Disability charity Mencap is reaping the rewards of an innovative paid search campaign.
The charity’s national ‘Here I am’ campaign launched towards the end of 2016, with the help of digital marketing agency Torchbox. The aim of the campaign was to drive offline audiences to the campaign’s online landing page while attempting to achieve an impression share of as close as possible to 100% for Mencap’s ads in Google’s search results on the day of the campaign’s launch.
Suitable search term
Commenting on its website, Torchbox explained that its first task was to advise on a suitable search term to use across all non-digital media. This term would be included as the central call-to-action across Mencap’s TV, cinema and print advertising, so it was vital to pick a search term that
- wasn’t already being bid on and
- wasn’t going to cost Mencap the world
The obvious choice for a campaign called ‘Here I Am’ was, of course, to use the search term ‘here i am’, but this was to prove a problem.
The phrase was used as the title of a recent publication by Jonathan Safran Foer, the title of a Bryan Adam’s song and a map of the user’s current location when typed into Google, which forced the charity to experiment with locutions.
Through careful keyword research Torchbox identified the search term ‘understand me’. No one else was bidding on this term and it was non-branded, meaning hopes were high that a low cost-per-click could be achieved and anyone searching for this term would have a a clear and uncluttered path through to the campaign’s landing page.
AdWords or Ad Grants
Torchbox added that the next big decision was whether to use Mencap’s Google Ad Grants or AdWords account. Two issues were considered here:
- Impression share
The agency needed to ensure every user who searched for ‘understand me’ was served an ad. If not, they’d have no obvious way of reaching the campaign’s landing page. Impression share was critical to the success of this campaign. Could the Ad Grant deliver a 100% impression share?
Torchbox said they weren’t confident in this. “In the days leading up to the campaign’s launch, we had noticed that other clients’ mobile ads, run via Ad Grants accounts, weren’t always being served despite budget being available in the corresponding accounts,” the agency said. “Relying on Mencap’s Ad Grant to deliver the required impression share was a risk we weren’t prepared to take.”
- Daily budget
Secondly, with no way of knowing how big the search volume was going to be on the day of the campaign’s launch, there were worries that Mencap’s daily Google Ad Grants budget of $1,320 wasn’t going to be enough. Devoting 100% of the Ad Grants budget would have meant pausing all other activity in the account, and even then, with no solid data to guide on estimated cost-per-clicks or expected search volume, the maximum allowed daily budget still might not have been enough.
It was therefore decided to run the campaign using Mencap’s paid AdWords account, which proved to be the right decision.
Since launch, the campaign’s results have gone in all the right directions. Key highlights include:
- A 98% impression share on the day of launch
- Users who clicked on an ad on the day of launch were of the highest quality – bounce rate, average session duration and pages per session were all better than traffic from email, social media and referral channels
- 800+ clicks came from paid search in the first two days of the campaign
- Cost-per-click of £0.36 in the campaign’s first seven days
- A conversion rate of 18% compared to 10% for social media
- 62% of sessions generated were first-time visitors to the site
- Paid search has so far contributed to a total of 127,000 YouTube video plays
Commenting on the project, Tessa Adelaar, digital manager at Mencap, said: “This was the first time we ran a campaign with a call to action asking people to search for a certain term to drive traffic and conversions. Torchbox really helped us shape the strategy and supported us during launch and the weeks following to make sure we would guide every single person searching for this campaign to our landing page.”
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