GoLocal: How Stayokay inspires people in the Netherlands to get out and see their country
Success stories allow us to put customers in the spotlight and see how Instant Magazine helps them achieve their goals. This time we talked with Stayokay, one of the best known youth hostels in the Netherlands, and iMediate, a content marketing agency focused on the retail and B2B markets. To highlight all the beautiful locations of Stayokay’s hostels, Stayokay and iMediate decided to use Instant Magazine to publish an interactive inspirational magazine named GoLocal.
Stayokay is the largest provider of budget accommodations in the Netherlands, with approximately 1 million visitors on a yearly basis. The hostels of Stayokay are located in Dutch cities, the countryside nature, and on the shore. They focus on four different target groups: families, individual travelers, groups, and companies. Guests can enjoy a snack and a drink, meetings, and parties. Some locations even host weddings.
iMediate is a content marketing agency, focused on the retail and B2B markets.
Every day, they help their customers create relevant and inspiring content to reach their own target audiences.
To get families, individual travelers, and small groups of friends all the beautiful locations of Stayokay’s hostels, Stayokay and iMediate decided to publish an interactive inspirational magazine. They named it GoLocal. In this interview, we speak with Frank Bouwman from Stayokay (SO) and Tim van den Berg from iMediate (iM) about the success of GoLocal.
"Internally, everyone is talking about how cool, inspiring, and beautiful the publication has become. All aspects of Stayokay are highlighted in a creative and interactive way."
Marketing consultant at Stayokay
average reading time
reads until the end
readers in the first month
Tell us something about yourself
Frank (So): I am a marketing consultant at Stayokay. In this position, I am involved in, among other things, setting up the marketing strategy of Stayokay. For example, I advise our 22 hostels on their local marketing activities. I am also responsible for corporate identity management, and I maintain contact with partners and agencies.
Tim (iM): I am a designer at iMediate. Besides working on our various print productions, I focus more and more nowadays on designing and creating online magazines. Where we once used print, a lot of things are now digital.
What challenges did you face before you started using Instant Magazine?
Frank (So): The main challenge is that many Dutch people still aren’t aware of Stayokay, or they have the wrong image of us. We used to be the NJHC, a youth hostel centre, so people who know something about us often associate us with hostels as they used to be, with large dorms for example.
Nowadays, we are interesting for all kinds of target groups, from families to businesses. In addition to the traditional hostel environment, we offer private rooms and larger family rooms. In short, we are a lot more versatile than before and we want to make people aware of this.
What solutions did you investigate before choosing Instant Magazine?
Frank (So): In the past, our marketing and sales manager worked with iMediate. She had a great experience with them. That is why she once again approached iMediate for a door-to-door brochure, a digital magazine, and an annual report.
Tim (iM): After Stayokay came to us with this challenge, we looked at various online tools for building digital magazines. We even thought of using a browsable PDF as, with different versions for the three target groups. We quickly sunsetted this idea since we wanted a dynamic and interactive publication. Browseable PDFs are simply too limited and old-fashioned, so it soon became clear that a digital magazine would be the right solution.
Why did you decide that Instant Magazine was the right tool for your needs?
Tim (iM): In the end, we chose for Instant Magazine because we had a great experience working with Instant Magazine before, when we made some publications for MediaMarkt (major dutch electronics store). Also, the that we saw on the website really appealed to us.
Stayokay had also shown us some examples of what they were envisioning for their digital magazines, and these turned out to be Instant Magazine publications! Our experience was that Instant Magazine is a user-friendly tool, with lots of creative possibilities. I also wanted to try out the new Drag & Drop editor. This editor gives you even greater design freedom, which really appeals to me.
What value did you get from using Instant Magazine?
Tim (iM): I particularly like that you can use a multimedia approach. You can embed videos or slideshows and place additional info in a pop-up/overlay. You can not implement these kinds of things in a regular magazine.
Frank (So): It is a beautiful and versatile platform. The combination of elements like video and personalization, as well as the different scroll options (down, link and right) makes it look interesting, creative, and dynamic. Most importantly, we are very pleased with creativity that Instant Magazine gives us to tell our brand story.
What are your favorite features?
Tim (iM): As a designer, I prefer to use as much imagery as possible, so I am a big fan of the features like the background videos, parallax scrolling, and the embedding of 360 degree views and Instagram pages. I also find the direct links to the booking pages of the hostels, the social sharing buttons and the integration of Google Maps very useful.
Frank (So): I like the dynamic and interactive elements. So the flexibility of scrolling (left-right and top-down) and video are my personal favorites.
How have the readers responded to the publication?
Frank (So): We only get positive reactions. Our readers like the content and think the magazine itself looks very cool. People get excited about it, exactly what we want to achieve. Internally, everyone is talking about how cool, inspiring, and beautiful the publication has become. All aspects of Stayokay are highlighted in a creative and interactive way.
Do you have tips for other Instant Magazine users?
Frank (So): It works great, looks refreshing, and there is plenty of room for videos and other creative elements. It is a very versatile platform, so I advise everyone to take advantage of all the possibilities that the platform offers.
Are you planning to create digital publications more often? If so, for what?
Tim (iM): We are going to make one more magazine this year, and we almost have an annual report finished. Next year, there will be four publications and another annual report.
Frank (So): We want to make a GoLocal magazine every season. The publications are released every season but are not necessarily seasonal. For example, winter is when a lot of people begin thinking about their summer plans, so that’s a good time to send out a summer-themed magazine.
"As a designer, I prefer to use as much imagery as possible, so I am a big fan of the features like the background videos, parallax scrolling, and the embedding of 360 degree views and Instagram pages."
Tim van der Berg,
Graphic designer at iMediate Content Marketing