well crafted airbnb search targeting ad

Advertisers and search engine marketing firms are impressed by the reach and technology available through Search Retargeting, but we also know it’s the form of search engine marketing most likely to creep users out. Those of us who have been working in the SEM world long enough have come to expect users to refer to search retargeting as ‘the ads that follow you around’. It takes a light hand on the tiller to run successful campaigns using retargeted or remarketed ads as they are sometimes called.

Recently, while looking for lodging for an upcoming trip to Boston, we looked through major booking outlets and decided to check out VRBO and Airbnb as well. It turned out that in Boston, at least for the time frame we were looking for, the ‘rent your room’ sites were more price competitive and offered better amenities. In the end we didn’t end up booking through Airbnb, but we did notice a few things about the retargeted ads which were shown in the days after browsing the site, and here is why the search engine marketing agency or internal SEM manager deserves some credit:

1. The ads only referenced the city originally searched for on the site.
2. The ads displayed rental rates in the range searched for.
3. The ads where only shown a few times and they sunset after the booking date.

So, a tip of the hat to Airbnb for running search retargeting campaigns which were tactful and cost effective. If more companies followed the rules and the tone they chose to use, search retargeting can move away from being ‘the ads that stalk users on the web’.