To combat the world of ever-changing digital marketing –  the TwoSix team is here to give you what’s On Our Radar for the month. This month, we discuss a possible TikTok ban, ChatGPT, Pinterest Predicts, and more! Keep reading to find out what we’re keeping On Our Radar for January 2023. 

Content marketing is a strategy that involves creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. It can be a very effective way to promote your tourism business, but according to an Aberdeen Strategy & Research study, companies that prioritize content marketing experience 7.8 times higher year-on-year growth in unique website traffic. 

But one interesting point in this article noted that consistent content should be targeted at defined audiences with specific interests – all done without using the brand or its product as the hero. 

A great point to note if you are a destination marketing organization: promote the experience and your differentials ahead of your location or area. 

The rumors of TikTok’s demise in the United States never seem to go away. We may dismiss them, but they aren’t going away. Renewed calls for a ban on TikTok in the U.S. are getting a bit more real as even more concerns over user data security and China’s ability to access that information grows. This is no longer limited to just government employees or their devices as we’ve seen in the past. It’s now reaching into data leaks with journalists as reported by The Financial Times. That can be some dangerous stuff! 2023 may require us to pay a bit closer attention to what’s happening with TikTok access and what that could mean for our marketing efforts. At least, have a contingency plan! 

Lately, we’ve been seeing a lot of DMO interest (and money) being devoted to getting their TikTok presence off the ground. We’re now running full-blown paid campaigns on TikTok for several clients. We’re conducting more and more coaching calls with clients to establish best practices and strategies. We’ve also retooled many of our content distribution strategies to be inclusive of this network! But, what if TikTok does eventually go “poof” in the middle of the night for Americans? For starters, that’d be super sad. Like, super sad. Lastly, it’d be a huge waste of energy and time (and budget) that many of us simply can’t afford to lose. 

The likelihood of a TikTok ban can’t be simply brushed aside anymore. At this point, as tensions throughout the world increase on every single front that we can imagine, it’s something we should be paying closer attention to. It’s also another reason why we should focus on networks that we know are here for the long haul. If you’re feeling on edge about all the TikTok chatter, maybe it’s time to give those Shorts a look over on YouTube. At the very least to better distribute your short-form content. As we’ve discussed previously, Shorts are a priority for Google. They have a viral nature just like TikTok, and their long-game potential within search is currently unmatched. If I had to pick just one, I think I’d be all in on Google’s YouTube Shorts so that I could rest easy that all of my vertical, short-form content creation efforts weren’t in vain. Better yet, start making it a habit to distribute your TikTok content onto Shorts. Consider it a bit of a lifeline if things go completely haywire on TikTok front. 

Ready to dive into the new year with a few new tools up your sleeve? A couple things that have popped up and are really exciting are new advancements with AI systems. ChatGPT, DALL-E and Midjourney. ChatGPT is an AI system that you can, well, chat with. You can ask it questions relevant to your markets or example, “What are people most interested when traveling to Indiana?” ChatGPT will give you a response a number of things like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, The Indianapolis Zoo, The Indiana Dunes National Park and so on with a few quick facts about each. You can also use it to help write copy for social media posts or blogs, it can help shorten and condense or optimize for key terms. It’s definitely an interesting new piece of technology and can help if you’re in a rut and not sure what to write but it can come off sounding a little like a robot. So, you may save some time, but you could lose some of your flare or brand voice. That’s not to say that you can’t start off using ChatGPT for writing copy and then sprinkle in a little bit of your brand’s voice! DALL-E and Midjourney are AI tools that focus on imagery. You can simply give it a prompt and it will generate an image. Some do turn out a little interesting to say the least but if you had a product and wanted to put a different background behind it, these tools could give you a pretty cool result! These tools are fun to check out and play around with and they won’t replace your good ol’ brain but they are definitely helpful! 

A couple other things to check out are Google’s Keyword Planner Tool and Google Trends. The keyword planner tool can of course help you with improving SEO but as people are more actively searching for things on social media, it can help you get an idea of what people are interested in. All you have to do is enter a term and Google will provide you with search trends related to it. Google trends is another tool where you can see what topics are trending and see if you can utilize anything for your pages. Answer the Public is one last tool where you can enter a search term and it will provide an overview of commonly asked questions based on Google’s autocomplete data. 

By now, you’ve probably heard of ChatGPT, the biggest news in Artificial Intelligence in years. And you should definitely care about it! ChatGPT is free, right now, and what makes it different is that you can just talk to it like you would any person — and it has an incredible amount of knowledge. It was trained on essentially, the whole internet, which sounds a bit scary, but when you think about it, contains a lot of expertise. One of the example prompts the creators provide is: “Got any creative ideas for a 10 year old’s birthday?” 


I asked the chatbot something similar, “Got any creative ways to market skiing in michigan?” and it came up with 10 excellent ideas. The options are limitless. One of the best uses of ChapGPT for the average community manager is asking it create code for your website, but it’s also great when you have writer’s block. 

I know what you’re thinking, and no, ChatGPT is not going to take your job. Someone will always have to ask ChatGPT questions and then apply it. Also, it’s not going to be free forever (“the compute costs are eye watering”). But, why not get ahead of the game and take advantage of this fantastic resource when you can? 

One of my favorite times of year is the release of Pinterest Predicts – the social media network’s annual trend forecasting report for fashion, beauty, travel, interior design, and more. It’s a fun way for marketers to get inspired and start thinking about new ideas for the upcoming year, and this year’s travel prediction did not disappoint. 

Is your destination reachable by train? That may be something worth highlighting more than ever before in the upcoming year. Pinterest saw between 100-285% increases in keywords and phrases related to trains, such as “train travel aesthetic” and “train travel quote”. Most of this growth comes from Gen Z and Millennial users, who are looking for more affordable, comfortable, scenic, and environmentally friendly ways to travel. With the current economic outlook, the multi-generation interest is not something to take lightly. Train travel, while more time-consuming, can be a more affordable alternative to flying – especially for groups. Young people who are building familiarity with destinations and travel generally, and older millennials families are both important demographics for travel destinations to reach and connect with in meaningful ways. 

Photo Courtesy of Radu Oncescu

Surprise, surprise… as we enter the new year, Meta continuesto prioritize reels. Meta is introducing yet another way to urge users to upload reels, by including reel creation tools in-app. Even if you don’t have content to make a reel, Facebook will create a “ready-made” reel for you, using the stories, photos, and videos already on your Facebook page, much like the recent Instagram update. 

While the importance of short-form video is evident, don’t let these updates push you into a quantity-over-quality mindset. If you continue to strive for consistent, quality reel content, your account(s) will continue to reap the benefits. As reel creation continues to rise and as do rumors of TikTok bans; if you have yet to get started on prioritizing reels, now could be the perfect time to do so!

With the ever-changing digital marketing world, we are here to keep you informed of new digital trends and what we are keeping on our radar for January 2023. Have any questions? Contact us! We’re here to help. 

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