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36% increase in global traffic.

Delivering online presence for the Natural History Museum.

The Museum is a not-for-profit world-class visitor attraction and leading science research centre. Since partnering in June 2019, its been our mission to use digital to increase public engagement.


  • Maximise spend of the $40k monthly Google GrantsPro budget
  • Grow web visitors from UK and international audiences
  • Drive footfall to the Museum’s two sites
  • Drive commercial outcomes: ticket sales to exhibitions, commercial events and membership sales

We also support across several more tactical goals such as encouraging participation in other events (i.e. Dippy on Tour) and increasing engagement with online learning resources.

What we did:

Our first point of focus was to grow Google Grants spending. While $40,000 of monthly free adspend sounds like the dream, the host of bidding restrictions and limited visibility among ‘paying’ advertisers, can make it very challenging to use. Our approach to growing Grants spend was three-pronged:

  1. Expanding the campaign structure and reach of the account
  2. Adopting Google best practice to maximise response rates
  3. Pre-emptively meeting stringent Grants requirements to eliminate downtime

Where there was potential for a strong ROAS and commercial return (e.g. large exhibitions), a strategic objective (such as boosting virtual tours) or a need for increased visibility at peak times (e.g. school holidays), additional paid advertising was used tactically.

Crafted image

For example, international YouTube and display activity showcased stunning visuals from Wildlife Photographer of the Year, listings sites on GDN showed half-term activity inspiration, and YouTube sequenced creative promoted a series of “Try at Home” activities.

Crafted image

The new structure allowed us to make significant changes across the account with great efficiency. When, due to lockdown, the museum was forced to close its doors in only the second time since opening in 1881, our PPC restructure allowed us to pivot to online resource seamlessly.

We connected parent audiences with NHM’s extensive onsite content, growing NHM’s “Discover” campaigns to include Anthropocene, British Wildlife, Dinosaurs and Space to meet search demand. We also created Virtual Tours content, gaining over 9,000 visits since launch.

When it was time to open the doors again, we helped deliver ticket sell-outs by running an integrated campaign. We managed digital channels including YouTube, display, and paid search, while co-ordinating with NHM’s other media buying activity and the organic PR coverage at the time.

Where many similar organisations went dark, the Natural History Museum’s visibility across digital helped them to continue to be a source of inspiration and knowledge for people throughout the world.

We pride ourselves on being an inspiration to millions of people. Crafted has helped us to deliver on that during challenging times and on a budget. We really value our partnership with the team and look forward to expanding our use of digital in evermore exciting ways.

Victoria Thomson, Natural History Museum
The results.
Growing global traffic.
36% increase in traffic with new users up 30% YoY
Maximising spend.
Achieved the $40k spend for the first time in NHM’s history with continued high rates of spend
Driving footfall.
Over 40k tickets sold and a fortnight of visitor capacity following the reopening campaign