Organic Traffic
Pieces Of Coverage
Links Sourced
Average Case Size
Kerry Sheahan

Ipswich Building Society has been a client of ours for a number of years and we’ve worked on many successful integrated SEO & PR marketing campaigns during that time.

It’s really important to the client that we strike the right balance between positioning the Society as a responsible lender but upholding its values as an approachable, yet fiercely-independent mutual.

By taking a creative content-based strategy we are able to reinforce the Society’s key messages whilst also making significant gains in terms of visibility and traffic.

Kerry Sheahan
Account Director

The Challenge

Ipswich Building Society (IBS) is a national mortgage lender based in Suffolk. Operating a manual underwriting system allows the Society to take each customer’s individual circumstances into consideration.

It’s always our priority to make this benefit front and centre in our activity for the Society, as it is a facility that larger banks tend not to offer and therefore a key differentiator.

One area that IBS’s manual underwriting process can reap significant benefits is in the complex area of self build mortgages.

The challenge for IBS was to create a campaign that would help the Society punch above its weight in terms of both SEO and PR on what is already a fairly well-documented topic.

Our Approach

Following client collaboration and research into existing studies, legislation, and public awareness, we identified a niche to exploit on behalf of IBS – namely, a disparity in incentives offered to individual self-builders when compared to commercial developers, with regard to brownfield sites.

Therefore, at the core of the campaign was a piece of research that probed consumers’ knowledge and understanding of the self-build market, with a specific focus on brownfield sites as well as their reasons to pursue a self-build project.

Working with financial, property, broker, self build, mortgage and lifestyle publications, websites & bloggers, the research allowed us to tap into the current news agenda whilst also educating potential self-builders about the challenges and considerations when financing and building their own home.

Keen to really bring home the message about how self build is accessible to more than just ‘Grand Designs’ type projects, we also worked with IBS on creating and promoting a case study of a local couple who had successfully completed their own build with a mortgage from the Society.

This was supported with other on-site content around self-build issues and we also produced an infographic as a more visual representation of the survey findings.


Timing was crucial: in order to get maximum interest in our work, we tied the campaign in with key dates such as Right To Build Day and Custom & Self Build Week. Working with trade bodies such as National Custom & Self Build Association (NACSBA) and Building Societies Association (BSA) allowed us to spread the word even further, through inclusion in their email newsletters and social media channels.

The integrated PR and SEO campaign resulted in:

  • Extensive news coverage across our target press including Mortgage Solutions, Financial Reporter and Property Investor Today.
  • Online and print thought leadership content published across a variety of home, property and personal finance magazines and blogs including Self Build and Design, Home Building and Money High Street.
  • 30% increase in organic traffic to the self build mortgages section of the website
  • 49 pieces of content on third-party sites
  • 35 high quality links created
  • 96% increase in average case size year-on-year
Related Services:

Browser Media’s carefully considered strategy not only raised our profile among potential self-builders, but also delivered an important message about the role that manual underwriting plays in self build mortgage applications.

We’re obviously delighted to see the return on our investment in terms of increased mortgage applications.

Joanne Leek (Digital & Campaigns Manager, Ipswich Building Society)