Blog Posts

 miles blog

Our team has lots of great ideas - and we're willing to share
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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Account Director/Senior Content Director
Content, Trends

4 Content Marketing Trends to Watch in 2017

The good folks at Content Marketing Institute recently shared their top trends to watch for the coming year, but it’s interesting that their “crystal ball” predictions aren’t really new revelations at all. However, research does paint a clear picture that these four trends will likely keep setting the travel marketing world on fire in the coming months. Here’s a quick snapshot …

TREND #1: Buying Influencers

Old thinking was, when you wanted to build your audience you launched targeted advertising and marketing promotions to reach that group. Now, you can just acquire the audience. In addition to organically growing leads or acquiring an existing database of consumers that you still have to court, more destinations are turning their attentions to working with powerful social influencers. And, in the process, automatically gaining the already loyal audience that comes with them.

Tip #1: Know a popular restaurant critic whose followers take his or her recommendations to the bank? Get that person to come explore (and talk about) the great dining scene in your town – and their fans will follow.

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Director of Research and Online Marketing
Trends

Our Top Blogs and Insights from 2016

The Miles team shared many insights, takeaways, case studies and research summaries during 2016. The topics covered everything from LGBT tourism trends to Google’s changing role in destination content. Below are our top 10 blog posts based on readership from 2016 — catch up on the ideas and insights you may have missed this year!

1. LGBT Tourism: Travel Trends and Lessons in an Emerging Market

Mark Sanders, May 2016

2. Destination Websites that Drive Travel (overview of the 13 CVB website conversion study sponsored by Miles)

Chris Adams, May 2016

3. When Tragedy Struck, WV Tourism Office Put Residents First

Steven Keith, July 2016 

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Video & Print Production Manager
Content, Trends

Top 5 Video Predictions for 2017

As we bid 2016 adieu, the Miles Video team takes a gander into the benevolent video production crystal ball to see what 2017 has in store. After consulting our video tarot cards, we have the following predictions for ways to elevate your tourism videos in 2017. Hold on to your Osmo, it looks like we’re in for an exciting year ahead!

#1: Sound Design

While it can mistakenly take second stage to the visuals, sound can make or break your video. Sound design requires thoughtful consideration and planning. Good sound seamlessly merges with the visuals to provide the viewer with an immersive experience; bad sound will distract your viewer, potentially destroying whatever message you were trying to convey no matter how beautiful the footage might be. Music needs to match the tone of the video and style of the edit. Voiceovers need to be high-quality recordings. On-camera segments need to be as free of distracting background noise as possible. 

Where it makes sense, the addition of natural sound (“nat sound”) from the destination can elevate the finished product by adding a subtle level of depth that further brings the

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Director of Research and Online Marketing
Research, Trends

State of the American Traveler – Mobile Edition

The latest State of the American Traveler research from Destination Analysts focuses on the continued growth of mobile devices as increasingly important to all parts of travel and tourism. From inspiration and dreaming (e.g.: watching videos) to trip planning, booking and actual “in market” experiences (e.g.: sharing experiences via social media), smartphones are moving into the center of travel behavior. 

At our November Next-Generation Mobile Webinar, Destination Analysts’ Erin Francis-Cummings summarized the key results from this study, and Lara Ortiz and Kim Palmer of Miles looked at critical best practices in design, development and optimization to take advantage of all the features and functionality of the latest smartphone technologies. We also looked at how more than 230 DMOs globally have adapted to this mobile centric landscape — including a specific discussion on the pros and cons of apps vs. mobile web solutions.

You can see the Next-Generation Mobile Webinar, review the slides and also take a look at the DMO Mobile Global Readiness Index here:

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ePublications Developer
Marketing, Trends

Email Coding Best Practices

Modern coding is to email coding as a laptop is to a VHS player. Although coding websites today has evolved to have amazing capabilities, email coding is still in the Be Kind, Please Rewind mindset and supports very little modern coding techniques. To assist you with becoming a better email developer, I have come up with a collection of best practices, tips and tricks.

Tables > Divs

Think of the <table> as the skeleton structure of your email coding. It is much more reliable and consistent across all email clients. Almost all positioning and display CSS attributes do not apply in Outlook 2007-2013 as well as many other email clients.1 Be sure to set table dimensions in the <td> to accurately display widths.

Quick Tip: When using padding in your layout, be sure to create a separate nested one-column, one-row table with its own padding. If you add padding to a table with multiple columns/rows, it will add padding to everything.

Background Images

Regular images and background images need some attention when used in email coding.

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Director of Research and Online Marketing

Year in Review and the Year Ahead

On December 7, 2016, Phocuswright VP of Research Douglas Quinby joined our webinar series for impactful analysis of 10 major trends, challenges and opportunities for tourism marketers.   

Douglas is a veteran of online travel and one of our industry’s thought leaders; Phocuswright has been a global leader for 20+ years in decoding and interpreting the exciting but complex and fast-changing intersection of travel and technology. Their Phocuswright Executive Conference held each November in the U.S. (and related conferences in Europe and Asia) are arguably the most important in the sector. 

Douglas highlighted 10 major trends that destination and tourism marketers and decision makers need to focus on in the year (and years) ahead. Here is summary along with critical takeaways to action:

#1: Election Unknowns

The U.S. Presidential

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Director of Research and Online Marketing
Research

Call for Participants: Major State Tourism Website Conversion Study in 2017

Destination Analysts with the support of Miles is launching an exciting, combined, State Tourism Website Conversion Study for 2017 — the largest and most comprehensive such study ever undertaken. This website conversion study will offer invaluable insights on how to build, manage and market a state tourism website (and its related digital marketing programs) that drives actual visitation, spending and length of stay — in short; ROI. 

This project will be run by our longtime research partners at Destination Analysts, and is being supported and sponsored by Miles as part of our commitment to state tourism offices across the US — and to better understanding results-driven destination marketing. The program is open to all state tourism offices, and we are already anticipating at least 10 states will join the program, allowing for individual reporting and invaluable comparisons against a peer group of other states.  

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