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

Most Read

Mike Ferguson of Skyscanner talks to Graham about expansion and the new research key for DMO’s

Dana Young updates Graham McKenzie on the progress Visit Florida is making

Jenna Saucedo-Hererra of Greater SATX

Charles Godot General Manager at voco Dubai Palm Jumeirah

Robert Khoury JA Resorts and Hotels Vice President Sales and Marketing

Harry Hastings of Ocean Holidays talks to Graham McKenzie about the past 20 years and the next 20

Nium - Is this the fastest growing Fintech company? Spencer Hanlon talks to Graham McKenzie

Sarah Doyle from Visit Phoenix

Michelle and Jalyssa of Visit Mesa

Alison Cryer, MBE of Representation Plus

Tracy Vaughan, SVP Global Trade Development at Visit Lauderdale

Marc Anderson CEO of Visit San Antonio speaks to Graham McKenzie in London about his city and IPW23

Your Email is bounced out please whitelist Or You can change your email from your profile Setting Section

Your region selection will be saved in your cookie for future visits. Please enable your cookie for so this dialog box will not come up again.

Price Based Country test mode enabled for testing United States (US). You should do tests on private browsing mode. Browse in private with Firefox, Chrome and Safari