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We're delighted to announce that our environmental, CSR campaign for Lanes Group Plc has been shortlisted for the Prolific North Northern Marketing Awards 2019.

Read on to discover what digital marketing activities we devised, developed and implemented in order to secure this nomination for Best Search Marketing.

What were the objectives of Sinner or Binner?

Lanes for Drains (Lanes) is a national industrial, commercial and domestic drain specialist, who came to I-COM looking to increase their revenue, organic search visibility and brand awareness.

how did we aim to achieve these objectives?

We devised a corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaign, ‘Sinner or Binner?’, an integrated, multi-channel search campaign surrounding the environmental issue of hidden plastics. The key messaging of Sinner or Binner? was to improve awareness and education of how to correctly dispose of items that contain hidden plastics (that did not include throwing them away down drains).

With this campaign, we would:

  • Secure links to the website
  • Generate brand citations and mentions
  • Demonstrate expertise and thought leadership
  • Grow and drive traffic to the website
  • Increase engagement with the website

Who were we trying to reach?

There were three unique target audiences that the campaign aimed to reach.

#1 Children, parents and teachers

Behavioural change is often most impactful among the young, so I-COM decided to target this group by creating a range of educational resources about hidden plastics that teachers could teach to their pupils, who would then take their learnings home to their families. The age-appropriate resources would discuss the problem of hidden plastics in waste materials - and how to dispose of them properly - and be disseminated to teachers, educational groups and relevant publications.

#2 Women in their 20s-40s

To reach this demographic, I-COM focused on the hidden plastics in sanitary products by partnering with a charity focused on ending period poverty. I-COM devised a social media campaign whereby for every share of a specific post, Lanes would donate one pack of biodegradable sanitary products to the charity. The work would be supported with a PR and outreach strategy.

#3 The general public

They would be reached through a PR and content marketing campaign, centred around a survey investigating their knowledge of what can - and cannot - be disposed of down a drain.

These activities of the CSR campaign would be supported with Paid Search and through a range of SEO, link-building and onsite work to further enhance the Lanes website’s trust, authority and expertise.

So what did we actually do?

We developed, created and promoted a variety of assets and thought leadership pieces to achieve the objectives of the campaign per target audience.

#1 Children, parents and teachers

We created a range of teaching resources aimed at primary and secondary school children, including the The Hidden Plastic Problem factfile, the Sinner or Binner? The Hidden Plastics Factfile and two Sinner or Binner? Lesson Plans. These were outreached to teaching and educational groups, relevant publications and pre-established contacts within schools.

We subsequently secured a partnership with Twinkl, provider of educational resources, who now host the resources on their site and conducted a live Twitter takeover devoted to the campaign.

This was supported by a vigorous PR campaign, and all the resources were hosted on a purpose-built educational resources page to support the visibility of these terms on the website.

#2 Women aged 20s-40s

We arranged a partnership with FabLittleBag and the Red Box Project on an organic and paid social media campaign to dually raise awareness of the hidden plastics in sanitary products and shine a light on period poverty. For every share or retweet of a specific post, Lanes donated a FabLittleBag sanitary disposal pack and sanitary items to the Red Box Project charity. The post received more than 30,000 impressions across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and was liked and shared more than 600 times. News about the competition was also outreached to relevant publications.

Additionally, I-COM wrote and promoted several long-tail keyword blog posts, discussing these issues, including, Why is flushing sanitary products down the toilet bad for our sewers and oceans?.

#3 The general public

We conducted a survey of more than 1,500 members of the public, and illustrated the findings in an infographic, The Damage We’re Doing to Our Sewers, Seas and Oceans. The data and infographic were then promoted to relevant publications along with a press release and relevant commentary.

Additionally, we wrote and promoted several blog posts discussing the issues to gain visibility of these search terms, including, Putting hidden and nonwoven plastic under the microscope.

Finally, we researched and wrote a series of long-tail keyword blog posts for the Advice section of the Lanes website. These included:

As a result of these posts, year-on-year organic traffic to the Advice page increased 35%, with goal completions up 30%.

What were the results?

From the media and outreach work for all elements of the Sinner or Binner? campaign, we secured more than 40 pieces of coverage in a variety of national, local and trade publications (including the Daily Mail and Metro), as well as a Radio 4 interview. This helped to:

  • Spread the CSR message to wider audiences
  • Secure links to the website
  • Generate brand citations and mentions

All of these activities were vital in boosting the organic visibility of the site and brand awareness of Lanes as a company - and demonstrated clearly the expertise of Lanes on this subject matter.

As a result of the paid and organic search marketing activities conducted between July 2018 and May 2019, I-COM boosted revenue for Lanes, year-on-year, with an increase in the total order potential value by 61%.

In achieving the objectives of driving traffic to and increasing engagement with the website, the results can be seen clearly when compared to the previous year (July 2018 - May 2019 v July 2017 - May 2018):

  • Paid search traffic increased 340%
  • Total traffic increased 27%
  • Organic traffic increased 26%
  • Direct traffic increased 27%

In addition, the visibility of the top four keywords improved dramatically over the same time period:

  • ‘Sewer’ - impressions up by 234%
  • ‘Drain’ - impressions up by 134%
  • ‘Block’ - impressions up by 93%
  • ‘Clean’ - impressions up by 59%

Sounds good right?

Sinner or Binner? is a campaign close to our hearts. We've worked closely with Lanes to raise awareness of the dangers of hidden plastics for a number of years, most recently culminating in our biggest and most ambitious campaign to date: Unblocktober.

It is thrilling, and satisfying, to see our work recognised by the industry with the nomination for the Best Search Marketing Campaign award at this year's Northern Marketing Awards 2019.

Get in Touch

If you're interested to discover what I-COM's team of expert digital marketeers can do for you, why not get in touch? You can call us on 0161 402 3170 or use the contact form here.