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 miles blog

Our team has lots of great ideas - and we're willing to share
Director of Research and Online Marketing
Marketing, Social Media

The Four Lessons of Social Media-led Marketing

Part 2 of a 3 Part Video Series 

Watch Part 2 of the video series featuring Jesse Desjardins, Global Manager of Content & Social for Tourism Australia

Watch Part 1 of the video series, where Jesse takes us back to the 1980s and perhaps the most successful tourism campaign of the 20th century.

We continue our video series distilling the lessons from Tourism Australia’s move from its hugely successful Paul Hogan-led campaigns of the 1980s to a social media-led marketing approach in the 2010s. In this second part, Jesse Desjardins (Global Head of Content & Social at Tourism Australia) shares his four best practices for marketing with the voices and content of your community, visitors and partners:

#1: Create Value Not Vanity

This is particularly apt with the explosion of Influencer proposals that many destinations and tourism businesses are receiving.  These pitches are often focused on building the “brand” of the influencer rather than the amplifying the story of their client.  

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Director of Research and Online Marketing
Marketing, Social Media

Tourism Australia: From One Spokesperson to Millions

Part 1 of a 3 Part Video Series 

Watch Part 1 of the video featuring Jesse Desjardins, Global Manager of Content & Social for Tourism Australia

With a laconic “Come and say Gi'day” Paul Hogan became the face of Australia – offering viewers to “slip an extra shrimp on the ‘barbee’ for you.” The 1980s TV ads were arguably the most successful tourism campaign of the 20th Century – propelling Australia from 12th in the consideration set of American travelers to number 1. They turned Paul Hogan, a.k.a “Crocodile Dundee” into an international media and film star. The ads were the flagship example of a big, bold tourism campaign grapping public attention and creating desire. One to millions, using expensive mainstream media and lots of money. To play in this marketing landscape you needed big ideas, big budgets and often a single spokesperson or star to make the pitch. 

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Content Strategist
Content, Marketing

Content That Inspires Travel

This content was originally presented as part of The State of the American Traveler - Destinations Edition webinar presented in March 2017 by Miles and Destination Analysts with support from the Southeast Tourism Society and Destination West.

While research identifies what types of content resonates with travelers when they’re making destination decisions, it’s how we, as marketers, creatively develop and execute this content that really connects with those travelers and inspires them to choose your destination. 

That is why it’s so important to have a rich collection of inspirational content –words, photos and videos that connect with travelers on an emotional level and offer the “why” and the “wow” of the place in addition to the “how” content such as partner listings, maps and deals. This type of inspirational content is how you position your destination to potential visitors so that they select you over anywhere else they may be considering. 

With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at a few examples of inspirational DMO content from around the world. Some of these are destinations that we work

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Director of Research and Online Marketing
Hospitality, Marketing, Research

The Role of Online Booking Solutions as Critical Travel Content

Miles has just published an updated and expanded version of its white paper, “Online Booking Solutions” for Destination Marketing Organizations. The 2017 edition of this Miles white paper highlights the critical role hotel information plays in travel and destination decisions. 

Travelers may yearn for experiences when they travel to a destination – but a comfortable bed (at an affordable rate) is also on their mind in considering where to go. Information on hotels and places to stay have consistently been shown as one of the top three most important topics when deciding on a place to visit – along with information on critical areas like things to do (e.g.: historical attractions) and dining/restaurant information. 

The white paper also reviews the major online booking engine options for

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Account Director/Senior Content Director
Content

4 Content Hacks from a Former News Journalist

As a former news reporter who once worked in a high-stress, fast-paced, you-better-not-get-scooped environment, I sometimes laugh (just a little) at the deadlines I face as a travel content director these days. “We need a story on the best five best craft breweries in the state,” a client might say, “and we need it within the next month!”

Are you kidding me with this? I used to research, report and write multiple stories every day – sometimes in as little as 15 minutes, just to make sure we made the next press run and “got the story” before anyone else.

And while the constant buzz of that newsroom seems worlds away now, some of the basic lessons journalism taught me still very much apply in the world of travel marketing. So when your own content needs seem overwhelming, remember these four key takeaways from the world of “old school” journalism that still resonate today.

1. Hustle to Get the Story

You may not fear competition in your own area to tell your stories because, well, they’re yours. (Why would some other destination want to talk about great things to do in your town?) But don’t forget, they are also

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Video & Print Production Manager
Content, Online Video

Video Pre-Production: It’s All in the Details

Recently, during a rogue “cold snap” here on the Gulf Coast, we were talking about our favorite cold weather indulgences. Among some common fan favorites (hot chocolate! cozy sweaters!), one of us mentioned a recent adventure making Beouf Bourguignon; a rich French stew and proverbial marathon of cooking with umpteen ingredients and preparation styles that would consume the better part of a Sunday afternoon. It occurred to us, while neatly slicing the mushrooms, that video pre-production is a heck of a lot like cooking. Stay with us here.

Much in the same way that the details of preparing the meal are essential to the end product, preparing for a shoot operates much in the same fashion. The finesse taken to extract the desired flavors out of your ingredients is the same attention to detail that’s required in planning: burning the pearl onions will ruin your stew, just like forgetting to obtain a permit may ruin your shoot! Ok, enough cooking metaphors, here’s the video team’s recipe for perfectly planning a video shoot.

Planning Your Meal – Never Overlook the Importance of Time

Julia Child once famously said in

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Account Executive
Travel

Big Island Inspiration

Kilauea volcano has been the main attraction on Hawaii Island (a.k.a. the Big Island) for the past 33 years, and has always fascinated me. Of course, it has been around for a couple hundred thousand years, but it didn’t really start getting media attention until the early 1980s.

I’ve visited it several times, but until last week I had never witnessed the lava actually pouring into the Pacific. We had been above it in a chopper on a no-flow day. We had hiked to the bottom of it on a trail that could be called the mouth of the Earth . . . two incredible vantage points for sure, but nothing like the show we saw on our recent visit.

To get to the point where Kilauea is adding acreage to planet Earth, you need to walk or bike four miles atop a crushed gravel road from the historic fishing village of Kalapana. Sadly, this is the town mostly destroyed by Pele’s wrath over the past three decades. All those images you may have seen

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Content Manager
Content

7 Secrets from Screenwriting for Creating Great Travel Content

Our culture has an insatiable appetite for storytelling. With more streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and Seeso emerging with original programming, hundreds of channels featured on cable TV, and serials now offered via podcast, people are more plugged into storytelling than ever before. 

If you want users to take a break from binge watching and engage with your content, you need to feed their hunger for narratives. Here are seven tips from screenwriting to help better tell a story with your destination marketing:

#1: You Have Less Than 8 Seconds to Grab Your Audience’s Attention

In movies, the opening image sets the mood and lets the audience know they’re entering an exciting new world. Similarly, a carefully chosen banner image, a cleverly crafted headline or personalized content can make or break a user’s experience. Grab your audience on the home page and set up the story of your destination quickly to entice your user. You don’t want to lose anyone to one of the other dozens of options listed in the search results.

#2: The Power of Dialogue

If there is one earmark of all good

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