Virtual Beach Vibes:
Guests can enjoy a bit of the South Walton from their own homes, thanks to our Virtual Beach Vibes series. Utilizing South Walton’s social media channels, this series showcases South Walton partners (including musicians, artists, chefs and accommodation partners), and provides an opportunity for fans around the country to join the South Walton community, even before they arrive.
In total, our Virtual Beach Vibes series received more than 21.6 million impressions on Facebook, and more than 8.7 million impressions on Instagram from March 16 –May 31, 2020. Currently our marketing is geared toward educating visitors before they arrive in South Walton, and then reinforcing that message once they are in-market. See an example here:
Want to learn more? Check out our Virtual Beach Vibes page or CLICK HERE to head over to our Virtual Beach Vibes YouTube playlist.
Interested in getting involved? Reach out to Catie Feeney, our social media specialist, at Catie@visitsouthwalton.com.
May Website Stats:
- Users & Page Views:
- Users who visited the site in May were mostly females (69.1%), between ages 45-64 (42.6%) and new visitors (73.7%). Both new visitors and returning visitors saw huge increases of +173.5% and +173.2%, respectively.
- Traffic to the site this month increased significantly with Sessions and Users both growing +168.3% while Pageviews jumped by +183.4%. For engagements, Avg. session duration was up by +14.8% and Bounce Rate dropped by -2.5%. With the resumption of paid media campaigns, all numbers spiked around the middle of the month with significant increases in almost all major traffic channels such as Organic Search (+46.6%), Social (+894.7%), Referral (+193%) and Paid Search (+3,170.6%).
- Most sessions to the site came from Georgia again this month. The usual front-runner, Texas, remained 2nd but showed a huge increase of +216% compared to the previous month's decrease of -66.4%. Out of the top 10 states, Kentucky had the largest percentage increase of 273.5%.
- Top Areas viewing our site: Atlanta, Dallas-Ft Worth, Nashville, Panama City and Mobile
- The most viewed pages:
- The most viewed pages on the site in May were the COVID-19 Travel Updates page, followed by the Before You Visit page and then the Home page. Of the top 10 pages, those with the largest increases in page views were the Before You Visit page (+11,130.1%), the Beach Safety page (+393%), and the Events page (+412.3%).
- Of the top 10 viewed pages, the Before You Visit page (3:48) and the Restaurant Updates page (3:22) showed the highest average times on page. Both of these pages had low entrance rates and relatively above average exit rates, indicating that the large majority of visitors were finding these pages from previously visited pages on the site.
- 40-50% of these visitors consumed additional content from other web pages after exiting these pages.
- May eNewsletter: Overall, there were 592 new email subscribers gained in May and 6,715 gained so far this year.
- Open and click through rates are above industry standard for both categories.
Visit South Walton is proud to offer a family of publications including: VISIT, STAY, PERFECT, FOREVER, EXPLORE and SAVOR. CLICK HERE to see online versions of each guide.
- VISIT is a revamped version of our Visitor Guide, complete with features on the South Walton culinary scene, lifestyle, events and outdoor exploration.
- STAY showcases our diverse collection of accommodations, in addition to annual events and the different ways you can "stay" in South Walton.
- PERFECT celebrates the businesses and events that were honored as our 2020 Perfect in South Walton Award winners.
- FOREVER is your guide to weddings in South Walton. Learn about the variety of venues available and all of the ways you can create lasting memories on your big day.
- EXPLORE: Explore is exactly what you need to get out and discover South Walton's abundance of natural beauty, outdoor activities, live music and dynamic arts and culture scenes.
- SAVOR: Foodies, rejoice. Savor is our spotlight on all things culinary in South Walton, from waterfront and fine dining to coastal casual eats and full restaurant listings.
We'd love for you to share these free guides with your guests. We've lifted the limit on the number of guides we can now distribute. Contact Industry Relations Specialist Lisa Foster at Lisa@visitsouthwalton.com for more information.
In response to COVID-19, South Walton has taken steps to adjust its marketing strategy. Currently, we’re focused on keeping potential visitors up to date on businesses and any applicable regulations related to COVID-19, including steps taken to ensure visitor and resident safety.
For those in market already, our focus is on how they can help keep our community safe, as well as information on local businesses that are offering adjusted services and are open for business.
Our goal is not only to inform, but to also continue to keep South Walton top of mind with our guests by providing up-to-date information, virtual experiences and pertinent news related to our community.
COVID-19 Travel Updates Page Stats:
The main VSW COVID-19 Travel Updates page launched on March 18 and has seen 174,140 page views (March 18-July 1), 137,878 of which were unique page views, meaning the page was viewed 36,262 times by users returning to the page for another reference. Twenty percent of this traffic originated from organic search. Users spent an average time of 1:38 on the page.Specific sub pages include:
Beach Flag Magnets:
VSW beach flag magnets are available in the Visitor Center for pickup. The Visitor Center is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Please contact Lisa Foster, industry relations specialist at Lisa@visitsouthwalton.com for more information.
BookDirect Accommodations Search Engine:
Visit South Walton has partnered with BookDirect to provide accommodation partners with the ability to display real-time rates and availability on visitsouthwalton.com. Our Partner Extranet does not sync with the BookDirect platform at this time. Please email Haley@visitsouthwalton.com to add or update a rental property listing.
To view the BookDirect user interface and its functionality, please visit the stay page of our website. If you need more information about BookDirect or signing up as a South Walton partner, contact Lisa Foster, industry relations specialist, at Lisa@visitsouthwalton.com or (850) 333-2728.