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72245658 2011-canadian-cities-online-marketing-index©

  1. 1. Web 2.0 And Online Marketing For Business Attraction Third Edition nline sO M e ark iti etin Canadian C g Index ©
  2. 2. ©2011. Intelegia Group. All rights reserved.The Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index report is prepared from sources and data which Intelegia believes tobe reliable and accurate, but we make no representation as to its accuracy or completeness. The report is providedsolely for informational purposes and is not to be construed as providing advice, recommendations, representationsor warranties of any kind whatsoever. Opinions and information provided are made as of the date of the report’spublication and are subject to change without notice. Intelegia disclaims any liability for errors or omissions therein.
  3. 3. About IntelegiaIntelegia is a boutique consulting firm in Montreal, Canada that understands the need to be innovative and strategic in abusiness landscape that’s evolving at an incredible pace. The firm delivers social media strategies to efficiently engage withstakeholders in economic development, business to business and business to consumer segments. It assists clients bydefining and executing sustainable social web strategies that will allow their brand message to stand out in a competitiveenvironment where target audience engagement is a must. www.intelegia.com
  4. 4. Web 2.0 And Online Marketing For Business Attraction 2011 Canadian Cities Content 5 Preamble 5 Context 6 Key Insights9 Results10 Best Practices Social Media Tools - Web 2.016 Best Practices Site Selection Tools - Web 1.018 What Are Other Agencies Doing?21 Planning Points23 Final Thoughts24 Methodology25 Frequently Asked Questions26 About The Authors27 Bibliography
  5. 5. Preamble ContextThe evolution of social media in context of marketing To put the previously stated preamble into context foris constantly in flux. Whether it is a new feature on an economic development professionals preoccupiedexisting network or a new and emerging site are using with promoting their regions for investment attraction,free tools in order to reach established marketing and consider the following scenarios:business objectives. Attaining these objectives requiresmarketers to take a structured approach to planning and 1. Economic development organizations can learn fromexecuting a social media strategy in which the following each other in terms of how to best market theirelements should be considered on an ongoing basis: respective regions in a very competitive environment Social media is a tool that holds promise for economicBranding development agencies if used correctly. By examining ifIs there a defined and clear brand message that can and how competing jurisdictions are using social media,be used on social media to connect and engage with agencies can select the best approach on how tools willtarget audiences? utilize to deliver its brand message efficiently and with maximum impact.Content strategyIs there a content strategy in place to drive the 2. If your region has a brand, your agency will have ansocial media strategy? How can the initiative remain easier time creating and executing a content strategysustainable if there is a lack of content to engage the for social media marketingaudience for a given period of time? Regions with a well-defined brand for business and investment attraction will discover that the contentLevel of engagement needed to keep the social media presence sustainableWhat is the current level of engagement on the maybe already available. Ongoing content repurposingselected social networks? What can be done to activities may be needed. Regions that have not definedenhance engagement and manage sentiments, be it themselves in terms of their brand will face challengespositive or negative? when it comes to stating their unique value proposition to potential investors and site selectors when establishing anSocial capital effective and efficient content strategy.Are organizations prepared to manage the spinoffeffects of individuals’ social capital on social media?With tools such as Klout and PeerIndex that measures 3. Influencers on social media play a large role insocial capital, can organizations identify people that obtaining feedback and necessary buy-in for economicwill help or hinder your efforts in attaining objectives? development projects Discounting an individual’s social capital on socialSearch engine optimatizaton networks is an error. Influencers with large numbers ofBased on research conducted by ForeSee Results, friends, followers and connections can make or breakless than 1 percent of website visits, on average come an initiative. Monitoring and reaching out to specificdirectly from a social media URLs1. This fact reinforces influencers should be a component not to be overlookedthe need for online marketers to enhance their organic in a social media strategy.search engine optimization strategiews to includepublishing unique and timely content. The end resultwill be having the ability to provide information toindividuals who use it to make better purchasing 4. An agency’s website must consistently becomedecisions. user-friendly An agency’s website is and will remain the core of any online marketing initiative to promote a region for investment. As a result, agencies must discover the best way to provide information that will be used in the decision making process. The prevailing smartphone usage by business professionals trend should prompt agencies to have mobile versions of their website where current region profiles and key location factors information is accessible from the palm of someone’s hand. 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 5
  6. 6. Key InsightsIntelegia had the opportunity to talk to the majority of the top six finalists in this year’s index to gauge theirapproaches to social media. Below are some of the key insights from the agency’s marketing representativesregarding the following issues:Each agency has their own set of key success factors • The key success factors that drive the Regina Regionalthat are essential to their sustainable online marketing Opportunities Commission’s social media program are:presence. i) A dedicated individual that manages the initiative• Two of the key factors that have led to the Greater to ensure that the brand message is consistent and Halifax Partnership’s success on social media are: on target; ii) Positioning how the agency can be different; i) a team of committed marketing professionals and iii) Sharing success stories about the region. ii) executing a content strategy. Each element assists the agency in developing a The marketing team at the agency includes: brand for Regina that in turn gets the attention of 1. Internet and Marketing Specialist potential investors and the different stakeholders of 2. Marketing Assistant (Co-op) the city. 3. Communications Specialist Social media tools aid in overcoming challenges linked to 4. Director of Communications marketing regions for investment attraction and retention. 5. Research Coordinator 6. Partnership Team • The Greater Halifax Partnership is able to overcome Each member of the team plays an essential role in the the challenge of fielding questions from potential planning and executing the agency’s overall strategy. investors and migrants to Halifax thanks to its The content strategy that is used by the agency takes website and Twitter presence. Figure 1 illustrates into account the usability and functionalities of the several inquiries that were tweeted to the agency by selected tools and what type of information that site an individual who is interested in moving to Halifax. selectors would look for in their approach to evaluating locations. The agency has mapped out • Social media has enabled the Hamilton Economic their content strategy based on the level of posting Development to be consistent in terms of branding frequency on the selected networks. across all digital marketing platforms. This allows the agency to have a uniform look when potential investors• At the Hamilton Economic Development, the agency visit their various outlets for information. added an e-marketing coordinator to its marketing department in January 2011. This allowed the agency to solidify its presence on the major social networks and increased its audience for its own channel, Invest in Hamilton TV. It is now up to 155 clips, which is an in- crease of 59 clips since last year and up to 872,326 total views (an increase of 458,326 views). In addition, the extra individual that is dedicated to the agency’s mar- keting efforts has led to an increase of followers on Twitter. Fig. 1 : Tweets By (@scotornsby) Requesting Information On Halifax 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 6
  7. 7. Agencies’ social media presence is playing a major role in promoting their region for investment attraction or retention.• As an element of the strategy used at the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, the effort to reach out to influencers using blogs is effective. Although local, the agency is able to connect and engage with stakeholders which have a platform to spread the word about economic development activity in the region. Figure 2 is a screenshot of a blog post from Fort McMurray regarding the agency’s luncheon announcing their upcoming economic outlook. In addition, the agency was able to invite a blogger from Toronto to come to town which resulted in two posts. Figure 3 is the post by a freelance B2B marketing strategist recapping her trip to Edmonton highlighting the city’s arts and technology scene.Fig. 2 : Blog Post On The Running Start Fig. 3 : Blog Post On The Running StartSource: My Oil Sands (http://therunningstart.ca/2011/04/20/top-5- Source: The Running Start (http://therunningstart.ca/2011/04/20/things-that-you-probably-dont-know-about-edmonton/) top-5-things-that-you-probably-dont-know-about-edmonton/)• The Hamilton Economic Development was able to leverage its presence on social media to qualify an investment lead from nearby McMaster university. The agency’s business development consultant used the existing contact information for the investor to send an invitation to the individual on LinkedIn. This initial step was followed up with engaging with the potential investor in a conversation/information exchange solely via the business social network. The proactive approach of the use of LinkedIn has led to presenting two locations and a possible third to the prospect for the multi-million investment. The agency has also participated in the execution of a Web 2.0 strategy for young professionals that are looking to start or advance their career and life in Hamilton and to assist in building young professional networks in Hamilton. The initiative, Hamilton Hive, is an “all-in-one, up-to-date resource for young professionals from across the economic landscape”. The Hamilton Hive website integrates content from all selected social media platforms. Figure 4 illustrates the tweets that were sent out via @hamiltonecdev. This online engagement and mobilization is only one half of the equation when it comes to the Hamilton Hive initiative. On the ground and “real-life” activities are alive and well thanks to the initiative. From executive roundtables to information sessions, the agency plays a major role in enhancing the business environment in Hamilton, virtually and in the real world. Fig. 4 : @hamiltondev Tweets on Hamilton Hive 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 7
  8. 8. Agencies are constantly seeking to improve their socialmedia plan to do more to market the region.• As a part of its social media plan, the London Economic Development Corporation launched the video, “Tomorrow is Made in London, Canada” in June 2011 to inform site selectors as well as government and business professionals about the global brands and innovations produced in London, Ontario, Canada. Figure 5 is an image of the video. The goal of the video was to demonstrate how products and services made in London impact the global marketplace every day. The agency wanted to remind, and in some cases, inform its audience about the brands and products in London that have global reach. The video was posted on YouTube and the link was directly emailed to a list of site selectors, government and business executives. The video continues to be shared and discussed and it has set a direction for print and radio advertising. Fig. 5 : Tomorrow in London, Canada YouTube clip• In Edmonton, the agency would like to improve its on Foursquare, on their blog and for their electronic ability to quantify its efforts and the value of being on newsletter. All platforms will assist the agency in social networks in terms of earned media. As a result, communicating with their different group of the agency will know how to better leverage its use of stakeholders. particular platforms and offline vehicles. • In Regina, the agency strives to improve on focusing• In Halifax, the agency has a preoccupation with on the audience that they wish to engage with. By improving their ranking on Google. As site selectors defining its audience along the lines of investment and and potential investors depend on Google to begin business attraction, the agency will be more efficient their research process on a region, Greater Halifax in terms of producing relevant content based on the Partnership realizes the importance of executing a interests of the refined target audience. Similar to search engine optimization plan to bolster their web other agencies, the Commission hopes to have a firm pages to the first page of results. grasp of understanding the return on investment of their efforts on social media. Gaining such insights•The Hamilton Economic Development agency aims will allow the commission to allocate its budget to the to increase their numbers in terms of critical mass right initiatives to attain objectives.Economic development officers from large cities have • Michael Marini and Andy Zimmerman of the Hamiltonexperienced challenges with their social media strategies Economic Development recommends that all agenciesthat can serve as “words of wisdom” for smaller agencies that are embarking on a social media initiative shouldexecuting their respective strategies. not “get involved if you do not have the people”.• Kadie Ward of the London Economic Development • Jennifer Christenson and Crystal McPhee in Edmonton Corporation suggests that smaller agencies can learn a suggest that agencies start small and engage with lot from observing other similar organizations and partners to enlarge their audience on the various learning from best practices. In addition, she stresses platforms. the need to really understand the social media tools before gaining leverage and executing a strategy. •Jennifer Nelson, Director of Communications at Regina Regional Opportunities Commission advises smaller• The words of wisdom coming from Krista Hall, agencies to understand what they want to accomplish Communications Specialist, Marketing and on social media and to define their target audience. Communications, at the Greater Halifax Partnership is Nelson states: “it is not a question of being there but based on having an evangelist to promote the knowing why you are there” in terms of using social benefits of social media and the need to align the media. initiative with the existing business and marketing plans. Hall recommends that a social media calendar is crucial for any economic development agency that is about to embark on a web 2.0 strategy. 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 8
  9. 9. ResultsFigure 6 and Table 1 present the results of the 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index©. 1 Greater Halifax Partnership 2 Hamilton Economic Development Top 5 Agencies 3 Edmonton Economic Development Corp. 4 Ottawa Centre for Regional Innovation (OCRI) 3 5 Regina Regional Opportunities Commission / London Economic 5 Development Corp. Fig. 6: 1 Top Agencies, Intelegia, 2011 4 5 2 90 81 80 71 69.5 Scores of the 70 55 54 54 Top 20 Agencies 60 39 38 37 35 50 28 28 26 24 24 19 40 9 8 6 6 30 Edmonton, AB Ottawa, ON Regina, SK London, ON Calgary, AB Montreal, QC Winnipeg, MB St. John’s, NB Toronto, ON Québec, QC Saskatoon, SK Victoria, BC Fredericton, NB Vancouver, BC Charlottetown, PEI Nunavut Yellowknife, NT Whitehorse, YT Halifax, NS Hamilton, ON Table 1: 2011 Scores Of The Top 20 Agencies, Intelegia, 2011. 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 9
  10. 10. Best Practices - Social Media Tools - Web 2.0BlogsAlthough blogs may not have the same bells and whistles as other Web 2.0 applications, they have big role in a socialmedia strategy. The platform permits individuals and organizations to have an outlet to control their respectivemessage and insights unlike other traditional media sources. Adhering to an established content strategy wherean editorial calendar dictates what and when content is posted will play a role in the organization’s search engineoptimization strategy.Ottawa Centre For Regional Innovation -Multiblogger ApproachOttawa Centre for Regional Innovation (OCRI) executesa multiblogger approach for its blog. Since January 2011,readers of the blog were able to access the insights from 11representatives from OCRI (including Claude Haw, formerPresident & CEO) regarding Ottawa’s key clusters. Figure7 is a screenshot of the blog page where three posts arelisted from the different individuals from the agency.The three representatives that bring their expertise tothe blog are:• Kathy Mahoney, Vice President, Corporate Programs• Alexandra Pugh, Manager, Communications and Creative Services• Claude Haw, former President & CEO Fig. 7 : Three Blog Postings From Three Representatives of OCRI 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 10
  11. 11. FacebookFacebook continues to be one of the most popular social networks on the Internet with over 800 million activeindividuals around the world2. With the various options to engage a target audience, Facebook provides a platformto execute innovative branding and communication strategies that can fit into a larger marketing plan. Having asocial media plan that includes Facebook requires a coherent branding message and a critical mass of stakeholdersthat drives the engagement process and aid in obtaining established objectives.Greater Halifax Partnership –Customized Landing PageThe lead economic development agency has taken theirpresence on Facebook to another level. Visitors to theirFacebook Fan Page are automatically directed to thelanding page as seen in Figure 8.The page is graphically appealing than the traditionalpage wall that visitors are pushed to by default and itserves as a gateway to the following sections offeredon the agency’s website: Living in Halifax, OurPrograms, Economic Data, Investors in Growth,SmartCity Business Show. Fig. 8: Greater Halifax Partnership Facebook Landing PageEdmonton Economic Development Corporation –Building An Audience and EngagementThe Edmonton Economic Development Corporation hasbeen successful at building an audience on their FacebookPage. In July 2010, the agency only had 268 people “liking”the page, approximately 13 month later, the number ofindividuals has expanded to 2 643 as of August 8th, 2011.The agency’s page is shown in Figure 9.The individuals who have selected to like the page areengaging with the agency by either leaving interestingcomments as seen in Figure 9 or giving a thumbs up totheir regular and consistent postings on the page’s wall. Fig. 9: Edmonton Economic Development Corporation Facebook Page 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 11
  12. 12. TwitterAccording to Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications, Twitter “can be a powerful channel for organisationsto take control of their brand. It allows brands to become their own media outlet, to interact with customers costeffectively, broadcast messages to a huge audience and engage with users on a one-to-one basis.”3Agencies that have found a balance between disseminating and engaging via Twitter will be efficient and successful atopening the doors to potential investors and site selectors.Edmonton Economic Development Corporation – Building A Critical Mass and Tweeting ActivitiesAccording to the number seen in Figure 10, the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation has really grasp thefundamental basics of having a strong presence on Twitter.As of August 12th, 2011, the agency had:• Tweeted 2,489 times indicating the level of activity on the microblogging platform;• Selected to following 2,153 feeds to actively listen to others;• Created a critical mass of 2,972 followers in which there are some individuals in their target audience;• Listed by 204 individuals in order to be systematically monitored. Fig. 10: @EEDC Twitter StatisticsCalgary Economic Development – EngagementAmongst all the economic development agencies in this index, the Calgary Economic Development agency was foundto be the most efficient when engaging on Twitter to provide key location information via the microblogging application.Figure 11 and Figure 12 present a discussion between an individual and the agency. Fig. 11: An Inquiry To Calgary Economic Development Fig. 12: The Calgary Economic Development Reply To Inquiry Regarding Promotional Material To Attract People To Move / With Shortened URLs To Webpages Live In Calgary In addition, the agency should be highlighted for their use of hashtags to brand the city with economic develop- ment related information. Figures 13, 14 and 15 illustrate the hashtags #yycenergy, #yyc and #yyccc. Fig. 13: Hashtag Use Of #yycenergy Fig. 15: Hashtag Use Of #yyccc And #yyc #jobsFig. 14: Hashtag Use Of #yyc 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 12
  13. 13. YouTubeYouTube has afforded millions of users with the opportunity and ability to broadcast in the form of videos. In orderto have an effective video or a series of videos to sell a product or service, organizations must have a structuredcore message and the ability to be found amongst the three billions of clips that are viewed per day4. To do so, anorganization’s brand has to be “front and center” in each clip in its channel and select the appropriate keywords andtags to describe the content in the clips.Greater Halifax Partnership – Channel DevelopmentVia the Greater Halifax Partnership’s YouTube Channel, individuals can access the agency’s SmartCity Business Show.Comprised of 11 episodes, the show is dedicated to “to putting a spotlight on Halifax to attract site selectors, businessesand those who are considering moving to Halifax”5. Figure 16 illustrates the YouTube Channel. The common link amongst the episodes is the important brand message that Halifax is open for business attraction whether it is a foreign company, local rural company or entrepreneurs. Such a channel cannot be sustainable without a coherent content strategy.Fig. 16: Greater Halifax Partnership’s YouTube ChannelLondon Economic Development Corporation –Retrievable Content with YouTube SearchBased on a series of queries with the YouTube searchengine, the London Economic Development Corporationcontent was discovered quite easily. The following querieswere submitted:• Name of city + keyword, “invest” +Canada• Name of city + keyword, “economic development” +Canada Fig. 17: Results for London Fig. 18: Results for London +“invest” +Canada + “economic development” +CanadaHamilton Economic Development –Retrievable Content with YouTube SearchA video clip from the Hamilton Economic Developmentagency is easily found on YouTube when the followingquery was used:• Name of city + keyword, “investment” +CanadaIt should be noted that the video clip is ranked #1amongst all non-promoted results for a query that con-tains the term, “investment” which can lead to a seriesof irrelevant results. Figure 19 presents a look of thefirst page of hits. Fig. 19: Results for Hamilton + “investment” +Canada 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 13
  14. 14. LinkedInWith more than 120 million business users on LinkedIn6, it is essential that economic development agencies andrepresentatives have a presence on the social network. The notion of “six degrees of separation” on LinkedIn isquite useful when entering business networks of individuals to reach the right person to initiate or close businessdeals. In order for economic development agencies to benefit from LinkedIn, two components are needed: 1) Allrepresentatives must have a professional profile and 2) the agency must have a company profile on the network.Both components will aid information seekers in finding profiles easily via Google and the internal search function.Montreal International – Profile of Lead Executive (Headline)The importance of including the right keywords in the headline of a LinkedIn professional profile should not beoverlooked. Figure 20 is the profile headline of Jacques St. Laurent, CEO and President of Montreal International.The keywords in the headline will help in the indexation of the profile on Google. Figure 21 is a screen capture ofresults for a Google search for “Jacques St. Laurent” + Montreal that was conducted on August 11th, 2011.The first result is the link to the professional profile of Jacques St. Laurent.Fig. 20: LinkedIn Profile Headline For Jacques St. Laurent,CEO And President, Montreal International Fig. 21: Google Search Results For “Jacques St. Laurent” +MontrealOttawa Centre for Regional Innovation (OCRI) -Profile of Lead ExecutiveFigure 22 is the public profile that is available on the web for Claude Haw,former President and CEO of OCRI.The key elements of this profile that are important to note from an invest-ment attraction perspective are:• Information regarding current and past affiliations;• The amount of connections in Haw’s network (500+ connections);• Intelligence that can be gathered pertaining to his experience in the venture capital and business development fields;• Haw’s specialities: venture capital and clean technology. Fig. 22: LinkedIn Public Profile For Claude HawMontreal International – Easy To Retrieve Using LinkedIn SearchThe lead investment attraction agency for Montreal, Montreal Internationalhas been very successful at breaking through the clutter that comes withhaving a profile on LinkedIn. On August 3rd, 2011, a simple query using thesearch terms: “Montreal” + “investment” was performed. The results areprovided in Figure 23.Although Montreal International is ranked 6th on the first page, it is a goodposition considering there are 102 total results for the city’s name and ageneric term (i.e., investment) that can be used by numerous companies intheir profile description. Fig. 23: Search Results For: “Montreal” + “investment” 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 14
  15. 15. KloutThe notion of the degree of influence on social networks is playing a key element in some organizations’ marketingapproach. In Raymond Morin’s post, “The Meaning of Social Media Influence”7 examples are provided of organiza-tions (i.e., universities and hotel chains) that are using individuals’ level of web influence to select their future stu-dents and clientele. Figure 24 is the Klout score profile for the Regina Regional Opportunities Commission. With a score of 47, the agency is deemed to have Klout style of a “Conversationalist”and is influential about Saskatchewan.Fig. 24: Klout Score Profile For The Regina Regional Opportunities CommissionMobile ApplicationsAccording to an online survey conducted in the first quarter of 2010 by IDG Global Solutions (IGS), mobile devicesare gaining popularity very rapidly worldwide8. In particularly, smartphone usage is on the upswing due to personaland professional purposes especially when it comes to the need to access the web and social networks.Organizations that are clearly taking note of this new reality in terms of how potential investors and site selectorswill be able to serve a target audience that is working differently and will filter out options (locations) for investmentif information that is not in the proper format for individuals who select to conduct research from a smartphonerather than a laptop or desktop computer. Hamilton Economic Development Figure 25 presents a look at the mobile version of the Hamilton Economic Development website. This functionality permits professionals with smartphones to access rich information that could play a role in placing the city on a short list for a potential investment.Fig. 25: Mobile Version Of The Hamilton Economic Development Website 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 15
  16. 16. Best Practices - Site Selection Tools - Web 1.0Site Selector OrientedThe dynamics of how a website should be constructed is changing. Instead of designing a website for the needs of anorganization to sell a product or service, organizations will have to build an online presence where all current and rele-vant information is easily accessible to make the best business decision regarding selecting a specific city to be on theshort-list of prospects.Hamilton Economic Development – Presentation of Business Parks and Industrial Land Developments LocationsTo aid in the challenging task of gathering intelligence regarding available real estate and industrial locations, theHamilton Economic Development provides detail listing of business parks and industrial land developments. Figure 26is a listing of parks / industrial developments opportunities in Hamilton. The listing is categorized by location in the city.Figure 27 supplies descriptions of East Hamilton Industrial Area and the Flamborough Business Park.Fig. 26: Listing Of Development Opportunities In Hamilton Fig. 27: Descriptions Of East Hamilton Industrial Area And In The Flamborough Business Park As a part of the intelligence that is offered by the agency, site selectors are provided with aerial photos of parks and developments as seen in Figure 28 for the East Hamilton Business Park.Fig. 28: East Hamilton Business Park Aerial Photo 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 16
  17. 17. Quebec International – Presentation Of Current And Relevant Information For Site SelectorsWithin its “Invest in Quebec” section, Quebec International furnishes quick access to current and relevant informa-tion for site selectors on a single page. Figure 29 depicts the listing of current publications on the section pagethat can be downloaded in .pdf or can be read on the web.Below the listing of publications, quick and easy access to key contacts in the agency in the form of a biography,phone number, email address and a hyperlink to the contact’s LinkedIn profile. Figure 30 is a screenshot of PierreQuirion’s contact profile. Fig. 29: “Invest in Quebec” Section Page Fig. 30: Pierre Quirion Contact Profil On Quebec International’s Website 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 17
  18. 18. What Are Other Agencies Doing?Social media has provided economic development agencies regardless of size to execute some very innovativecampaigns to market their regions. The agencies discussed below were not considered for the national benchmark;however, they deserve to be brought to the forefront to be along with larger regions and cities.Entreprise Chaleur – Engaging On FacebookEntreprise Chaleur, the agency that is responsible for 15 communities in northeastern New Brunswick on the coast of theChaleur Bay, has been on Facebook for the past three years and has amassed a following of over 2100 individuals to itspage. As illustrated in Figure 31, the agency utilizes colourful photos to stimulate engagement with fans of the page.The engagement with stakeholders allows the agency to gather information on economic development initiatives anddemonstrates to potential investors that there are individuals in the region that can contribute to the success of potentialprojects. Fig. 31: Region Chaleur Engaging On Facebook Page 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 18
  19. 19. Invest Toronto - Twitter Via @Invest_Toronto, Invest Toronto is consistently tweeting to its 1,046 followers as of August 8th, 2011. According to ManageFlitter9, the account sends out an average of 3 tweets per day. Figure 32 profiles the agency’s stream with a focus on the economic development related news regarding Toronto.Fig. 32: @Invest_Toronto Twitter Stream Greater Peterborough Area Economic Development Corporation – LinkedIn Profile Figure 33 is the LinkedIn profile of Dan Taylor, President and CEO of the Greater Peterborough Area Economic Development Corporation. The profile serves as a very good model for those who are seeking to enhance their profile. Taylor’s profile composes of: • Headline with the name of the agency and current position; • Complete listing of current and past affiliations; • Detail professional career summary. The summary in which Taylor provides an approach that informs individuals: • Who he is? • What he has accomplished? • What he is looking to do in the future?Fig. 33: Dan Taylor’s LinkedIn Profile 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 19
  20. 20. Annapolis Digby - Content StrategyThe Annapolis Digby Economic Development Agencyis the lead organization for attracting business andinvestment in Annapolis, Nova Scotia. As a part of theirYouTube strategy, the agency utilizes a contentstrategy in which they have a number of testimonialsfrom migrants to promote the quality of life and theentrepreneurial spirit in the region. Figure 34 is a lookat one clip that deals with a couple who is in Annapolisdue to the quality of life and the opportunity to start abusiness in the region. Fig. 34: Annapolis Digby YouTube ChannelConférence régionale des élus (CRÉ) de la Mauricie – VideocastsThis agency is responsible for economic development activities in the Mauricie region that is located betweenMontreal and Quebec City and is composed of six municipalities.As a part of their integrated social media presence, the agency has a collection of videocasts to promote theregion. Figure 35 illustrates the videocasts that are available on the Maurice.tv website. The videos on the website are avail- able in French, English and Spanish and deals with the following topics: • Mauricie • Economy • Education • Quality of lifeFig. 35: Videocasts On Mauricie.tv 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 20
  21. 21. Planning PointsThe methodology and process that were used to conduct that contribute to establishing a content strategy however;this benchmark has afforded Intelegia to uncover the best the key elements that agencies should adhere to are:in class uses of social media and web 1.0 applicationsover a three year period. At the same time, Intelegia has • Set up an information tracking system to gatherwitnessed some aspects of online marketing strategies information and news demonstrating the region’s brand;that must be improved upon to benefit the selectedapplications. The following observations made by • Identify any content that is available internally whichIntelegia may serve as key planning points for an can be repurposed and placed on selected social mediaupcoming marketing initiative for investment attraction. platforms;Definition Of A City’s Brand • Have agency’s personnel contribute content on aMore than ever, a clear definition of a brand is needed for frequent basis;a city in terms of investment attraction and retention. With • Editorial calendars where content is scheduled to bethe level of competition for investment dollars increasing, posted on a consistent basis.cities must break through the clutter of other nearby citiesand let their brand attributes sell their location factors. Execute An Engagement StrategyCities that select to execute a social media strategy will Having a presence on social media and pushingneed a strong brand that will connect with target relevant content is no longer sufficient for economicaudiences in order to begin and sustain engagement. development agencies. Agencies must be proactive in engaging its audiences regarding what the regionsRecognize The Need For A Content Strategy have to offer existing and potential stakeholders.After the novelty of being on social media is removed, Personnel of agencies must select and post content (inagencies will have a need to sustain a level of engagement different formats i.e., videos, blogs, tweets, photos) thatwith interesting content. In Intelegia’s blog post, “3 Signs can induce discussions amongst target audience members.That A Content Strategy Is Needed For Investment Attrac- In addition, those who are responsible for posting contenttion”10, readers were given signs to look for when assessing must be vigilant on the level of engagement that is takingtheir social media presence for a content strategy. The place on chosen platforms and contribute to discussionsthree signs are: with the goal of promoting regions.• You must substantiate your marketing budget for social Go Mobile media; Individuals that play a role in the investment prospection• You are looking for a way to bridge the gap between dynamic are not required to be at their desk nor have branding efforts and planned Web 2.0 initiatives; their laptop open to conduct research. Via smartphones, individuals can surf the web and find information from• You are running out of things to say to engage your agencies that have decided to provide a mobile version audience. of their websites. Agencies that do not offer this option should make the nominal investment to make sure that aBuilding The Content Strategy mobile application is available of the website to appeal toThe process of building the content strategy is the marria- individuals who care to work using their iPhone, Androidge of taking the brand of the agency and curating relevant or Blackberry.and timely content to begin and sustain an engagementwith the target audience. There are a variety of elements 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 21
  22. 22. Enhance The Agency’s LinkedIn PresenceThere is a significant critical mass of business connections on LinkedIn that is helpful in the investment attraction process.In order to capitalize on this opportunity, agencies must enhance their presence on the social network by:• Ensuring all or the majority of representatives have a profile on LinkedIn;• Having representatives with a detail and complete profile with position at the agency and a clear detailed summary;• Encouraging representatives to expand their network with individuals who they have met in-person or in LinkedIn Groups;• Establishing a group on LinkedIn.According to a survey conducted by Lab42 Market Research, 35 percent of users access LinkedIn daily. Moreover,consumers are getting involved in industry conversations on the social site. 81 percent of respondents say they belong toat least one group and 52 percent said they actively participate in group discussions11. With this mindset, agencies mayselect to brand their group with their name or use a name that is not associated with the region. Figure 36 is a screenview of the Foreign Direct Investment Professionals group on LinkedIn.Figure 36: Foreign Direct Investment Professionals LinkedIn GroupThis particular group is hosted by Invest Brisbane, the investment attraction promotion agency for Brisbane, Australia. Thegroup has 1486 members as of August 16th, 2011 and serves as the agency’s own community of investment professionals.They can be contacted when the agency sees fit. 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 22
  23. 23. Final ThoughtsA coherent strategy for investment attraction calls for Agencies selecting to enhance their capabilities toan integrated marketing approach. With the increasing correspond to the dynamics at play must make alevel of competition for investment dollars, economic structured effort to improve the way they communicatedevelopment agencies must change the way that they with existing and potential stakeholders. Elements of suchpromote their cities / regions as they did over the past a structured approach that will take into account prevailingdecade. Consider the following dynamics that are web applications trends should include:essential for the investment prospecting process. • Making relevant and timely information available via mo-• Potential investors / site selectors no longer require to bile versions of site selection websites and microsites be in the office or to have a laptop open to conduct research on a city or a region • Consistently publishing timely information regarding the city that is indexed by Google• Making information mobile is essential • Evaluating the agency’s website to see if the right infor-• Google remains the number one search engine that mation is available and easily accessible from a potential individuals utilize investor’s point of view• Agencies’ websites are the home of site selection and • Seeking out opportunities to frequently engage on contact information for preliminary inquiries. Facebook, Twitter and especially, LinkedIn Groups• Social networks are rapidly bringing stakeholders • Providing content that is consistent with the city’s brand together to share information and engage in meaningful that can be used on social networks and in-person for conversations site selection facilitation activities• A sustainable presence on social media for investment attraction is contingent on a branding strategy that will help in clearly differentiating one jurisdiction from another• Content strategies for social media should complement efforts that are being executed at the same time as offline marketing activities• Investors and site selectors visit locations on their short list based on their project needs 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 23
  24. 24. MethodologyThe methodology used for Canadian Cities Online The appearance of the following Web 1.0 tools was ac-Marketing Index© 2011 remained consistent with the counted for:framework used for the 2010 benchmark study. Theidentical set of cities was selected based on the Top 20 • NewslettersCanadian Census Metropolitan Statistical Areas (CMSA) • Newsletters archivesas defined by Statistics Canada in 2006. • News Alerts • ForumsThe benchmark considered the following elements for • Event Calendarthe evaluation of agencies’ social media applications,Web 1.0 features, the availability of relevant information To evaluate the effectiveness of an agency’s website infor site selectors and potential investors. The terms of furnishing information for site selection initia-appearance and ability to browse the mobile version tives, the following elements were considered:of the agency’s website were evaluated. • Currency of location factors information;The benchmark considered pages and feeds directlylinked to the metro area economic development • Complete contact information for the individual(s)agency website, as well as social media applications responsible for investment attraction available on thethat presented contact information consistent with the first page of the section or on the “Contact Us” page;agency’s website. (i.e. president, general manager or • Not only was the multilingual functionality of the sitemarketing contact information, mailing address, phone identified but also the ability to provide specific datanumber) in more than two languages (i.e., key location factors,The agency’s social media applications were assessed etc.).based upon the appearance of: Assessing how easy it is to find information on a city’s • Blog(s) agency courtesy of a search engine was conducted us- • Facebook Page or Group ing Google and the following queries: • Twitter • “investment” + Name of city +Canada • LinkedIn • “invest in” + Name of city +Canada • YouTube • “incentive” + Name of city +Canada • Flickr • RSS Feeds In the best practices section of this year’s benchmark, • Videocasts a small collection of economic development agencies • Podcasts and investment attraction organizations that do not fit • Content Sharing Pluggins (ie, Facebook, Twitter, the criteria (as stated above) were included. These enti- LinkedIn, Digg, StumbleUpon, etc) ties deserved to be highlighted by Intelegia based on • Availability of a mobile version of the agency’s their innovative use of web applications. website The examination of the social networks, Web 1.0 appli-In addition, a set of metrics were used to evaluate how cations and site selection information were conductedthe social networks were used and their frequency. between July 14th, 2011 and September 15th, 2011. The searches on Google were executed on August 12th, 2011.To measure the amount of social capital that an agencypossesses, Klout was used along with the agency’susername on Twitter. 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 24
  25. 25. Frequently Asked QuestionsQ: When were the sites and applications reviewed for the Q: What do you mean by “multilingual content”?benchmark? A: “Multilingual content” allows users to read site selec-A: The sites and applications were reviewed during the pe- tion and economic data relevant content in more than tworiod of July 14th, 2011 to September 15th, 2011. languages.Q: How did you select the cities to be included in the Q: What is a podcast?benchmark study? A: By definition, a podcast is a video or audio file that canA: Intelegia selected the provinces’ capitals, and the top 10 be downloaded directly from a website and be played viaCanadian Census Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA) as a media player. Video clips available on YouTube or otherper Statistics Canada in 2006. sharing platforms are not considered to be podcasts.Q: How were the agencies selected? Q: What do you mean by Web 1.0?A: The agencies were selected based on their mandate to A: The Web 1.0 is the portion of the web that containspromote their region for investment static pages (instead of dynamic user-generated content)attraction purposes. and online guestbook.Q: What were the 21 used criteria for the benchmark? Q: What do you mean by Web 2.0?A: Below are the 21 criteria that were used: A: The Web 2.0 is the portion of the web that facilitates • Web 2.0 Applications interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-cen- • Blog tered design and collaboration on the World Wide Web. • Facebook Page or Group • Twitter Q: What do you mean by a mobile application? • LinkedIn A: A mobile application functionality allows individuals to • Klout access and view the agency’s website and its content on a • YouTube smartphone. • Flickr • Foursquare • Links to other sharing platforms (i.e., Digg, Stumble- Upon, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) • RSS Feeds • Videocasts • Podcasts • Mobile Application • Web 1.0 Applications • Newsletters • Newsletter Archives • News Alerts • Forums • Events Listing • Site Selectors Orientations • Appearance of link to site selection section on index page • Appearance of contact person name for site selection inquiry • Multi-language content (i.e., two or more languages) • Age of information for site selectors and potential investors 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 25
  26. 26. About the Authors Isabelle Poirier - President, Investment Strategist and Lead Instructor With over 15 years in economic development, Isabelle advises organisations on investment attraction and migration strategies, business and internet intelligence and social media marketing strategies. Isabelle is a frequent speaker and trainer, in Canada and in the United States on the topic of business intelligence and social media applied to economic development, tourism and business-to-business marketing. Isabelle can be contacted on: LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/in/isabellepoirier Twitter - @intelegia Facebook - http:/ /www.facebook.com/isabelle.poirierintelegia Ian Smith - Content Strategist, Competitive Intelligence Senior Analyst and Research Ian is a content strategist at Intelegia. With his knowledge of the social media tools and an understanding of branding on the web, Ian formulates content marketing strategies for clients’ needs. As co-author of the Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© and chief blogger at Intelegia, Ian documents and assesses global best practices of organizations’ approaches to social media marketing in terms of integrating their branding and communications strategies to obtain their marketing objectives. Ian can be contacted on: LinkedIn - http://ca.linkedin.com/in/iancarlsmith Twitter - @citweetz Facebook - http:/ /www.facebook.com/ian.c.smith1 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 26
  27. 27. BibliographyThe ForeSee Results Report on Social Media Marketing - http://www.foreseeresults.com/research-white-papers/social-media-1marketing-2011-form.shtml - April 20112 Facebook Statistics – http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics – September 20113 Twitter for business: the experts’ view - http://econsultancy.com/us/blog/7855-twitter-for-business-the-experts-view - August 6th, 20114 YouTube Shares Surprising Statistics On 6th Birthday, Huffington Post – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/25/youtube- statistics-birthday_n_866707.html -May 5th, 20115 SmartCity Business Show From Greater Halifax Partnership, Intelegia, February 11th, 2011. http://www.intelegia.com/ en/2011/02/16/smartcity-business-show-from-greater-halifax-partnership/6 LinkedIn Facts - http://press.linkedin.com/about7 The Meaning of Social Media Influence – October 14th, 2011 - http://www.intelegia.com/en/2011/10/14/the-meaning-of-social- media-influence/8 IDG Global Survey Shows Smartphone Use Growing Rapidly with Regional Differences, July 11th, 2011 - http://www. marketwatch.com/story/idg-global-survey-shows-smartphone-use-growing-rapidly-with-regional-differences-2011-07-119 ManageFlitter - http://manageflitter.com10 3 Signs That A Content Strategy Is Needed For Investment Attraction – January 12th, 2011 - http://www.intelegia.com/ en/2011/01/12/3-signs-that-a-content-strategy-is-needed-for-investment-attraction/11 LinkedIn groups extend content marketing reach – August 11th, 2011 - http://www.brafton.com/news/linkedin-groups-extend- content-marketing-reach 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 27