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Army: Recruitment

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 134413, tabled on 27 March 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 20 February 2018 to Question 127841, on Army: Recruitment, if he will publish (a) a copy of the digital file or a link to each social media asset used in paid campaigns by his Department for Army recruitment advertisements and (b) each platform those assets were published on in (i) 2015-16 and (ii) 2016-17.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

1 June 2018

The social media platforms used for direct paid marketing in Recruiting Year (RY) 2015-16 and RY 2016-17 were Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

The attached spreadsheet provides posting dates and links to the materials used on these sites. Digital files of adverts that have been removed are not held by the Department.

While gathering input to answer this Question it was found that there were errors with the figures provided in the previous response to Questions 127841 and 127842 due to inaccurate information provided by an external contractor.

The following table shows the total spend for web advertising and the disaggregated spend for each type of advert over the last three years.

RY 2015-16

RY 2016-17

RY 2017-18 (as of 30 September 2017)

Job Boards

£640,000

£620,000

£440,000

Display

£970,000

£1,360,000

£940,000

Search

£460,000

£380,000

£170,000

Paid Social

£370,000

£920,000

£440,000

Total

£2,440,000

£3,280,000

£1,990,000

For presentational purposes, figures have been rounded to the nearest £10,000 to improve the clarity of output and convey an appropriate level of precision.

Definitions for each type of advert:

Job Boards – job advertising sites, which are used to promote Army jobs.

Display – banner adverts that appear on websites.

Search – the cost to return an advert on search engine sites Google and Bing, which will appear higher up search listings.

Paid Social – content paid to be placed on social media sites Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

A breakdown of costs for each website used for job boards, search and paid social advertising is attached. Figures have been rounded to the nearest £1,000.

Display and search advertisements are placed through the Cabinet Office Media Buying Agency. For display advertising they use algorithms to target audiences, rather than advertising on specific websites, meaning adverts may appear on a number of online platforms that carry advertising. As of 21 September 2017, there were 1,173 approved websites listed on the latest Cabinet Office Government Whitelist.

It was also found that there were errors with the figures provided in the response to Questions 127844 and 127845. The total spend for Army recruitment advertising over the past three financial years (FY) on Facebook and Twitter is shown in the table below. There was no spend on Snapchat.

FY 2015-16

FY 2016-17

FY 2017-18 (Up to 31 December 2017)

Facebook

£262,000

£640,000

£480,000

Twitter

£2,000

£178,000

£41,000

For presentational purposes, figures have been rounded to the nearest £1,000 to improve the clarity of output and convey an appropriate level of precision.

The figures above include £2,000 spent boosting Facebook posts in 2016-17 and £19,400 in 2017-18.

The target audience for boosted Facebook posts are those aged between 16 and 24 for the Regular Army and between 16 and 35 for the Reserves that have expressed an interest in a career with the British Army.

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