Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park – Facebook Ads
Prior to COVID hitting, Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park had been operating for 48 years.
Being based half way between Sydney and the Blue Mountains it was a natural stop off place for visitors, particularly international guests.
Originally started in the late 1960s as a farm, it had grown to just over 600,000 visitors per year prior to COVID, with 70% of these being internationals.
The impacts of COVID were therefore significant — the moment international borders were closed, the world renown wildlife park lost 70% of its usual customer base.
Closed completely from 25 March — 1 June 2020, and with lots of stopping and starting since then due to outbreaks in Sydney and restrictions put in place by the NSW Government, it has only been in recent times that the Zoo has found its feet, with a recent Facebook Advertising campaign run by The Creative Collective.
Launched in April 2021, using the ‘Dine & Discover vouchers’ made available via the NSW Government, a campaign was strategized to register for the vouchers and use them for a Zoo visit over the Easter School holidays. To further incentivize visitation, kids were free when accompanied by an adult. Adult entry was also discounted to $25 (enabling straight swap for adult entry with the $25 Service NSW Discover voucher)
Kicking off with a series of ads in early April, a total spend of $3,202 resulted in 235,029 reached, 526,305 impressions, 21,074 clicks, $0.15 CPC & 4.00% CTR.
These results translated to 39,000 visitors to the park in the month of April, which represented more revenue to the zoo than the past 10 months, and record-breaking visitation level compared to even pre-COVID levels.
Throughout the campaign the Facebook & Instagram accounts were kept active and the client experienced a huge increase in page activity on both accounts with many comments and direct messages received. This included using some of the more innovative features such as adding links to Stories i.e. swipe to book now for their ‘Zookeeper for a day’ offering which directs guests straight to their ecommerce website page where interested visitors can book and pay, thus securing further revenue for the wildlife park.
Even out in the park through the school holiday period, many visitors commented that they had seen the ads which had driven them to support the wildlife park with a visit.
‘Zookeeper Chad’, the MD of Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park & ‘Face of the Park’ who started working at the park as an entry-level Zoo keeper in February 1997, just after leaving Muirfield High School, further boosted efforts by sharing posts and regularly keeping his thriving instagram channel active @zookeeper_chad. He has 282k followers & is only following 163 following him, and a further 43K Followers on his Public Figure Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/zookeeperchad. Chad posts daily videos, reels, stories and feed posts and shares his extensive knowledge & passion for the animals at the wildlife park.
Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park also continues to engage in activities such as strategic outreach by posting on any high profile accounts such as ABC when they do a post featuring a bird or other animal, under the Featherdale account the social media team will strategically post something as simple as ‘what a nice bird’ without overtly selling anything but keeping the brand recognition high.
Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park were also impacted by the January 2020 bushfires, but maintain that keeping active on social media throughout both disasters has helped them to keep pushing out the brand and keeping their highly engaged audience involved in what is happening with the animals and park. Whilst they used to invest in print advertising and radio, they are now convinced social media is a more cost effective way to market the park, even in the tough times.