How Airbnb got mid-funnel impact out of their video marketing campaign

Libby Margo in Content marketing on 5th of Apr 2019
Airbnb video marketing campaign

Airbnb video marketing campaign

We’re all familiar with our old friend, the marketing funnel. And you probably know that having a solid content marketing strategy is important, too. But did you know many of us are unsure of what content is best used at each stage of the marketing funnel?

Those who are aware of what needs to be done to drive leads down the funnel aren’t on the home stretch either. Marketers spend too much time creating content for the bottom and top of the funnel, yet little attention is given to mid-funnel (MOFU) content.

This is a huge mistake.

By not focusing on MOFU content, you risk not getting the full impact of your marketing campaign.

What happens mid-funnel?

At this stage, your leads are likely to be aware of your brand — and may have even interacted with you. MOFU content is designed to educate your leads while showing them how your brand will provide an immediate solution to their problems, all while pushing these leads towards conversion. MOFU content usually comprises gated content, and good examples include, ebooks, videos, webinars, and product comparison pages.

For Airbnb, the use of videos was key to getting mid-funnel impact out of a global marketing campaign. The home-sharing giant set a goal to drive consideration in Latin America, a region where people were aware of the Airbnb brand but had no idea how it worked. Identifying Brazil as a lucrative growth market, Airbnb’s video campaign focuses on the heart of the community using locals to tell their stories and demonstrate what Airbnb has done for them:

Here are some lessons we learned from this Airbnb campaign:

AB split testing your campaigns before launching

Latin America is a large market and certainly not one that’s homogenous. It would be a mistake for brands to march right in, with guns blazing — and not bother testing the market with smaller scale campaigns.

With this in mind, Airbnb launched its video campaign during Brazil’s offseason period with the aim to gain insights into the Brazilian tourism market and drive audience engagement. Testing this campaign in Brazil rather than the whole continent allowed Airbnb to get a sense of what worked with their audience and what areas needed fine-tuning. With this understanding, Airbnb was in a better position to succeed when they launched to the rest of Latin America.

Based on what Airbnb has taught us, it’s a good idea for you to start small with your marketing campaigns. We also recommend doing some AB split testing (for example, on your Facebook ad campaigns) to see what resonates best with your audience, before pooling more resources towards larger scale campaigns.

Repurpose content to discover new audiences

Reaching out to people who are most likely to engage with your brand is important, but you should never underestimate the power of discovering new audiences.

Airbnb’s target market consisted of travelers, but their video campaign allowed them to identify new audiences. Airbnb’s videos all contained one cohesive message, which was to encourage viewers to book accommodation. However, each video depicted different people engaging in their passions such as surfing, cooking, and painting — all while traveling. Airbnb then used a retargeting strategy to show these repurposed ads to people with those interests. For example, if someone was searching for video tutorials on dumpling making, they would see an ad featuring an Airbnb host offering cooking classes as an add-on experience.

This campaign also allowed Airbnb to identify its most engaged new audiences by analyzing customer patterns, video traffic, and search terms. With Autopilot’s Heap integration, you can do the same while getting the visibility you need to make data-driven decisions. It’s also a good idea to segment your new audiences with Autopilot’s Smart Segment integration.

Don’t just focus on mid-funnel results

Your work doesn’t stop after measuring mid-funnel metrics. When executing marketing campaigns, be sure to measure bottom-of-the-funnel metrics to get the complete picture. Airbnb recognized this and did the following to ensure they had the entire funnel covered:

  • Extended its reporting timeframe from 30 days to 120 days to account for the fact that planning a trip isn’t a quick and easy process
  • Built in a customer engagement strategy featuring testimonials to inspire people and move them further down the funnel

Measuring the entire sales funnel sounds tedious, but Autopilot makes it easy for you. Autopilot's visual canvas and marketing analytics dashboard allow you to have a clear-cut view of the whole customer journey, so you can pinpoint inefficiencies along the way, measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, and find new ways to optimize the customer journey at all stages of the funnel.

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