Covid has ripped up the content marketing and audience engagement rulebook. Now, through innovation, resilience, drive, creativity and agility, some organisations have become more relevant than ever before. Here are twenty of our new projects that have typified 2020 for the team at Think.
Confident Covid communications
Imperfect was the new perfect in 2020, as organisations moved at speed to deliver their take on the rapidly-changing news agenda. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, for example, doubled the frequency of their email newsletter programme for April and May in order to keep public health officials up to date with breaking advice. As a result, open rates increased by 35% and CTOR soared by 73%.
A consumer activation campaign that’s changing lives
Rather than just focusing on their expert and engaged communities, organisations are increasingly looking at the role of outward-facing campaigns in order to educate consumers on the great work achieved by members. Our impactful, purposeful video activation and digital campaign for the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has provided the organisation with a powerful platform from which to start changing public perceptions about their industry. The November launch was applauded by members.
The magazine with no name
Hypersensitive content planning quickly became the new normal for many organisations and brands this year, with digital channels rising in popularity. The Chartered Management Institute, however, took this agility one step further and reshaped their whole magazine. By removing the masthead of the magazine, stripping out all the advertising and dedicating every single page to high-value up-to-the-minute thought leadership, CMI’s magazine has broken free of the limitations of a long production cycle and given a traditional medium a fresh modern look and pace.
Virtual talks that took us on world tours
We brought the countryside to the living room with a series of exclusive talks for National Trust for Scotland members. The first, which featured video contributions from the Trust’s countryside experts, saw more than 700 members attend. Our team at Wanderlust also took us on a world tour with destination-led evening talks from Costa Rica to the Maldives.
Family fun even without the freedom
Our Lidl Book of Big Adventures for National Trust for Scotland and Lidl provided much-needed inspiration It was packed with activities, crafts and adventures for families to do at home and outdoors.
Long-reads that readers loved…
Can’t attend a physical lecture about art? That’s where our series of ‘instant expert’ emails for The Arts Society came in, with its email inbox lectures. Covering topics from stage make-up to seaside clowns, Rupert the Bear and 19th-century female mountaineers, the series has been a big hit with members unable to leave their homes.
A new virtual careers fair for young engineers
Who needs a big exhibition hall to reach new talent? With our virtual careers event for engineers attracting more than 3,000 pre-registrations and 1,700 attendees on the day, we were able to promote the engineering profession to a whole new audience without the physical event price tag! The mix of expert-led seminars and the chance to meet exhibitors, including the Royal Navy and Caterpillar, was a winning formula for young delegates.
The centenary celebrations that didn't stop
We didn’t let a pandemic prevent the Institute of the Motor Industry from celebrating their centenary year. MotorPro magazine content included a list of 100 great moments from history, a look at the people driving the future, big thinkers and a search for the oldest member (later featured in the magazine). Rather than dwell on the present, in 2020 the magazine championed the past and looked to the future. We also worked as an extension of the organisation’s marketing team for much of the year (running social activity) to support their aspiration to be more integrated in their approach to content.
Commercial solutions that delivered in revenue
With marketing budgets cut, revenues have been harder to come by this year. Where we have seen real growth, however, is where advertisers have collaborated on research reports, paying for data, intelligence and high-quality insight, and passing on that insight to target audiences. Commercial partnerships have been particularly successful in the engineering sector.
Pertinent advice for new pet owners
Following a digital content audit of high-performing articles, we helped Petplan create a series of targeted and impactful emails to provide reassuring guidance and support to the many people in the UK who welcomed a pet into their homes this year.
A new look for the world’s oldest photography magazine
More pages. More impact. And, even more space for images. Having reimagined and redesigned the RPS Journal this year, we were delighted to see it win ‘Best Relaunch’ at the PPA Scotland Awards in December Judges said that they felt that the magazine has been “built from passion and love, and you can feel that on every page. It speaks directly to its readers through its gorgeous, beautiful imagery.”
From a high-traffic website to four books published
Record traffic numbers on the Wanderlust website (our quizzes have been particularly popular) have inspired a number of books, published this year in partnership with our sister company Welbeck Publishing. Look out for The Little Book of Wanderlust, How to Travel Solo, How to Travel Guilt Free and The Wanderlust World Travel Quiz Book, all of which will be on sale in 2021.
Great conversations with pandemic podcasts
Lockdown saw the launch of a podcast series for the Association for Project Management. Editor Emma De Vita instigated lively conversations with project managers from companies such as Channel 4, Hotel Chocolat, HMRC and Mott MacDonald to find out how they were reorienting their businesses in light of the pandemic.
High-speed and high-traffic content creation
Building a website in two weeks flat to keep the hotel concierge community abreast of changes to Covid protocols and opening times at London Attractions was no mean feat (but so well-received by those needing easy access to information). Our daily Covid travel update for Wanderlust has also seen record levels of engagement and now ranks higher on search engines than the BBC’s new website.
Video covers that got people talking
From the emptying of Piccadilly Circus before our eyes to a simulated virtual property viewing, our video and animated covers for clients such as the Chartered Management Institute, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers have broken new ground this year.
Enewsletters that hit the spot and the inbox
From daily enewsletters created to complement virtual event activity (for the Association of Corporate Treasurers) to emails designed around popular magazine features (IMarEST now sends out four magazine-related newsletters each month that mirror sections in the print title), email is now as much about deep engagement and big thinking as it is chasing those clicks.
Interactive quizzes that put the play into posts
Having built more than 100 interactive quizzes this year, our teams have discovered that the best way to get people to engage with content, is to encourage them to interact with it. Just don’t ask us for the answers.
Virtual events with true global reach
Multi-day international virtual festivals and conferences have helped us help organisations increase their reach without increasing their marketing spend. The IMarEST Annual Conference, usually attended by 300 individuals (to a one-day UK-based event), received more than 2,500 registrations from 93 countries over a two-week period.
Record-breaking and history-making Re:member research
With more than 200 membership bodies surveyed, the latest edition of our industry-leading research Re:member – looking at trends in membership communications – is our biggest, boldest and most insightful yet. More than 70 organisations attended our launch webinar on professional membership trends in December.
Awards for our clients and our teams
No one may be in the office to appreciate the awards shelf, but we are super proud of the new trophies we’ve added this year. We were honoured to win awards such as Member Magazine of the Year, Sales Team of the Year, Special Interest Magazine of the Year, Cover of the Year, Commercial Partnership of the Year, Email Newsletter of the Year, Launch of the Year, Writer of the Year, Best Annual Report and, for the third time in the last four years, Memcom Membership Agency of the Year.