How I'd grow Anyplace

September 2, 2020

Anyplace is a B2C marketplace where travelers can book accommodation like apartments or extended stay hotels on a monthly basis at convenient prices.

They can book, pay and manage their stays online, so they can live anywhere without long leases or setting up utilities.

But that's not explicitly clear for random visitors who just landed on their website and took a quick look at the homepage.

And the elephant-in-the-room question appears in their minds: how is Anyplace different from Airbnb?

I’d change the copy on their above-the-fold section to answer that question by explaining what Anyplace is, and its benefits.

They need to explain that Airbnb is C2C for short-term stays, and Anyplace is B2B for long-term stays. They make long-term stays more painless.

I like the rest of the site: it has all the information needed, and a good FAQ section to answer all the potential questions.

The only thing I dislike is the UX on mobile. When you open it, you get bombarded by pop ups (cookie, app install, chat…). I can barely see the website and that’s not great.

Anyplace is a marketplace but supply is partly taken care of by their outbound sales team, so marketing efforts need to increase demand.

I agree with focusing on digital nomads. That’s the core group of users who have a higher chance of using the product immediately.

Their target market isn't only digital nomads, but starting with a niche market makes it easier for word of mouth to spread horizontally.

In the future, when the digital nomad niche is saturated, they’ll have to expand to wider segments that are more difficult to reach.

The first thing I’d address is the current lack of reviews.

This isn’t a random purchase. People need to trust a service like this, and they are definitely going to do their research before using it.

So making sure there’s plenty of reviews is a priority.

This ties into the main channel I’d use for organic word of mouth: paid partnerships with popular digital nomads to chronicle their trips using Anyplace.

I’d work with a few high-quality YouTube channels. When someone searches for reviews, their vlogs would come up first.

I’d also set up long-term collaborations with the most relevant sites in the digital nomad niche for a steady stream of targeted traffic.

A good long-term incentive: setting up an affiliate program to compensate bookings made through them.

Search is probably going to be their main traffic source. Given how many high domain authority websites linked to them, I’d definitely focus on SEO.

I really like their content strategy targeting a digital nomad audience. It’s both well optimized, and pleasant to read.

Pro tip: your keyword targeting strategy depends on your website’s domain authority.

If you’re just starting out and it's low, you’ll need to go with longer, low-competition ones. If you already got a good number of links, you can try attacking the short, competitive ones.

Don’t waste traffic: once a visitor reads the article, ask for their email address.

How? With a lead magnet. Offer something valuable with an exit intent pop up - it will 2x or 3x your email list sign-up rate. If visitors are on the list, they’ll come back.

They also have a neat city guide section for digital nomads (cost of living, weather, etc.).

But from an SEO perspective, the fact that these filters don’t generate unique URLs is a huge missed opportunity. They could rank for hundreds of keyword combinations.

I’d focus on Twitter - it’s where digital nomads hang out, and I think they could do better than an endless series of automated links to blog posts.

They should try to offer value and have actual conversations on the platform with tips, threads, and questions.

I’d also focus on Instagram. I’d show more personality - there are already millions of accounts posting pics of beautiful places.

I’d leverage user-generated content, and encourage people to send short videos of their stories and arrivals to Anyplace accommodations.

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