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Lemongrass Marketing – Digital PR campaign for Motel One “Most Walkable Cities”

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Published Date 15.06.2023

About Lemongrass:

Lemongrass Marketing is an award winning PR & Content agency for travel brands with impact and purpose, in the world’s most beautiful destinations. We are en route to becoming a B Corp, currently awaiting final assessment and have been recognised as a Sunday Times Best Places to Work Company 2023.

Lemongrass was formed 16 years ago as a bolder, brighter and better solution to travel PR. We are sector specialists in travel, wellness and sustainability and develop travel PR strategies based on data insights.

Clients include tourist boards, tour operators, hotels and wellness retreats.

We care about making travel meaningful. We see the right kind of travel as a gateway to and we thrive on working with clients who share this belief. Together, we create strategies that support them now and – most importantly – into their future.

About the campaign:

Lemongrass Marketing Digital PR campaign for budget design hotel group Motel One drives travel back into city centres after Covid-19

We designed this campaign for our long standing client Motel One, a budget design hotel group with over 75 hotels across Europe. Their hotels are primarily located in city centres and Motel One faced the challenge that travellers were hesitant to go back to city centres post pandemic, fearing cities might be crowded and hence there might be a great risk of catching Covid whilst on holidays. People at that time preferred to flock to remote, rural areas.

Our task was to create a PR campaign that would not only encourage visitors back to cities but also appeal to an international audience, benefiting all of Motel One’s locations across Europe.

Given a budget of only £6,000, Motel One aimed to generate extensive earned media coverage and secure backlinks from high domain authority websites. This strategic approach would improve the hotel chain’s search engine visibility and rankings, both across Europe and worldwide. Ultimately, our goal was to drive traffic to Motel One’s website and increase bookings at their 75 European hotels, while also gaining coverage in multiple international markets.

To address concerns about crowded spaces and promote the safety of city travel, our campaign needed to convey Motel One’s brand pillars of city centre locations, design, and affordability. Our research using Google Trends revealed a significant increase in searches for walking routes in cities as people sought alternatives to public transport. This insight led us to develop the idea of ranking Europe’s most walkable cities, aligning perfectly with Motel One’s brand pillars and highlighting the safety of exploring cities on foot.

To add credibility and resonate with journalists, we created a comprehensive content asset featuring rigorously researched original data sets. We identified cities with rising demand based on Google Trends, airport and flight data, and included perennially popular destinations. For each chosen city, we designed a walking route on Google Maps, connecting five key attractions while incorporating additional points of interest along the way. The cities were then ranked based on the walking time of these routes.

The ranking and detailed route descriptions were showcased on a dedicated landing page on Motel One’s website. This evergreen content provided a valuable resource for users seeking city walking guides, continually driving traffic to the website.

The results:

Our campaign achieved extensive coverage in various countries, including the UK, Ireland, Germany, Greece, Belgium, Czech Republic, Poland, and Italy, where Motel One hotels are located. Furthermore, the campaign received attention from countries as far as Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and Dubai. The impressive results of our collaboration with Motel One include:

  • 53 online articles, with 43 of them featuring a link to the content asset
  • 30% of links originating from websites with a domain authority above 60, signifying excellent quality
  • 134 brand mentions
  • An online reach of 122 million people through websites and blogs
  • A social media reach of 8.2 million through shares of campaign-related posts

The success of Motel One’s Walkable Cities campaign has garnered industry recognition, resulting in prestigious award nominations such as the Travmedia Awards 2023 Finalist for Best Digital PR Campaign, PR Moment Awards Finalist as well as inclusion in Econsultancy’s worldwide library of best practice marketing examples.

We are proud to have played a significant role in helping Motel One achieve their marketing objectives and strengthen their presence in the competitive hospitality market.

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