Congratulations to Army Media and Communications for winning Campaign of the Month

Friday 22 March 2019

Army Media and Communications has won February's Campaign of the Month with a communications project which used two Army documentaries and the launch of the Your Army 19 recruiting campaign to encourage young people to consider a career in the Army.

Raw Recruits poster featuring two teenagers in combat fatigues

Summary

To remain effective and able to protect the nation, the Army must recruit a steady stream of young people every year. Two mainstream television channels broadcast documentaries on two distinct areas of the Army in early 2019: ITV produced “The Paras, Men of War”; and Channel 5 produced the second series of “Raw Recruits, Squaddies at 16”. The transmission of these documentaries coincided with the launch of the Army’s ‘Your Army 19’ recruiting campaign. This was an opportunity too good to miss, so Army Media and Communications designed and delivered a “social media wrap” which advertised the documentaries, engaged with the viewers, encouraged them to find out more about Army careers and showed them how to apply.

Objectives:

  • Recruiting age audience visit Army Jobs website – measured  by stats from Recruiting Group;
  • drive audiences to the British Army website – measured by stats from Army Media and Communications Digital;
  • audiences to respond positively to documentaries and calls to action – measured by Army Media and Communications Digital analysis of social media sentiment.

Audience

Potential Army recruits, aged 16 -17 specifically (‘Generation Z’), as well as gatekeepers (‘Generation X’).

  • 75% of the British Army Instagram audience is aged between 13-34 with the 18-24 year olds making up the biggest percentage bracket at 38%

Gatekeepers, Generation X Aged 40+,

  • 66% of the British Army Facebook audience are over 34 with 45-54 year olds making up the biggest percentage bracket at 20%

Further research showed that 70% of ‘Generation Z’ watch Stories on Instagram compared with 34% watching on Facebook. Instagram is considered generations Z’s most important social media channel with brand engagement on Instagram being 10 times higher than on Facebook and 84 times higher than on Twitter. Generation X spend more time per week on social media than other age ranges, with Facebook being their most preferred channel.

Strategy

Army Media and Communications significantly increased and targeted our social media activity to advertise the Men of War and Raw Recruits documentaries to drive viewers to the British Army and Army Jobs websites. This complemented the recruiting messages being delivered by the YA 19 recruiting campaign. Our aim was for young people to watch an episode of the documentaries, link it to the Your Army 19 recruiting campaign (adverts on television, radio, billboards, SM) and then apply to join the Army.

Implementation

  • Through research and insight, we segmented audiences, identifying that Instagram would engage with potential Army recruits. Therefore, Army Media and Communications used Instagram Stories to host Q&A sessions with personalities from the series. The aim was for viewers to identify with the characters in the documentaries, engage with them after the episodes and be inspired to consider an Army career;
  • Facebook  Live Q&A sessions were delivered to engage with gatekeepers;
  • as the episodes were broadcast, Army Media and Communications tweeted providing more information about the topic shown on the television;
  • teasers were aired on all British Army Social Media channels to generate a buzz in the build up to each episode;
  • this culminated in a multicamera live of the AFC Harrogate Graduation, broadcast to British Army FB, British Army YouTube, Army Jobs FB, Army in the North FB and HM Armed Forces FB. Further content was broadcast in Feb showing AFC Harrogate soldiers as ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Scoring

  • An increase in applications AFC Harrogate after episodes 1 and 2 of Raw Recruits, demonstrating through social media tracking an increase in traffic to Army Jobs website;
  • during the documentary period, the British Army website experienced 16,495 new visitors and 7996 returning visitors;
  • audiences responded positively to the documentaries: after episode 1 of Men of War, 592 questions were submitted for the Instagram Q&A, after episode 2 it had increased to 812 and after episode 3 it was 1003. Similarly, 4 Instagram Story Q&A sessions were conducted for Raw Recruits and an average of 600 questions were asked each time. The sentiment was 95% positive.
  • Prioritising Instagram over Facebook was a successful strategy for engaging the intended recruiting audience: 168 people visited the British Army website during Episode 5 of Raw Recruits from Instagram compared with 15 from Facebook, and those who arrived from Instagram stayed for an average of 7 minutes 51 seconds, while those from FB stayed for an average of 2 minutes 49 seconds.

Who is the team behind it?

  • Col Chris Macgregor, AH AMC
  • Mrs Gemma Regniez, Chief Communications Officer, AMC
  • Lt Col Samantha Hull, SO1 Campaigns, AMC
  • Mr Darren Langford, Campaign lead, AMC
  • Miss Sarah Hiorns, Capita
  • Lt Col Kevin Bingham, ARITC
  • Maj Heidi Logie, ARITC
  • Mr Gareth Palmer, Senior Media Officer, AMC Colchester
  • Ms Julia Wilde, Senior Media Officer, AMC York
  • Mrs Cassandra St Louis, SO1 Digital, AMC
  • Ms Tanya Tilbury, Digital Content Manager, AMC
  • Mr Charles Heath-Saunders, SO2 Non News Media Projects, AMC
  • Lt Col Richard Hall, CO AFC (Harrogate)
  • Lt Col Mark Swann, Parachute Regiment

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