GOV.UK offers government organisations a range of options to support promotions and marketing campaigns. This blogpost gives examples of what we offer, and discusses when each type might be used. It should be read alongside the recently-published guidelines for campaign sites.
Our general principle is that we should avoid creating brand new campaign destinations. Campaign activity should take place in an arena where the target audience already gathers, perhaps a social media platform particularly used by the target audience or the site of a partnered organisation.
Campaign landing pages
These are simple pages designed to receive users arriving through promotional activity, to reassure them that they will receive the information they're expecting, and to speed them on to that information.
The page reflects the creative used in the promotions. It doesn't 'campaign' but may carry summarised messages. The purpose is to segment audiences and move users towards an appropriate destination. They've been used to separate employers from their employees and lorry drivers from car drivers.
We've published about 15 of these landing pages. Some have been switched off as the campaign activity ends. The content is based on drafts produced by departments and is edited to GOV.UK style by a content designer.
Points to watch for
Although landing pages look nice, they should be treated with caution. Think about:
- would linking the promotion to the associated mainstream content work equally well? An unnecessary landing page could be giving users an extra step (and another chance to drop out) without adding value.
- are we building competing destinations in search? How will the campaign page perform against the better-established ‘permanent’ pages about a subject? The result might be that promotion driven traffic will enter on the landing page while organic searchers may enter elsewhere.
Campaigns that distribute URLs on printed material or display them on posters, or broadcast them in TV or radio ad are likely to need the simplest possible URLs.
Guidance is available on choosing and using GOV.UK URLs.
Topical event pages
Related but different to the landing pages are topical event pages. These these are used for temporary events which are the responsibility of government, and their purpose is to communicate government activity around it.
Unlike standard topics, topical event pages have a limited shelf-life, so an archiving date is set when they are created. These pages provide a curated, coherent view of all government policies, announcements and publications around the event. Other content can be tagged to the topical topic and will appear on the page automatically. Users can subscribe to email alerts about the page.
More detailed guidance on the use of topic pages is available elsewhere on this blog.
Campaign asset hosting
GOV.UK can also help with content related to the campaign.
Policy, progress and evaluation
Information on the policy background behind a campaign, the progress made, and the impact and evaluation of the campaign would normally be done as a supporting detail page. Here's an example for the Green Deal. Related publications like research reports or announcements like press releases would be linked-to from there.
Campaigns resources and support for partners
Some campaigns produce support materials such as leaflets, posters and toolkits for distribution through partners. These will normally be listed (and can be illustrated) on collection pages. These are examples for the Think! road safety campaign and some case studies for Green Deal.
Evaluating the campaign
If online promotions – paid search terms, display ads, True View video ads, content recommendation networks like Outbrain, emailings etc – are tagged it's possible to track the arrival of users and to follow their subsequent actions. And if online outcomes are defined we can begin to attribute achievement of these outcomes to different elements of the campaign spend.
Talk to GDS. Make initial contact with us using the campaign request form - this should come via your organisation’s single point of contact (SPOC) for GOV.UK
Stay in touch. Sign up now for email updates from this blog.