Having applied big brand strategies to market small businesses for over a decade, we thought we’d worked with just about every industry in the marketplace.
And then came the summer of 2015…
A couple filled out the contact form on our website, and even though it was over a weekend, they received a call almost immediately from our CEO. Frankly, he’d never seen a request quite like this one and he picked up the phone to see if it was for real. It was.
This couple had exhausted many traditional channels for pursuing adoption to start their family. They contacted EAG in hopes of using less-traditional methods for identifying and reaching potential birth mothers. Not that what we do for clients every day isn’t important, but this was an opportunity to create a family, so to speak. What can we say? We were all in.
With the ultimate goal of finding the perfect new family member for the couple, EAG’s first task was to determine affordable ways to grow awareness among potential adoption moms in several Midwestern states by using targeted marketing tactics. Our strategy was not to replace the role of the adoption agency that the couple was already working with, but rather to cast a wider net in different channels.
We Recommended a Two-prong Approach.
EAG suggested using two very integrated tactics to drive awareness and connect the couple with birth mothers considering or already decided on adoption:
- Targeted paid search via Google Adwords and Facebook campaigns
- Digital public relations campaign to support the targeted paid campaign, but also generate interest in the couple’s dream of adopting a baby
Wait a Second. Is Marketing for Adoption Even Legal?
Before the couple’s (and our) hopes got too high, we did some legal digging and discovered the marketing strategy we recommended was perfectly legal. (Which also made us wonder why more couples don’t try it.) Even so, we were behind this particular couple. Our research found two particular states that we wanted to steer clear of simply due to their stringent adoption rules, over all, but not necessarily related to our digital strategy.
We Turned Traditional Adoption “Marketing” on its Ear.
Hear us out. Typically, couples wanting to adopt a baby make a book to share with potential birth mothers. These books are intended as a way to “sell themselves” to the birth mother, convincing her that this couple will create the life she wants for her child.
These adoption books are a biography of the couple, and are important. However, they fail to follow the number one rule of marketing. They don’t address the birth mother (customer). Successful marketing, in business or adoption, centers around messaging that proves you understand the customer’s pain points and offer the best solution to alleviate them.
Our content director created a responsive web page focused directly on the birth mother, addressing their feelings, options, worries, hopes and dreams. Our secondary message introduced the couple and their beliefs, family backgrounds and future plans. Young mothers who considered adoption were interviewed to ensure the message was on point. This web page was launched to support the paid search campaign our digital team developed.
No Time to Wait for Organic Search Engine Rankings.
The couple had already been in the process for over a year with their adoption agency. Organically achieving top search engine rankings can take months, so we went with a targeted paid digital campaign with Google Adwords and Facebook.
Both of these channels allowed us to narrow digital and native ads down to age ranges, region, interests, education level and much more. Plus, we could set spend and stay within the couple’s budget.
Was Today the Day This Couple Become Parents?
The campaign ran for nine weeks. Over time, we analyzed the campaign reports and tweaked keywords accordingly to fine tune the target audience. Here is how it performed:
- Over 300,000 pregnant girls aged 15 to 20 saw the ad via Facebook and Google’s AdSense network
- Nearly 4,000 clicked through to the website
- 3 Contact forms were submitted to the couple
- 5 Phone calls were received
- Gained hundreds of “likes” from girls and those in their “circles” all over the U.S.
It’s a GIRL!
The couple called us with the big news one day. And while we were really hoping one of leads from our campaign would be the “one,” it was the adoption agency that came through in the end. We ended the AdWords and Facebook ad campaigns and took down the web page.
Today, the couple is mom and dad to a beautiful baby girl. (We know she’s beautiful. We saw the baby pictures.)