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LGA Digital Connectivity Programme 2021: What is Full Fibre - campaign evaluation

Following the completion of the LGA Digital Connectivity Programme Evaluation report, Superfast Essex has upgraded almost 24,000 homes and businesses to ultrafast, gigabit-capable speeds up to 1,000Mbps as of November 2021. One of the objectives of the campaign was to raise awareness of this work. Facebook Ads targeted postcodes and the direct mailer was sent out to 10,000 addresses, including some in the lowest take up areas.

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Campaign objectives and KPIs

Superfast Essex delivered a 12-week campaign (April 12th-June 28th), using a full marketing mix which included advertising, printed marketing collateral, digital marketing, PR/media and stakeholder channels.


  • To educate and raise awareness of full fibre broadband to our audiences.
  • To highlight the differences between superfast broadband/fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and full fibre broadband/fibre to the premises (FTTP).
  • To inform residents and businesses that their address has been or is being upgraded to full fibre broadband, encouraging them to take up a service.
  • To make people aware of commercial work happening across the county, as part of the Government’s 85 per cent by 2025 ambition.

KPIs and goals

The overall approach was to engage with as many residents and businesses as possible and direct traffic to our website.

KPIs to be measured (number of):

  • Website sessions – a session is the period time a user is actively engaged with your website
  • Page visits to: superfast Essex
  • Referral traffic to website
  • Facebook page likes and engagement statistics
  • Twitter followers and engagement statistics
  • Programme Update statistics
  • Take-up from both suppliers

Website goals

  • Acquire more visitors
  • Acquire new visitors
  • For visitors to find out about full fibre (FTTP) broadband
  • For visitors to find out when, where and how they can get full fibre broadband

Social media goals

  • For followers to become engaged in the programme by liking, sharing and commenting on our posts (engagement).
  • Followers to click through to our website.


The overall approach was to direct traffic to our website and dedicated campaigns page, in order to raise awareness of full fibre and drive take up in areas that have been upgraded. Below are Google analytics from the duration of the campaign.


  • 19,939 users
  • 19,417 new users
  • 63,585 pageviews
  • four out of five users were new to the website

Breakdown of user behaviour on the homepage and full fibre pages on our website

Breakdown of user behaviour on the homepage and full fibre pages on our website


Page views

Avg. time on page


Bounce rate




















Averages on SfE website during 2020 – Bounce rate: 51 per cent, Avg. time on pages: 01:06

  • Of the 2,853 full fibre page views, 58.6 per cent were ‘entrances’, which means visitors followed a direct link and ‘entered’ the website through that page.
  • Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page sessions divided by all sessions. Our full fibre page bounce rate is high at 70.25 per cent – however, a high bounce rate on content pages is not necessarily a bad thing as users could have obtained the information, they came for which meant they didn’t need to navigate away.
  • Our full fibre page also had the highest average time spent on a page at 01:13, which is higher than the average time spent on our pages in 2020 at 01:06 – this confirms the above, that people found enough information on this page and didn’t need to visit others

Referral traffic to the website, of the 19,939 users (through duration of the campaign)

  1. Direct (36.2 per cent) – visits where users navigated directly to the URL. This is most often the result of a user entering a URL into their browser or using a bookmark to directly access the site. This could have been due to our postcard, as the second biggest spike in users happened just after they were sent.
  2. Referral (25.14 per cent) – visits where users clicked a link from another site. In our case, referrals came from our interactive map, Google Ads and our contact form.
  3. Social (24.68 per cent) – traffic from social media sites. Of the 5,452 users directed to our website by social media, people came from – Facebook 91.9 per cent, Youtube 4.85per cent, Instagram 2.11 per cent, Twitter 1.05 per cent and 0.1 per cent other.
  4. Organic search (13.83 per cent) – visits from organic (unpaid) search results. A lot of the search data is locked; if a user is logged into a Google product when searching, their search is conducted over SSL. As such, the referral data relating to that search is hidden. But we can see from the unlocked data that keywords for organic searches are: BDUK, Essex, council, fibre, full fibre, broadband, Gigaclear.
  5. Email (0.14 per cent) – the last and smallest percentage came from emails. Most likely as a result of individual emails sent directly to our key stakeholders.

Social media – Facebook Ads

We had both an image and 10-second GIF developed for each message – full fibre is here, and full fibre is on its way. Initially, we targeted certain postcodes using Openreach and Gigaclear rollout data. The third message, ‘What is full fibre?’, targeted the whole of Essex. The call to action for all ads was to direct people to:

We ran each key message ad for a week which allowed us to get baseline figures for all of the ads so that we could adapt and improve them.

Whilst the engagement levels for the ads were positive, some of the comments we received were negative. As Facebook can only target areas to a certain postcode level (not specific addresses), there are many addresses which would have been targeted within a postcode that aren’t in the programme, meaning the message wasn’t accurate for those addresses.

Because of the unwanted engagement, we decided to launch a month-long ad using the ‘What is full fibre?’ message, targeting all residents of Essex aged 21-65. This included two ads, one with the GIF and the other the image, with slightly altered text from the first version of the ad.

Facebook Ads results from the duration of the campaign

  • 230,945 impressions
  • 77,457 people reached
  • 7,057 link clicks
  • £0.18 cost per click (CPC)
  • 3.1 per cent click through rate (CTR)
  • £5.52 cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM)
  • Our CPC and CTR are above the industry average.
  • The ad which had the most successful CTR was the ‘Full fibre is here’ at 4.01 per cent. We think this is because the key message was clear in directing people to click through.
  • The ad which had the most successful CPC was the ‘What

    is full fibre?’ at £0.14. We think this is because the ads were less targeted to a specific audience, and therefore reached more people at a smaller cost.
  • Our CPM is below the industry standard.
  • The ad which had the most successful CPM was the ‘What

    is full fibre?’ (£4.03), for a similar reason to the CPC above.

Industry standards – based on the results of our study, the average CTR is 0.9 per cent but a good CTR for Facebook Ads is between 2-5 per cent (source:

Average cost per click (CPC) for Facebook Ads is £0.75 and cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM) is £3.94 (source:

Social media – organic posts

#FullFibreFriday – we also scheduled organic posts alongside the paid ads and created a separate strand of the campaign on both Facebook and Twitter. Once a week we’d post a fact about fibre broadband, directing people to the full fibre page on our website. Throughout the campaign, we engaged with key stakeholders to encourage them to share our posts. This included: ECC’s social media team, District and Parish Councils, our Broadband Champions, Openreach, Gigaclear, BDUK, the FSB and the DIZ.

Twitter results

#FullFibreFriday was responsible for 45 per cent of all impressions earned on our Twitter account through the duration of the campaign.

  • 22,364 impressions
  • 285 people engaged with
  • 1.27 per cent engagement rate
  • 2 new followers

Top #FullFibreFriday Twitter post

  • 4,094 impressions
  • 50 people engaged with
  • 1.2 per cent engagement rate

Facebook results

  • 3,921 people reached
  • 75 people engaged with
  • 3.6 per cent engagement rate
  • seven new page likes

Top #FullFibreFriday Facebook post

  • 2,338 people reached
  • 28 people engaged with
  • 0.94 per cent engagement rate

Industry standard engagement rates on organic social media posts – Twitter: 0.06 per cent, Facebook: 0.21 per cent (source:

Google Display Ads

Our campaign agency Westhill onboarded the digital agency Bambu ( to create and run our Google display ads. The aim of the ads was to drive traffic to our website.

Google Ads results through duration of the campaign

  • 16,958 link clicks
  • Cost per click (CPC)

Industry standard – The average cost per click is £0.48 for Google display ads (source:

  • Our CPC on Google Ads was above the industry standard, which is £0.48. It was good to see loads of clicks at a cheap price.
  • The most engaged demographic were men aged between 25-44.
  • But when it came to click through, the female audiences had a better rate.
  • This shows that although men may seem the most engaged in terms of impressions, women were more likely to check for full fibre by clicking through to our website and finding out more information.

Postcard (direct mailer)

The digital element of the campaign was effective as it was able to reach a huge audience in a way that is both cost effective and measurable. But a downside of digital marketing is that you can only target to a certain postcode level, which isn’t specific enough for our programme.

This is the reason why we decided to hyper target the areas we've upgraded to full fibre broadband with a direct mailer. To achieve this, we personalised the postcards with the name of each area (eg Ardleigh) on the front to encourage people to read them and targeted 10,000 of our lowest take-up addresses.

We received low take up data from both suppliers (Openreach and Gigaclear) – this included the areas where take up of a service was at its lowest compared to others. Using our dataset of the almost 20,000 addresses we’ve upgraded to full fibre (as part of our programme) – we filtered the data by supplier and removed areas that weren’t in that suppliers low take up list.

We also included a QR code which directed people to watch our animation, which explains the differences between FTTC and FTTP, and why getting full fibre could benefit them.

Results – during 21st - 28th May, which was the Royal Mail pick up to the landing date, the 26th May saw our best results. We’ve compared the results to a week before (19th May).




Avg. Session duration

Bounce rate

26th May





19th May






On the 26th May:

  • The number of users and sessions was over a third higher
  • The average session duration was longer, which means people spent a good amount of time taking in the information
  • The bounce rate was much lower, which means people navigated to other pages to find further information
  • The top pages people viewed were our homepage, interactive map, address checker, commercial operators, and what is full fibre broadband – this indicates that people used the information from the postcard to check our map to see if full fibre was available at their address

Video content

Case study video

Excel Helicopters were upgraded to full fibre broadband as part of our work with Gigaclear and shared their story with us on camera for our video case study. In addition to a two-minute video uploaded to our YouTube channel and website, we shared a 30-second teaser clip on social media:

  • 182 Youtube views
  • 94 webpage views
  • 03:47 was the average time spent on the page
  • 26,737 people were reached by Facebook Ads using the case study video
  • 1,880 people clicked the links in the video Facebook Ads

What is Full fibre animation?

Our in-house designers created a 90 second animation describing the differences between superfast and full fibre broadband. The animation was shared with other local authorities by the LGA and one asked if they could use on their channels, so we created a generic version for all authorities to use. Three hundred and 93 people viewed the animation on Youtube.

Stakeholders & toolkits

We created a stakeholder toolkit which sat on a dedicated /toolkits page on our website. The toolkit was sent to Broadband Champions, Town and Parish Councils, District Councils, BDUK, Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE), Essex Association of Local Councils (EALC) and the FSB, and aimed to make it easier for our stakeholders to share content from the campaign on their own channels. Our posts and assets were shared multiple times across various channels.

Our posts and assets were shared multiple times across various channels and the dedicated toolkit webpage was visited 208 times.

Our central social media team at Essex County Council came at the top of our stakeholders – they shared and posted for us nine separate times, which really helped to boost our engagement.

Although we engaged with all of our stakeholders, some didn’t share or engage with our campaign. They were: Braintree, Castle Point, Colchester, Epping Forest, Harlow, Maldon, Rochford, Tendring and Thurrock district/borough councils.

This is surprising as some of the councils are our funding partners and we have engaged with Braintree District Council directly and they’ve asked to use our assets from the full fibre campaign. We will take this on board and try to tailor content for each local area.


No of times stakeholder posted/shared our content

Essex County Council


Chigwell Parish Council


Broadband Champions


FSB Essex


Basildon Council


Essex + Herts Digital Innovation Zone (DIZ)


South East LEP


Chelmsford City Council




Brentwood Borough Council


Danbury Parish Council


Uttlesford District Council




Essex Association of Local Councils (EALC)




Take up reports

The table below shows total take up of FTTP across all Superfast Essex contracts.

Take Up %

Oct 2020


Oct 2021


Following the completion of the LGA Digital Connectivity Programme Evaluation report, Superfast Essex has upgraded almost 24,000 homes and businesses to ultrafast, gigabit-capable speeds up to 1,000Mbps as of November 2021. One of the objectives of the campaign was to raise awareness of this work. Facebook Ads targeted postcodes and the direct mailer was sent out to 10,000 addresses, including some in the lowest take up areas.

For total full fibre take up across all contracts, we saw an increase from October 2020 to October 2021, moving from 22.48 per cent to 24.67 per cent.

Despite these positive figures and the increase in online traffic from the campaign it is difficult to directly prove a direct correlation between take up and delivery of the campaign (April - June 2021). Yet we believe that the ‘What Is Full Fibre?’ marketing campaign has had a positive impact on take up while we are aware that it will not be the sole reason for the increase, just one contributing factor.

To contextualise this conclusion, other factors we monitored that may have influenced take up is the increased need for connectivity as people and businesses shift to a ‘work from home’ or ‘hybrid working’ model because of Covid-19.

Finally, we can see from the take up numbers from our contracts is that there is a clear need and want for full fibre broadband connectivity. Whilst the Superfast Essex programme has been a huge success, we are now working to ensure that gigabit-capable connectivity continues to increase across the county and alongside our own rollout, we’re working to support commercial operators with their plans.

Key takeaways from the campaign channels


  • Overall we’re happy with the stats and traffic that’s been driven to the website – 4 out of 5 users being new is great, as this means we’ve tapped into new audiences.
  • It would be good to track the traffic to our website in more granular detail, so we know which marketing channels work the best and what works content-wise.
  • The bounce rate on our homepage is higher than expected at 61.39%, so we need to investigate and improve.

Social media – paid ads and organic posts

  • Our Facebook Ads performance was high and we reached a huge audience in a way that was both cost effective and measurable.
  • We could work on fine-tuning our ad copy and tweaking it throughout the campaign. We also need to be careful that we don’t share the same thing too much, as a few people did comment on our posts to say they’d seen the content too much.
  • Results from our organic social posts showed us that our Twitter channel performed really well and accounted for almost half of all impressions throughout the duration of the campaign.

Video content

  • Our videos weren't viewed as many times as we were hoping, so we will need to look into how we can improve views. We also had a few comments saying that the helicopter business isn't that relatable to your average person.

Google Ads

  • The Google Ads element of the campaign was carried in a rush, meaning we weren’t able to use them to their full potential Unfortunately, we were also unable to add the Google Tag Manager to our website, which would have helped with the optimisation of the campaign.
  • The main lesson we’ve learnt is to plan ahead and work directly with the agency, rather than via another agency.


  • The direct mailer was a great way to specifically target properties that have been upgraded as part of the Superfast Essex programme, and traffic to the website increased around the landing date, which highlights how effective the postcard was.
  • The QR code didn’t have as many views as we’d hoped (180). This could be that some people don’t understand how to use them, or maybe it wasn’t prominent enough, so we will keep this in mind for next time.

Stakeholder toolkits

  • Throughout the campaign, we engaged with internal and external stakeholders to encourage them to share our campaign on their own channels. We did have quite a few shares, but we think we can improve on this and how we create our toolkits. It might be a good idea to personalise or tailor content to each stakeholder.

Next steps for campaigns

  1. Research is important – we need to carry out more research before planning our campaigns, so we have a better understanding of our audiences and we have more quantifiable research to measure our results against at the end of campaigns.
  2. Investigate Twitter Ads – Twitter performed for well organically with the #FullFibreFriday series of posts. A good idea would be to incorporate this idea as a separate strand of a campaign and use Twitter Ads to further our reach and target our audiences specifically. We will explore this for future campaigns.
  3. Fine Tune Facebook Ads – things we need to improve on are our CPM, target audiences and Ad copy. We can do this by carrying out more tests at the beginning of the campaign and tweaking the copy as we go. By carrying out more research at the beginning, this will refine our target audiences.
  4. Refine tracking web traffic – We need to understand where the traffic is being driven from, so we can highlight our best-performing channels. It might be a good idea to use Hotjar, so we can track user behaviour using analytics and heatmaps and find out where people have been directed from.
  5. Stakeholder engagement is key – we need to improve on our stakeholder communication and how we share campaign assets and news. A simple idea would be to create a pdf of all assets and copy, rather than directing stakeholders to the website where they have to click through – let’s make it easier for people.

Glossary of Terms





Bounce Rate


The percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. Bounce rate is calculated by dividing the total number of one-page visits by the total number of entries to a website.


Cost Per Click

A paid advertising term where an advertiser pays a cost to a publisher for every click on an ad.


Cost Per Mille

A paid advertising term where an advertiser pays a cost to a publisher for every 1000 impressions.


Call To Action

A prompt in a campaign that tells the user to take some specified action. A call to action is typically written as a command or action phrase, such as 'Sign Up' or 'Buy Now' and generally takes the form of a button or hyperlink.


Click Through Rate

A ratio showing how often people who see your ad or free product listing end up clicking it.


Graphical Interchange Format

A format for image files that supports both animated and static images.


Key Performance Indicator

A measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives.


Superfast Essex


QR Code

Quick Response Code

A machine-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares, typically used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone.


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Broadband Champion Toolkit

Superfast Essex is the broadband improvement programme at Essex County Council, which launched in 2012 to improve digital connectivity across Essex.

To date, we've rolled out superfast broadband, and more recently gigabit-capable broadband, to more than 140,000 addresses across Essex, making our county one of the best connected in the UK.

Our Broadband Champion Toolkit has been created to provide other local authorities with information on how to set up a network of programme ambassadors.