The UK’s leading learning disability charity, Mencap, launched its national ‘Here I am’ campaign towards the end of 2016.
Central to the success of the campaign was the link between offline advertising and the campaign’s dedicated online landing page. Mencap sought our expertise to devise a paid search campaign which would:
- Drive offline audiences to the campaign’s online landing page.
- Ensure an impression share of as close to 100% as possible for our ads in Google’s search results on the day of the campaign’s launch.
Ad promoting Mencap's 'Here I Am' campaign
Call to action
Our 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 that we picked a search term that a) wasn’t already being bid on and b) 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’, right? Wrong.
- Firstly, the US author Jonathan Safran Foer had just released a book of the same name and this term was being bid on by various organisations (including the Guardian) to promote his upcoming book signing events.
- Secondly, ‘90’s stadium rocker Bryan Adams has a song of the same name, with prominent YouTube results dominating the search results page.
- Lastly, typing ‘here i am’ into Google brings up a map of your current location.
Back to the drawing board.
Through careful keyword research we identified the search term ‘understand me’. No one else was bidding on this term and it was non-branded, meaning we could reasonably hope to achieve a low cost-per-click, and offer anyone searching for this term a clear and uncluttered path through to the campaign’s landing page.
A print advertisement for Mencap’s Here I Am campaign instructing viewers to search for ‘understand me’
Google AdWords vs Google Ad Grants
The next big decision was whether to use Mencap’s Google Ad Grants or AdWords account. Two issues were considered here:
- Impression share
Firstly, we needed to ensure that 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?
We 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. 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, we were worried that Mencap’s daily Google Ad Grants budget of $1,320 wasn’t going to be enough. Devoting 100% of our Ad Grants budget would have meant pausing all other activity in the account, and even then, with no solid data to guide us on estimated cost-per-clicks or expected search volume, our maximum allowed daily budget still might not have been enough.
We therefore opted 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 127K YouTube video plays.
"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."– Tessa Adelaar, Digital Manager, Mencap