The campaign so far

We set up this campaign in 2018 with the goal of creating a powerful new narrative for shared ownership.

Our first job was to team up with branding agency DesignStudio, and we spoke to members of the public to identify what the main barriers were in delivering a strong and clear message.

We pinpointed three main challenges:

    Awareness

    People hadn't heard of it.
       

    Understanding

    Secondly, people have the wrong perception of what it is.

    Experience

    Once in, people love it, but the path to getting to it could be better. 

    We agreed that overcoming these three issues was key to ending the confusion around shared ownership and making it a product fit for the future.

    We then set up a steering group of housing associations to push the campaign forward and get other housing associations on board. To date, 46 organisations have signed up. 

    Our website at sharedownership.net was then set up, in partnership with Property Booking, to help the public understand more about shared ownership and whether it might be the right product for them.

    After appointing a media agency, we set out plans for a national advertising campaign which began on 20 January 2020.

    The campaign so far

    Phase 1 - January - March 2020 

    Our advertising strategy for Phase 1 was a multi-platform approach to run high profile and highly visible media in key cities across each region. This was then underpinned by an always on digital strategy nationwide to drive people to our website. 

    Media included:

    • Out-of-home
    • Print
    • Social media
    • Bespoke mobile
    • Digital display
    • Google PPC (pay-per-click)
    • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

    Our coverage was national but activity was upweighted in key cities:

    • Birmingham
    • Cambridge
    • Liverpool
    • Leeds
    • London
    • Newcastle

    This mix of brand building and direct media out-performed all forecasts for impressions delivering over 80,000 visitors to site in just a few short months, we excelled in our brand reach targets and over the course of our first phase of activity, brand sentiment around shared ownership improved. 

    Between January and March, we were covered in traditional and consumer media outlets such as Inside Housing, Daily Telegraph and BBC Radio 1Xtra, and, discussed shared ownership with politicians and key stakeholders to build support and champions for the campaign.  

    April - August 2020

    Our plan for the remainder of the campaign in Year 1 had been to build on the momentum of the campaign launch and focus on securing high profile media coverage and push forward our political engagement strategy.

    However, towards the end of March 2020, in responding to the coronavirus outbreak, the government took the unprecedented step of suspending the housing market, advising people not to buy, sell or move home.

    In light of this official advice, in April 2020 we made the decision to temporarily pause our shared ownership campaign advertising activity as we saw any offline and promotional advertising an ineffective use of budget.  

    During this time, we kept Google Search activity switched on to deliver a steady stream of people actively searching for shared ownership to sharedownership.net and have been planning our advertising restart for 18 September 2020. There are a number of ways supporters can get involved. Please contact me to find out more. 

    The campaign going forward

    Phase 2 - September - December 2020

    We wanted to know from supporters what the sector’s priorities were for the upcoming months and how organisations have navigated through the challenges of the last few months. Together with DesignStudio we created an interactive survey to gather housing association’s views on everything, including what you think worked well and weren’t so sure on the first time round. 

    What really stood out for us is...

    • The property market has seen an increase in demand and interest for home ownership but there is still confusion around what shared ownership is
    • People’s needs have changed. In the last round there was a lot around transport links. That’s still relevant, but we need more lines around having access to space and WFH 
    • Everyone seemed to like the line ‘the option you never knew existed’. It’s clear, straightforward, and talks about shared ownership generally
    • Some commented on the heavier focus on cities last time round. Cities make up most of the campaign headlines (other than the hyperlocalised lines) but we’ve made some more rural variants

    Using all of this, we designed and developed some new headlines and created a new media strategy for the remainder of Year 1.

    Media will include core digital channels that will be most effective given the change in consumer habits:

    • YouTube video
    • Content Partnership with The Guardian
    • Social media
    • Digital display
    • Google PPC (pay-per-click)
    • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

    Our coverage will be national but activity will be upweighted to key areas:

    • Nottingham
    • Manchester
    • York
    • Bristol + key areas in SW
    • Middlesborough 
    • London 

    As well as advertising, we’re working with colleagues developing our PR and political engagement strategies. 

    •  We plan to secure trade coverage for the campaign to support our launch on 18 Sept, followed by a national media story later in the month 
    • As MPs return to Parliament we will be engaging with them regarding the campaign and are exploring high-profile opportunities to promote the campaign and create political supporters.
    • In addition, we are working with research colleagues to finalise our data collection piece to help us build a clearer picture of shared ownership nationally

    More information on our media strategy and campaign partners can be here.

    Who to speak to

    Ella Cheney, Shared Ownership Programme Manager