Bringing In-Person Experiences to the Digital World: How the LA Zoo Connects with their Digital Audience

In honor of this year’s Earth Day, we’re sharing content from some of our clients who are working hard to share the joy of our planet’s most wonderful creatures. The LA Zoo is one of the world’s best places to get up close and personal with the incredible flora and fauna of our natural world. In a recent Summit talk, Vice President of Marketing & Communications for the LA Zoo Kait Hilliard broke down the ways her team connects audiences to the environment through meaningful and creative visual storytelling.

Kait walked us through the changes they had to make last year as the Zoo shut its doors during the busiest time of the year. The team had to come up with new ways of maintaining awareness in the absence of the zoo experience and regular event programming.

Kait and her team knew that it was important to develop new strategies for staying relevant as patrons were no longer allowed on the premises. “We changed our goals from driving foot traffic and ticket sales, obviously, to driving reach and engagement on social media.”

They saw a wave and they caught it. Over three months, the LA Zoo experienced tremendous growth across their social channels including a 325% increase in impressions on Instagram and an 81% increase in engagements on Twitter. “All this content we have created…has helped us rebound,” explains Kait. In this session, Kait breaks down their creative file workflow and the tools that were key to this creative team’s successful pivot. Kait’s session begins at about 32:58 –

Streamlining Workflow for Increased Engagement

#BringingTheZooToYou was a national campaign to connect with audiences at home and grow their following. They ramped up a newsletter, created new content like crafts and coloring books, and of course plenty of videos of their favorite animals.

Most importantly, they launched Operation PhotoShelter. They called on their dedicated animal handlers and trainers to upload videos and images of the animals straight to PhotoShelter.

“We sent out a call to our keepers…we needed them to share their images of animals doing interesting and funny things and they really came through for us. And we were able to do this because of PhotoShelter.” – Kait Hilliard

The result of this new, streamlined workflow? Record breaking social media engagement.

When a new gorilla was born in January, her handlers worked to share intimate moments with the marketing team via PhotoShelter. Those moments were shared on social media and #LAZooGorillaBaby quickly became the Zoo’s best performing content of all time. Check out baby Angela going for a ride on mom’s shoulders:

Be sure to check out the LA Zoo’s social channels on Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date with their passionate work to conserve habitat and protect endangered species. Plus, you’ll find plenty of the cute animal videos you need in your life. As Kait says, “let’s be honest, our audience looks to us for cute animal videos,” and with a new, streamlined creative workflow, they deliver.

Bringing In-Person Experiences to the Digital World: How the LA Zoo Connects with their Digital Audience is written by John Seibels for

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button