Airbnb has branches of its outreach site, Airbnb Action, in cities across the globe. They turned to Vector to build custom, city-specific sites to help them accomplish their goal of promoting effective legal solutions for the emerging market of listing and sharing private spaces. We built the sites to accommodate users from around the world and to utilize complex API integrations— all using the Craft CMS. Launch Site
Building Sites to Help Raise Awareness and Bring about Action in Cities around the World
Airbnb is a widely known company that allows people to book and list travel accommodations in 191 countries and 34,000 cities across the globe. Our work with Airbnb involved building city-specific branches of their Airbnb Action site using the Craft CMS. The concept and market for listing and sharing privately owned spaces is relatively new and therefore there is little legal clarity surrounding issues such as taxation and regulation. Airbnb Action was created to get citizens involved in working towards a viable legal solution to these problems through sites which are customized to specific cities or states. We tackled the challenge of building these location-specific sites in order to meet Airbnb’s needs, which included being able to effectively target audiences based on location, providing users with the information they need to reach out to their local legislatures via API integration, and being able to gather meaningful data regarding site traffic and conversions.
Easy-To-Use CMSes and Effective API Integration Which Successfully Work to Achieve Our Client's Goals
We built sites for major cities such as San Francisco, New York, and Barcelona. Because Airbnb serves an international market, we had to build multilingual sites to accommodate local audiences. For example, the Barcelona site supports English, Spanish, and Catalan. We placed a strong emphasis on making the internal CMSes for each site user-friendly and easy to navigate. With so many different people of various technical capability requiring access to the CMS, making an efficient back-end was extremely important. With this goal in mind, we chose to use Craft to build these sites.
Each city’s site features a unique tool that asks users to enter their address and then converts their location into latitude and longitude coordinates. Using API integrations with external databases like The Google Civic Information API and SmartyStreets, the sites then provides users with a list of their local elected officials, representatives, and legislators with their contact information. The tool also generates a customizable template for a letter which describes what representatives and legislators can do help Airbnb’s legal case. Users can send the generated letter as-is, or customize it to make it say exactly what they want it to. The letter can be sent directly from the site, allowing users to take part in Airbnb’s campaign with ease. Since we built sites for cities, states, and countries with different governmental structures, the sites had to generate letters which would accurately reflect each location’s system of government, and understand various levels of bureaucratic organization .
The sites needed to function as a tool to help Airbnb effectively spread the word about their campaign. Many of Airbnb’s ads include specific links which detail individual case studies about people who use Airbnb in order to make ends meet. We built the sites to gather data regarding which links were generating the most user outreach. By measuring which case studies are most effective in getting people to contact their local officials, the sites help Airbnb work to become more effective in its outreach program, and was ultimately a huge success.