6 ways Immediate’s consumer brands are leaning in to the crisis – ideas to adapt

Dan Linstead , , 9 April 2020

With the nation staying at home, Immediate’s consumer digital platforms have seen a huge boost in traffic in the last few weeks, resulting in an incredible 59m users visiting our sites last month – our highest total ever as a business.

From food to history, science to gardening, our content teams are working round the clock to deliver hyper-relevant content to our audiences. Here are six new initiatives we’ve launched in the last two weeks, which could provide inspiration for brands , charities and membership organisations:

1/ Launching a newsletter: Stay Home, Get Inspired!

This week saw the launch of a new cross-company initiative, Stay Home, Get Inspired, as our brands come together to bring readers a daily dose of expert advice and great ideas to help them through the day at home.

Content will include recommendations for boxsets to binge on (from Radio Times), advice on how to grow vegetables (BBC Gardeners’ World) and ideas for ways to entertain the kids (MadeforMums), all promoted under relevant headers, including: Stay Home, Get Watching; Stay Home, Get Growing; and Stay Home, Get Discovering.

>> Signup for the newsletter here.


 2/ Instagram lives and Facebook communities: BBCGoodFood.com

March was a record-breaking month for bbcgoodfood.com, with the team recording their biggest day ever for traffic on Sunday 29 March, as people turned to the site for expert food advice. (Anyone else interested in no flour baking?)

The team are responding with a raft of activities across social media. The cookery team are hosting live #askbbcgoodfood sessions every weekday at 12:30pm on Instagram, designed to help their audience make the most of the ingredients they have. And the team’s new Facebook community, BBC Good Food Together, encourages people to connect with the brand and other readers every day to share the recipes they’re making and exchange ideas.


3/ Answering the key questions: BBC Science Focus

As well as affecting all our daily lives, coronavirus is a huge science story, as researchers worldwide race to better understand and treat the virus. Immediate’s multi award-winning science brand, BBC Science Focus also had record traffic last month on the back of the pandemic, and is finding new audiences with their expert insight.

As well as hosting their own content, the team provide original articles to the Press Association for wider syndication. Two of their highest-performing stories have been 10 science-backed tips to help you work from home successfully and Coronavirus: Will COVID-19 become a seasonal virus?.

The takeout for charities and membership organisations: can you add to this global story by creating coronavirus-related content with PR or niche SEO appeal?


 4/ Live ‘watch-alongs’: RadioTimes.com 

There’s been a rapid increase in live streaming during lockdown, and Immediate’s brands have been at the forefront. On Wednesday nights, fans from across the globe have been joining RadioTimes.com’s Call The Midwife #RTWatch event. They collectively pressed play at 8pm and watched an episode of the hugely popular BBC show, before taking part in a live Q&A on Facebook with the writer and stars.

The first event attracted an incredible 130k views. You can watch the live chat for yourself here. This was the first of several events the team have planned to try to bring the nation (and TV fans globally) together around their favourite shows.



5/ Help with home schooling: 5 Minute Fun

Immediate’s handy parenting website 5 Minute Fun has been providing even more help to parents with young children at home. Steph Cooper, Educational Advisor and Group Editor of Numberblocks, Alphablocks and CBeebies magazines, has been hosting Home School sessions on Facebook Live daily.

Each day the short sessions covered a different topic, ranging from phonics and maths, to active science and literacy, and offered advice on simple ways parents can support their children with home-schooling. 

 6/ User-generated content: Match of the Day

Usually busy reporting on the final stages of the Premiership season, in the absence of live sport MOTD has pivoted to skills training for its audience of footie-mad pre-teens. They’ve launched a series of online challenges led by Features Editor and skills expert Lee ‘Stobbsy’ Stobbs.

Inspired by the success of their #motdbinchallenge video, which received 161k views on Instagram, the team will be teaching a different top skill each week, helping young fans of the mag to raise their game while they can’t get on to the pitch.

Check out some of the best entries for the #motdbinchallenge from readers and professional players here and take a look at the first #TekkersTuesday challenge, wall ball, here.

Can we help bring consumer thinking to your content during lockdown? Interested in collaborating with Immediate’s consumer titles? Get in touch.

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