How Gaston County Launched an Effective Evergreen Campaign During a Pandemic Using HubSpot Marketing Hub
In the midst of the global pandemic, Gaston County Public Information Department had limited resources but needed to extend its reach to provide critical COVID-19 resources and information to high-risk populations in the county. Using available CARES funding, they turned to Haven Creative for additional marketing and communications support. Haven Creative developed a strategic communications campaign called, Gaston SAVES (Safety, Awareness, Vital Emergency Support). While it was initiated to address the COVID-19 crisis, the campaign was designed to be “evergreen” so that it could be used to provide resources in an emergency situation. Gaston County also needed a system in place to collect resident contact information and send out important information via email to residents like COVID-19 updates.
The campaign was layered with several key messages. The first of which was Mask Together, an educational push to promote mask-wearing. Once flu season started in the Fall of 2020, the marketing narratives shifted to include COVID-19 vs. flu education. In January of 2021, additional messaging and visuals, COVID Stops with Me, was layered into the campaign to educate the community on the COVID-19 vaccination. The initial launch of Gaston SAVES included the development of a dedicated website which was integrated with HubSpot Marketing. Haven Creative also designed supporting creative marketing assets and managed the advertising buys to extend the reach.
The purpose of paid advertising was to attract Gaston County residents to visit the gastonsaves.com website and sign up for important updates via Hubspot forms. The contacts received regular COVID-19 update emails and pertinent information regarding testing and vaccines, building trust and credibility with residents. We were later able to use Hubspot to send out post-vaccine surveys for contacts to share their experience and determine our promoters in the community.
Tools and Tactics: Gaston SAVES Marketing Assets PDF
The Gaston SAVES initiative has reached more than 25% of the county’s population through the website, gastonsaves.com, to date. By delivering over 6 million impressions, there have been 137,191 sessions on the website and more than 28,000 contacts entered into the database to receive email updates from gastonsaves.com.
With email open rates averaging 60+%, Gaston County has been able to feed vital COVID-19 information to county residents.
Because the website was built using HubSpot, contact lists can be easily segmented by location, age, group, etc. allowing the county officials to quickly and efficiently disseminate critical information to the appropriate target audiences. The flexibility of the campaign platform has proved to be a valuable resource during the ever-changing needs of communicating information during the pandemic and beyond.
Since launching Gaston SAVES, lives have been saved. Important COVID-19 messages and vaccination announcements have reached residents in a timely manner. Several partnering organizations have become clients as well. They see the long-term value of HubSpot and the impact Gaston SAVES is having on the community. Gaston County’s Communication Manager and PIO Adam Gaub said, “The work on Gaston SAVES has transformed expectations for what county communications can look like, and the metrics have pointed to just how successful this has been in connecting residents with potentially life-saving information.” Gaston SAVES will live on past the pandemic and we will be the way new campaigns are launched and guided with Hubspot strategy.