Case Study: How Airbnb and Flipboard Teamed Up to Introduce Experiences


We recently concluded a successful month long co-promotion with Airbnb. The concept was simple: Open the all-new Flipboard, explore and ”Heart” stories featuring Airbnb Experiences — and you’d be automatically entered to win a free Airbnb trip. We also gave away additional prizes to readers, each day. All they had to do was read and ”Heart” any story on Flipboard for a chance to win.

In this post I’ll go behind the scenes to reveal how the co-promotion came to be, the approach we took and the terrific results that followed.

In The Beginning There Was Brand Fit

Our partnership was rooted in a natural brand, audience and content fit. As a result, nothing about the co-promotion felt forced or gimmicky and it gave us a foundation to drive genuine engagement.

Both brands are centered around passions. With the all-new app we launched recently, now more than ever Flipboard allows readers a way to follow all their passions in one place. They can dive deep and be immersed in the best content curated by influencers, enthusiasts and the best publishers in the world. For example, if you’re into mountain biking, like I am, you can read, connect and share with thousands of other passionate mountain bikers.

Similarly, Airbnb recently launched Trips, with local experiences led by passionate hosts. Now travelers can book activities curated by experts and together share their passion. For example, learn how to create the perfect cocktail with a mixologist in Los Angeles or create street art with an international artist in Tokyo.

Airbnb has developed amazing content around each host, with beautiful vertical videos and photo galleries. All of it’s mobile optimized and perfect for the Flipboard audience, who are voracious consumers of engaging content.

You Scratch My Back

As with any good partnership, we set out to create a win-win program. Airbnb was looking to reach a qualified audience and create awareness around Experiences. At Flipboard, we were looking to create meaningful engagement for current readers, while giving people who had not used the app in a while an incentive to check out the service again.

The Campaign In A Nutshell

Together with Airbnb we came up with an integrated campaign for the U.S. to drive traffic to Flipboard: We utilized everything from targeted emails and push notifications to social, display and video ads both on and off Flipboard. We also targeted prospects with an immersive microsite, which we created using Ceros, an easy-to-use interactive content platform that allows marketers to create sophisticated landing pages on the fly without the need for engineering resources.

When readers came from the campaign to the Flipboard app or website they landed in beautiful Airbnb Experience Magazines made up entirely of immersive Storyboards, a content unit that elegantly stitches together image galleries, articles and video.

We created 36 Experience Storyboards grouped into four city magazines. Each Storyboard included a tappable image poster, a vertical video and a photo gallery. Readers were encouraged to explore and Heart their favorite Experiences, and we made it easy for them to go to Airbnb’s website, in case they wanted to learn more or even book an Experience.

The Net-Net

In total the media campaign delivered more than 39M targeted campaign impressions, reaching existing and past readers as well as new prospects.

The ads on Flipboard driving to the Experience Magazines far exceeded our expectations. The month-long ad campaign earned a 3.3% CTR; the last week of the campaign actually garnered a CTR of over 4%, with ads encouraging readers to explore both daily prizes and the grand prize. (That’s an impressive 8x the industry standard for mobile display ads.)

The magazines on Flipboard generated 4.2M Page Flips from 440K Viewers who “Hearted” Airbnb Experiences more than 69K times. Additionally, Followers of the Airbnb Profile on Flipboard went from 0 to 29K, creating a foundation for future content-marketing initiatives. The campaign also drove some 38K visits to — a robust 9% CTR of the total Viewers.

Everyone’s Happy?

Throughout the month, readers left comments on the Experiences, with an overwhelmingly positive sentiment. Here are just a few:

“Such wonderful memories of San Francisco from many years back. The redwoods are one of my relaxation visions! I would so love to Airbnb there!”

Lin Murwin, San Francisco Experiences Magazine

“I have never been to Miami, but I could only imagine the beauty in the streets between the cultures and the variant of colors, I bet this would be amazing!”

Sarah Braden Booth, Miami Experiences Magazine

“I’d love to see this place. It’s my dream to see Los Angeles it’s so beautiful. Please take me there…”

Monica Torres, Los Angeles Experiences Magazine

“I would love to experience the soul of Detroit with my daughter.”

Catherine Wabsis, Detroit Experiences Magazine

At the end, after having drawn daily winners for a month, we surprised Caitrin Garrett of Vermont with the grand prize. Check out the video to see her reaction. Caitrin is still deciding where she wants to go, but one thing is for sure, it involves a visit to the beach.

Beyond the Co-Promotion

With the co-promotion as the focal point, we’ve already explored other areas where we can work together. Last November, we participated at Airbnb Open, where we educated Airbnb hosts about how they can engage and support/service their guests with Flipboard magazines. We also had a chance to interview some of them for our Inside Flipboard blog and we created buzz with our famous Red Couch photos.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and crew on the Red Couch at Airbnb Open

Take Aways

For other marketers exploring co-marketing opportunities, the success of our campaign shows that it all starts with a great brand, audience and content fit. Because of this, we were able to realize deep engagement centered around passions and a meaningful grand prize. Additionally, we were able to scale the campaign rapidly through our shared media vehicles and keep the momentum going through daily prize giveaways.

A big thank you to Farzad Sharif from Airbnb for helping to bring the promotion to life and being a great partner.

~cenevoldsen heads performance marketing at Flipboard

This post was originally published on Medium.


My Favorites of 2016

All my favorite TV series, movies, podcasts, stories, albums and songs of 2016.

All my favorite TV series, movies, podcasts, stories, albums and songs of 2016


The end of the year is packed with Best Of lists. I waited with mine till middle of January for two reasons: 1) Procrastination and 2) Strategy. By waiting, I avoided having my amazing lists get lost among other (less) amazing lists. Now that’s strategy folks. Ok, so it’s probably primarily procrastination. And the fact I can’t make up my mind.

I’ve already posted my favorite learning moments of 2016 on Medium. Go check it out, then come right back.

Ok, ready? Let’s get to the amazing lists.

Top Ten TV Series

  1. Game of Thrones
  2. The OA
  3. Black Mirror
  4. The Fall
  5. Bedrag (Danish series)
  6. Better Call Saul
  7. The Walking Dead
  8. Stranger Things
  9. The Man in the High Castle
  10. Westworld

Top Five Movies (I haven’t watched enough to warrant ten)

  1. The Lobster
  2. Gleason
  3. Arrival
  4. A War (Danish movie)
  5. The Witch

Top Ten Podcasts

  1. Revisionist History
  2. Heavyweight
  3. This American Life
  4. Vox’s The Weeds
  5. Homecoming
  6. Tell Me Something I Don’t Know
  7. Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
  8. Blinkist (I’m cheating a bit. Blinkist has a podcast, but I’m really referring to their audio book summaries)
  9. Serial
  10. Recode Media with Peter Kafka

Top Ten Stories (check out all stories, plus a few more, in my Flipboard magazine)


  1. We’re the Only Plane in the Sky – Politico
  2. The Shadow Doctors – The New Yorker
  3. Obama After Dark: The Precious Hours Alone – The New York Times
  4. Did Jesus Have a Wife? – The Atlantic
  5. My Year in Startup Hell – Fortune
  6. This is Your Life in Silicon Valley – The Bold Italic
  7. Theranos Whistleblower Shook the Company—and His Family – The Wall Street Journal
  8. The Japanese pro wrestler who almost got Muhammad Ali’s leg amputated – Los Angeles Times
  9. The Audacious Plan to Save This Man’s Life by Transplanting His Head – The Atlantic
  10. My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard: A Mother Jones Investigation – Mother Jones

Also, check out 50 Favorites from 2016, which includes some of my choices as well as picks from select editors, photographers and other Flipboard employees.

Top 20 Albums (I just couldn’t bear cutting it down to ten)

  1. Amen & Goodbye – Yeasayer
  2. Three – Phantogram
  3. Eternally Even – Jim James
  4. A Moon Shaped Pool – Radiohead
  5. Traveller – Chris Stapleton
  6. 22, A Million – Bon Iver
  7. Lewis Del Mar – Lewis Del Mar
  8. Walls – Kings of Leon
  9. Signs of Light – The Head and the Heart
  10. Home of the Strange – Young the Giant
  11. Black – Dierks Bentley
  12. Hardwired… To Self-Destruct – Metallica
  13. Kane Brown – Kane Brown
  14. Young as the Morning, Old as the Sea – Passenger
  15. Day of the Dead – Various Artists
  16. The Hope Six Demolition Project – PJ Harvey
  17. Everything You’ve Come to Expect – The Last Shadow Puppets
  18. Hero – Maren Morris
  19. Phonetics – Asger Techau
  20. Get out of the City – A. Sinclair

Top 20 Songs (Check out my iTunes playlist for the 50-song extended version)

  1. Do You Still Love Me? – Ryan Adams
  2. Bridges – Nine Pound Shadow
  3. I Am Chemistry – Yeasayer
  4. Here in Spirit – Jim James
  5. Puerto Cabezas, NI – Lewis Del Mar
  6. You’re Mine – Phantogram
  7. Burn the Witch – Radiohead
  8. Sour Silk -Cullen Omori
  9. Find Me – Kings of Leon
  10. 8 (circle) – Bon Iver
  11. Somebody Else – The 1975
  12. Parachute – Chris Stapleton
  13. Turn It Around -The Head and the Heart
  14. American Country Love Song – Jake Owen
  15. Touch of Grey – The War on Drugs
  16. The Wheel – PJ Harvey
  17. My Name is Human
  18. Hardwired – Metallica
  19. Black – Dierks Bentley
  20. Bonfire – The Hunna

Phew. You made it to the end, good job! Now, go jam to my playlist!

A how-to guide for digital publishing in a multi-screen world

Living in a multi-screen world-1

Recently, I was invited to speak at a conference for business journal publishers faced with a challenge all too familiar for print publications: How do we adapt and stay relevant in an ever-increasing digital world?

As part of the presentation, I laid out a framework to help shape publishers’ digital content strategy in a multi-screen world. I will go through the framework (Content TEPP) further down in this post.

Check out my full presentation here:

The digital revolution is inevitable. There is no turning back. The rise of smartphones, tablets, connected devices and the pervasiveness of social media means print will continue to decline. That doesn’t mean print will die (in fact, print is somewhat experiencing a come-back), but its importance and purpose will certainly change. Print will not be the end-all but one of many “screens.”

Depending on whom you address the digital revolution is either already here, or it’s fast approaching. And that’s the main challenge; we have two audiences to serve:

  1. The Digital Immigrants: The current audience of baby boomers currently enjoying a printed product but slowly getting used to the digital world
  2. The Digital Natives. (Hopefully) the future audience of young Gen X and Millenials who have never picked up a newspaper and instead grew up connected to the world via the Internet.

These two audiences consume media differently and they have different motivations and interests. Porting over your print content and “experience” to digital might work as an interim “migration strategy”, but it won’t cut it as a long term strategy attracting a new audience.

(For more details on this topic, check out Earl Wilkinson’s blog, where he, based on my presentation, muses over the differences between Natives and Immigrants)

Content TEPP: A digital content framework for a multi-screen world

With the Natives and Immigrants in mind and the realization that media consumption behaviors have changed, here’s a digital content framework for a multi-screen world:

digital publishing content framework


Deciding on what type of content to produce is the most important part of your strategy. Of course. Forget mobile, forget digital and print. Your job is to deliver valuable content to your target audience, regardless of channel. Are the interests of Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives the same? Can your current content attract a new audience with vastly different interests? And how do you attract a new audience with new content without alienating your current audience?


Considering all the different screens, we need to understand the situation and context of our users. Then deliver and optimize content accordingly. It’s very different to sit down with a printed product and leaning back with a cup of coffee in the morning as compared to sitting on a bus with your smartphone and five minutes to spare.

multi-screen consumption by day part


Digital Natives want the right content at the right time. At their pace and on their schedule. Think about how many times you check your digital devices every day. Digital metabolism is much higher than print. The expectation is you’ll be updated, informed and entertained every time, whether you have five minutes or an hour to spare.


Considering the Type, Enviroment and Pace, how do we package it all up for different screens while taking advantage of new digital tools not available in the analog world? Does the way we deliver content live up to the very high expectations of Digital Natives?

For a deeper dive, check out the case studies on Forbes, Yahoo News Digest and more in my presentation and learn how the Content TEPP framework applies in real-life.

New app Yahoo News Digest mimics newspapers – good or bad?

Yahoo News Direct

Yahoo launched a sleek new app yesterday that swims against the stream. Yahoo News Digest is a news app that curates, summarizes and neatly packages the top seven stories of the day. Well, twice a day. There’s a distinct morning edition and evening edition, and in between there’s a countdown timer that lets you know when the next edition goes live. A curated finite experience with a start and an end. Just like in the good old days of newspapers.

The result is stunning from both a design and content perspective. The app is slick, intuitive and pretty to look at. The stories include a nice summary, videos, twitter feeds, links to Wiki and other sources. It’s really a nice experience.

I’m a big believer in curation and giving the user a sense of closure versus the endless stream of content we are bombarded with on a daily basis. It’s satisfying to know you have finished something. We tried to do the same thing with the OC Register’s iPad app, where we focused on one finite evening edition. (That app has since been shut down, when new ownership came in.)

Another attempt to mimic the cadence of newspapers came from The Evening Edition, a project headed up by Miranda Mulligan, known among other things for her great design work at the Boston Globe. I just checked, and The Evening Edition appears to just have ended its run on Dec 31, 2013, so apparently that didn’t work out. So why is that?

What I’m a bit perplexed about with Yahoo News Digest, as I was for The Evening Edition, is why the artificial deadline for the morning and evening edition? For news, which is largely commodity, in a digital age where the metabolism is extremely high, people want the news on their schedule (five minutes in the bathroom, 10 minutes break in the afternoon, 30 minutes after dinner.) Why do they have to conform to an artificial deadline? For the OC Register, we felt our situation was different, because we were providing unique, local content.

Yahoo News Direct timer

Today’s lead story is about former Pentagon chief Robert Gates’ criticism of Obama over Afghanistan, and the package is neat. But it’s yesterday’s news. The biggest story of this morning is instead Chris Christie’s apparent ties to the traffic jam scandal in Fort Lee, but that’s nowhere to be found in Yahoo News Digest. Presumably it will be in the evening edition later today, but I’ll have to wait five hours to get it.

Well established news brands curate stories every day. Yahoo News Digest does too. The difference is Yahoo News Digest is sleek, includes great extras and it deliberately emphasizes the end. Other brands should and could learn from that. Then we’ll see if people are willing to wait for it.

How to reach Connected Consumers with Mobile and Social Marketing Tools

Today I had the pleasure of presenting to AAF Inland Empire as part of their Digital Marketing Series (thanks for the invite). I covered a topic that’s more relevant now than ever. How to reach Connected Consumers.

As I was getting ready to board the plane, I checked Twitter (again) and to hit the “relevancy-nail” on the head, the latest report from comScore popped up: Smartphone penetration is now at 62%. That’s 147.9 million people in the the U.S. walking around with a powerful computer in their pocket.

Mobile is not a discipline, it’s part of a lifestyle. A lifestyle that evolves around being connected through technology.

The presentation covers these topics:

  • Who the Connected Consumers are and why mobile and social marketing is so important
  • How Connected Consumers use mobile?
  • Overview of marketing tools to reach Connected Consumers: SMS/MMS, mobile web and responsive design, organic and paid social media
  • Easy steps to getting started with mobile

Click to view on Slideshare:

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”; title=”Reaching Connected Consumers with Mobile and Social Marketing Tools” target=”_blank”>Reaching Connected Consumers with Mobile and Social Marketing Tools</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”; target=”_blank”>Claus Enevoldsen</a></strong> </div>

New iBook – iPad Design Lab: Storytelling in the Age of the Tablet

In the field of newspaper design, Dr. Mario Garcia is a bit of a legend. Having worked on more than 500 projects including working with some of the biggest news organizations in the World, such as Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and Die Zeit, his experience and expertise is unparalleled.

As I started working on the OC Register iPad strategy, I became an avid reader of Mario’s blog. You see, Mario “got it” early on. He knew that the iPad would open new doors of opportunity and the time was ripe to start experimenting with this new and exciting canvas.

So, it’s very fitting what started as individual blog posts about iPad design now has become a full-fledged, multi-touch iBook (buy it in iTunes) dedicated to the exploration of tablet design for news apps.

Mario describes his book as a

“digital book for our times, whether you are a reporter, editor, designer, teacher, student, or just a tablet user with curiosity about strategies that lead to good storytelling in this marvelous new platform.”

Check out the intro video:

The book is chockfull of good information. Really, it should be required reading for anyone in news and content industries just starting to explore the tablet canvas. Mario covers these topics in the book: Storytelling, Navigation, Look & Feel, Pop-Ups, Advertising, Economics, and Media Quartet.

Of course, true to his tablet design beliefs, the book has an abundance of photo slide shows, audio and video files, hyper links, and much more. But the multi-media never get in the way of the written words. Fortunately, words still play an important part in the New World.

I’m honored to have contributed a case study for the book in the form of video interviews with my fellow colleagues at Next Issue on topics ranging from introducing Next Issue to talking about creating navigation paradigms for digital magazines. Case studies are a big part of the book by the way. And that’s great. We are all learning and experimenting together.

Congratulations Mario on a great and educational book! (Also congrats to Reed, who I know worked very hard as editor and art director on the book).

Buy iPad Design Lab in iTunes for $9.99 (you can get a sample for free too)

The Era of the Connected Consumer

I was invited back to my old stomping ground in the High Desert this week to speak about social media. Specifically, how to reach the new breed of Connected Consumers.

Preparing for the presentation, I made it real simple. I basically stole everything from Brian Solis’ great book: The End of Business as Usual. Ok, almost everything. At any rate, you should buy his book.

My presentation covered:

  • Connected Consumers – who are they?
  • The golden triangle of SoLoMo
  • The new purchase decision making process
  • How to acquire and retain customers with SoLoMo

Check out the full presentation on