Read Talk Play was a 3-year social media-focused campaign in Sonoma County with the goal of creating an online community and activating parents and caregivers of children 0-5 to engage with their young children to support healthy attachment and early development. 

To gain insight before beginning this work, VIVA first conducted focus groups with parents and caregivers of children 0-5 to gauge their awareness and understanding of the issues and conducted needs and landscape assessments. With these insights in mind, VIVA developed the campaign strategy, including the brand identity and culturally appropriate bilingual messaging. The resulting approach was a content marketing campaign hosted on two platforms, Facebook and a blog, and supported by public relations outreach and community partnerships.

Social media audience growth over the course of the campaign was 2300%; website traffic grew by 244% (English site visitors) and 687% (Spanish site visitors). The media reach exceeded 20,000 people. Campaign successes included: 

  • A parent photo competition garnered massive attention and engagement, achieving organic audience growth of nearly 1000%. Parents demonstrated that they had adopted the desired behavior of reading with their children by sharing photos, and expanded awareness among their networks by sharing the competition. 
  • Partnerships with WIC and with local radio and TV stations led to local events, earned media coverage and paid media spots. This combination of on- and off-line outreach helped to reach diverse potential audiences, including monolingual Spanish speakers. 
  • Ongoing compelling, audience-appropriate content meant that the effects of focused engagement campaigns were long-lasting: even after the targeted campaign push ended, the effective content continued to engage and grow the audience.

Key factors in the success of the campaign: 

  • Daily targeted, relevant, and compelling social media content, in addition to blogs and vlogs, which educated parents on child development and healthy attachment and activated them to read, talk, and play with their young children. 
  • A trusted, community-based spokesperson was identified and leveraged as a campaign influencer and content creator. 
  • VIVA partnered with WIC and other local community and media organizations.
  • Targeted ad buys (Facebook and Google) strategically enhanced reach.