The Army Cadet Force was struggling to acquire new adult volunteers, so Artefact stepped in to develop a content marketing strategy based on data-driven personas, with amazing results.
The Army Cadet Force (ACF) provides action, adventure, fun and friendship for around 39,000 cadets (aged 12-18) and 9,000 adults in over 1,600 locations in the United Kingdom. As a major youth organisation spread across the UK, the ACF needs many adult volunteers with diverse skills to help with its smooth running. The heavy time commitment required also makes it tough to keep permanent volunteers, which leads to high turnover.
The ACF came to Artefact with two challenges:
- to increase the number of people applying to become adult volunteers (AVs)
- to bring in volunteers who hold a range of backgrounds and skillsets
In addition to a full SEO audit and site restructure, we recommended a content-led approach to achieve the ACF’s aims of appealing to a diverse range of adults. To achieve effective targeting, we developed several marketing personas (based on existing research into why people apply) to help us understand the content needs of these potential volunteers.
Utilising the Awareness, Consideration, Conversion marketing model, the content we produced would target people during the Awareness phase, sowing the seeds of the benefits of volunteering with the ACF. The later stages of the journey, Consideration and Conversion, would be targeted through other channels.
We hosted a brainstorming session with key ACF personnel to help us understand their existing volunteers. It was also an opportunity to discuss current skill and experience gaps, which could be filled by some of the diverse groups we would aim to reach.
We took the ACF’s data on their existing volunteers and tied this to behaviour insights from Google Analytics to create 6 different personas:
- A university leaver who used to be a cadet
- An Army leaver in his mid-40s
- A woman approaching retirement with an interest in giving back to the community
- A mum with military connections, whose children have left home to go to university
- An Army Reserves leaver in his 30s
- A woman in her late 20s wanting to expand her social life outside of work
Once these personas were developed, we researched all aspects of their lifestyles to understand the search market around those activities. With these insights, we made informed recommendations for articles that would meet the search needs of these potential volunteers.
Our content specialists then wrote selected articles that were added to the website over a period of six months.
Following implementation of audit recommendations, coupled with the creation of 20 articles, we have seen an 11% uplift in organic traffic. This increase includes motivated visitors – resulting in a 69% increase in Adult Volunteer enquiries via organic search.
We have seen an increase in traffic from different Persona groups, with as much as a 28% increase for Persona 6. There has also been an increase in Cadet enquiries of almost 9%, assisted by implementation of the audit recommendations.
We’ve continued to deliver this persona-based content strategy to build on our success in increasing the ACF’s number and variety of adult volunteer enquiries.