The DC Department of Energy and Environment aimed to promote its Utility Discount Program, which helps low-income residents reduce their utility costs in the District of Columbia. Social Driver created a campaign that targeted those who were struggling to pay their bills or facing disconnection and coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic, during which homes were serving as family spaces, workplaces, and virtual schools. To reach the most eligible DC residents, DOEE ran the campaign in both English and Spanish.
The DC Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), the leading authority on energy and environmental issues affecting the District of Columbia, sought to raise awareness of its Utility Discount Program, which assists low-income District residents reduce their utility costs. DOEE wanted eligible DC residents to know that if they were struggling to pay their bills or were facing disconnection, that assistance with their gas, water and electric bills was available. The awareness campaign ran at the same time as many people were staying home due to Covid-19, and were relying on their homes to function as family spaces, places of work and virtual schools for their children. They knew they wanted the campaign to be in both English and Spanish to reach as many eligible DC residents as possible.
Social Driver developed DOEE’s first social media advertising strategy to reach DC residents. We targeted people using geographic and demographic information, such as including people who had recently become unemployed in DC. The ads ran on Facebook and Instagram in English and Spanish and utilized diverse photography that showed relatable families comfortable in their homes. The messaging educated people about the utility assistance program, drove people to the DOEE website to sign up for assistance, and encouraged people to comment and share the ads with their networks.
The advertising campaign was very successful in raising awareness of the Utility Discount Program and driving website traffic and engagement with DC residents. The campaign produced impressive results:
people saw the ads
of the 19k users clicked again to return to the site
users saved the ad posts
DC’s Spanish-speaking audience engaged more with the ads on Instagram than Facebook. Both top-performing ads on Instagram were in Spanish and received over 2,000 clicks each. Additionally, story ad placements got more engagement than post placements, due to the ease of “swiping up” to learn more.
Top-performing ads on Facebook drove people to the website to learn more about the program and inspired many DC residents to share DOEE’s ads with their networks.