By keeping its SEO in-house, and making the most of Twitter feeds, the BBC has kept its digital marketing spending to just over £1.6m last year, which is surprising considering the size of the organisation. 

A freedom of information request asked how much the BBC spent on digital marketing between 2009 and 2010, and which online marketing methods the corporation uses, and the answers are intriguing… 

According to the BBC’s reply, much of its online marketing activity is carried out at little or no cost, thanks to promoting content via Twitter feeds (just about every BBC reporter and presenter seems to have a Twitter profile now), and marketing messages on its own website. 

One interesting fact was the BBC, as Malcolm Coles points out, doesn’t employ any SEO firms, but instead relies on ‘reflecting Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) principles in the design of our web pages’. 

The BBC allocated the majority of this £1.6m digital marketing budget on display advertising, with a bit of PPC thrown in. The corporation says it spent £1.4m on display ads, and £220,000 on paid search. 

According to the BBC: 

To maximise the value delivered to licence payers, the BBC needs to build awareness of the new content we produce and distribute.  Alongside on-air trails, we use a variety of web-based marketing techniques where appropriate, to support both our digital and traditional content. 

The reply also states that there may be ‘small amounts’ of digital marketing spend across other areas of the corporation funded by individual production areas, but it isn’t obliged to provide this information, so it won’t.