It’s a great time to be pursuing adoption. There are more ways than ever to get connected with someone and create the family of your dreams. But your time and energy aren’t limitless. And neither are your financial resources. So you’ll want to make smart, careful decisions and consider all your options during every step of your adoption journey. You’ll need to be creative and open-minded at times, stubborn and tenacious at others. Your adoption success will require effort and innovation as you seek out the most effective ways to market yourselves as prospective parents. Market yourself? That’s a scary thought and it may seem overwhelming at times. And make no mistake, connecting is a huge challenge. But we believe in you. And we can help.
In this blog, we’ll be guiding you through the wide array of internet marketing and advertising strategies available to today’s adoptive parents. And of course we’ll be telling you about the great services we offer too. But Adoptimist isn’t the only way to make quality connections and find adoption success. Far from it. So we’ll provide you with honest, practical tips and sound advice — for whichever path you choose to take. Stay informed and stay positive as you wait to adopt and most importantly, don’t give up trying. At least not without first giving every reasonable option your best effort.
If there is a topic you’d like us to discuss more in depth in future blogs, just let us know. We’re happy to dig in and help.
What Will Your Adoption Outreach Look Like?
Your adoption journey will take a turn toward the internet. There is really no avoiding this and why would you want to? Adoptive parents have so many good outreach options these days. But with each choice you make, you could be missing out on other amazing options.
How will you decide the right path toward connecting and adopting? In this blog, we’ll provide a quick rundown of some of your options as adoptive parents hoping to connect on the internet. Keep in mind, there is no right or wrong way to do this. We’ve heard of families connecting on Craigslist, through word of mouth, newspaper ads, and print brochures. Whatever works. But if what you are doing isn’t working, take a look at this list for some options you might want to consider. And be sure to check this blog periodically for more in-depth discussions and tips concerning your adoption outreach.
Building & Marketing Your Own Adoption Website
Once the preferred tool of choice, the power of a custom adoption website has diminished over the years. In years past, families would generally begin their outreach (pre-social media) by hiring a designer, building a custom site, incorporating some adoption-related keywords, and hoping for the best. It is likely that someone you know has already told you an adoption website is a must-have. And in fact many of the families we work with do still have their own websites. And why not? With DIY services like Weebly and WordPress, it has never been easier to create a great-looking site. But consider this: What good is your website if no one sees it? As always, it comes down to outreach. So if you choose to create your own site, be sure to have a solid marketing plan and budget too. Or chances are it won’t be seen by anyone, let alone women who are considering adoption. Once you have a solid plan in place, you’ll want to figure out where you will advertise your site and who will manage the ad campaign. Will you hire someone to do the job for you? If so, what are their credentials and experience? Remember, they’ll be spending your money. Tip: if you don’t personally have the technical knowledge to run an advertising campaign, you should hire someone with expertise to do it. We’ve seen many families flush away their hard-earned money in internet advertising, due to a lack of expertise. It may hurt to shell out the extra funds for an experienced, Google-certified consultant. But it will hurt even more if your advertising budget only brings you visitors looking to adopt a Chihuahua.
Social Media For Hopeful Parents
This is a huge category to cover in a couple of paragraphs. Here’s what we’re seeing lately: Most of our families still prefer the heavyweight favorite, Facebook. We hear periodically of successful adoption connections on Facebook. Some of our families certainly have connected from our Facebook page. But unlike in the past, Facebook is now very much geared toward the advertiser. There are still some tricks to try to gain a following. But at some point you’ll likely have to turn to sponsored (paid) boosts to get the traction you’ll need in order to be discovered. The advantage here is that, unlike Google Adwords, Facebook advertising can be much more intuitive and easy to manage.
Pinterest. We see adoptive parents on Pinterest but are they connecting? If they are, we aren’t hearing about it. Rather, Pinterest seems to be a great repository to share adoption-related content such as inspirational images, photos, etc. There’s certainly a place for Pinterest on your adoption journey. But we just aren’t seeing connections occur there.
Twitter. We’re seeing adoptive families use Twitter too. But we really aren’t hearing of any successful connections. That doesn’t mean they aren’t happening. But at least for Adoptimist, we simply aren’t seeing Twitter as a viable connect-platform at this time. And unless things change internally at Twitter, it will likely remain this way for the foreseeable future. Twitter can be a fun and informative platform. But if your time and resources are limited, we recommend going in a different direction.
Instagram & Snapchat. We’ll definitely be exploring both of these platforms in a future blog. Both seem like they could be viable connection sources due to the sheer number of users and the age demographics. Instagram is hardly new and, as it is owned by Facebook, represents a more solid option at this point in time. But if you are looking to experiment and can manage Snapchat’s frustrating user interface, it might be worth exploring.
Adoption Connect Platforms
Full disclosure: Adoptimist is an adoption-connect platform, if you didn’t already know that. So we’re obviously a little biased here. But whichever connect platform you choose, make sure you are getting enough outreach to justify your membership spend. Platforms with only a handful of families likely can’t sustain the kind of outreach necessary to get the right traffic to connect their families. The same goes with connect sites that are inexpensive or even free of charge. Unfortunately, you likely won’t be getting much in the way of exposure. Other connect sites boast many families. But what are they doing in the way of outreach — not just organic traffic but paid ads and social media? You’ll want to know that before signing up. Do your homework: Take a look at testimonials and plan benefits. Read their adoption success stories. Perhaps even more importantly, take a look at their social sites. Do you see a large following? And if so, do you see families being posted there? Are sponsored posts (paid ads) for families a part of your membership? Now, more than ever, connect platforms need to do more than simply host family profiles and wait for visitors to come.
And remember, traffic volume alone doesn’t tell the whole story. You need quality traffic. Adoption advertising works so well on the internet because you can target who sees your ads. That isn’t 100% foolproof of course. But being able to bring the right users (people who are considering adoption) directly to your family profile is huge. Learn what a connect platform is doing for their families and find out how well they are doing it — before you join.
Spread Out Or Hunker Down?
Will you build a website? Will you run paid ads on a search engine? Will you dive into social media? Will you join every connect site out there in the hopes of increasing your chances? We started out by saying your time, energy, and finances are not unlimited. And now you can plainly see why. If you spread yourself too thin, you may find yourself doing nothing well. And in the process, you may lose some of the valuable resources which will fuel what could be a very long journey. So just maybe your best option is to ‘hunker down’ and choose one path and explore it fully. If it isn’t working, try something new. But first make sure you gave it your best shot.
With so many adoption agencies, facilitators, families, and connect sites, all vying for the same audience, it is a much more competitive landscape than it was even a few years ago when Adoptimist began. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find adoption success. It happens every day — on our site and elsewhere too. And it can happen for your family. Are you ready? We are too!