Most of us are thrilled to be past the winter months and bask in the glow of warmer spring days. But, before we leave Q1 behind, let’s look at the topics which captured consumer attention, resulting in publishers driving more traffic and cashing in on more sales during March.
The insights below come from Skimlinks’ publisher data (a Taboola company) from March 1 – 29, 2022. Publishers can use the data and key takeaways below to inform their content strategy, increase readership, and ultimately increase revenue.
The four major trends we saw in March include:
- Couples are planning their weddings
- Consumers are so ready for everything related to spring
- Taking a vacation is at the top of to-do lists
- Interest in The Oscars rebounded from last year
Wedding Bells Are Ringing
Couples are wasting no time when it comes to wedding planning – a trend we saw in both January and February. What’s different in March? While the earlier months were about research and planning, couples are now firming up their decisions, signing contracts, and purchasing everything they need for the big day. Clicks and sales on wedding-related articles continue to surge, with sales increasing by 15.5% month-over-month (MoM).
Our data revealed that articles discussing the best places to purchase everything wedding-related – from engagement rings to invitations and wedding day fashion – are performing well in terms of traffic and sales. We saw a spike in searches for black tie dresses indicating wedding guests are also preparing for a big year ahead.
Data from the mega wedding planning site The Knot indicates that 2.6 million weddings will occur this year. After the pandemic crushed the wedding industry, it’s exciting to see that the number of planned nuptials is actually higher than the pre-pandemic yearly average and hasn’t been seen since 1984. Seventy-five percent of couples that got engaged in 2021 have already set their date for this year, and unlike the uncertainty that plagued previous years, 98% of couples are confident dates won’t need to be rescheduled.
The Takeaway: Per The Knot, couples contract with an average of 14 vendors for their wedding, meaning advertisers and publishers across a wide range of verticals can tap into the trend. Focus your articles on summer and fall weddings, as those will be the most popular. Create guides packed with links for the obvious (fashion, beauty, venue, music, décor, and catering ideas) and incorporate general consumer trends such as sustainability to see an uplift in sales.
Spring Is in The Air
Even though Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Groundhog Day this year, consumers weren’t going to stand for six more weeks of winter. They’re ready for spring and making it known with their online behavior.
Retailers have been busy launching their spring collections, so it’s no surprise that articles about spring sales and fashion trends are generating significant amounts of traffic across Skimlinks’ US Managed Service Publishers. Sales from articles featuring the word “spring” in the headline have jumped 131.8% MoM. Across the network, we’ve seen more than 7,000 sales this month, representing over $800K in order value.
The Takeaway: Spring is a time to renew, refresh and enjoy the outdoors. With that in mind, we suggest putting extra effort into content that highlights warm-weather fashion and home trends. Based on what we’ve seen, backyard furniture, light-weight bedding, and breathable clothing will all be likely topics that drive clicks.
Vacations: It’s a-boat time!
The travel bug has bitten consumers, and similar to the wedding industry, the travel vertical is about to take flight. Reuters rounded up a suitcase’s worth of data to support this:
- AirDNA reports spring travel bookings are 49% higher than last year.
- Hopper has experienced a 50% increase in bookings since Q4 of 2021.
- Vrbo bookings for this summer are up 15% compared to last year.
Our publisher data revealed that articles about the best family vacations, honeymoon destinations, all-inclusive resorts, and hotels, in general, perform well in terms of sales. Specifically, sales have increased 30% year-over-year (YoY) for articles featuring the word “travel,” while clicks have increased 45.2% YoY. For articles containing the word “vacation,” clicks have increased by 61% YoY, and sales have skyrocketed, rising 148.5% YoY.
The Takeaway: Feed traveler wanderlust by preparing niche travel content guides covering flight deals, family-friendly and pet-friendly hotels, girl’s weekend getaways, sustainable travel opportunities, and bucket-list destinations. Include your affiliate links and the right keywords in your URLs and headlines.
The Oscars: What A Night
In the lead-up to Hollywood’s big night, two publisher traffic trends emerged: searches for how to stream The Oscars and how to watch the nominated films. Ahead of the star-studded event, we looked into the data from our publisher network and saw the term “Oscar” had earned over 4 million pageviews during a 90-day period.
While viewership reached 15.36 million, far above last year’s shockingly low number, the most notable moment was the slap heard around the world. Plenty of publishers are still producing fresh content as the event continues to unfold, consequences are handed out, and consumers tune in for more updates.
The Takeaway: Instead of trying to find new stories related to Will Smith, we suggest publishers take a different approach. The streaming wars continue to heat up. As inflation takes a bite out of consumers’ entertainment budgets, consider creating campaigns around great streaming deals, how to watch trending shows, or even some Oscar-related fashion and beauty looks people might want to recreate.
Spring into Action
If you’re looking to grow your traffic and increase sales (who isn’t?), tap into the discussed trends. Although they sprung up in March, we expect these themes to carry over into at least the next few months.