Campaigns Showcase: Public Sector - Lava - Childminders lap up free milk

Campaign: Getting Social with Childminders
Client: milk4childminders
PR team: Lava
Timescale: January-April 2012
Budget: £6,000

Milk4childminders, a firm that delivers free milk to children who are in the care of registered childminders, enlisted Lava to devise and implement an online campaign aimed at strengthening relations with its existing clients and attracting new customers.

Objectives

- To build brand awareness of the Government's free milk scheme through social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and a dedicated blog.

- To increase the number of registrations.

Strategy and plan

Lava recruited childcare professionals to help develop a series of free activity plans for childminders, linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage. These plans were uploaded in a PDF format each week on to milk4childminders' Facebook page. Users could only access the PDFs after they had 'liked' the page.

To provide a commercial return on the campaign, Lava also created a registration app and installed it on the Facebook page, creating an opportunity to turn 'likes' into sign-ups. This was supported by a blogging campaign that promoted the plans and identified relevant news stories linked to childminders. Lava also created a Twitter account for the campaign.

Measurement and evaluation

At least 21 activity plans were devised, along with 24 blog posts, resulting in the Facebook page receiving more than 1,100 likes - twice the target.

Results

There were more than 6,000 visits to the milk4childminders blog, resulting in more than 250 new childminders signing up to receive free milk.

HINDSIGHT - STEPHANIE TOD, ACCOUNT MANAGER, LAVA COMMUNICATIONS

Following the initial six-month campaign, we consulted the Facebook community to find out what they would like to see moving forward. We found out that the free, EYFS lesson plans were of great value to the community and so developed a campaign that had these at its heart.

Due to the success of the campaign, Essential Childminder Magazine contacted us for a collaboration opportunity. The editor, an accredited childminder and early years professional, worked alongside us to provide a series of guest blog posts and activity plan ideas for the campaign. People who registered with free milk from milk4childminders were also given access to the magazine for free.

In March 2012, the Department for Education announced significant changes to the EYFS, which came into effect in September 2012. As a result, we needed to amend our strategy in line with the new framework to provide value to the childminding community.

Since the beginning of the campaign we have gained nearly 1,400 likes on Facebook and more than 500 followers on Twitter. The blog received more than 3,000 visits and the activity plan tab on Facebook was accessed 4,327 times by users.

We will continue to provide the community with activity plans that will focus around key trigger dates, supported by weekly blog posts. We will also look to build our existing relationship with Essential Childminder Magazine, as well as engaging with other childminder bloggers and influencers on social media.

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