Rural Regions Enhance Marketing Efforts with Visit California Program

Tuesday, Aug 30, 2022 0


Visit California’s rural marketing programs help rural destinations promote and manage visitation and accelerate pandemic recovery. Marketing support is distributed on a regional basis to eight defined rural tourism regions: North Coast (North of Ordinary), Shasta Cascade (UpstateCA), Gold Country, High Sierra, Central Valley, Central Coast, Discover Inland Empire and Visit California Desert.


rural marketing program budget


California Digital Optimization

Visit California partnered with Miles Partnership to conduct a rural region-based California Digital Optimization program aimed at improving the quality of California tourism content on Google, TripAdvisor and Yelp. COVID-19 left many assessed businesses with inaccurate business profiles on search platforms, which can cause confusion and lost business. The experts at Miles Partnership educated and provided hands-on assistance to DMOs and individual businesses on how to increase their exposure, improve destination perception and drive more measurable results through travel search platforms.


The California Digital Optimization program is ongoing, addressing COVID-19 recovery, demand generation and an rural destination stewardship efforts. All industry partners are invited to take advantage of California Digital Optimization evergreen resources.


Digital Optimization by the Numbers


  • Total participating DMOs: 75
  • Total counties audited for top searched locations on Google: 46
  • Total business listings submitted for audit: 3,500
  • Total new images uploaded to Local Guide Accounts on Google: 829
  • Consumer image views from Local Guide accounts (Dec– Aug): Over 6M
  • Total Investment: $149,000
  • Total Investment Per Region (7 regions): $21,285


rural marketing program milestones


Google Ads Retargeting Campaign: March 1 – June 30, 2022

The Google Ads retargeting program leveraged Visit California’s $46 million spring paid media investment, targeting the influx of consumers who visited Consumers who visited the homepage and other various campaign pages on were retargeted with region-specific banners which clicked through to regional DMO websites. The campaign increased direct partner hand-offs and regional DMO exposure.


  • Total campaign investment: $120,000
  • Total investment per region: $15,000


Campaign Performance:


  • Nearly 59 million Impressions with at least 5.8 million per region , exceeding goal by over 80%
  • Over 100,000 banner ad clicks
  • Overall click-through rate of .21%, exceeding industry average (.1%) by 100%


rural marketing program regional digital display ads


Snow Photography Project

This inspirational photoshoot brought the Dream Big brand snow regions. Photos of families engaging in entry-level “snow play” activities challenged misconception that you can’t enjoy the mountains if you are too young or unable to ski or snowboard.


  • Total Investment: $150,000


For more information on Visit California’s Rural Marketing program, please contact Rural marketing Manager, Melissa Nilssen.

Learn more about Visit California

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