Submitted by: 5ive on behalf of DCL
Institution: Dakota County Library

What comes to mind when you hear the word library? 

“Aisles full of books? Late fees? Quiet spaces?

What if we told you that’s no longer true? Today, at the Library you can actually make some noise and record your own music, build a website, start a business, or even play around with a 3D printer. Surprised? We were too

Dakota County Library had a challenge: how do we change people’s idea of what the Library has to offer?

So in 2019, we created the Library’s first-ever integrated awareness campaign. Our goals: change perceptions, raise awareness, and invite people to explore the possibilities with their local Library.

Flipping the Script

We flipped the script on what goes down at the Library with fun ads and engaging video content.

Showing versus telling was our approach to the narrative. The campaign launched with ads running on YouTube, Facebook, Google Display Network, and Instagram – connecting the Library with a diverse audience and new users from all walks of life.

In less than 3 months residents responded by having their own conversations online and spreading the word. People liked, commented, shared, clicked and visited the website. We developed new, easy to navigate campaign pages that helped people register, reserve, and explore the long list of Library resources. Not only that, but through the success of our ads on Google, we were able to start tracking location visits. In fact, ⅓ of the folks who saw our ads actually showed up at the Library.

Campaign Web Page and Social Ads

Making an Impression

With nearly 4 million impressions and over 65,000 clicks, we drove more than 18,000 users to the Library’s website and over 9,000 visits to physical Library locations in less than 6 months. We also increased iLab reservations by 80%. On top of that, by referencing tax information and library data, we estimated the campaign produced a return on investment of over $1.2 million for Dakota County.

Carousel Ad

Our fun and engaging campaign raised awareness, changed perceptions, inspired people to explore the possibilities, and positioned the Library as a community leader for generations to come.”