How I increased traffic to a membership site with paid ads

The problem

SfEP is the UK professional body for editors and proofreaders. It has successfully applied for Chartered status and was keen to attract more members with paid ads.

The Society wanted to increase brand awareness of its courses, grow a global audience, and increase traffic to the website. However its volunteer-run Council had never used online advertising and did not have a marketing strategy in place.

 The committee needed external social media consultancy and training in order to use paid advertising effectively and grow the membership.

The solution

It is vital to have a clear idea of your goals and put a strategy in place for meeting them. This is where I began with SfEP. I wrote a substantial social media marketing strategy and included a paid advertising strategy as part of that.

Once the strategy had been agreed, I ran Facebook ads to encourage people to become members of the Society. The campaign offered a free trial for two weeks. I planned the logistics of this, which involved working around the current set-up of the website. The way the site was designed meant using Facebook pixels and retargeting was very difficult and so I needed to develop a strategy to overcome this.

My audit of the website showed where it could be more customer-friendly. I looked at ways the customer’s journey could flow better so they are more likely to find what they are looking for and sign up for a course or join the membership. A new website is now being developed.

I trained the SfEP social media team on how to use different social media platforms effectively, including what content works best, how to measure success and how to get engagement.

I also spoke about how to run your own social media for your business as a freelancer at the SfEP’s annual conference. The Council members run their own businesses as professional editors and proofreaders alongside volunteering for the Society and knew it would be a useful topic for their members.

The result

My three month paid ad campaign reached almost 200,000 relevant people and more than 2000 people clicked through to the website. There were more than 70,000 engagements on the campaign posts, which can now be used to retarget people.

The training sessions were very well-received. The team members can use what they learned to post in an optimum way for SfEP and their own businesses.

The strategy and website audit changed the direction of the SfEP’s plan and has led to better long-term planning and a firm realisation they needed to engage with their target audience consistently.

I will be running more ads in the new year to start spreading the word about Chartership.

My client says 

“Cathy has delivered training to the SfEP’s social media team, based on her strategic assessment of our needs, and it’s been invaluable. Every session has been crammed with useful, actionable insights to which the team have responded with enthusiasm. What’s more, Cathy has made herself available to offer advice on Facebook’s foibles. For my part, as community director with a special focus on equality, diversity and inclusion, Cathy’s attention to neurodivergent needs has added special value to my experience of her as a talented social media professional and practitioner.”

Vanessa Plaister

Community Director, SfEP

“Cathy understood our goals and took a holistic view of our marketing, including how people experienced our website. She developed an effective campaign for us using paid ads. We also benefited from her knowledge of algorithms, what content is effective and how to engage our target audience. This has not only helped us here at SfEP but Council members have been able to use what she has taught us in their own businesses. Her talk at our conference was incredibly helpful for our members too. I highly recommend working with her.”

Denise Cowle

Marketing Director , SfEP