See how we helped a New Zealand charity support at-risk youth and provide resources to youth support workers.
Youthline was established in 1970 with the purpose of working with young people, their families and those supporting young people to ensure they knew where to get help and have the ability to access support whenever they need it. At the core of Youthline’s work is the development of leadership and personal skills in young people to not only provide them with immediate support but to help them build the foundations for a better tomorrow.
Youthline faces a massive challenge in their quest to support New Zealand’s at-risk youth. Like many other charities in New Zealand, Youthline faces funding challenges which have a significant impact on their support teams and the service they deliver. A limited number of seats and volunteers mean many calls go unanswered every day and those that are seeking help, fail to access critical support and resources. On the youth development side, while they have a passionate team of mentors and a myriad of exciting leadership programs, Youthline face challenges reaching out and engaging with the very people they are trying to help.
We began by mapping out Youthline’s core personas and the customer journey, extending beyond just their at-risk youth persona and including support workers as well, including parents, teachers and community leaders.
Using tools such as Google Search Console, Google Analytics and HubSpot, we went through a process of deep research. The objective was to understand how these personas were consuming content, how they were engaging with it, what topics were relevant to them, the way they were seeking it (platform, language) and when they were seeking it.
Unlike traditional marketing practices, it was important for us to identify with at-risk youth as human beings, rather than an entity that needed to be added to a list or plugged into an algorithm.
During our observations we noticed there were three key stages in their journey:
At the Awareness stage, the person is experiencing and expressing symptoms of an issue. They require further education so they can identify what it is they’re experiencing. Due to the sensitive nature of these topics and the deep social context involved, they generally would not ask questions or seek help in person, instead they would rely on digital media to educate them.
During the consideration stage, the person has clearly defined the issue, has given a name to it and is committed to finding ways to approach and solve their problem. The platform and format they consume to help them solve this may differ and many people rely on multiple sources to help educate or validate.
Once they arrive at the decision stage, the person has decided on the best approach and is now shortlisting from a list of options or is building up the courage for action. Here, trust it incredibly important, and they’re likely to seek further help, answers and resources from someone they trust or a brand they’ve seen or engaged with in the past.
Based on our research and observations, the goal was to develop a strategy to help Youthline:
- Secure ongoing advertising credits per month.
- Identify high traffic and relevant keywords to the Youthline brand.
- Identify opportunities to proactively reach out and guide at-risk youth and clients to the right path and resources.
- Create highly personal and empathetic content that resonates with the target personas
- Rank for core organic keywords associated with their main support services and leadership programmes.
- Launch several Adwords campaigns targeting search terms used by both at-risk youth and support workers.
- Promote seasonal activities to help drive donations, volunteer and workshop sign ups.
- Provide behavioural insights on website and content engagement.
Now a year into our blooming relationship with Youthline, we’ve managed to help:
- Secure $120,000 of free and ongoing Google Ad credits per year.
- Create a content strategy with three distinct content clusters with over 100 sub-topic ideas.
- Produce over 45 pillar and blog articles with conversion paths leading to services and programmes, with content being featured on the NZHerald.
- Develop content for an artificial intelligence (AI) bot that predicts and proactively provides support and resources.
- Achieve a significant increase to website traffic with 60% of sessions and new users coming from SEO and Adwords.
- Optimise over 50 keywords, with 19 ranking on the first page of Google.
- Generate over 110,000 impressions and 9,480 clicks with an average click through rate (CTR) of 8.64% on Adwords.
- Lead over 11,000 people to get in touch using webchat, text, email and by phone.
- Register 30 volunteers for Coca Cola’s Christmas In the Park within seven days of the event.
Working together through our comprehensive strategy has been rewarding in every sense of the word. Perhaps the most humbling experience is seeing the smile of those who have engaged with the support services or programmes, and interacting with the front-line team who dedicate every minute of their day to changing lives.
Youthline is continuing to do incredible work in the community and we are privileged to help them do so. Tomorrow’s youth are better off with Youthline in their corner, and we are better off being witnesses to their contribution.