While many of us stuck at home have been glued to Netflix, following the toe-curling exploits of the self-styled Tiger King Joe Exotic and his “Zoo” misfits (perfect illustrations of what not to do when caring for wild animals), our friends at Edinburgh Zoo have found a much more positive way to showcase their animals for those stuck indoors.
Edinburgh Zoo remains one of Scotland’s top visitor attractions, normally receiving around 600,000 visitors through its gates every year but has sadly had to close its doors to protect the public under current circumstances. Their animals have remained as popular as ever though, with Edinburgh Zoo recently seeing a huge spike in online visitor numbers as fans seek their animal fix by tuning-into the live webcams Edinburgh Zoo has installed in their panda, koala, penguin and of course, tiger enclosures.
Overwhelming Public Support
Visitor numbers have been boosted by amazing media support, particularly from BBC Breakfast who named the Edinburgh Zoo webcams as their no 1 thing to do across the Easter Weekend. Parents have also been sharing static images across social media in a show of solidarity and to help keep their little ones busy – the surge in traffic happening after the PM announced that the country was to be placed on lockdown.
To put the enormity of how just how popular Edinburgh Zoo’s site has become during this period, the webcams which would normally see around 100,000 views per month have seen their visitor numbers surge in March 2020 to over 5 million people clambering to see Edinburgh Zoo’s popular residents!
Turning Traffic into Kind Gestures
At Radiator, we’ve been busy working on helping Edinburgh Zoo make the most of all this traffic over the past couple of weeks by helping refine their user journey through these high traffic content pages; giving daily viewers a richer, more content-rich experience, while providing clear, unobtrusive opportunities for them to support Edinburgh Zoo in this challenging time.
Edinburgh Zoo is owned by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, a registered charity which receives no Government funding, so it is vitally important that fans of Edinburgh Zoo help financially wherever they can (the animals’ food bill alone can reach £55,000 per month!).
We helped them firstly by setting-up a shiny, new donations page for those visitors who are in a position to contribute, integrating with trusted, best-in-class donation platform JustGiving for a slick, solid donation experience. This was optimised for the best possible user experience across all screen sizes, with clean, clear checkout donation options supported by keeper stories to detail just how much their donation will make a difference.
We then made sure visitors were invited to donate on their next viewing, by carrying-out a quick traffic analysis, identifying key touchpoints across the site, and supplementing these with friendly, but emotive, pop-up banners inviting them to act.
With the help of these generous supporters, one of the world’s most well-known Zoos will be able to secure their future through these difficult times, and continue their crucial worldwide conservation efforts; ensuring that when life returns to normal, more animals can flourish in the wild, and a new generation of visitors can once again visit Edinburgh Zoo and discover their own favourite animals.
We will follow up on this story with how the campaign is performing so far but for now you can go check all the webcams on the website now!
It has been incredible to see our webcams become so popular over the past few weeks with so many people wanting to bring the zoo into their own homes. We are delighted to be helping children and adults alike stay entertained in these challenging times and grateful to everyone who has supported us already so we can keep doing just that. Radiator have been a huge help and we relied on their team to support us in increasing website donations at a time when we have had to close our doors to our visitors and our main source of income.
Lisa Robshaw, Head of Marketing & Sales, RZSS