Chances are you heard Florida’s beaches have reopened. Despite the initial 24-hour news bloviation, things seem to be normalizing, and the travel industry in the lightly affected panhandle of the state is ready to jump-start.
For Resort Collection, that means 1,000 rooms spread across the coast of Panama City Beach are ready to be enjoyed.
Thanks to a strong audience paired with a platform and strategy, they’ve hit the sand running. Here’s how.
Putting their own audience first
Most travel businesses experienced a “what’s next?” mentality as the pace of cancellations, refunds, staffing and financial decisions peaked. Even in the confusion and shock of the shutdown, Resort Collection had the clarity to realize this would pass.
Without normal channels of marketing, they knew reaching and nurturing their existing audience would be critical in the plan to reopen.
Striking the right tone
Keeping that audience in conversation during one of travel’s most challenging times ever would require empathetic outreach and careful messaging.
It’s those storytellers who are so important to the company’s strategy. These are real people who shared authentic moments, and in doing so, introduced the VR company to a community that trusts them the most: their own friends and family.
The audience responds
The response was phenomenal, and grew the collection’s audience even wider. Beyond scale, these trusted connections were with a new, high-quality audience of like-minded individuals who mirrored the original storytellers—the right-fit audience for Resort Collection.
Now in active conversation, this new audience is primed as Resort Collection excitedly takes its first steps forward in more than a month.
Authenticity and trust make better marketing
Resort Collection immediately noticed the stories generated by using the platform resonated with their audience.
How? For starters, they saw a spike in engagement and conversion, a testament to better conversations that are meaningful, timely and appropriate—all at a moment when people are deciding how and when they will be ready to travel again.
The platform put happy times at the front of mind for Resort Collection’s new and old audience alike.
As they’re phasing back into operation, the platform is now helping the collection immediately start welcoming this warm audience to their newly reopened properties.
And as units book and first guests arrive, they, too, will become storytellers, continuing to grow Resort Collection’s audience, and seeding the funnel in the same way.
Resort Collection recognized the most important lesson in the pandemic: keep your audience at the center. Sparking the right conversations with that audience, and nailing timing and tone are incredibly important.
By prioritizing these efforts, when the time is right for both your properties AND your audience, they’ll be there for you.
Tucked among tropical foliage, and in the company of buzzing scooters and free-range chickens, eight boutique properties scatter the eclectic neighborhoods of Key West. The inns, B&B’s and small hotels are each unique except for a theme of pastel hues and a proximity to Ernest Hemingway’s favorite watering holes.
Yet each was looking for a way to attract more travelers within the country’s southernmost vacation outpost.
At the time, their parent company, Riley Hotel Group, ran all eight as a collection, but marketed the properties individually. And one big opportunity stood out: collaboration.
A platform to work together
When Riley switched on the Flip.to platform, our teams worked closely to not only reach and inspire a bigger audience, but also to build an overall plan to help all eight hotels collaborate.
In those conversations, Flip.to Account Manager, Joseph Meuse, also recognized the need to speak to travelers with a unified voice and to build awareness of the other hotels in the family. That suggestion garnered more fuel to continue evolving The Key West Collection by Riley, a plan that grouped the boutiques together in strategy, marketing and content, and would introduce the sister properties to travelers who previously knew no affiliation.
Riley the Rooster debuted as the hero of the new logo, and excitement built for the official kickoff of the platform.
A launch and a pandemic
Just when the new brand started to take off, the bottom fell out of the market as the pandemic swept the nation and grounded travel. While excitement deflated quickly, the groundwork from the collaboration proved to be timely.
The eight properties in the Key West Collection are now working together on a single Flip.to platform to inspire an audience of travelers, and rebuild their marketing funnel while the island is shuttered.
Their audiences, once compartmentalized, are learning about the group in a more authentic way. They’re also growing a team of storytellers who are actively introducing their friends and families to the entire collection. That sets up the properties to be in a great position when the time is right.
The impact of collaboration
The introductions are adding up at a brisk pace. That’s no small feat considering the collection only counts a total of 105 rooms.
Their marketing team is adding great value at the moment, which is bringing The Key West Collection by Riley more than 3,600 dreamers that they can speak to until the Hemingway daiquiris are flowing again.
An extension of your marketing team
Flip.to and Joseph proved to be an extension of The Riley Group team, and a partner willing to join in thinking big to overcome its challenges. Neither could have foreseen the biggest challenge to date, but those initial conversations show getting the fundamentals right is the best way to weather any storm.
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less,” stated Nobel prize winning physicist and chemist, Marie Curie.
COVID-19 has thrashed our industry. The challenges are great, but the decisions and adjustments made today will ultimately decide the future as our industry emerges into a changed world.
As Curie suggested, the more information we have, the better positioned we are to do that. (As you’ll read below, wine also helps.)
When traditional marketing isn’t an option
At Flip.to we’re working hard to help our customers understand, strategize and adapt. The goal is to set the stage for the most profitable rebound while resources are limited.
With traditional marketing off the table, it’s critical to maintain a relationship with your audience of travelers, or risk degradation, with your audience ‘going cold’.
As properties continue to grow that audience for the time when travel is back, it’s equally important it’s done in a way that builds relationships and avoids missteps.
How our customers are adapting
Our Account Management team is working with customers on the platform to maintain and grow these audiences during downtime—in the right way.
Take a peek at some of those stories in action, and check back for more in the coming days and weeks.
Roanoke, West Virginia
With travelers grounded at home and cabin fever setting in, Stonewall Resort launched a Flip.to campaign called “Travel Buddies,” asking their audience to share stories of adventures past with a favorite companion.
The platform rekindles the feelings surrounding those memories while making authentic connections with the storytellers and audiences they’re reaching.
Beyond maintaining their current audiences, Stonewall Resort aimed to reach a new, wider audience so that they could build a funnel of conversations to tap into when the time is right.
They invited anyone to share a ‘Travel Buddies’ story, even if they hadn’t visited in the past. Growing their team of storytellers exponentially increased the impact they earned.
In fact, the 208-room resort has been introduced to 608,438 friends and family directly by their storytellers in the first 3 weeks starting March 24th—all reached organically.
That adds up to fourteen times more than their already healthy audience of existing followers and fans, and is a great set of travelers to engage more down the line.
THE GUEST HOUSE AT GRACELAND
Elvis Presley fans can’t help falling in love with The Guest House at Graceland’s “Taking Care of Business” campaign.
By sharing memories from a past visit to Graceland or The Guest House, past guests can play along with The King. For those feeling lonesome tonight, the Guest House also welcomes stories from anyone sheltering in place, even if they have never visited Memphis.
It’s a playful approach that has a new audience professing their burning love with stories.
Elvis fans are passionate. And since kicking off April 1st, in two weeks The Guest House has been introduced to an audience of nearly 250K by their storytellers.
Beyond that, they’ve earned almost 2,000 warm leads. These are the friends and family of storytellers now in conversation with the 450-room property thanks to the platform—helping to be present and useful to those dreaming about getting back to travel without the pressure to ‘buy now’ weighing on their suspicious minds.
St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
If the best memes of the pandemic are any indication, wine has played an important role in the national mood. A hectic reality resulting from school closures and working from home, colloquially referred to as “WFH,” has made the product of the vine an even more popular stress reliever.
In their “An Enchanting Slice of Napa Valley” Flip.to campaign, the Harvest Inn introduced a playful spin on WFH—Wine From Home. The invite calls on wine lovers everywhere to share their best moments of enjoying wine from wherever home may be.
The platform is introducing wine-lovers the world over to both Napa Valley and Harvest Inn. So far, to the tune of 88,933 friends and family, and thousands of new conversations with future travelers.
For a property with only 74 rooms, this is helping grow an audience of dreamers at a time when the power has been effectively cut to the “book now” button.
Until travel is ready, the platform is in conversation with the right content and context, leaving Harvest Inn with an audience primed for planning and booking later on., That audience is a wine-loving demographic, which is a great fit for Harvest, and earned at the lowest cost.
Inspiring your own audiences
When putting together your strategy, remember it’s important to empathize with your audience. Travelers share your concerns (and probably disappointment that their plans are on hold).
Here’s some of our take:
Include what makes your destination unique (wine, beach, Elvis, etc.)
Make sure the call-to-action is broad enough to reach the widest audience
Inject personality and lighten the mood, but take care to be empathetic toward the difficult situation many face
Have someone from your team kick off the campaign with a homemade video
As always, even remote, our AM team is here to help. We all need to be prepared for the moment the economic engine starts to rumble back to speed.
Launched in August of 2018, the property has sparked conversations with travelers worldwide, since reaching a new audience of over 160,000. This is in addition to converting thousands of unique site visitors and warm leads who are being nurtured down the path to becoming a future guest with the help of the Flip.to platform.
By tapping into Flip.to, Adventures on the Gorge is turning their travelers into storytellers who go on to share the highlight of their experiences to friends and family around the globe. In turn, Adventures on the Gorge is reaching wide, new audiences who are the perfect demographic for their unique experience.
Trust is a critical piece of the success of the platform. As Nielson, Google, Expedia and other sources have continuously shown over time, recommendations from friends & family weigh heavily on travel decisions being made today. This is especially true at the point of inspiration—to the tune of ⅔ of all travelers, according to Expedia’s research for their 2016 American, British, and Canadian travelers’ paths to purchase.
With these impacts, the platform has opened up a new marketing channel to drive direct revenue for Adventures on the Gorge.
GEARING UP FOR 2019
A pioneer in the adventure resort industry, Adventures on the Gorge has over 40 years of experience bringing unique, adrenaline-fueled adventures to those traveling to the New River Gorge. Their peak visitation runs from mid-spring to the end of summer, edged with shoulder seasons and closing in the winter to prepare for the next peak.
For their marketing team, this meant the ability to continue reaching new audiences over the shoulder and closed seasons was critical to maintain growth.
The advocacy platform presented a unique solution to not only drive more business into their shoulder seasons, but also to continue to nurture and grow an audience of potential future bookers heading into next spring, setting up for the following year.
In fact, even during the months they’ve been closed, travelers have continued sharing stories to friends and family worldwide. This has added up to 60K+ in reach since December alone, raising awareness to hundreds of potential visitors each and every day, all who are being introduced in the most authentic way possible.
The platform goes on to help convert this pool of prospects, previously out of reach, into warm leads who are now in unique, personal conversations—each being nurtured to a future adventure for the the next season.
TAKING A STORYTELLING APPROACH TO MARKETING
Beyond building an entirely new audience and growing relationships with their guests, the platform has helped amplify their efforts with a storytelling approach to marketing, letting guests share unique perspectives that only they can provide—more authentic than any ad.
With Flip.to, Adventures on the Gorge is netting a library of authentic, legally-owned content to highlight the travel experiences their guests are sharing, with the resort at the center of the story.
These candid adventures from their travelers have built a strong narrative that’s true to their brand and inspires travel, infusing a level of authenticity into all of their efforts.
Drawn to the rim of the New River Gorge by world-class whitewater, rock climbing, mountain biking, and hiking, the founders of Adventures on the Gorge were driven to create a resort that could live up to the natural wonders that surrounded it. To see the authentic experiences being shared firsthand, visit, http://adventuresonthegorge.stories.travel/gallery or reserve your adventure today at https://adventuresonthegorge.com/.
To get started with Flip.to for hotels, the advocacy platform for that reaches, converts and inspires and entirely new global audience every day, take a tour, or see other hotels shining on the platform, here.
Flip.to lets guests share their Hard Rock experience worldwide, debuting the property to a massive audience by opening up an entirely new marketing channel. The platform closes the loop on these conversations sparked, delivering authentic, personal conversations to inspire & win over new travelers for the hotel.
For Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach, that’s made a measurable impact for their business, earning nearly 100,000 in monthly reach, and tens of thousands of dollars in direct revenue so far.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: NEWLY OPENED HARD ROCK TAPS FLIP.TO
Beyond the hotel’s extensive renovation, raising awareness and attracting travelers for this new Hard Rock experience was a critical piece of a successful launch. That charge was lead by industry-leader and years-long user of Flip.to, Susan Keaveney, Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach’s inaugural Director of Marketing.
SETTING THE STAGE FOR SUCCESS
Keaveney joined her post in October of 2017—just six short months prior to the hotel’s opening. She quickly aimed to drive demand for the newly minted property that was soon to be at the top of its market.
Knowing the proven results of the platform and its ability to net immediate impact, Keaveney saw Flip.to as the a perfect fit to start inspiring travelers. With this in mind, Keaveney launched the platform in April of 2018 to start powering growth for their property and top her goals.
“As a new concept to the area, we were on a strict timeline and budget to increase the visibility for this unique Hard Rock experience with the right travelers—everyone from families seeking one-of-a-kind vacations, to those dialing-it-up at one of our events. This meant promoting the authentic spirit that defines the brand to a wide audience that was still highly targeted.
Switching on Flip.to helped tackle this goal by letting travelers share their Hard Rock experience to family & friends globally. This made for an incredibly receptive audience excited to hear about our property, and we saw impact from the first traveler who shared. With the platform we’re easily translating these efforts into business impact, tracking success at every stage down the funnel down to travelers earned.”
With Flip.to, Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach are reaching a new audience of nearly one hundred thousand organically each and every month, totaling more than 860,000 in reach, so far.
Add to that tens of thousands of dollars in directly booked room revenue, and the platform has made a lasting impression for Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach.
HARD ROCK STILL SHINES ON THE PLATFORM
With 9 months on the platform, Keaveney and the Hard Rock Hotel team are looking ahead to even more growth on the platform. Together with Flip.to they’re crafting rich experiences to put the newest member of the Hard Rock International brand at the center of every traveler’s journey.
Flip.to President, Ed St. Onge, who’s worked with Keaveney spanning her many roles as a veteran in travel, had this to add:
“Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach provides experiences guests won’t soon forget, and are excited to share on. Flip.to has been key in tapping into what’s well known as an influential factor in choosing travel: recommendations from friends & family. And the impact of the platform extends even far beyond that, with quality that’s simply unmatched.
It’s shown time and again to drive the warmest traffic with higher conversion. And beyond reach, these audiences are being nurtured down to a buying decision, helping the hotel build long-term traveler relationships that net out better in every way.”
“I was an early adopter of the Flip.to platform, and now have been a customer spanning it’s growth at multiple properties I’ve marketed. As the landscape evolved, so too has the platform, bringing solves to the table that truly set out to make travel better for everyone, business and traveler included.
Flip.to will continue to be a part of my marketing strategy and an extension of my team at the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach.”
To get started with Flip.to for hotels, the advocacy platform for that reaches, converts and inspires and entirely new global audience every day, take a tour, or see other hotels shining on the platform, here: https://www.flip.to/customers/hotels.
About Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach
Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach brings the global brand’s iconic vibe and energetic beat to a wide stretch of the world-famous Atlantic shoreline. The 200-room beachfront property features renowned, brand-exclusive offerings and amenities, including The Sound of Your Stay® music program, offering complimentary use of Fender guitars and Crosley record players for in-room jam sessions, as well as a renowned full-service Rock Spa® and Salon, a Rock Shop® and a Body Rock® Fitness Center.
The hotel also includes the signature Sessions restaurant and bar, the open-air Wave Terrace and 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, including a versatile ballroom terrace. The property’s resort-style beachfront pool features an expansive oceanfront party deck and outdoor pool bar and grill. Located at 918 N. Atlantic Avenue, just 15 minutes from Daytona International Airport, Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach is owned by Summit Hospitality Management Group. For more information, visit www.hrhdaytonabeach.com.
About Hard Rock International
With venues in 75 countries, including 183 cafes, 27 hotels and 12 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s most valuable collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise and Hard Rock Live performance venues. HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands. The company owns, operates and franchises Cafes in iconic cities including London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Dubai. HRI also owns, licenses and/or manages hotel/casino properties worldwide. Destinations include the company’s two most successful Hotel and Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, FL., both owned and operated by HRI parent entity The Seminole Tribe of Florida, as well as other exciting locations including Atlantic City, Bali, Cancun, Daytona Beach, Ibiza, Orlando, Shenzhen and San Diego. Upcoming new Hard Rock Cafe locations include, Maldives, Manila, Malaga, Georgetown, Fortaleza, Rosario and Chengdu. New Hard Rock Hotel, Casino or Hotel & Casino projects include Berlin, Budapest, Dublin, London, Los Cabos, Madrid, Maldives, New York City, Ottawa, Sacramento, Dalian and Haikou in China. In 2018, Hard Rock International was recognized as a Forbes Magazine Top Employer for Women and Land Operator of the Year at the Global Gaming Awards. For more information on Hard Rock International visit www.hardrock.com.
Flip.to, the advocacy platform for hotels—Reach, inspire and convert an entirely new global audience of travelers every day with Flip.to. Flip.to lets your guests introduce your hotel to the world, combining trust with massive reach and introducing your hotel to travelers just one degree away—warm leads who are the perfect fit. Start building your ever-growing team of advocates who turn meaningful moments into measurable ROI, and instantly see the unmatched impact when you switch on this entirely new channel. http://flip.to
December 11, 2018 — Vail, CO — Leading property management software, Resort Data Processing (RDP), and Flip.to, the advocacy marketing platform, are proud to announce a new partnership to help hotels, resorts, vacation rentals and travel brands worldwide grow booking potential and win more travelers.
RDP and Flip.to bring unique solutions to travel
Flip.to is reimagining hotel marketing with a powerful platform that lets travelers share the high points of their experiences with the travel brand at the center of the story. This taps into the warmest, most receptive audience yet, while tracking back all the impact, driving revenue and creating a lifelong return traveler base.
Paired with RDP’s latest update in property management software, RDPWinV5, the ability to earn impact and grow revenue for your property with these new tools is easier than ever, enhancing technology and marketing stacks with solutions built for the 21st century hospitality industry.
This seamless partnership will amplify the impact of your PMS solutions. With RDP, data is readily actioned to build impact for your property—from easy-to-run, premade reports to SQL access for super-users.
In fact, RDP allows segmentation for your campaigns by many metrics such as prior dates of stay, guest type, region, source of business, nightly revenue, and many more.
This pairs easily with the advocacy platform, building richer profiles that help build stronger relationships with guests and travelers. And together with the Flip.to platform, is proven to increase bookings, as well as return guests reservations.
Get in touch
With RDP, travel marketers get back to spending time putting heads in beds, we will handle the rest. Get in touch at http://www.resortdata.com for a walk through.
Spark interest in your property with Flip.to, today. To learn more about the impact of advocacy for your resort, hotel, vacation rental or destination, take a tour.
Customer success: wecan’tstoptalkingaboutit. That’s because the results earned by travel brands on our platform are the biggest measure of our success.
So, when other people start talking about it too? Well—we can’t help but celebrate.
That’s what we’re doing today with Hotel Tybee, who we’re proud to be recognized alongside for taking home a 2017 HSMAI Gold Adrian Award in Digital Marketing! Hotel Tybee’s success on the platform stood out among a crowded field of more than 1,100 entries.
So what’s advocacy at work look like with Hotel Tybee? When you see the numbers, it’s clear why the judges took note. Take a peek below:
In 7 months and 898 advocates, the property earned:
Hotel Tybee’s advocates drive incredibly warm traffic and high conversion for pennies on the dollar.
Brett L. Loehr, CHA and General Manager to Hotel Tybee had this to say about the platform:
“Today’s reality is that it’s more expensive and competitive to earn guests. Add to that other investments we’ve made in our hotel following three hurricanes just this year, and the importance of growing profits without sacrificing hospitality for our guests comes even more into focus.
We’ve got a strong marketing team who together with Flip.to have done both. For one thing, we’re getting in front of interested travelers in the best way—our existing guests—and the numbers tell the story for what follows.”
Advocacy is a potent marketing channel that properties like Hotel Tybee have unlocked. With trust built in, quality of the audience is a natural lead into great performance.
Stacia Miele, Online Marketing Director echoed Brett’s sentiment.
“Hotel digital marketing isn’t a matter of doing one thing really well—it’s doing a lot of things really well that come together into a strategy that works for your property. Flip.to has been a great add to our stack, with the value of this new marketing channel going beyond lower cost-of-acquisition.”
“All in all—we’ve been huge fans since the beginning,” Brett went on to add.
For a peek at just a handful of what Hotel Tybee’s storyteller’s are sharing, tune in below:
If you’re ready to switch on advocacy, let’s chat. We’ll share how advocacy is changing the game for the hospitality and tourism industries worldwide.
There are tons of reasons to switch on advocacy, and every story about getting started with Flip.to is unique. That’s because advocacy works for all types of hotels, and all types of travelers. By design, it helps your brand get introduced to the perfect audience in a big way.
We’re taking a peek at just what that looked like for Classic Resorts: two resorts out of the islands of Hawaii. Their team had their sights on achieving more in 2017, and paired up with Flip.to to help conquer their goals. The result? Big wins for their properties and their travelers!
Together with Flip.to, Classic Resorts is inspiring travelers around the world with authentic stories shared by their travelers. And while the ROI has proven to be off the charts, it adds up to something bigger than that:
Building relationships with their travelers with even more hospitality, widening their scope to their best audience yet, and diversifying their strategy to helping their resorts get better every day.
If you’re interested in how advocacy is changing the game for vacation rentals, hotels and destinations, let’s chat. We’ll share more on the impact, and make it a fun chat while we’re at it. (Not to mention, kicking off is incredibly easy.)
We love helping hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals get introduced around the world thanks to their travelers. Guests relive their favorite moments, their friends and family learn about their candid experiences in the best way possible, and the properties earn warm introductions to new folks along the way. It’s a win-win-win for everyone.
Today, we’re highlighting one company that recently celebrated a special milestone—100 days shining on the Flip.to platform! 🕶
Growth — A natural result of advocacy
In just their first 100 days, Thomas Beach Vacations has seen the incredible impact of the advocacy platform for their vacation rentals.
More than 23,000 of these travelers took the extra step of visiting Thomas Beach’s website, converting 1,700+ into warm leads with the help of Flip.to.
With over 350 vacation rentals in North Myrtle Beach, beautiful beaches, and warm ocean waters are just some of the experiences Thomas Beach Vacations provides guests at any of their oceanfront homes, luxury condos, and incredible villas.
The big picture?
For each advocate that shared about the high point of their stay, Thomas Beach Vacations were introduced to 923 new travelers in the best way possible and earned 6 warm leads.
On top of that, Thomas Beach Vacations earned the first chance to nurture these leads into future guests and capture more travelers booking direct. And the best part? With Flip.to the impact was tracked in real-time—so the team saw the growth each and every day.
It’s also worth mentioning that Myrtle Beach is South Carolina’s premier beach destination.
From renting boogie boards and playing in the surf, to catching an early morning sunrise or just soaking up some Vitamin D, the memories you make while staying at one of Thomas Beach Vacations hundreds of rental accommodations last a lifetime.
Michael shared this genuine moment with 5,417 of his family and friends—and Thomas Beach Vacations was at the center.
Not only did Michael help Thomas Beach Vacations tell a richer narrative for their property, but 30 of those connections visited the Thomas website from these personal introductions, with several claiming an offer on a future stay.
As you can see, the power of advocacy is unmatched.
In fact, according to Forbes, word of mouth marketing is “the one that consumers trust above all others and the one that is most likely to drive sales to your company.” With Flip.to, Thomas Beach Vacations is harnessing this strength daily. And the best part? It never stops growing.
Stay tuned to learn how this story and hundreds more live on, continuing to help attract and convert future travelers.