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 miles blog

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

New 100% UGC State Travel Guide First Of Its Kind

When the professionals at Miles brainstorm new product concepts for our destination partners, we consider several factors before landing on the recommendations we ultimately present. The most up-to-date travel research, the latest marketing trends, our own forward-thinking ideas and – most importantly – our client’s overall goals all play a critical role in this process. 

And when all of those planets align, the results are pretty stellar. That’s exactly what happened when Miles recently published a groundbreaking new state travel guide for Wild, Wonderful West Virginia.

The West Virginia Division of Tourism had recently launched a new branding campaign focusing on “Real” experiences and people. Their goal for the Official State Travel Guide was to have a print fulfillment piece that also helped support this “Real” theme. We jumped into action by first diving into findings of the most recent “State of the American Traveler” research conducted by Destination Analysts. During that

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Director of Marketing

Three Steps to Building an Effective Onsite Personalization Strategy

According to Nielson, “74% of customers are frustrated that web content doesn’t map to their interest.” With this in mind, what is your organization doing now to create more meaningful experiences for your visitors online?

Destinations across the globe are in various stages of maturity when it comes to personalization, but regardless of whether you are a first adopter or are just coming onboard with personalization, there are some important foundational steps you’ll want to include in your strategic plan. 

Step 1: Conduct Research and Identify Visitor Segments

Identifying visitor segments and understanding what those visitors are looking for in their online experience will help you map the customer journey and identify the types of content you’ll need to drive better engagement and higher conversions. From our experience, we suggest you start simple and expand your segments over time; deeper segmentation will be possible once you accumulate more data on your visitors. 

This is also the right time to set short- and long-term goals for your new personalized content. Define the outcomes you expect and

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Director of Research and Online Marketing
Marketing, Social Media

Case Study: A Partnership Approach to Influencers & Social Media with GoPro

Part 3 of a 3 Part Video Series 

Watch Part 3 of the video series featuring Jesse Desjardins, Global Manager of Content & Social for Tourism Australia

Watch Part 1 and Part 2 of the series, in which Jesse introduces Tourism Australia’s evolution from an iconic spokesperson campaign, and shares the four lessons of social media-led marketing.

We finish our video series with a quick summary of the influencer-led campaign that Tourism Australia undertook with GoPro. 

In 2016, Tourism Australia worked with GoPro to bring 74 of their top athletes to Australia. These were influencers with strong social media connections in their respective interest areas from skydiving, surfing, wakeboarding to diving. This initiative was a large-scale example of a very popular form of social media-led marketing for tourism organizations – leveraging influencers to create, curate and

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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

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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