The following post is from Justine Santa Cruz, Production Coordinator and Meghan Veroneau, Marketing Coordinator.
Previously we highlighted why hotels should care about Airbnb. Today, we offer some tips on how hotels can compete against the company and other similar vacation rental websites.
Highlight Value-Add Amenities
As a hotel, you provide many services that are not available for those renting private homes – or at least not available in the majority of private homes or vacation rentals.
Take that friendly concierge that greets the guest and offers suggestions on restaurants in the area – those staying through Airbnb don’t have that service!
Value-add amenities should be highlighted on your website; this would be a great opportunity to highlight a great customer service experience a guest had. Consider drawing attention to notable on-site amenities such as: pool/beach/waterfront, restaurant, complimentary airport shuttle, customer service, concierge, etc.
Takeaway: Remind your customers of the experience you provide, not just the room.
Target Your Current Demographic
The typical Airbnb traveler is price conscious and on a longer vacation than the hotel travel, making the key hotel competition for Airbnb extended-stay hotels. Even though you may offer some great long-term stay deals – if the traveler wasn’t planning on staying in a hotel, this probably won’t sway their decision.
Takeaway: If a traveler was renting for ten days or more, remember that they likely wouldn’t have selected a full-service hotel anyway.
Search Engine Results
Airbnb offers search optimization around branded terms – meaning that if you weren’t searching for “Airbnb,” it likely wouldn’t show up in a Google, Yahoo! or Bing query. Airbnb is optimized for brand terms but each of their properties are not individually optimized for city terms to attract Google searchers.
To capitalize on this hotels should beef up their local marketing strategies to target those niche searches that Airbnb will not be able to capture.
Takeaway: You won’t ever worry about Airbnb ranking above your hotel in natural search – at least not at this juncture.
So capitalize on your local strengths and focus on the valuable experience you offer your customers and Airbnb should not be a threat at all. Have you had to compete against Airbnb? Sound off in the comments section.
Interested in ramping up your online strategy? Check out the full suite of MICROS eCommerce interactive marketing tools, send us an email, or give us a call +1 301.841.4700(US) | +44 (0)20 3004 9468(UK).