Do you know what’s just as important as making content?
Measuring the results it gets you.
If you never measure, you’ll never know what works – or worse, what doesn’t. You’ll be doomed to mindlessly creating blog fodder, with no understanding of what resonates with your audience.
That’s why our data insights team is always looking at our work retrospectively. We perform content audits – so we can accurately gauge performance, and give our audiences more of what they want (and less of what they don’t).
We create and run surveys to try to capture the mood, and get a little bit of qualitative data, too. But the truth only really comes out when you observe what people do. Because data doesn’t lie, and people often do. Not because they’re bad or anything – actually, it’s usually because they’re trying to be nice or spare our feelings!
Basically, people will say things that paint them in a certain way, but will often behave differently. Data on user behaviour is candid, honest and clear. Feedback rarely is.
And so, in the spirit of putting our money where our mouths are, we’ve decided to rank our own content’s performance for all to see; not based on social likes, or shares, or feedback – but based on cold, hard user stats.
The data insights team at Lemongrass has analysed all our blogs from 2022, to find our top performers – and to see what they can tell us about the future of travel PR and content marketing.
And here’s what we discovered:
1. TikTok is big, and it’ll be bigger in 2023 – but brands are still struggling with it
Like lots of industries, the travel sector continues to struggle with making TikTok work for their brands. As TikTok continues to grow, we detail how to prepare your 2023 for the continued rise of video content.
2. No news is… bad news?
Travel brands have to put up with their PR agencies constantly asking them for news. And we empathise, because frankly, a brand can’t always have news. We shared our own method on how to generate news when you don’t have any – and the response was huge.
3. All in on Insta? Newsletters might change your mind
The Instagram outage earlier this year, coupled with the move to a cookieless world, showed influencers and creators that having your whole audience on social media alone isn’t the best idea. That’s why so many people are developing their own newsletters – and travel brands should be placing an even greater emphasis on it, too.
4. The biggest growth opportunity is in Digital PR
Digital PR is on the rise, and Lemongrass is the only PR agency in the UK to combine traditional and digital PR specifically for the travel industry. It’s the biggest growth area in PR (and in SEO, for that matter). Not social media!
5. People are more than their demographic
Another big area of interest is personalisation – and the need for travel brands to move away from demographic targeting, and towards content based on passions and interests.
So, let’s break it all down – and give you access to our trend-setting posts in one place.
1. The Ultimate Guide to TikTok for Travel Brands
We published this high performing blog in February 2022, and since then, TikTok’s hold on the market has only strengthened.
In 2022, TikTok became the most downloaded app in the world, quietly surpassing longstanding forebearers Instagram and Twitter. If trends continue, it will overtake YouTube as the platform users spend the most time watching.
In our post, we detail how to approach TikTok – beginning with questioning if it’s the right platform for you, through to how to implement a TikTok social media strategy. Read the full blog for details on what makes great travel content for TikTok, to prepare your strategy for 2023.
2. “My PR agency always asks me for news, but we don’t have any!”
It’s an age-old problem in PR: a typical PR agency hounds its clients, asking for news, news, news… but there isn’t any. But how is the agency supposed to create news from nowhere?
In this blog, we unveiled our process of using news cycles to create stories from nothing. It sounds like magic, doesn’t it? Well, it’s actually rooted in a lot of hard work and data mining. We share our trade secrets, and guide you through the process.
3. PR’s biggest SHOCK in 2022? The rise of travel and lifestyle newsletters
We debunked the biggest PR myth of 2022 – that the key to marketing a travel brand successfully is driven by social media.
The popularity of newsletters soared due to the pandemic. So many authors and journalists were looking to regain the voice they had pre-covid, and the newsletter became the perfect platform.
Throughout 2022, we witnessed social media platforms changing more than ever. The common criticism is that, to be in the feed these days, you have to be spending money (paid social vs organic social). Changes with the algorithm, tracking and lack of accessibility to data have made a perfect storm – and many travel brands are now questioning if they should even ethically be on certain platforms.
The newsletter has none of these problems.
The newsletter has clear sign up policies, first party data, and can be tightly controlled. Our hot take? The newsletter will continue to rise, as public perception of social media falls in 2023.
Read the full blog post, to prepare your travel brand for this shift.
4. The Meteoric Rise of Digital Travel PR
In this popular post, we introduced what digital PR actually is – and more importantly, what it isn’t (hint: it’s not Digital Marketing, it’s not social media either).
In 2023, digital PR is only expected to grow as brands are expecting to perform in Google as well as publications and print.
Even the search term “digital PR” is on the rise, increasing 23% year-on-year on Google. As more clients become aware of the importance of adding creativity into link building, the requirement for specialists who understand the implications of link building also increases.
Link building was once the evil twin of technical SEO – but when done well through digital PR, it has the ability to increase brand awareness online, and even offline.
This blog post shows you how to get high quality links, and why that matters for your travel brand.
5. Travel Brands: Use Data to Find Your Audience – and Tell Your Story
Data is a great starting point for your content strategy – or any strategy for that matter! But it doesn’t tell you everything.
For example, seeing that you have a really high performing, high traffic blog post might look great in Google Analytics, but if these clicks don’t ever result in conversions, or match with your goals, then your data might be telling you a different story…
The magic happens when you look at the data with a human eye. Here, we match storytelling and emotional values with analytics. Maybe your blog’s content isn’t right – maybe it doesn’t resonate with your audience, doesn’t reflect their values, or your audience isn’t even finding it because they aren’t searching for the terms used within the copy.
We explored how to understand your audience, and talk to them in ways that can lead to bookings.
Keep measuring your content performance
And that’s a wrap – for this year, at least! Before we sign off and enjoy the Christmas break, remember that by measuring results, you’re always fine-tuning your marketing performance. And even though these five posts are the best performers for us, the others we created in 2022 still brought us value; they set a benchmark, showed us how our rankings could be improved, let us explore new ideas and thinking, and they gave our clients and visitors something insightful to take away.
But it’s up to us to analyse our data – and make well-informed, human-focused decisions on how to make our content better. Maybe it should be your travel brand’s New Year’s resolution, too.
Merry Christmas from all of us at Lemongrass – see you in 2023!