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Founded in 1895 to care for places of historic interest and natural beauty in Wales, Northern Ireland and England, the National Trust is a UK conservation charity that protects historic places and green spaces. They have over 3.7 million members and 61,000 volunteers. More than 17 million people visit paid-for entry properties, while another estimated 50 million visit their open-air properties annually.

The Brief

The National Trust asked us to create a campaign that would break down barriers between them and their visitors while also making these customers understand that any issues they may have were being acted upon. We were provided with a list of customer concerns, which ranged from “there’s not enough for children to do” to “it’s too expensive”. Our challenge was to dispel these myths. The over-arching aim of the campaign was to increase tourist visits, drive member visits and increase footfall at its numerous country-wide sites. 

What We Did

Ultimately our intention was to help visitors to enjoy more deeply their experiences and to leave their own mark on the future of the National Trust. In short we wanted people to enjoy the past while helping to create the future.

A preliminary Facebook advertising campaign helped drive a targeted audience towards the National Trust Facebook page and then in turn onto our specially designed Facebook/Instagram application, which was developed to help people share their discoveries and experiences, plan group visits and add to the businesses previously missing social nature. 

We worked closely with the guys at National Trust to create a simple interface – one which relies heavily on user-generated content – a very important factor in allowing the user to become part of its heritage. More than anything we were conscious of allowing the story to come from the people who experience the wonders first hand and for them to be the curators of the properties rich imagery.

In March 2013 we were asked by National Trust in conjunction with Cadbury's to undertake a short blogger outreach program in the run up to Easter. We contacted bloggers throughout Wales to promote a Easter Egg Trail family pass giveaway to a National Trust property of choice. From the date we began the project we saw over 600 competition entries and more than 1400 blog pageviews over just a 2 week period.  

Results

  • So far the campaign has seen over 1700 images uploaded to the Facebook app over a 3 week period with people using the #NTWales hashtag. 

  • With over 1200 #NTWales image likes.

  • An average of 70 new Facebook fans per month.