Earlier this month, the Drinkaware team won a UK Search Award for ‘best use of search in the third sector’ for their ground-breaking campaign ‘A Force For Change’. We thought we’d give an overview of the award-winning campaign.
Drinkaware, independent UK alcohol awareness charity, has been a client of atom42 since 2009. All in all, the charity has reached 10.7 million people in the UK through search, roughly 17% of the UK population. The Drinkaware site has continued to dominate the SERPs for alcohol-related information. The ‘Force For Change’ campaign is about Drinkaware using its authoritative position as a force for behavioural change.
To influence your audience, you must first understand them. Drinkaware identified two distinct groups of ‘high risk’ drinker: those who are ready to make a change and those who have yet to acknowledge their drinking habits. As you may imagine, the latter are far more numerous. Thus, we focused first on opening the eyes of high risk drinkers, and then guiding them through cutting down.
Our approach here was simple: to ensure we were there when people need help, and to provide these users with the tools and information they needed to cut down.
To paint the British public in broad strokes, an obsession with weight and dieting unites us in a similar way to our national appreciation of alcohol. What better way, then, to persuade people of the dangers of alcohol than to piggyback on another extremely popular trend.
The hook: Over 50k people search for calorie related information. Ensuring we had high visibility for these terms meant we could capture this audience.
Reeling in an audience looking to lose weight, we then peppered our calorie information with health facts and drinking guidelines, subtly informing users of the wider-reaching effects of their drinking.
Moving beyond calorie counting, our aim was to encourage people to consider the health harms of drinking and take the next step to changing their drinking behaviour through engaging tools and effective signposting.
As every opportunistic umbrella seller on a rainy day knows, timing your offering is everything. Peak times of interest were identified by analysing search trends. This meant we could capture people at their most receptive.
As thousands of bloated Britons stumble to their computers come January, search demand for calorie information skyrockets. Through a bold, seasonal approach to keyword targeting, we were able to capitalise on this increased interest. In January, our new content drove over 70k organic visits, and we now rank in in position 1 for over 144 calorie terms. Our unified PPC and SEO strategy also meant that 100k people were educated on their risk levels during January through our unit and calorie calculator.
In addition to this seasonal approach, our focus in PPC was on improving our responsiveness to the changing interests of users on a daily basis. For example, scheduled site links allowed us to capture morning demand for hangover recovery, and evening demand for drink driving information.
Our integration with Drinkaware’s PR team also ensured our PPC activity targeted topical, news-based content. For every celebrity served with a drink driving charge, we were there giving advice on drink driving laws.
Equipped with a larger audience, our next step was to inspire behaviour change. Through effective, personalised sign-posting, we were able to increase internal traffic to our tools by 20% year on year.
Our unit calculator is the most visited page on the site through search, and has been used by over 4 million people. Following the classic marketing advice of ‘keep it simple, stupid’, we re-jigged the tool to make it more straightforward and engaging. The results were impressive and immediate – our tool completion rate improved by 58 per cent.
To help users understand their drinking and inspire behaviour change, we introduced an alcohol self-assessment tool, based on a screening survey used by doctors. When discussing health, providing accurate information is of paramount importance, which is why all our content is medically approved. This tool is now visited by over 60k people a month through search – that’s 60k people armed with the insight to help change their habits.
We also doubled the amount of traffic to Drinkaware’s ‘Make a change’ section by diversifying our offering, supplementing our cutting down advice with an article on how to stop drinking alcohol altogether. This content now ranks it position one for ‘How to stop drinking alcohol’, putting us in front of a highly motivated audience.
Now, not only does Drinkaware dominate the SERPS for alcohol related advice:
– In 2014, we increased alcohol awareness amongst an additional 2.4 million people in the UK
– 480k people have used our cutting down tools in 2014 alone
– There have been 8 million visits to our ‘behaviour change’ pages in the past year