Destination DC and MMGY Global Launch washington.org
Destination DC tasked MMGY Global with designing and building a new, responsive washington.org that inspires users to plan a trip to Washington, DC. The website needed a complete update, including a revised site structure, revamped content strategy, and refreshed design that introduced DC’s new brand identity.
During the Discovery Phase of the project, we found that the content on DCcool.com, Destination DC’s editorial content hub, was resonating with users. MMGY was tasked with coupling the important travel information from washington.org with the inspiring content and authentic voice of DCcool.com.
Because the site was built content-first, an intricate editorial tagging structure was implemented throughout the site, which allows users to browse and explore the site easily via topics and themes. The robust tagging structure also allows for strategically related content widgets to display on key pages, keeping the user engaged on the website for a longer period of time.
New Strategy for DC’s Neighborhoods
Many people visit the National Mall in DC, but it was important to continue bringing awareness to other regions of the city, supporting Destination DC’s DC Cool messaging that prompts visitors to explore outside the Mall and stay longer. MMGY Global launched a new Neighborhoods section on washington.org, which begins with the basics of where DC’s neighborhoods are located and transportation tips. It then expands on each neighborhood’s vibe and attitude, local insights and displays neighborhood-specific user-generated content and related editorial.
Authenticity Through User-generated Content and Native-style Ads
The success of Destination DC’s #MyDCcool hashtag proved that users are looking for authentic content beyond social media platforms. Utilizing this insight, MMGY Global built washington.org’s user-generated content strategy. The strategy enables Destination DC to leverage topic-based user-generated content from partners, social media users, and artists and display them on key site pages. The user-generated pieces are accompanied by user attribution. This strategy gives washington.org an authentic and highly social look and feel, which enables users to better trust the content of the website.
To further capitalize on content authenticity, MMGY Global built the website so that advertisements didn’t interrupt the user, but rather supported the content displayed. This native advertising approach promotes better user flow site-wide.
“Our goal with the website redesign was ultimately to motivate people to travel to DC,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, president and CEO, Destination DC.” “MMGY helped us incorporate what visitors and locals have come to know and love about DC Cool: vibrant photography and an ‘insider’s’ view of the city, highlighting our diverse neighborhoods, hundreds of free things to do, and experiences on and off the National Mall.”
Expansion into International Markets
Upon completion of the website build, MMGY Global also led the translation portion of the project. MMGY Global, in partnership with on-the-ground experts in each international market, identified and translated culturally relevant content into nine different languages.
Introducing the New and Improved washington.org
On April 28, 2016, the new washington.org responsive website launched on time and on budget. The new and improved washington.org not only unveiled Destination DC’s new brand look and feel, but it also implemented some of the most innovative web strategies to date.
“Visitors want a website that is intuitive, fast and looks great on mobile,” said Robin A. McClain, vice president, marketing and communications, Destination DC. “Early data tells us visitors are spending longer on the site and visiting more pages, so we feel confident MMGY has laid the groundwork for a truly useful site.”
The new design, improved site architecture, and interactive elements combined with a robust content strategy, has positioned Destination DC’s portal as a best-in-class website in the DMO category. Key stakeholders, members, and the team at Destination DC are thrilled with the outcome of the new website. We look forward to sharing site results in Q4 of 2016.