British Heart Foundation Lifts Supporter Engagement 586% with Personalised UGC

It’s hard enough for charities to stand out in an overcrowded marketplace, let alone convince consumers to donate their hard earned money. How do you prove to consumers that their donation will be going to a good cause?

For the British Heart Foundation, whose mission is to raise funds for cardiovascular research (the UK’s single biggest killer), user-generated content (UGC) provided the vital social proof to convince people it was worth raising funds for.

Integrating user-generated content into every campaign

From websites and contests to event screens and email marketing, the British Heart Foundation seizes every opportunity to harness user-generated content to drive users to action and donation pages on their websites.

While branding and engagement is great, the ability to drive actual conversions on social media is the key to making a real impact. Athar Abidi, Social media Manager at the British Heart Foundation, brought in Stackla as a central platform to manage user-generated content across the many campaigns they run each year, involving different agencies and teams, and making sure that that UGC is directly driving a campaign objective.

“User-generated content help us draw supporters into a deep, trusted relationship. We get them involved and engaged by sharing their content in a two-way conversation.”

Athar Abidi, Social Media Manager, British Heart Foundation

The Big Stitch

The British Heart Foundation has 730 charity shops in the competitive high street charity retail sector throughout the UK. In July, they ran a pilot campaign where user-generated content was used to showcased the quality of their stock, as well as drive footfall and sales for local stores.

Jumping on the upcycling trend, the charity asked it’s style-savvy shoppers to buy an item from a store, personalise it, and post “before” and “after” pictures with the store tag showing on social media using the hashtag #TheBigStitch. All entries went into a drawing to win a night out at a West End show.

The British Heart Foundation engaged micro-influencers – those who have built niche audiences of 5-10K around blogs, Twitter, forums etc. – to promote the campaign and amplify reach. Using Stackla, they were able to whitelist influencers and automatically pull in their images and content.

The results:

  • Surpassed 152 percent of campaign goals
  • Generated PR coverage despite limited PR budget
  • 20 percent of all pageviews for the campaign microsite went to the dynamic UGC photowall

The campaign was small with a limited budget but by harnessing user-generated content they were able to provide compelling proof of concept, driving footfall and sales. The British Heart Foundation already has plans to roll out the same campaign even bigger and better next year.

“By using innovative technology like Stackla to harness all this content people are generating, we’re creating the sense of a “movement” which will bring any charity campaign to life.”

London to Brighton Marathon

The British Heart Foundation organises Europe’s biggest charity bike race every year. Although more than 18,000 runners participate annually, only a few fundraise for the BHF. The challenge was how to use social media and UGC to engage with and celebrate participants, while also encouraging fundraising.

On race day, they placed a Stackla-powered Jumbotron on Brighton Beach displaying pictures posted by participants with the event hashtag. This encouraged more participants to upload photos and amplify the message. The hashtag #LondonToBrighton became the trending hashtag in Brighton the entire day.

People love to see and share their selfies on the big screen. Capitalise on this to turn your audiences into amplifiers and advocates, and get tons of great content in the process.

This year they ran an innovative campaign, sending tweets to individual participants with a personalised video that pulled in their user-generated content, curated in Stackla, and asked them to register again for next year’s event. By directly engaging with individuals rather than en masse, the campaign helped improve retention.

“Repurposing user-generated content and sending it back to the user gives you a second bite of the cherry with the opportunity to include your branding and core messaging. It’s a way to show that we’re not a huge, faceless organisation and that they can trust us.”

As a result, the personalised tweets featuring UGC generated:

  • Over 35,000 impressions
  • More than 2,600 total engagements
  • A 7.55 percent engagement rate against a benchmark of 1.10 percent – a 586 percent engagement uplift!

After proven results using Stackla’s platform to integrate user-generated content into their website, event screens and emails, the British Heart Foundation is now looking at adding social commerce to the sale of their running gear and merchandise online.

To hear more about how nonprofits like the British Heart Foundation inspire and engage supporters with user-generated content you can view the on-demand webinar here.