In our last post we tackled how to optimize the profile of each individual adoptable pet in your care to ensure each is putting his or her best paw forward to potential fosters and adopters. But chances are, you'll have more than a few animals up for adoption at once...so what better way to bring a little extra attention to them all equally than through a clever, customized ad campaign?
How to put ad campaigns like this together is a little less clear-cut than writing a single profile. So instead of a list of best practices, we've shared just a few below and dedicated the rest of this post to several examples we found from animal rescues out there that have done (successfully in our opinion) ad campaigns for their adoptables.
We encourage you to use them as inspiration for putting together a campaign unique to your own rescue and the animals you are trying to find homes for!
Just a few best practices to start....
There's lot of ways you can execute an ad campaign that pulls together multiple profiles of animals in your care, but regardless of what theme you follow or how you execute it, here's a few things to consider when first starting to think through your plan:
1. Put some thought into where it's best to publish your campaign and then, once you decide on a platform, make the campaign the focus of all posts for the duration of the campaign. Likely your rescue has a Facebook, Instagram and perhaps even a Twitter or Snapchat account, but that doesn't mean you need to (or should) publish the campaign across all platforms. Instead, consider picking just 1 or 2. Since campaigns are most impactful when they are visual, FB or IG are probably both the best platforms to use for now.
However, regardless of which platform you choose, be mindful not to 'clutter' these platforms with too many other types of posts a day. In other words, if you intend to post your campaign on FB but also plan to have 3-4 posts throughout the same day featuring other animals you want to save, or organizational-type announcements, then there's a risk the ad campaign itself can get lost in all these posts - so whichever platform you choose, be mindful to make the campaign the focus of it.
2. Make it clear what you are doing with a kick-off note/post before the campaign itself begins. Don't expect your followers to necessarily know you are launching a campaign once the first post goes live (after all, they likely follow a lot of different rescue groups so are bombarded with information every minute of the day). Be mindful to make it easy for them to track what you're doing. Consider an introductory post explaining that you'll be featuring your adoptables over the next 2-3 weeks so your followers can more quickly understand what they are looking at and react and share appropriately
3. Ensure consistency. Think about most ad campaigns you see out there for products like soda, yogurt or even fashion brands. What they all have it common is consistency; even if the messages are different you can usually tell when each individual ad is part of a broader campaign. So when putting together your posts, be sure there is an element of consistency. Perhaps it's the same language used every time, or the same formatting (like using bullets to write up the details). Again, making it easy for people to track what's happening is critical, and consistency is a great way to do this.
OK so maybe we did get a little wordy with the best practices :) so let's jump right into examples:
1. The personal ad approach. We've seen this a few times, in a few different iterations, but whatever the format, animal profiles as personal ads always make us smile, largely since they are so relatable in this era of internet dating! Here's one shelter based in North Carolina shelter that got it right
2. Graphic design "heavy" campaigns. With visuals (especially videos) becoming the norm on social platforms today, pictures and ads that grab the eye and draw the reader in are key. Here's an example from the Petaluma animal shelter that made graphics the heart of their campaign. We love how the font choice and icons lend an element of playfulness to the post while the actual photo of Rascal is high-quality and professional
3. Ads based on popular TV shows and movies. Binge-watching Netflix seems to be an official hobby these days, so tying campaigns to popular TV shows or movies is a great way to make your rescues relatable to people while also grabbing their attention. Here's 2 of our faves from 2 rescues based in NYC:
4. Seize the moment with trend-focused campaigns. OK so maybe the Pokemon craze is dying down but, in general, trends these days remain relevant for at least 1-3 months after they take off, so do your best to be nimble and quickly draw up a campaign around a trend. The example below seizes on a trend popular with today's teens: laser cats!
The above 4 examples demonstrate just how endless the possibilities are for creating a rescue-themed ad campaign that will help promote animals in your care and bring a certain level of fun and freshness to your rescue brand overall. We'd love to help you brainstorm your next campaign - just shoot us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be in touch