Our work with Hallam has helped us to develop our digital outreach to young people at a pace we didn’t think was possible, allowing the team to demonstrate the value of working with agencies. The team are a fantastic bunch of people to work with, slotting into our ways of working and feeling like an extension of the team.
Ian Baxter-Crawford – Head of Youth Marketing and Advocacy (UK)
The Prince’s Trust runs programmes to support young people aged 16 – 30 into careers via employability, skills-building, and confidence-building workshops. The Trust has helped more than 1 million young people to date and supports more each day.
Pre-COVID, youth recruitment at The Prince’s Trust was predominantly delivered by the operations team via referral partners such as the Job Centre Plus sites or direct through colleges and schools. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, it was clear that in order to reach young people, going digital was a huge opportunity.
The Prince’s Trust came to Hallam in the summer of 2020 to further develop a pilot digital recruitment model for two of its main programs. The first supports young people in Greater Manchester to develop skills and experience and the second is to support young people into careers in health and social care in England.
Our objective was to use digital advertising methods to engage with 16 – 30 year olds with the goal of them registering for a course or program run by The Prince’s Trust. They wanted a fully embedded partner to act like an extension of both project specific marketing teams.
How we achieved the goals
We took a full-funnel approach to the Paid media activity, opting to drive prospecting and brand awareness campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and the Google Display network including Youtube.
Once we captured user intent, we were able to use a certain level of remarketing activity to help drive users through the process and closer towards converting.
The tangible results, however, were primarily driven through Facebook conversion based campaigns for both FWF and H&SC were used to achieve our goals, utilising the lowest cost per website result bidding model. When we found that we were constrained by audience size or we needed to boost the number of registrations we would launch search campaigns in Google targeting job seeking searches to try and draw more sign ups from users further down the decision making process.
Within these campaigns we used highly localised and relevant creatives, which varied based on the course content. This was to ensure our messaging was consistent through from the ad, to the landing page, and to the course itself helping ensure a smooth user journey.
One of the key challenges was around audience targeting. Reaching the target audience of young, lower-income job seekers interested in a new career proved challenging.
Whilst you can use some level of targeting on social media to achieve this, we found that the audience size was often smaller than expected. This led us to conclude that the users most likely to need the help of the Prince’s Trust were not stating it blatantly on their social media profiles, making this style of targeting a lot less effective.
Using a more broad targeting approach in the campaign settings coupled with highly specific location targeting and clear, localised messaging in the ad creatives was key in terms of connecting with the users and driving course sign-ups.
Reporting was crucial to understand what was working and what needed amending along the way for each network. Our paid media specialists analysed performance across platforms almost on a daily basis and continuously tweaked utilising data where necessary.
We focused, and reported on, various KPIs appropriate for each channel and type of activity, such as:
Upper funnel campaigns
- CTR (click-through-rate)
- Completion rate
- Views and video played percentage
Lower funnel campaigns
- Conversions (sign-ups to programs)
- CPA (cost per sign up)
Using feedback from The Prince’s Trust team about the quality of course sign-ups we were able to optimise and split test campaigns to ensure we were targeting the right audience type for their programs.
What success did we achieve?
We reached over 3 million unique users which led to nearly 5,000 course sign ups across both programs for The Prince’s Trust, over a 9 month period. The pilot recruitment model was deemed a huge success and they are now looking at scaling this recruitment method further across the charity.
Whilst COVID impacted recruitment initially, utilising digital has helped The Prince’s Trust to continue to support young people transform their lives and live independently.