How Alden Suites accelerated to a more profitable rebound, all thanks to a warm audience

We aim to tackle marketing that’s both good for travelers and good for business, and we partner with industry players who do the same to drive more impact for customers.

We teamed up with NAVIS and the Sunshine Gals to boost the bottom line for Alden Suites Beachfront Resort, a 143-room property in sunny St. Pete Beach, Florida. Here’s a closer look at how the partnership set Alden up for a post-2020 comeback.

A competitive market

Marketing duo Sunshine Woodyard and Trudy Anderson of the Sunshine Gals are the conductors of Alden’s marketing, together with Alden’s VP of Operations, Tony Satterfield. He explains,

“The challenge with an independent hotel is not having that big brother that can feed you anywhere from thirty to sixty percent of your business.”

Like other independent hotels, the property elbows its way into market share in many of the same crowded channels as its peers.

Alden and the Sunshine Gals knew they needed a different approach. They wanted to talk directly to their audience, segmenting based on their wants and needs, and knew focusing on the guest experience over promotions would be a better way to engage their community.

The approach was successful, but they quickly found the need to scale, leading them to tap Flip.to and NAVIS. The partnership would grow the audience faster, and build traveler relationships across the traveler journey, tackling their goals:

  • Reach and inspire an audience of dreamers who are the perfect demographic
  • Unveil planners on their site, sparking new conversations in more authentic ways
  • Win over new and repeat guests, inspiring them to return again and again

Isometric screenshots of Flip.to screens

Growth at every part of the traveler journey

Winning over planners and bookers

After 2020, Alden’s focus was to rebound more quickly and profitably by growing their direct channel. They turned to Flip.to, and we were excited to put to work the newest part of our marketing platform: Discovery.

Discovery unveils prospects on their site with a reimagined booking path, learning a planner’s intent and travel aspirations in a more authentic way. From there, the platform re-engages and nurtures prospects by sparking better conversations based on that newly discovered intent.

Switching on Discovery resulted in a leap in conversion, and a significant increase in direct revenue for Alden.

Letting won-over guests inspire a new audience of dreamers

After these guests have stayed, Flip.to steps in once again—this time with Advocacy. Alden turns their guests into storytellers, letting them share their experiences to grow a new audience.

They reach a highly-targeted, like-minded demographic who are dreaming about travel, before competitors even have the chance. Plus, these storytellers fuel other marketing. Woodyard shares,

“Flip.to lets us tell authentic guest stories throughout the traveler journey. People can see themselves at the property, living the vacation dream.”

The impact from Flip.to in the dreaming, planning & booking stages is massive:

IN JUST 90 DAYS ON FLIP.TO 147K Friends and family reached with Advocacy—the right demographic at the lowest cost-of-acquisition 12K Planners unveiled, leading to hundreds of added room nights using Discovery’s reimagined booking path ALDEN HAS EARNED AND TRACKED AN ADDITIONAL $470K in direct revenue a 325x return on investment, thanks to Flip.to and on pace to reach $1.8M in 2021

Extending the traveler’s lifetime value

After working hard to grow and maintain this highly valuable audience, Alden Suites sought to maximize its impact, and that’s where NAVIS took the reins.

In order to build more fruitful, long-term relationships, NAVIS aims to increase its value, analyzing guest data, nurturing leads, and creating new or repeat direct bookings.

In doing so, NAVIS helps Alden Suites continue meaningful conversations with past guests, keeping their audience from going stale and ultimately priming guests to return.

This increases long-term revenue, creating growth that has been especially important after the challenges our industry has faced in the past year:

Year Over Year (YOY) GROWTH WITH NAVIS 34K Click Throughs 17% Open Rate IN 2020, THIS RESULTED IN $1,343,780 in direct revenue an 18% growth in gross revenue YoY, thanks to NAVIS

Teaming up for better marketing and better results

Marketing efforts with Flip.to and NAVIS proving effective through to revenue have helped the spirited team at Alden and the Sunshine Gals solidify their strategy:

“The partnership with NAVIS and Flip.to is a critical component of how we’ve been successful over the last several years,”

says Satterfield. And Anderson agrees:

“Our investment in building our own audience prior to COVID has made recovery work a lot better.”

Let’s talk

If you’re ready to hear how the Flip.to marketing platform can launch incredible impact for your property in weeks, get in touch. To keep up with more on what Alden Suites, NAVIS, and the Sunshine Gals are doing to reshape travel marketing, give them a follow:

We’ll share how you can reach, inspire and convert new audiences at a massive scale.

How collaboration helps these small Key West hotels see spectacular results that will live beyond the pandemic

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

Photo submission from April A. showing man holding a rooster and a hen.
Photo submission from April A.

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.

Photo submission from Kathryn S. standing in front of palm trees in Key West.

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.

In just 56 days, Riley Hotel Group engaged 342 storytellers who become an extension of Riley's marketing force. 270,000 friends and family were introduced to Riley's Key West Collection by someone they know. 3,600 dreamers in conversation-an audience who are the perfect demographic.

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.

How 3 properties are adjusting their marketing during the pandemic, and how you can too

“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.

STONEWALL RESORT

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.

Kim M.'s photo submission to Stonewall Resort's Story Contest

Cheri G.'s photo submission to Stonewall Resort's Story Contest

Denise D.'s photo submission to Stonewall Resort's Story Contest

THE GUEST HOUSE AT GRACELAND

Memphis, Tennessee

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.

Lisa P.'s photo submission to The Guest House at Graceland's Story Contest

Ashley W.'s photo submission to The Guest House at Graceland's Story Contest

Eric H.'s photo submission to The Guest House at Graceland's Story Contest

HARVEST INN

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.

Tom and Emily B.'s photo submission to Harvest Inn's Story Contest

Haley D.'s photo submission to Harvest Inn's Story Contest

Angela M.'s photo submission to Harvest Inn's Story Contest

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.

Advocacy at work: storytellers helping condo resorts shine

With OPMA Spring Executive Summit around the corner, we’ve been taking some time to reflect on this amazing partnership, while also looking ahead at 2019 for property managers.

That’s inspired us to also take some time to celebrate some of our fellow OPMA members and property managers who are tapping the advocacy marketing platform to create authentic conversations, nurture lasting relationships, and craft rich experiences with their property at the center.

Take a look at a few of our personal favorite storytellers at work for these properties, each and every day.

Atlantica Resort

Atlantica Resort_Morgan Atlantica Resort is at the center of this memory from Morgan and her family. The impact is growing each and every day, with Morgan alone reaching over 1,700 site visitors and 150 warm leads to folks just one degree away—and the perfect fit for this beachside resort.

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

Sandestin_Jennifer Sandestin_Louise With advocacy, Sandestin is winning new audiences who are the perfect match for their resort. Jennifer and Louise joined their fellow travelers who shared their stories worldwide, reaching an audience of nearly a quarter-of-a-million and earning over 2,700 warm leads in only 4 months.

What’s that mean for Sandestin? They’re building new relationships and sparking authentic conversations in the most trusted way possible, at a scale like never before.

Resort Collection

Resort Collection_Angela Resort Collection_MattAngela and Matt were fellow guests at Resort Collection. These storytellers joined other travelers who helped earn thousands of warm leads—now in authentic, personal conversations—to nurture for a future visit to this Panhandle property.

Sterling Resorts

Sterling Resorts_Barbara Sterling Resorts_Brittany With Flip.to, Sterling Resorts is winning over new audiences who are the perfect fit.

In fact, Barbara and Brittany are just two guests who joined fellow storytellers who are helping reach an audience of over 94,000 each and every month.

The Beach Club

The Beach Club_Carol The Beach Club_Hailey By tapping Flip.to, The Beach Club’s guests are sharing the highlights of their stay with friends and family worldwide, driving the warmest traffic with higher conversion for pennies on the dollar.

Turquoise Place

Turquoise Place_Betty Turquoise Place_Stephanie Betty and Stephanie shared their experiences with Turquoise Place at the center to those who matter the most—their family and friends.

This like-minded demographic went on to share these stories, too. Together, they’re helping Turquoise Place reach new audiences of over 85,000 each and every month, helping this family-friendly, beachside property earn hundreds of personal introductions to an audience who are just one degree away.

Vista Cay Resort

Vista Cay_Gayle Vista Cay_Kara Building relationships with travelers has always been a top priority for the team at Vista Cay Resort. Each and every day they craft rich experiences for every traveler’s journey with their brand at the center.

Guests like Gayle and Kara, shared their incredible stories to friends and family—other like-minded travelers—which helped the Vista Cay earn hundreds of warm introductions to future travelers the perfect demographic for their resort.


These are just a few of the storytellers netting new audiences of travelers, each and every day. If you’d like to see what the advocacy marketing platform can do for your property or condo resort, let’s talk!

Storytellers at work: spark relationships with new audiences

Hotels strive to deliver hospitality to create memories their guests will rekindle. And spreading the word about these moments-made-special, or standout service? That’s always going to be most impactful when done by those who experienced it first-hand: your guests.

Letting travelers tell their stories is not only authentic and trusted, but also introduces your property to quality, new audiences at a massive scale.

That’s what Flip.to is all about. We turn travelers into storytellers who help organizations—large and small—drive high-quality, warm traffic with higher conversion than any other marketing channel.

And today, we’re looking at a few of our current favorites.


Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa Lake Arrowhead Resort and SpaLake Arrowhead Resort and Spa

Jeniah and Matthew were just two travelers alongside fellow guests at Lake Arrowhead Resort who’ve helped their property reach over 50,000 like-minded future travelers in just the last 3 months. This has helped earn hundreds of warm leads, each in 1-to-1 personal conversations with this mountainside property.

La Concha Renaissance Resort La Concha Renaissance Resort

Thanks to Yaniara and other traveler-turned-storytellers, a new audience of over 60,000 was reached in only 90 days, earning nearly 1,000 warm leads. The best part? Each one of those future travelers being nurtured down the path to becoming future guests.

Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Banyan Tree Mayakoba

Kyle and Cory were just two travelers who visited Banyan Tree Mayakoba that shared the highlight of their stay with the property at the center. Together with fellow guests, Banyan Tree reached an audience of 164,568, earning over 4,000 warm leads to the waterside resort in just 4 months.

But what does that really mean? They’re sparking relationships with this new audience in the most authentic way possible, and nurturing personal conversations with each and every one.

Art Ovation Hotel Art Ovation Hotel Art Ovation Hotel

Robin and Dorene were fellow guests at Art Ovation Hotel. These storytellers joined other travelers who helped earn hundreds of warm leads, now in thoughtful conversations that are leading down the path to a future stay—opening up an entirely new channel, for pennies on the dollar compared to other marketing efforts.

Viceroy Los Cabos Viceroy Los Cabos

Anayeli—traveler to Viceroy Los Cabos—shared this incredible story with her friends & family—other like-minded travelers the perfect fit for their luxury, beachside property—she helped the resort earn hundreds of personal introductions to an audience who all just one degree away.

Playa Largo Resort & Spa Playa Largo Resort & Spa Playa Largo Resort & Spa

With the advocacy marketing platform, Playa Largo Resort is winning over new audiences who are the perfect fit, each and every day. Lucas and Marisa joined fellow storytellers who are helping reach an audience of over 60,000 potential guests each and every month. This helped earn over 2,700 leads who are in 1-to-1, personal conversations with Playa Largo.


These are just a few of the many unforgettable experiences being shared to new audiences of travelers each and every day. If you’d like to see more, let’s talk!

Caribbean travelers-turned-storytellers inspire growth for a region

In a few short weeks we will be “wheels up” for Montego Bay, Jamaica to attend the annual Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace.

CHTA has paired up with Flip.to to raise awareness for the entire region as part of ‘Rhythms of the Caribbean’ storyteller campaign, and the  impact has been remarkable, so far.

Not only that, but we’re working with properties of all shapes and sizes across the Caribbean, working together to make an impact from the regional level all the way down to the hotel.

To celebrate, we’re sharing some of our favorite storytellers from these outstanding travel brands throughout the islands to show how everyone from a locals to travelers are reaching and growing new audiences, netting incredible results each and every day.

Jamaica Inn – Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Jamaica Inn Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Matt joined his fellow travelers to help reach an audience of 55 thousand in just 3 months. These storytellers helped drive impact for Jamaica Inn, converting 3.2x higher than the average paid search campaign, a testament to the receptive warmth of the audience and quality demographic.

Pure Granada – Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique

Pure Granada — Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique

Destination marketers Pure Granada are winning over new travelers for Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique by switching on advocacy. In just the first 2 months, their storytellers have reached an audience of more than 200 thousand travelers worldwide, driving thousands of site visitors and warm leads for the destination.

El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton – San Juan, Puerto Rico

El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by HiltonSan Juan, Puerto Rico

Lesley visited El San Juan Hotel for rejuvenation and relaxation. She and her fellow travelers placed the hotel at the center of their rich, authentic stories shared. Together, they introduced the hotel worldwide, helping earn over 600 warm leads in just 15 weeks—each who are being delivered authentic, personal conversations and nurtured for a future visit to this picturesque property.

The Crane – St. Philip, Barbados

The Crane – St. Philip, Barbados

The Crane is no stranger to success. They proved to be the perfect fit for George and his family, and memories like those shared have a lasting impact for their resort.

In only 15 weeks, travelers reached an audience of over 200 thousand, proven to be the warmest, most receptive audience for their resort by converting leads at over 3x the industry benchmark.

Thatch Caye Island Resort – Dangriga, Belize

Thatch Caye Island Resort – Dangriga, Belize

A peaceful moment captured during Steven’s stay at Thatch Caye Island Resort speaks volumes to the natural beauty that surrounds the property. He brought over 100 visitors back to the hotel’s site all on his own一tapping into new audiences previously out of reach. And he’s joining fellow travelers each and every day to reach new audiences for Thatch Caye.

Ladera Resort – Soufriere, Saint Lucia

Ladera Resort – Soufriere, Saint Lucia

Hana was awestruck by the beauty at Ladera Resort. Her favorite travel memory was shared to over 400 friends & relatives一fellow travelers with similar interests and buying habits, and the perfect demographic for their resort.

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort – La Baie de Silence, Saint Lucia

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort – La Baie de Silence, Saint Lucia

Sugar Beach’s staff made an incredible impression for Grant and his wife, going above and beyond for their stay.

So much so, it was an experience Grant was excited to share on to friends & family, and helped track impact for their hotel on top of it. Sugar Beach was introduced to thousands of his friends, with over 200 site visitors coming back to learn about the St. Lucia property, and 131 warm leads to friends just one degree away from Grant and showed interest in a future stay.

Copal Tree Lodge – Punta Gorda, Belize

Copal Tree Lodge – Punta Gorda, Belize

Cale joined other travelers-turned-storytellers when he shared his wonderfully exceeded expectations of Copal Tree Lodge. In just 3 months, over 36 thousand friends & relatives were personally introduced by someone they know and trust, resulting in hundreds of warm leads for this unique Belize property.

Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort Curaçao – Newport, Curaçao

Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort Curaçao – Newport, Curaçao

Suzanne captured a timeless memory to share for years to come with Santa Barbara Resort Curacao at the center of her experience. This compelling story matters the most to her friends & family and they drove impact for the property一over 1,500 site visits and 164 warm leads to Santa Barbara Resort Curacao一in the most authentic way possible.

Bay Gardens Resorts – Gros-Islet, Saint Lucia

Bay Gardens Resorts – Gros-Islet, Saint Lucia

Bay Gardens attentive hospitality inspired Kennedy to join other traveler-turned-storytellers in sharing their experiences at the resort. Together, they’re warmly introducing these exceptional properties to new audiences, in the most trusted way possible—all while getting more for every dollar they invest into marketing.

Couples Resorts Jamaica – Ocho Rios and Negril, Jamaica

Couples Resorts Jamaica – Ocho Rios and Negril, Jamaica

Susan has been making memories at Couples Resorts in Jamaica for over 10 years. She introduced her friends and family to their beachfront properties, leading to 32 warm introductions to like-minded travelers who showed interest in a romantic getaway of their own.

Casa de Campo Resort and Villas – La Romana, Dominican Republic

Casa de Campo Resort and Villas – La Romana, Dominican Republic

For Gordon and his family, time spent at Casa de Campo was one for the books. Along with other storytellers, they reached over 100 thousand new demographic一all just one degree away.


These are just a few of the storytellers helping net new audiences of travelers through Flip.to, each and every day.

Just can’t get enough? See more stories here, and if you’re heading to Jamaica—get in touch with us here!

Florida favorites: inspiring stories from our home state

Florida’s the place we call home. But aside from calling it our home state, it’s also one of the top destinations for travel worldwide. Not only is tourism the Sunshine State’s No. 1 industry, we also welcomed a record 116.5 million visitors in 2017.

As travel marketers ourselves, we’re in good company. So what better way to show some love to our the place we call home than to share some of our customer’s brightest and best stories from the Sunshine State!

 

Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa — Vero Beach, FL

Coste d'Este

With advocacy, Costa d’Este is winning over new audiences who are the perfect match for their resort. Dennis captured the expression of pure bliss with her dog while she and her family were on vacation. Her story was shared 250 times, introducing friends and family to Costa d’Este.

Coste d'Este

Kim was a fellow guest at Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa. Not only did the property provide an incredible homebase for her stay, but she had memories to last a lifetime. Together with her fellow travelers, Costa d’Este reached 160,257 travelers in 92 days alone.

 

Playa Largo Resort & Spa — Key Largo, FL

Playa Largo Resort

Yvonne visited Playa Largo Resort for relaxation and left with a lasting impression that she shared on to her friends and family. Her picturesque story captured the attention of 166 like-minded travelers who showed interest in a getaway of their own.

Playa Largo Resort

Playa Largo Resort was at the center of this memory for Ginger and her family. Not only was her story shared 178 times, but the impact of she and fellow travelers just like her led to over 2,789 warm introductions to Playa Largo.

 

Resort Collection — Panama City Beach, FL

Resort Collection

Phil’s breathtaking experience of his adventures with Resort Collection at the center is compelling for any traveler—but it’s the most compelling to his friends & family. Thanks to Phil and other traveler-turned-storytellers, a new audience of over 4,000 future travelers are being reached each and every day.

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort — Sandestin, FL

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

For Caleb and his family, time spent at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort are full of moments to rekindle. This one in particular helped drive impact for Sandestin—to the tune of over 1,000 site visitors and 95 warm leads to folks just one degree away from Caleb—and the perfect fit for this beachside resort.

Hammock Beach Resort — Palm Coast, FL

Hammock Beach

Nicole’s story reminds us that there’s beauty waiting to be discovered around every corner. For Hammock Beach, memories shared by guests like Nicole have a lasting impact for their resort. She joined her fellow storytellers for the resort to help reach 177,127 friends and family in the most authentic way possible.

South Seas Island Resort — Captiva, FL

At South Seas, Lorne returned to nature, surrounded with peace and quiet, sharing the resort with more than just other travelers!. She joined 90 fellow storytellers to share her “South Seas Sun & Fun”, one of many compelling stories that captured the authentic experiences at South Seas.

Trump International Resort Miami — Sunny Isles Beach, FL

Trump International Resor Miami

Melissa basked in honeymoon bliss at Trump International Resort Miami. She went on to share her incredible story with her friends and family, other like-minded travelers, helping their resort earn 111 warm introductions一all just one degree away.


These are just a few of the many unforgettable Florida experiences being shared to new audiences of travelers each and every day. If you’d like to see more, let’s talk!

Plus, if you’re a fellow-Floridian and want to learn about something special we’re doing in our home state—take a peek here to how to let travelers reach & win over entirely new audiences with Flip.to and VISIT FLORIDA.

We’ll share how advocacy powers awareness, warmer relationships, and a whole lot more.

Experience Cocoa Beach and Visit Myrtle Beach shine at Adrian Awards

Hands down, our customers rock. We see this time and time again with their outstanding engagement and conversion rates. When they win, we cheer.

Out of more than 1,100 entries submitted to the 2018 HSMAI Adrian Awards, two of our very own won awards for Digital Marketing! Experience Cocoa Beach and Visit Myrtle Beach cut through the noise.

Experience Cocoa Beach: One year strong with silver

Westgate Resort tapped into Flip.to to help boost the marketing efforts for Experience Cocoa Beach. In just one year, Experience Cocoa Beach reached over 1.4 million travelers with the help of their guests, leading to over 11 thousand authentic warm leads.

 Top featured photos from Experience Cocoa Beach for Adrian Awards

Christina Leake, Social Media Director for Westgate Resorts had this to say about the platform:

“As organic reach for businesses on social becomes more and more limited, the Flip.to platform provides a powerful solve for the challenges facing brands.

Their authentic approach to enlisting real people to tell their real stories is incredibly potent. It’s not just one of the most innovative ways to use social—moving forward, it will be the only way to truly reach these audiences in an organic way.”

What else about their performance stood out? Earning 2.4x higher lead conversion compared to industry paid search benchmark.

Visit Myrtle Beach wins bronze

In one year for Visit Myrtle Beach and their properties, over 30 million friends and family were reached worldwide—each with a personal introduction to the hotels.

Top featured photos from Visit Myrtle Beach for Adrian Awards

Scott Schult, Executive Vice President, Visit Myrtle Beach had this to say:

“It’s nearly impossible to effectively compete with AirBNB and the OTAs at the point of purchase. They invest billions a year in marketing, advertising and technology to win guests.

Our goal as destination marketers is to compete well before that and reach travelers at the point of inspiration.

That’s exactly what we’re doing in Myrtle Beach with Flip.to. We’re building partnerships to benefit both our hotels and destination, and together, we’re well on our way to growing and inspiring the largest new audience of Myrtle Beach travelers, ever.”

Even more—their Destination Advocacy Cooperative is the first of its kind, bringing big wins to the region, partners and travelers.


Congrats to these two outstanding travel brands for being marketing rockstars! 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.

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Advocacy Academy: Spotlight on Adventures on the Gorge

We love helping our customers get the incredible impact from advocacy each and every day. After all, we pioneered advocacy and are reimagining marketing that’s a win for travelers, great for business and plain ol’ good hospitality.

And if you’ve wondered what you can do to maximize your advocacy efforts through our platform, then read on, because today, we’re bringing you a special edition of Advocacy Academy, spotlighting customers crushing it on the platform (and beyond).


Meet Adventures On The Gorge. This destination in West Virginia is a premier location for whitewater rafting, rock climbing and a lot of fun (like their upcoming Bridge Day event—meet you there?).

Family travelers and adventurers alike come to explore the outfitters of the New River Gorge. One such adventurer? Laura W. and her family. Laura shared about her son’s Scout trip:

Facebook post with story from Laura W., recent traveler to Adventures on the Gorge

Jay Young, the Gorge’s Social Media Manager, (spotting a great opportunity to nurture his guest) saw the post and jumped into action. He not only gave her story a shoutout, but he also invited her to become a storyteller for their brand!

Facebook invitation by Adventure on the Gorge

And storyteller did she become! Together with her friends, Laura’s experience has been shared 20 times in just a few weeks, inspiring 46 friends and family so far to show interest in a future stay. (Opted-in, warm leads for all the marketing types out there…)

This all because Jay went the extra mile to engage Laura, inviting her to share her unique perspective.

But that’s not where this story stops.

When Jay saw the highlight of Laura’s stay, he instantly was reminded of his own son, so he knew that this story would connect with other travelers. He shared it on to his own audiences:

Adventures on the Gorge shares Laura W. story to their page

Right away—you guessed it!—Laura W. showed her excitement. Jay was of course sure to respond back right away, building a stronger relationship with his guest, a true testament to Jay’s sense of hospitality.

Facebook comment by Laura W. to Adventure on the Gorge.


The key from this Advocacy Academy? Engaging authentically with your guests is a win-win for everyone. And while there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to advocacy, there are some great ways to expand your use of the platform.

Look out for more examples of travel brands who are sparking some amazing conversations with their guests, and we’ll leave you with a few tips below:

  • Reach out and respond to guests that engage with your brand and spark a conversation with them.
  • Invitations are a powerful way to earn more storytellers and watch your advocacy impact skyrocket.
  • Share outstanding guest stories to your own audiences right from the Flip.to platform.
  • Lean on your Account Manager for questions and ideas about getting the most out of the platform—we’re here to help!

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Four get-yourself-thinking tenets of marketing from travel pros

If there’s one thing we learned from Hacktoberfest, it’s that you really can’t go wrong with great product & brats.

A few special guests came by to leave their stamp on the creative process, and though the event has come to a close, here’s some of what’s stuck with us:


Jason Holic, VP of Digital Marketing at Experience Kissimmee

Understand your traveler’s intent

Jason got a firsthand look at the early stages of our creative process. A longtime destination marketer, he gave his take on the importance of understanding a traveler’s intent in order to connect with them.

“One of the challenges we have is recognizing what the intent of the visitor is on their customer journey.

Are they just looking for inspiration? Are they committed to the destination? Where do we fall on their journey? Do they already know they’re coming to Central Florida or are they in that in-between stage? Or do they just want to know what else there is to do or where to stay? That’s the challenge: figuring out where they are on that path.

As destination marketers, we really need to figure out their place in that journey and also what their level of intent is in order to serve up the content that is most likely going to resonate with them further down that path until they ultimately convert and visit us.”

 

Zach Stovall, Travel photographer, videographer & writer at Zach Stovall Photography

Tell a better brand story

Zach brought his 15+ years of experience in visual storytelling to the mix. On top of being unofficially awarded “Most Authentic Lederhosen,” he shared examples of compelling imagery that helps properties tell a better story.

“[Hotels] need to keep their own stories in mind so they can connect with the appropriate guest for them.

A good story is cohesive, has a solid start, weaves through the whole story process, keeps the reader or the viewer engaged, all the way to the end. It’s all about setting the scene and making it dramatic.

I think it’s important that resorts and hotels use that in all of their marketing.

When they use people to support their marketing, then they can speak more to their ideal guest and they can interact with your brand.”

 

Dr. Dan Spellman, Course Director – Digital Marketing & Personal Leadership at Full Sail University

Start with your “Why”

Dr. Dan shared a historical on how hospitality has changed digitally over the last two decades along with some real-world challenges hoteliers face—and tied all of it back to why. (It’s not his first rodeo here at Flip.to.)

“I was inspired by Simon Sinek’s book, “Start With Why.” I focused on this when talking to hoteliers about their business.

Why are you in the hospitality business? What drives you? What is your motivation when you come to work?

We also looked at our personal why. For me, it was digital media. Things are constantly changing and improving from a digital marketing standpoint.

We would discuss this approach with everyone from top level staff to services. We all wanted the same thing: to serve the guest. And the way each and every hotel does that is different.”

 

Christina Leake, Social Media Director at Westgate Resorts

Unveil experiences

Christina and the team chatted all things travel marketing, from guest storytelling to content marketing, and from the big picture down to the day-to-day application.

“When I first arrived, we were very real estate focused, using a lot of room and interior shots that weren’t resonating with the audience. Almost immediately, we decided to flip the switch to marketing around the experiential—what people are doing while they are on property, around the area, and in the city they are visiting.

By doing that, our audiences have grown exponentially. Our click through rate and revenue have increased as well. Being able to highlight the experiences helps us not only sell the place—it helps us sell the story.”

 


Behind really great product is a lot of collaboration, dynamic teamwork, and, of course, a bit of fun.

And this meeting of the minds was just the start. We’re excited to unveil more in the coming weeks, so be sure to follow us for the big reveal.

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