Marketing for Local Government Programme, Multiply

What is the Multiply Project?

MultiplyNYorks is the new, free adult numeracy project for residents of York and North Yorkshire. The overall project has been given £2.6 million from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and runs until March 2025 with the aim to improve the numeracy skills of working age people in the UK.

Multiply is part of the UK Government Skills for Life programme and was created to help a target of 1,726 people over 19 years of age, who don’t have a maths GCSE at grade C (or equivalent), and offers courses and activities in the local community that help people to manage their money better, improve their confidence, and open up better employment opportunities.

The MultiplyNYorks project is led by a dedicated central team which has been created as a partnership between the Adult Learning Service of North Yorkshire Council, City of York Council’s York Learning, and a consortium led by Better Connect.

The project has more than 18 delivery partners across York and North Yorkshire, to ensure that provision covers a wide spectrum of needs.

Here we explore how the Marketing Optimist team approached marketing for local government programme, Multiply.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visiting MultiplyNYorks

Marketing Strategy

As this was part of a national programme, The Marketing Optimist team needed a way to make Multiply stand out as distinct for the North Yorkshire area. For it to resonate with the people of the region, it needed to feel like a local programme and not be lost as part of a national rollout.

For this reason, we named it MultiplyNYorks, which helped us to retain a local and national focus. To help spread the message and ensure consistency, the website and all social media handles are the same across Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn and TikTok.

Collaborating with local government and regional partners

Marketing for local government programme, MultiplyNYorks, has required The Marketing Optimist to collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders – North Yorkshire Council, City of York Council, Better Connect and over 18 delivery partners. Each of the interested parties were keen to ensure the website reflected their own organisational values, as well as those of MultiplyNYorks as a whole.

Website Design and Usability

In the early stages of planning, we ensured that we had in-depth discussions with everyone involved taking their needs into account, and created processes to facilitate partners being able to contribute to the programme.

To this end, we designed the website to enable sections on events and news to be self-service for the partners, while the Marketing Optimist team retained overall control of the website, and all other content.

Accessibility is key to any project when marketing for local government. To ensure the website is fully accessible, we applied Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’) to the site.

SEO & Optimisation Strategy

With the brief supplied by the client, and information gathered in discovery meetings, we began by crafting a proposed navigation, and providing a brief description of what kind of information should be on each page.

As a new entity that had no online history, at the time of our research, general “Multiply” related key terms had 0 searches per month.

Therefore our key word strategy would primarily hinge on more broad terms that describe the Multiply programme, the sector category it belongs to (adult numeracy), and the needs of the audience. Though branded key terms were also used to futureproof the strategy, as the word spreads about the initiative.

These terms were then mapped to the website architecture and sent for client approval.

SEO is a living process, and therefore our consistent reviews and tweaks to the pages and content based on future reporting, may extend to reviewing the key terms themselves. Enabling us to seek higher value key terms as Multiply becomes a part of public consciousness and begins to appear more frequently in real life searches.

Website Copy

The finer details of exactly how the learning was going to be accessed and delivered were not clear to us at the early stages of the process due to the infancy of the programme.

So, we compiled a “copy plan” document, a detailed list of questions for the team at North Yorkshire Council. Each page of the website had its own list of questions written to probe the client to provide the detail we needed in order to craft effective website copy.

When it comes to marketing for local government programmes and initiatives like Multiply, positioning might be one of the most important factors to consider.

The Multiply team at North Yorkshire Council wanted the tone of voice on the copy across the website to be distinctly not that of a local authority or educational association. Instead, taking a warmer approach to guide the target audience into the Multiply Programme.

Armed with a returned copy document, we began crafting copy for each page, optimising the copy of each page with the keyword we assigned to it. We applied a gentle, guided voice to the copy, to not only align content with brand guidelines and the desire of the client, but to help us meet our conversion KPI’s.

Multiply Partners day

Social Media Strategy for Multiply

The social media strategy for MultiplyNYorks touches on several key pillars:

  • Event promotion
  • Community and trust building
  • Increasing course signups
  • Follower growth

Event promotion – primary focus of the Multiply social channels so far, and an integral part of the content strategy on all social channels.

Trust building – using testimonials from Multiply event attendees has been key in establishing trust within our current following and showcasing the impact of the programme for learners and event attendees. Incorporating longer-form content such as blogs or videos will make this approach even more robust in the future.

Community building – engaging the Multiply community with polls and questions around maths to promote interaction with the page and spark discussion. Use Multiply initiatives such as the Travelling Duck challenge to encourage user-generated content, prompting followers to send in photos and participate.

Follower growth – using financial literacy influencers, Century App signup incentives and giveaways to drive followers to the page and raise awareness of Multiply across the North Yorkshire region.

Working together with the MuliplyNYorks team, Better Connect and the delivery partners we are constantly building out the social media strategy as it evolves with the programme and as users take up the training and support offers.

The Marketing Optimist Social Media team worked in tandem with the Website Team to ensure that MultiplyNYorks social media plans are spread across all stakeholders involved – City of York Council, North Yorkshire Council, York Learning, Better Connect and the local partners.

This is no small undertaking and involves our team attending weekly meetings with the central team and liaising with Better Connect and the delivery partners ensuring that all get equal airtime in the social media campaign while still ensuring we fit in the overall campaign messaging for MuliplyNYorks.

marketing for local government

The results

The main measure of MultiplyNYorks is the social impact it has had.

In year one of the programme:

  • 3,620 in York and North Yorkshire engaged with Multiply and its delivery partners
  • 200 families benefited from free air fryers helping them to reduce costs and prepare healthy meals at home
  • 600 people used the Century app the online system which helps develop numeracy skills

How our marketing strategy helped deliver that impact

We are delighted to be working with The Marketing Optimist on this programme, the collaborative work has allowed us to reach individuals who would not usually engage in learning activities. The dedicated website has allowed us to showcase the fantastic work that is happening across York and North Yorkshire.

Lois Calvert

Multiply Development Manager, North Yorkshire Council and City of York Council

MultiplyNYorks Social media strategy

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