In the Spring of 2022, the 31ten team were awarded a contract with Bristol City Council to support the Adult Social Care team to develop an improved Autism provider model. This involved working with the local and national Learning disabilities and Autism provider market to create a commercially sustainable model that would ultimately deliver better outcomes for service users.
Throughout the duration of our contract, we volunteered our time and expertise to Borderlands – a Bristol-based charity that has been supporting refugees, asylum seekers and those with insecure immigration status since 2011, as part of our Social Value commitment to support local voluntary organisations in the area.
Borderlands’ mission is to serve disadvantaged and marginalised communities by enhancing their social inclusion and well-being, supporting those in poverty, raising awareness of their needs and experiences among the wider community.
Borderlands carry out incredibly important work but were lacking the marketing expertise to effectively amplify their mission and maximize impact.
The challenge – to create a set of resources that would structure and strengthen Borderlands’ marketing efforts, whilst keeping in mind the limited resources the team have to commit to this area alongside day-to-day business running.
31ten identified the key deliverables and areas of support that could really transform their overall communication strategy and reach.
The main challenge here was to design a strategy that was achievable based on the time, budget and resources the (predominantly) volunteer team had available.
The content of this strategy aimed to:
The template can be evolved and tweaked over time as needed, without additional external support.
To date, the team had been making decisions based on the minimal data that was available within Instagram and Facebook’s analytics suite, with no real framework in place to track changes over time. Based on the objectives and KPIs set out in the Marketing Strategy, we created a reporting template that would allow the team to input data and track their progress against these key factors. This enhanced decision-making again ensured volunteer time was spent creating and distributing the most impactful content. The report was fully customisable, meaning the Borderlands team could gather and record data at whatever frequency was achievable for them. It could also be adapted over time based on shifting priorities or demographics.
Tools & systems
Finally, in order to gather and report upon the best data possible, we suggested a set of easily implementable, free systems (such as Google Analytics) that would provide the team with everything they needed to get going. Furthermore, simple tools such as an interactive Content Calendar template were provided to encourage collaborative working, and social media scheduling tools recommended. All to streamline processes and reduce workload. Training and additional learning materials were provided wherever necessary, to make these systems understandable and approachable for future use.
All of the above outcomes were delivered collaboratively, alongside the Borderlands team, to ensure throughout that the end product would be something that could be used independently well into the future and form a solid base upon which to build and develop the strategy over time.
We hope to see the impact of our work gradually materialize into increased reach for Borderlands and fundamentally increase the impact this important organisation is able to achieve.
What did Borderlands have to say?
“We are delighted and very grateful for the support we have received from 31ten. From the beginning, the 31ten team was very warm and friendly. Our marketing budget is very low and no one in the Borderlands team has a lot of experience with this field. Lauren was really professional, patient and committed from the start. She assessed our marketing situation so far and gave us lots of advice on free tools we could use. When she explained something to us, she didn’t use marketing jargon, which made it very easy to understand, or if she did, she explained everything carefully. Lauren suggested we start working on a strategy to establish our goals and how to achieve them.
It has been almost three months since we started implementing the strategy and we have already seen many improvements, such as more engagement with our audience on our social media (especially on Instagram), more followers and our donations have increased over the last few months. This is mainly because we now feel more confident in the use of our platforms and we know what data we need to record and evaluate to make sure we make the right changes. We still have a long way before developing a professional marketing team in our organisation, however, this support has pushed us to take the first steps.
Many thanks to Lauren and the rest of the 31ten team for their valuable and incredible support!”
~ Marta Reina – Borderlands