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.
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