.
7. Concentrate on the experience
Great marketing often involves storytelling and so you need to help your guests imagine themselves staying in your property and the amazing experiences they will have when they are there.
If your main audience are tourists then it is all about exploring and your accommodation being a great base from which to do this.
But if they are staying for work then it is all about how staying at your place will make their lives easier – close proximity to their place of work, great kitchen facilities to make quick and easy dinners and a comfy bed to ensure that they get plenty of rest.
8. Be honest and manage expectations
Although you want to enthuse about how great your place is, make sure you do not over exaggerate or oversell. If your apartment is cosy then do not try to market it as spacious. And if it is near a main road, point out the easy access alongside the potential for some noise.
Be clear about the benefits and quirks of staying with you as this will help potential guests decide whether you are the right place for them.
Being transparent will ensure that you can meet your guests’ expectations and get some great reviews – and we all know how important social proof is!
For accommodation across Europe and the US, online reviews are almost twice as important as SEO in influencing booking decisions (source: Siteminder).