BBC Children in Need | Paid Social

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Increasing awareness of the BBC’s fundraising campaign to drive users to sign-up for BBC Children in Need fundraising packs, products and donations.

How did we drive 463% more visits than expected for just 21p per click? Find out as we explain our paid media strategy for Children in Need…

Promoting Pudsey

BBC Children in Need is the BBC’s UK corporate charity, providing grants to projects across the United Kingdom that focus on disadvantaged children and young people. Fast Web Media was tasked with running digital adverts using images and videos provided for the BBC’s Children in Need campaign ‘Do Your Thing’. The campaign ran in November 2016 with the aim of raising brand awareness and driving users to the site to sign up for fundraising packs, donate online and buy Pudsey merchandise.

A Multi-Channel Approach

To achieve these objectives, ads were shown within Google’s search results as well as targeted at users across social media with video and image ads across Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

Pay Per Click

A campaign was set up per objective and targeted keywords and phrases were used to reach Google users in the UK. Each campaign adopted an aggressive bidding strategy to ensure visibility, with a particular focus falling on mobile devices. As the campaigns continued we adjusted bids at times of increased search volume.

Facebook and Instagram

The highest budget was allocated to Facebook and Instagram to support the fundraising and donation creatives the BBC wanted to promote and test. Two campaigns were set up for fundraising and split into week one and week two for the different types of creatives. Ads were shown to people using several targeting options, and Facebook ads were served on all devices in newsfeeds, the right-hand column and instant articles within the audience network, while Instagram ads featured within home feeds on mobile devices. Ads were automatically set to show where they were likely to perform the best.


Using Twitter’s Promoted Tweets feature, a campaign was set up for fundraising and a campaign for donations, using several targeting options such as keywords, Twitter Handles, TV audience targeting, TV genres and people who watch BBC Children in Need. Any targeting that received a low click-through rate was removed to allow for the better performing options to generate more clicks.


A campaign was set up for fundraising, PudseyVR Viewers and Pudsey Ears. The main objective of using YouTube ads was to generate campaign awareness. All video ads featured a call to action overlay to encourage users to order a fundraising pack, or buy Pudsey merchandise. A variety of targeting options were used to deliver ads to a broad reach of people such as age, interests and keywords.

Maximum Exposure, Minimum Cost

The campaign lasted throughout November 2016. The estimated total number of visits to the site was set at 18,076 and the final number of visits was 126,000 – 463% higher than the target.

Moreover, through optimisation, the cost per click was reduced from £1.56 to £0.21, which meant the overall cost of the campaign was driven down.