Digital Advertising

UK Parliament

Project Overview

“Order, order!”, for UK Parliament’s digital offering.

The Palace of Westminster, home to the House of Commons, House of Lords and Big Ben, is without doubt, the most recognised landmark in the UK, and, as the cradle of modern democracy, also the most iconic representation of the UK, globally.

The public engagement arm of UK Parliament has two clear objectives that we were brought on to meet: to attract a wide range of visitors from the UK and overseas and, to promote education of, and engagement with, the workings of Parliament and the democratic process.

Digital Visitor worked with the marketing team at UK Parliament to take their digital approach to the next level through rigorous strategy and highly targeted execution.

Solving the riddle

Our core objectives

Kind words

When we appointed Digital Visitor in 2019, we were looking for an agency who could not only manage paid advertising but who could be a partner; who would think innovatively about our audiences and help to promote our wider offer around education, outreach, visitor and retail services. The team at Digital Visitor have been a huge support in reaching and delivering on campaign objectives during the past year

Emma Terry Head of Marketing, UK Parliament

What we did

Our approach

Putting politics aside

Working with UK Parliament’s Participation Team, we developed a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. One built on key events in the Parliamentary calendar: summer and Christmas recesses, UK Parliament Week, and the general election. Our strategy also made the most of gifting opportunities through the online shop.

Flexibility was key. Audiences ranged from UK and international tourists, to youth groups and community organisations and charities, to people from traditionally disengaged or disaffected groups. And, of course, online shoppers. Each audience had very different needs and expectations of their in-person or online UK Parliament experience.

A three-part(y) policy

For each key calendar events and activity, we developed a baseline campaign made up of three parts: pay-per-click (PPC), display advertising, and retargeting (where visitors to a site are retargeted elsewhere online). We then used specific tactics for each activity to make sure we hit the right audience at the right time and in the right way.

For example, in the build up to the General Election, when ‘visiting days’ rose from one to six a week, we targeted UK and overseas tourists coming London to encourage them to join tours, with some slots free to UK citizens, and others available for paid-for tours. In particular, we targeted 16 to 24 year olds, who were able to take any of our paid-for tours for free during this period.

A cross-party approach

Combining PPC and display, we targeted people with an interest in key attractions and politics. We then applied this data to general tourists, history buffs and families, but tailored the messaging to maximise its relevance for each audience.

Most websites only convert 2% of web traffic on the first visit. So we used retargeting across all the campaigns to follow-up people who’d visited the relevant pages on the UK Parliament website or bought an item through the online gift shop.

Education and constituency engagement

For our education audience (including teachers and other decision-makers), we implemented a paid search and display campaign, promoting free education resources to teachers. Strong CTAs and simple messaging highlighted the curriculum-relevant resources available. We applied these tactics to reach and convert our audiences from constituencies that have historically been harder to reach, with equal success. 

We applied tactics to reach and convert audiences from constituencies that have historically been harder to reach, with equal success. 

Online retail in time for Christmas

During December, we focused on the UK Parliament’s online retail offer, focusing on gift items for Christmas. Again, the campaign we created combined paid search, display, and retargeting and was aimed at a UK-wide audience, as well as those who’d shown an interest in UK Parliament.

Ongoing strategic advice

To maintain the momentum for UK Parliament, we provide regular strategic support. These quarterly sessions with the Participation team aim to:

  • Provide guidance on industry trends and insights that come from our vast experience in the sector
  • Highlight future opportunities for digital within the team’s wider activities
  • Identify ways of enhancing their current activities to increase their ROI.

All the work we’ve done has maintained UK Parliament’s very strict brand integrity. What’s more, being a publicly funded institution open to close financial scrutiny, we’ve had to make the most of a fair, but tight, budget to achieve the impact the brief required. It was a big ask, but we believe we’ve answered loudly and clearly.

The results

Delivering on our word