United States Army National Guard
The United States Army National Guard must recruit new soldiers to maintain end strength of approximately 350,000 soldiers for both State and Federal missions. The National Guard sought a website that would serve as the hub and unifying element for all their advertising and marketing initiatives.
The diverse set of opportunities available in the National Guard requires an even more diverse set of soldiers to fill those roles. What appeals to one potential recruit, may be exactly what could discourage another from enlisting. For some, a cubicle is out of the question while the 4-foot-by-4-foot compartment of a Paladin tank sounds like a personal retreat. Still others may want to develop a new artillery system altogether. Some join because they wish to deploy. Some, because they are most interested in making an impact stateside. The content must speak to each of these audiences while breaking down barriers to enlisting and driving conversion.
In 2014, iostudio re-launched NationalGuard.com. The initiative wasn’t just about creating a new website. It was about putting a stake in the ground for the National Guard. It was about reaching millennials with a message and voice that resonates. Content throughout the site’s hundreds of pages was nearly as important as the design itself.
We recognized that the choice to enlist is deeply emotional and driven by countless motivators. It isn’t your average “purchase” decision. This decision is about a way of life and is a choice that will dramatically influence the future of both the individual joining the National Guard and the nation.
So, we crafted copy, captured and utilized authentic photography and created more than 45 videos that detailed careers in the National Guard, told the story of basic training, crystalized the Guard’s brand and painted a genuine picture of life as soldier. We created engagement and lead nurturing email series’ that pull potential recruits along, demystifying the enlistment process while establishing a regular contact point.
The content throughout the site bridges the gap between the diverse careers and opportunities in the National Guard. It appeals to the patriot inside each and every one of us. To a sense of higher calling and purpose. It breaks down barriers to enlistment and inspires potential recruits to take the first step toward enlistment.
The re-launch of NationalGuard.com resulted in a 52% increase in total leads, 29% increase in conversion rate, 45% increase in page views and 154% increase in video plays in the first month alone. In the year after launch, there were more than 5.5M site visits that resulted in more than 225,000 leads. The lead nurturing series performed 104% better than the industry average and the engagement nurturing email series performed more than 64% better than the industry average. Videos on the site have been viewed more than 1 million times. iostudio won a Gold ADDY award at the 2015 American Advertising Awards for the site.