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Us comms people love a case study, right? So here’s a new one – Connected Kingston.

by Daniel Green

We tried something new and we were really chuffed with the results so thought wer would share a case study. Paid targeted promotion across Facebook & Instagram (including use of stories) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM – Google Adwords) saw Connected Kingston website visits increase by over 500% and we achieved over 400k impressions across the platforms. All with a modest budget. 

What is Connected Kingston?

Connected Kingston is our borough wide social prescribing platform. The site itself is built open source, meaning anyone signed up to the Local Government Digital Declaration can use the code of this project for free. At its simplest, it is a directory of community groups and local services. Groups can add their own entries, with updates automated by email. Out of date entries are frozen. We offer free video promotion for local community groups, hosting of their offer on the platform, social prescribing to their community offer and general digital promotion of the directory itself.

What did we do in the campaign?

We wanted to increase usage and awareness of Connected Kingston. At the same time we wanted to try out a few new marketing techniques and skill ourselves up! A point to note, the allocation of a marketing budget to this project has made it so much easier to scale – we need to avoid the trap of investing all our funds in building a website/tool! 
We ran campaigns across Facebook & Instagram, using both the main feed and also using separate assets for the stories function. Importantly we used the ads manager to set this up instead of the ‘boost’ function. Using ads manager enabled us to target a much smaller area (within Kingston Borough and using specific ages etc), which we were unable to get down to this level of targeting with simply ‘boosting’. It is worth noting that if you spend a little money through a business ad account, Facebook will offer a 30min catch up calls to help you make your money go further.

Search Engine Marketing

The second part of our campaign was Search Engine Marketing (SEM) through Google Adwords. We identified a set of keywords using Google Keyword Planner, which enabled us to explore what types of phrases are being searched for in our local area and picking relevant terms that were not too competitive. For example we chose terms such as ‘Things to do’, ‘Get active’, ‘Make friends’ and ‘Activities for kids’, whereas we avoided overly competitive terms such as ‘lose weight’ or ‘get fit’ which are heavily targeted by gyms (and therefore more expensive). Smaller geographical locations (sub districts and housing areas locally) also proved effective search targets. We programmed the campaign to run within Kingston area postcodes only.

Some areas are lucky enough to have their borough footprint already on Google, however we had to enter it by postcode prefixes.

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What did we achieve?

We wanted to increase visits to our website and improve awareness of the brand/programme. We achieved this, website hits were up 500% from the summer and we saw over 400k impressions across platforms. 

We noticed a few things that you might find useful:

Paid Social Media and SEM works, and seems to increase use even after the campaign

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Advertising in the Facebook/Instagram main feed is really big for over 55’s, but if you want to get your message to a younger audience, stories are a great way of doing it

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We are still to find the platform that shows the spike at the younger age group end (see what’s next!)

What’s next for us?

We are rapidly skilling ourselves up, testing/trialling/experimenting with platforms. We have plans to run future campaigns across:

  • Google Display Network (with a specific focus on Youtube)

  • Snapchat 

  • SEM Adword campaigns for other areas of the organisation

  • Local community group video paid campaigns on Facebook & Instagram

  • Revive our email channels

  • Use local D/OOH (billboards & bus stop posters)

  • Better use of local Facebook groups

  • Improved use of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)/webflows/SEM specifically to drive channel shift (to start with in Public Health – Sexual Health)

We’re always happy to chat and swap ideas so get in touch if it’s helpful at:

Twitter: @Dan_Green1 or Daniel.Green@Kingston.gov.uk

Daniel Green is corporate head of health behaviours & public health services

Original source – comms2point0 free online resource for creative comms people – comms2point0

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