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Running social media and advertising for the WI

Posted by Stuart Walters on December 22, 2020

We partnered with The WI (NFWI) in November 2019, hired because of our extensive experience and knowledge in social media, and especially across the education sector.


Services provided:

  • Social Media
  • E-Newsletter
  • Website Optimisation
  • Paid Social
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Marketing Strategy


Background to Denman

Denman is the learning college of The WI. It was established in 1948 by Sir Richard Livingstone. In the 1960’s, Denman offered 159 different courses. By 2017, it offers over 650. Every year, Denman continues to improve its facilities and its programme. Every year, Denman welcomes over 10,000 students who visit for a few hours, learn for a day, enjoy the overnight experience, or stay for weekends. The relaxing environment is a perfect place to experience the range of courses on offer, fitted in the three main themes of cookery, craft and lifestyle. There truly is something for everyone, from more advanced sewing courses to beginners baking to historical lectures.


Our challenge

Initially, we were hired to grow their social channels and manage their fortnightly email newsletter.



We made our first recommendation and improvements on their fortnightly email. We changed the template to focus on one single call to action, or series of grouped CTAs, bringing focus to each individual newsletter.


The average Click Through Rate (CTR) for the 5 newsletters before we changed the template was 2.64%. The average CTR for the next 5 newsletters were 5.36% - A growth of 103%


Social Media – Facebook and Twitter

Our first priority was to ensure the high quality of Denman and the NFWI was displayed across their social media channels. We created engaging image posts with strong call-to-action.

1st November – 31st March – Impact on website

We grew visits from Facebook to the Denman website 12% on the previous 5 months, and 47% on the same period the previous year.

We also grew visits from Twitter by 28% on the previous 5 months, and 121% on the previous year.



We created a strategy to implement in 2020 where we would share users' photos of their experiences at Denman. While we set that up, we curated stunning feed photos that complimented each other, and the courses taught at Denman.

Firstly, we used a rainbow effect utilising all old photos that had been in their image library, most unused before.

We then used the brand colours of the Cookery School (Orange) and Craft School (Pink) to another feed based around these colours, and each individual post was linked to a specific course that was being taught that week.

It took a lot of planning, but the outcome was a stunning Instagram feed, and many comments from tutors, staff and customers on how beautiful and representative it was of Denman and its values.

Covid-19 and the fall of Denman

The end of March 2020 saw the closure of Denman’s residential and day courses. With an expectation to re-open in July along with Government guidelines, unfortunately this wasn’t the case and Denman remains closed to this day. You can read about it on their website. [link]

Covid-19 and the rise of Denman at Home

Every cloud, has a silver lining, right? Despite the closure of Denman’s physical space, they acted quickly, to offer online courses, using the popular zoom app.

We helped with zoom accounts, microphones, subtitles/captions, and general tech upgrades to allow Denman to offer the best experience to their users.

Inevitably we also helped with marketing their courses to new potential customers. Working alongside the NFWI aims of inclusion, Denman now could open its doors to everyone across the UK and even the world. Their courses were no longer too expensive and attendance for people hundreds of miles away was now possible.

Following some market research we conducted, we knew what courses the Denman audience wanted and at a price point that worked for everyone.


1st June – 31 October – Impact on bookings and website

We continued to run Denman’s social media channels, but also created their very first digital marketing campaigns across social media, and Google Ads. The aim was to reach a new audience who would take part in Denman courses from the comfort of their own home.

In this period, we saw a total of 106,149 users on the Denman website, an increase of 210% to last year.

We saw a huge increase in traffic from all over the country, and even as far away as Amsterdam, Vienna and Helsinki!


Denman had 4353 completely new customers in 5 months from June to October 2020.

In comparison, it took 2 years and 2 months to attract this number of new customers previously.


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