Award Winning

Best Use of Imagery 2020: If the Light Pollution Cleared – Rise at Seven for Under Lucky Stars

Client: Under Lucky Stars
Award: Best Use of Imagery

Brief

Under Lucky Stars wanted a highly visual creative content marketing campaign that would create a story related to their niche, whilst generating buzz and global reach. They wanted to improve their backlink prole quality and target top-tier press only.

They said: “Our organic trac has stalled and the backlink prole is weak. We’re looking for something CREATIVE, to really improve both the quality and quantity of links into our site whilst earning coverage worldwide to build brand.”

The overall KPI was 75 links across a 6 month period. We were tasked with increasing brand and non-brand organic search trac and measuring any additional benefits of the campaign such as trac and sales.

For context, Under Lucky stars create maps that show the unique alignment of the stars in a specific place and time. Their target audience was 18-34 year olds looking to purchase a bespoke gift, with 60% – 40% split between males and females.

Solution

Our solution was highly visual, formed from evidence and had all the data to back it up.

We found a sweet-spot content idea that was picked up by the press whilst with what ULS does as a company. Using Buzzsumo, we identified that light pollution was covered regularly by our target publications, with high social engagement. We learned that 80% of Americans could no longer see the Milky Way, and it’s near impossible to see the stars in cities like New York.

After gathering data on the most light-polluted global cities, we worked with photographers and content creators internationally to create highly visual assets. The imagery depicted the contrast between how some of the most breathtaking 2 of 3 city skylines currently look versus how they would look if light pollution didn’t exist.

We used slider code to bring the before/after views to life, overlaid with ULS’ star constellations. To ensure accuracy, we used imagery of the milky way and stars from photos taken as close as possible to the featured cities.

The full creative was linked back to the ULS site. It can be viewed here.

Next came the promotion. We conducted a link gap analysis and formed a list of our target 200 global publications. We hit the big news sites first for the biggest impact, focusing on the UK & US and then expanding out to the other cities. Our approach was to earn coverage and links but we knew the piece had the potential to drive engagement on the client’s owned channels too. We sourced all the data on which were the worst light polluted cities using this too https://www.lightpollutionmap.info/ – this gave us our initial list and information on the 27 worst light polluted cities in the world.

A big part of this was timing. A fortnight prior to this campaign going live, the SpaceX satellite launches caused concern over increased light pollution. Then, with the Covid-19 pandemic, there were lots of stories around pollution in general, especially with a “before v after” angle. These events formed additional angles for our outreach. As the piece was both eye-catching and embeddable, it meant we could get journalists’ attention and give them everything they might need for a story, whilst still holding some of the interactivity back on the main page, increasing the rationale for linking back to the piece.

Results

After launching on Sky News as the first piece of coverage, the piece picked up traction quickly landing over 60 links in the first week of promotion on the likes of The Express, Fox News, MSN, and Yahoo.

And it didn’t stop there, the following week the piece was covered in Huffington Post, Forbes & Metro, picking us up more high quality links. Articles in those publications led to the International Dark Sky association posting about it on social, it had become a hot discussion point amongst the general public as well as people within the industry.

6 weeks in we had picked up 119 media placements globally of which 89 included a link back to the asset. The piece had been linked to from sites in 6 continents!

This had a ripple effect on social too with everyone talking about the images and creatives.

Because of the global noise generated, 16,797 people visited the asset, mostly from referrals and all organic (no paid). Of those, 14,815 were unique and not yet visited the site before.

We had smashed our KPI of 75 links in 6 months in the space of 6 weeks, and now working with UnderLuckyStars on reactive strategies as well as more creative campaigns.

The SEO impact was as follows:
34% increase in branded search trac year on year (18,695 vs 13,913)
66% increase in organic search trac year on year (153,622 vs 92,766)

This campaign won Rise at Seven a gold award for Best Use of Imagery at the 2020 International Content Marketing Awards. Find out more about Rise at Seven on their member page, or check out their website

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