Happy Tails Inspiring Stories
I was very interested to find that branded content had made its way into an industry very dear to my heart, animal shelters. Petfinder is an online database for adoptable pets in over 14,000 animal shelters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. As part of their mission to provide homes to adoptable and high-quality animals that need homes they have been posting uplifting stories of adoptions on their blog entitled Happy Tail. This is an online blog that can be accessed directly from their main site. Happy Tail is a series of happy adoption stories that are intended to inspire potential adopters that is posted approximately four or five times a month.
As previously mentioned, the writers of this blog tell stories about happy stories from everything from foster homes to updates on animals that have found their forever homes. These are all very real stories of real people from all over the country. To add a personal touch they also provide photos of the family with their new furry child. These posts are paid for and supported by Petfinder, on the blog there is an area where owners can submit their heart-warming story to share with other people interested in the same path that they have already taken. After the information provided is turned into a blog post by a staff writer of the company. We know that there is no outside funding because there is no logo or stamp of a sponsor.
This type of content represents a new and innovative branch of this company. Other than the blog and happy tails section the site itself is mostly used for research of available animals. Although the type of content being promoted on the blog shares the same mission as the content that is being shared on their social media channels; Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Petfinder makes it a habit of sharing their Happy Tails posts via their Twitter and Facebook as well as on the blog. Although this content is not traditionally what the company does, it is directly tied to the mission to provide homes for pets. The uses of this types of content increases the relate ability of this causes, showing people the great benefits to adopting pets.
This a more innovative and interesting choice than the other organizations of this nature that are also producing branded content because they are posting it on their own site and creating an entire thread of blog posts. This is different than its competitors because most of the other organizations are sharing information or stories on their social channels. This is a good way to draw attention to the stories but having a chronicle of many different types of stories is a great resource for people who are looking for more than 120 characters worth of information.
The response to the stories is overwhelmingly positive, these stories are prone to lots of likes, retweets and shares on social media. These stories are meant to be overwhelmingly heart-warming and inspiring. They do the job and create a need for people to share them with their friends, loved-ones, family and co-workers mostly because of the positivity of the subject matter.
I think that the biggest lesson that other brands could learn from this content is to share more of the story. Snapping a picture and putting it on Instagram is a great way to show a success but having a full chronicle of all the great efforts that have been made toward the mission of providing homes for great pets. Sharing more of the details of these stories and possibly more photos will help people form a deeper personal connection to the successes and potentially aspire to them for themselves.