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Engaging audiences through mobile platforms

22 January 2021

In 2020 the British Red Cross were faced with a challenge. With all the public health messaging focusing on washing hands, wearing a mask and keeping your distance, how do we remind people about our message of learning vital life-saving first aid skills, when there is so much attention and fatigue on other health advice?

Every year, World First Aid Day is a vital moment to shine a light on the impact that knowing first aid skills can have and in 2020 it seemed more poignant than ever. First aid emergencies don’t pause during a pandemic. With families spending more time at home together we decided to focus our campaign at parents and caregivers as it is vital they know the simple steps they can take if an accident happens.

But how do you encourage parents and caregivers to get involved with a campaign, when they have just spent three months home-schooling and were sending their children back to school in the same week of World First Aid Day? Knowing more people were online due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions offered us an opportunity to try something different.

Building a quizbot to capture audience attention

At the British Red Cross, we have been providing life-saving advice for 150 years and in recent years our First Aid app, available on iTunes and Google Play, has been downloaded over a million times. We are always looking at new ways we can engage our audiences in first aid, and in 2020, for the first time, we decided to develop a ‘quizbot’. Working with the agency Social Republic, basing it on the same premise as an online chatbot, we built a mechanism where parents could test their first aid knowledge via our chat function on Facebook Messenger.

During our 2019 campaign, we had directed our focus on using first aid quizzes across Instagram stories and polls on Twitter and Facebook. From this, we saw a higher level of engagement from our audiences with this interactive content, so we knew that the appetite was there to test people’s knowledge.

To decide which questions we would ask we reviewed our polls to understand our audiences’ fears on first aid emergencies and the skills they want to know. Combining this with feedback we receive on social and our insights, we decided to focus on five first aid scenarios: bump to the head, burn injury, broken bone, nosebleed, and bleeding heavily. We also thought about the scenarios that are more likely to happen in lockdown, for example, an everyday burn while making a tea, or a bump to the head from child play.

Methodology and results

There were a couple of challenges. We had to map out all the different pathways people could take, as well as making sure that people weren’t learning anything incorrectly. To overcome this challenge, we made sure that whenever a wrong answer was submitted, our quizbot immediately shared the correct answer, encouraging the user to continue testing their skills, or visit the website to learn more.  

In just under two weeks, we had this function live on our Facebook page. The platform was non-judgmental, visually attractive and easy to use. It perfectly supplemented the app by using consistent content and for those who didn’t know about the app, they were signposted to download. We promoted the quizbot on World First Aid Day across our social platforms and encouraged our social influencers to share it, as well as investing a small amount into Facebook promotion.

During our campaign, we also promoted our first aid app and one of our most successful posts for this, was when we adapted quickly to external events. We saw that actress Rebecca Front was trending on Twitter, who voiced our radio ad for the first aid app. So we quickly turned her voiceover into a visual asset which had a great reaction from the public. This quickly became one of the best performing tweets of the campaign, which drove the most traffic to the app page and generated over 16,000 downloads.

We had an original modest target of 100 people taking part in the quiz. In 12 days, we had 420 people take part, over 50% tested themselves on more than one skill and nearly 40% of users came via organic social posts. 55% of users chose to learn the skill for bump to the head, which was our most popular first aid topic. Interestingly, the landing page they were directed to if they wanted to learn more also listed several resources and relevant activities, and on average, people viewed five of these resources. While lockdown put a stop to our real-life first aid training sessions taking place, our quizbot allowed us to reach these audiences digitally, as well as inform our insights for any future first aid content. 

Advice to charities

We would encourage charities to try a quizbot feature as part of their digital marketing strategy for future campaigns. Our advice would be to have a clear goal of what you want to achieve and understand your social audiences so you can tailor content and language that they’ll relate to. Finally, having too many complex pathways may deter people from completing the quizbot – you want to keep people engaged.

We are excited to see this appetite for delivering educational content in new ways and we’ll certainly be trialing this again, either with our first aid work or with other areas of the organisation, to help drive engagement.

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Image: Jem Sahagun on Unsplash

Alice Buckle

Social Media Officer , British Red Cross

Alice Buckle has been a Social Media Officer at the British Red Cross since May 2019. First aid is one of the key areas Alice leads on for organic social, as well as exploring new ways to engage audiences digitally. In 2020 Alice had a vital role in developing the first aid chatbot feature. 

Nicola Matthews

Senior Marketing Manager , British Red Cross

Nicola is Senior Marketing Manager at the British Red Cross, focusing on raising awareness of the services and support the organisation provides. Nicola has worked in the charity sector for over 10 years, previously working with organisations who support children and young people with communication needs.