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Creating opportunistic content with The Children's Society

Amy Dennis The Children's Society Relay by Raw London Your Best Content Campaign

Amy Dennis, Digital Editor at The Children’s Society, talked to a packed screening room of Your Best Content Campaign, as part of Raw London’s 10th event.

Amy’s session, Creating opportunistic content, shared how a 600 word webpage stealthily became the charity’s most successful content campaign this year. From identifying an audience need to making the most of national conversations, Amy explains how she built on this content to earn cut-through, traffic and engagement.  

The Children’s Society is a charity working to support vulnerable children in England and Wales. This particular campaign focused on the issue of ‘county lines’, an example of criminal exploitation in which gangs and organised crime networks exploit children to sell drugs.

Make the most of media and public interest

The practitioners at The Children’s Society have been working with police to tackle the issue of county lines and support vulnerable children. In February, Amy noticed that this work was being covered by local and national media, and the charity’s social media teams had started to share the coverage. They noticed that these posts were receiving great engagement but they weren’t able to build on that traction because there was no website content to drive traffic to and allow people to engage with us more.

Create content that’s useful

At the same time, multiple teams in the charity were working on a key campaign that required multiple stakeholders and lots of decision making months in advance. But Amy had a hunch that they could own the online space for the issue of county lines. At a relatively low time and cost investment, Amy aimed to provide content that would be useful to audiences and highlight the work of the charity to potential supporters.

Don’t overthink it

Working closely with a practitioner, Amy created a 600 word webpage that was launched in just one week. This page clearly explained county lines, showed the charity’s work and included clear call to actions so audiences knew exactly where to go next. Within the first week of launch, there were 10,000 click throughs from social media. The social media post had a 10% engagement rate, reached 5 x the average organic audience on Facebook and was shared over 1,000 times. Since then it’s generated 30,000 click-throughs in total.

This was amazing result because since Facebook changed the algorithm, they had really struggled to get cut-through with their content.

Keep up momentum

Keen to build on this momentum, Amy and her team generated more content around the issue. This included stories from young people affected by county lines, stories from case workers and information for parents on how to spot the signs. This was used as part of their cash appeal and included written stories, images and video. As you would expect, there were a few challenges when creating this content. As is often the case with children’s charities, generating stories from young people was particularly tricky as they often felt threatened and vulnerable. To get around this, they used the voice of a practitioner to tell the stories of the many young people they had worked with.

What did success look like?

The Children’s Society published the video to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and since then it has been viewed 36,000 times. The main hero page has been on par with the home page, garnering 6% of the website’s entire web traffic with 90,000 page views to date. This is an incredible feat especially for entirely new content that didn’t exist before April.

What we learned

  • Being opportunistic when content windows come along can pay off.
  • The audience insights gained from this new engagement on Facebook, the social media team have been able to build lookalike audiences and test content with them.
  • The audience is clearly fascinated with county lines, so will be creating more content around the issue.

 

This is a summary of a lightning talk from Raw London’s event Your Best Content Campaign, Thursday 15 November 2018 at Bertha Dochouse, Curzon Bloomsbury.

**Download the slides here.**

 

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