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2012 Canadian American Cities Online Marketing Index©


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The benchmark study measures how well Canadian and American economic development agencies are marketing and strategically branding their regions to site selectors and potential investors via the web. The use of various social media tools were assessed based on the level of engagement with individuals, the availability of relevant and current content for site selectors on the agency's website and the opportunity to view information on a smartphone via the agency’s mobile version of their site were considered as a part of the ranking process.

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2012 Canadian American Cities Online Marketing Index©

  1. 1. CITIES • ONLINE • MARKETING • INDEXCall: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: 1
  2. 2. ©2012. Intelegia Group. All rights reserved.The Canadian American Cities Online Marketing Index report is prepared from sources and data which Intelegia believes to be reliable and accurate, butwe make no representation as to its accuracy or completeness. The report is provided solely for informational purposes and is not to be construed asproviding advice, recommendations, representations or warranties of any kind whatsoever. Opinions and information provided are made as of the dateof the report’s publication and are subject to change without notice. Intelegia disclaims any liability for errors or omissions therein.Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: 2
  3. 3. TABLE OF CONTENTS 04 Preamble 06 Context 08 Key Insights 17 Results 21 Best Practices Site Selection Tools - Web 1.0 Social Media Tools - Web 2.0 Mobile Applications Elsewhere In North America 57 Planning Points 60 Final Thoughts 62 Methodology 63 Frequently Asked Questions 64 About Intelegia 65 About The Authors 66 BibliographyCall: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: 3
  4. 4. PREAMBLEWhy in the world should economic developmentagencies bother about social media when they executetheir investment attraction and retention strategy? Over the last four years, we have monitored on an ongoing basis the use of social media in economic development to blog about the best practices in the field. We have also conducted Think about it. interviews with agencies’ communications and marketing executives. We have trained hundreds • Twitter is the most popular social media tool of economic development officers (EDOs) in among the agencies in Canada and in the Canada and in the United States. To conclude, United States. 85% of agencies are using we have performed an annual benchmark which the micro-blogging site, followed by LinkedIn translates in the Intelegia’s Online Marketing Index. which is used by 85% of Canadian agencies and by 80% of American agencies. EDOs are now split in three categories: a) Early adopters (i.e., EDOs that have solid engagement • Between 2011 and 2012, the addition of a strategies on various platforms), b) Late comers mobile site went from 10% to 25% for (i.e. EDOs still attempting to engage their audience Canadian agencies. on a selected amount of applications) and c) Status quo agencies (EDOs that are applying classic • American agencies consider Facebook as a marketing tools and approaches). If every agency valuable tool, since 80% of them have a in the first two categories is now embracing the Facebook Page.. applications, then they are not equal in their expertise and best practices.Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | 4 Email: | Visit: 4
  5. 5. PREAMBLESome CEOs are knowledgeable of how social the 12 factors influencing site selectors, “Existing base of skilled talent to select the best come into play with investors and site relationships with economic development officials” As a result, agencies must consider how theyselectors to raise the awareness of their region and “News stories about community” were can use their existing social media infrastructureand brand, to identify prospects and secure ranked in the top 6 replies. 1 With this being to attract and keep qualified talent. Competinginvestment and inspire trust. Kudos to Paul Kent said, agencies must understand that social with neighboring cities or regions for skilledin Halifax, Bruce Lanzenby in Ottawa, Stuart Rogel media applications do accelerate the process workers means agencies must formulate a digitalin Tampa Bay and Barry Broome in Phoenix for of these two factors. Linkedin as the primary marketing strategy to reach and convinceembracing social media; however, they still do tool to connect, share and engage for business individuals that their respective location is thenot represent the majority. Could one reason be purposes and Twitter as the number one social best choice to work and live. This entails clearlythat EDOs often have a hard time understanding media tool used by traditional media outlets to illustrating the key location factors to individualshow they can isolate the role and value of social monitor news confirms the shifts in communicating looking for employment and at the same time,marketing in their investment attraction successes? and conducting research via the web. engaging companies interested in investing in the region.This year, Atlas Advertising, an American advertising We have witnessed that a few agencies haveagency specializing in economic development gone a step further in using social media. Withand site selection, published “High Performance the priority of attracting skilled talent, theseEconomic Development: How Technology and agencies have decided to use their social mediaOutcome-Based Metrics Will Save Economic tools and online presence to promote talentDevelopment Investment and Promotion As We attraction initiatives. Cities will be unable toKnow It” report and uncovered that amongst attract and retain companies without a sufficient What we aspire to do with this report is to showcase how leading economic development agencies in Canada and in the United States are using social media in their marketing mix and what they were able to accomplish. It is our hope that more EDOs will realize the value of implementing a digital marketing strategy for their investment attraction and business retention needs. Isabelle Poirier Founder of IntelegiaCall: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | 5 Email: | Visit: 5
  6. 6. CONTEXTWhy the need for Over the past three years, the authors of the Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© havean expanded index this year? witnessed the following: 1 2 Economic development agencies that were quick Economic development agencies from large to adopt social media applications to marketing cities in Canada can no longer ignore the their regions for investment attraction purposes branding and communication benefits of having have continued their efforts. By being the first a complete digital marketing presence. These few that understood the impact on their respec- cities which have been “late comers” to the tive communications strategies, agencies will new realities of online marketing have shown have a competitive advantage over other agen- signs of progress; however, they must comprehend cies that have been slow to adopt tools such as fundamental approaches to engage with their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and to utilize target audiences that include potential investors them in an efficient manner. As a result, there is and site selectors. a clear imbalance between agencies which wish to continue to market their regions as they did a decade ago and those which have embraced a web 2.0 culture.Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | 6 Email: | Visit: 6
  7. 7. CONTEXT Both groups of agencies in Canada do not operate With the help from selected economic development in a vacuum and must contend for investment professionals via their insights regarding the dollars in large and innovative cities in the importance of strong branding, readers of this United States. report will have an understanding of: Understanding the dynamics at play when How branding is essential to break through the attempting to promote a region for investment clutter in the digital space to connect with key attraction and business retention on a larger decision makers with regards to investment scale, Intelegia decided to examine how 41* opportunities. agencies from large cities (based on population) were using digital marketing applications to The need to have a branding strategy to reinforce convince potential investors and site selectors the benefits of investing in a specific location that their city is the only location to invest in. especially when neighboring jurisdictions can easily claim and communicate the same Although this benchmark report evaluates benefits. the basic use of a variety of digital marketing tools by the agencies, close attention was paid The input in the form of comments from the to how the cities are able to illustrate their chosen economic development professionals respective brands. are mentioned throughout this report. * 41 agencies were reviewed for the 40 metropolitan statistical areas since the metropolitan statistical area of Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA is comprised of two economic development agencies: San Bernardino Economic Development Agency and Riverside Office of Economic Development.Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | 7 Email: | Visit: 7
  8. 8. KEY INSIGHTS To complement Intelegia’s benchmark exercise for this report, the co-authors had the opportunity to interview the representatives at some of the top ranked agencies from Canada and United States to gain further insights into their approach of using digital marketing tools. Top ranked agencies have taken a risk of using social media to strategically brand their city for economic development initiatives and it has paid off.Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | 8 Email: | Visit: 8
  9. 9. KEY INSIGHTSGreater Halifax Partnership Benefit: Viral Branding EffectGreater Halifax Partnership has been able to foreign direct investment location with a strong From a talent retention point of view, the agencyenhance its community’s capacity to attract and brand. In addition, the tools are great avenues to leveraged its social media tools by promoting aexpand foreign direct investment by making their collect information on potential investors. Potential UPS Canada job fair in July 2012. This effort assistedinvestment attraction content easily accessible investors enter their contact information (i.e., in UPS Canada recruiting the right personnel andand shareable. The accessibility of investment phone number and email address) to gain further ultimately played an instrumental role in selectingattraction materials (i.e., Why Halifax investment information. These leads are then logged by the Halifax as a location to open an office as a part ofvideo on iTunes, YouTube, website and Facebook agency’s team, contacted and promptly provided the company’s Atlantic Canada expansion, four sector podcasts on Libsyn, iTunes, and with additional customized information. In 2011-12, UPS Canada is looking to fill over 100 positionsan ebrochure tool) enables partners and online Greater Halifax Partnership received 237 requests in Halifax.communities to share and embed content for their for information (most electronically). As a result ofown trade missions, location and expansion activities. those requests, the agency identified 12 business development leads with the potential for 2,263Such tools enable the agency to build an online new jobs. Four leads were closed and 419 jobsnetwork of champions promoting Halifax as a were created.Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | 9 Email: | Visit: 9
  10. 10. KEY INSIGHTSHamilton EconomicDevelopment Benefit: Earned Media and the Viral EffectVia their YouTube Channel, Hamilton Economic Development unveiled in August Using the local press outlet, the agency was able to leverage the exposure to2012, “Wake Up From Your Commuting Nightmare”, an animated short designed brand the city of Hamilton as the location to do business without the hasslesto market and brand Hamilton as a viable live/work choice to those on of commuting from and to Toronto. Within a day, the CBC Hamilton story gotthe endless commute to Toronto. Without any form of advertisements, picked up by “Daily Brew”, a Yahoo Canada News daily blog. The video hasthe animated film got noticed by the local television station, CBC Hamilton, been viewed 5,400 times on YouTube in three months.which is very selective when it comes to picking up feeds from news sources.Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 10 10
  11. 11. KEY INSIGHTSWorld Business Chicago Benefit: Brand AwarenessIn October 2012, World Business Chicago (WBC) Prior to, during and after the event, WBC utilized Twitter and Facebook. In addition, WBC engagedco-hosted the inaugural Chicago After Hours talent Twitter via @WorldBizChicago and #AftrHrs to influencers at the UofI. WBC also interacted with therecruiting event at the University of Illinois’ College of showcase the city. By providing hashtags, handles Mayor’s Office in order to engage additionalEngineering in Urbana (UofI), a landmark event that and content ideas to all of the companies in audiences. The panel discussion was streamed livebrought Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and 39 of the attendance, the organization was able to create a via the Mayor’s Office and the University of Illinoiscity’s tech companies to the campus to accelerate social dialogue that raised brand awareness for websites.the momentum and buzz about Chicago. Chicago and its burgeoning tech community onCall: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | 11 Email: | Visit: 11
  12. 12. KEY INSIGHTSLondon EconomicDevelopment Corporation Benefit: Workforce and Company Retention To support labour retention strategy specifically for technology sector in London, Ontario, London Economic Development Corporation launched the digital marketing campaign in April 2012. The campaign is composed of a website, and a Twitter account, @LdnTechJobs to efficiently engage with agency’s target audience rather than using traditional newspaper advertisements. Since the launch of the campaign, the agency has successfully retained a handful of IT and ICT companies that were struggling to grow in London. The case of Digital Extremes, a digital interactive game development company founded in London can be highlighted as a success story for the agency. The company selected to stay and grow in London based on several cost competitive advantages and with the agency’s efforts to attract talent. The company closed their Toronto office and decided to expand and invest in London.Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 12 12
  13. 13. KEY INSIGHTSEdmonton EconomicDevelopment Corporation Benefit: Workforce Attraction In July 2012, Edmonton Economic Development Corporation Some of the results from the campaign include: launched a labour attraction initiative that was support by a • 1,130 job applications were received; digital marketing presence in the form of the website (www. • received 25,032 visitors, Facebook page and Twitter account. (June 28, 2012 - October 1, 2012); Although the collection of tools are used to provide relevant • received 21,030 unique visitors and current content to job seekers, the agency aimed to inform (June 28, 2012 - October 1, 2012); its target audience (located in Seattle, Washington) by • 1,274 social media referrals to demystifying any misconceptions about Northern Alberta with short brand messaging.Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 13 13
  14. 14. KEY INSIGHTSTampa Bay Partnership Benefit: Defining Brand AttributesFront Row Tampa Bay was an initiative by Tampa Bay Partnership in which the In post-convention research that measured perceptions about the Tampaagency hosted a live streaming webcast during the 2012 Republican National Bay regional brand on 27 key attributes, it was discovered that all 27Convention. With 17 hours of video content, the agency’s primary objectives attributes registered an increase from the pre to the post-conventionwere to promote the local business environment for investment attraction and research, 15 of which saw significant improvement and there were noto increase the positive perceptions of the eight county Tampa Bay region in decreases.the key economic development measures by those attending the convention.Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 14 14
  15. 15. KEY INSIGHTSGreater PhoenixEconomic Council Benefit: Defining Brand Message ReinforcementTo bring awareness to an initiative that dispute the United States International To continue their efforts, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council pushedTrade Commission’s tariffs of 24 percent or more on Chinese-made solar content through the channels featured statements from CEO, Barry Broome,cells and panels, Greater Phoenix Economic Council utilized their blog; Twitter stressing how the commission’s decision could hamper the investmentand YouTube to disseminate their message of opposition to the tariffs. On climate for the solar industry in Phoenix.July 26th, 2012, the agency released a letter of protest and posted the link tothe document on their blog. To push the news about the letter, a tweet wassent out and two news sources pick up the news to serve as the basis of theown respective tweets. Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 15 15
  16. 16. KEY INSIGHTSSuccess doesn’talways come easy for the top-ranked agencies.They all have their own ongoing challenges to overcome in an attempt to be perfect.Greater Halifax Edmonton Economic London EconomicPartnership Development Corporation Development CorporationWithin the successful marketing team at Greater The Edmonton Economic Development Corporation With their sector specific approach to social mediaHalifax Partnership, representatives face ongoing faces three main challenges in the form of i) for investment attraction, London Economicchallenges in the form of i) ensuring that there is knowing whether the content that they are sharing Development Corporation is faced with time managementenough relevant content on the selected social timely and relevant information with their target challenges. In order to reach established socialnetworks, ii) investing the right amount of time to audience, ii) reinforce to assigned individuals marketing objectives, the agency has to ensurebuild an audience and relationships, iii) be comfortable the importance of sharing relevant content and that the right amount of time is spent executingwith the fact that not everything is going to be iii) how to best allocate its limited resources strategies. To overcome this challenge, the agencypositive and iv) finding a role for new tools in the to ensure success on their chosen social hired a social media coordinator.current strategy. media tools. Tampa Bay PartnershipHamilton Economic World Business Chicago The major challenge that Tampa Bay PartnershipDevelopment The main challenge that World Business Chicago has to contend with is how to efficiently and must deal as it continues marketing Tampa Bay via social media is attempting to define their audienceHamilton Economic Development still tackles effectively engage with an array of different to properly engage with relevant content.challenges pertaining to resource allocation for audiences on social media. Even though thetheir social media strategy in particularly human agency is connecting and supplying content withresources and information technology. The agency’srepresentatives expressed the need to have a existing and potential economic development Greater Phoenixsufficient amount of personnel to contribute to stakeholders, being relevant to other audience members on Twitter remains a hurdle to improving Economic Councilthe agency’s social media efforts and getting Greater Phoenix Economic Council is assessing how the social media strategy.personnel to use iPads to encourage accessing to allocate more resources to the marketing team toand sharing information “on the go”. ensure that their social media presence is maturing.Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 16 16
  17. 17. RESULTS 3 Invest Ottawa CEO, Bruce Lazenby, active Twitter user 1 Greater Halifax Partnership CEO Paul Kent’s posts on SmartCity Blog CANADA 2 1 4 Hamilton Economic 1 Development 3 YouTube clip, “Wake Up From Your Commuting Nightmare” 2 Edmonton Economic 1 Development Corporation 5 Facebook Timeline: Providing relevant content 5 London Economic Development Corporation 4 Regina Regional YouTube clip, “Today Tonight in Opporunities Commission London Canada” Twitter: High engagement levels with followersCall: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 17 17
  18. 18. RESULTS Hamilton Economic Greater Halifax Edmonton Economic Invest Ottawa Development Partnership Development Corporation 84 84 73 72 Regina Regional London Economic Canada’s Technology Sherbrooke Innopole Opportunities Commision Development Corporation Triangle 70 62 60 55 Calgary Economic Montreal Saskatoon Regional Economic Economic Development Development International Devleopment Authority Winnipeg Inc. 49 46 40 39 Niagara Economic Quebec International VancouverEconomicCommission City of Barrie Development Corporation Development Corporation 38 36 35 34 Greater Toronto City of Oshawa Greater Victoria Windsor and Essex County Marketing Alliance Development Agency Development Commission 33 31 29 29Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 18 18
  19. 19. RESULTS USA 4 1 1 New York City Economic Development Corporation Tumblr blog: a news outlet for up to the minute developments in the city 5 2 3 4 World Business Chicago Twitter: Getting economic data out in 140 characters or less 5 Greater Phoenix Economic Council 3 CEO, Barry Broome, sharing Tampa Bay Partnership and engaging on Facebook CEO, Stuart Rogel, active Twitter user 2 Greater Houston Partnership Mobile application of the websiteCall: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 19 19
  20. 20. RESULTS New York City Economic Greater Houston Tampa Bay World Business Development Corporation Partnership Partnership Chicago 92 64 62 61 Greater Phoenix Economic Alliance of Invest Atlanta Detroit Economic Economic Council Greater Baltimore Growth Corporation 59 51 49 47 Los Angeles Economic San Diego Regional Economic Minneapolis Saint-Paul Regional Boston Redevelopment Development Corporation Development Corporation EconomicDevelopmentPartnership Authority 44 43 42 40 The Beacon Council Select Greater Enterprise Seattle Riverside Office of Economic Development / San Bernardino / Philadelphia Economic Development Agency 36 35 32 28 11 Dallas Office of San Francisco Center for St. Louis Development Greater Washington Economic Development Economic Development Corporation Initiative 28 23 23 10Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 20 20
  21. 21. BEST PRACTICESSITE SELECTIONTOOLS //WEB 1.0Economic development agenices that have a digital marketing strategy have an obligation to provide site selectors with meaningful intelligence to makesound decisions. In order to do so, agencies need to understand what site selectors are looking for and how to package the information. Utilizing a compilationof Web 1.0 tools, agencies can efficiently communicate what their region can offer to potential investors. Agencies that fail to have a clear and structuredapproach to furnishing data that site selectors need to access easily run the risk of making it difficult to “get the ball rolling” in terms of facilitatingattracting investors.Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 21 21
  22. 22. BEST PRACTICESMinneapolis-Saint PaulRegional Economic Development Partnership Benefit: Appearance of Link To Site Selection Section On Index Page As seen in Figure 1, a tab dedicated to site selection professionals is present on the index page of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership website. Site selectors that choose to click on the tab can quickly access tools and data regarding: • Major Industries & Companies • Workforce • Location & Transportation • Maps • Utilities • Business Incentives • Search Properties • Innovation Economic development agencies that fail to place their site selection portion of their website “upfront and center” run the risk of not facilitating the primary steps in attempting to attract investment, that is to provide information efficiently fig. 1 online to key decision makers.Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 22 22
  23. 23. BEST PRACTICESGreater Halifax Partnership Appearance of Contact Person Name for Site Selection Inquiry A section for site selectors on an agency’s website should not only include relevant data and information tool but it should be able to offer site selectors the ability to connect with representatives that are responsible for investment attraction activities. Figure 2 is a screenshot of the “Site Selection Services” page on the Greater Halifax Partnership website. Located on the right-hand side of the page is information on the agency’s point of contact, Nancy Philips, Director of Business Development. Along with her photo, the agency supplies three avenues to contact Nancy Philips: • Via the phone • Via email • Via an inquiry form Putting the contact information for the individual responsible for investment attraction and business retention on the same page with site selection data will make life easier for site selectors. fig. 2Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 23 23
  24. 24. BEST PRACTICESNew York City EconomicDevelopment Corporation Age of Information for Site Selectors and Potential Investors The ability to provide current information regarding a region is a very powerful marketing strategy that economic development agencies can take advantage of if they select to do so. Not only is an agency furnishing updated data to potential investors but the information available on the website can serve as a communications tool to show how well the region is doing periodically. Via its “Resources” section, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) allows site selectors and potential investors to read a “wealth of statistics, economic data and analyses on New York City”. As seen in Figure 3, the city’s Economic Snapshots reports are available on a monthly basis. Within each issue of the monthly report, the agency gives readers a look at the different aspects that plays a role in the New York City economy (i.e., private employment, hotel occupancy rates and office vacancy rates). Providing current data to site selectors about a region will aid in their decision making process in terms of putting a location on their short list fig. 3 of potential places for their clients to invest.Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 24 24
  25. 25. BEST PRACTICESWorld Business Chicago Available Real Estate DatabasePossessing an “easy-to-use” tool on an agency’s website to locate available real estate in a region can contribute to efforts to engage site selectors andpotential investors. Rather than visiting countless amount s of possible sites in person, some selectors prefer to begin their search online thanks to tools thatagencies supply. World Business Chicago offers a site selector mapping tool that gives individuals the capability to find available real estate in Chicago based on 15 amenities such as: • Available Industrial Space • Available Office / R&D Space • Industrial Corridors • Planned Manufacturing Districts (PMD) In addition, the online tool permits individuals to filter results based on four mappable incentive programs such as: • Tax Increment Financing (TIF) • TIFWorks Program • Enterprise Zone • New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) Figure 4 is a satellite view of the map that was generated by the agency’s site selection mapping tool for available industrial space that would qualify for the TIF Works Program for a company of 25 – 100 employees. fig. 4 Having an “easy to use” database of available real estate on an agency’s website facilitate some of the “on the ground” work that site selectors would like to avoid. Providing “time saving” intelligence can help in attracting site selectors to consider a region.Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 25 25
  26. 26. BEST PRACTICESHamilton Economic Development Search Engine Optimization on GoogleEconomic development agencies that depend on Google to be found by site selectors must have a coherent search engine marketing strategy in hopes tobe ranked on the first of results. Some agencies may select to have their indexed blog posts act like landing pages to push individuals to their site selectionsection. There are a few agencies that rely on organic search results to capture the attention of information seekers. Based on search queries with Google conducted on September 25th, 2012, links leading to the Hamilton Economic Development website (i.e., and were found utilizing the following keywords: • Hamilton + “Economic Development” • Hamilton + “investment attraction” • Hamilton + “invest in” • Hamilton + “incentive” Figures 5 to 8 illustrate the results that were found using the keywords listed above. To improve an agency’s organic search engine rankings, it is important that the city’s name appear on webpages along with selected keywords that may come to mind from a site selector’s point of view. fig. 5-8Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 26 26
  27. 27. BEST PRACTICESSOCIAL MEDIATOOLS //WEB 2.0BLOGS Agencies that decide to have a blog as a part of the social media strategy have the ability to execute an efficient content marketingplan. Only through an established content strategy that takes in account original content which can contribute to a convincing argument to investors why toinvest in their respective metropolitan areas. The ideal content strategy should take into account insights from representatives of the agency and not solelycopy from press releases and external links to other articles.Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 27 27
  28. 28. BEST PRACTICESBoston Redevelopment Authority Use of Tags Boston Redevelopment Authority’s blog breaks the mold of a traditional blog layout. Readers are given an index page of post titles along associated images. To easily browse through the site, the agency offers tags on the top of page where readers can click on to access relevant content for their needs. Figure 9 is a screen capture of the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s posts that are labeled with the tag, “Business News”. To help individuals find information quicker on the agency’s blog, consider creating tags that best reflects the content and the city’s brand. fig. 9Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 28 28
  29. 29. BEST PRACTICESNew York City EconomicDevelopment Corporation Content Strategy The content strategy that is executed for the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s blog is based upon curating unique content that represents the city’s brand in terms of economic development initiatives. Figure 10 is a post that was published on September 18th, 2012 highlighting the agency’s visit to the South by Southwest (SXSW) annual event. Readers of the post were able to obtain insights regarding: • The evolution of NYC’s diverse tech sector • The city’s booming innovation hub and game-changing government investments • The rapid startup growth over the past few years and tech talent recruiting challenge Adhering to a content strategy for blogging purposes will aid in keeping the marketing tool sustainable and reinforce brand messaging. fig. 10Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 29 29
  30. 30. BEST PRACTICESSOCIAL MEDIATOOLS //WEB 2.0FACEBOOK In February 2012, the social media giant introduced, Facebook Timeline. The new feature is composed of several changesfrom an administrator and fans point of view. Agencies that use Facebook as the core of their digital market plan must deal with the specific modificationsthat entail selecting an appropriate cover photo to brand the region and pinned posts to their timeline. 2Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 30 30
  31. 31. BEST PRACTICESGreater Phoenix Partnership Facebook Timeline PinsUsing the Facebook Timeline function, Greater Phoenix Partnership is able to document their accomplishments since their inception. Figure 11 and Figure 12are the images that agency has pinned to their timeline. Figure 11 is a pin from 1995 documenting GPEC ranking in Top 10 Economic Development Organizations inthe World by Site Selection Magazine and Figure 12 announcing the location of DHL to Greater Phoenix marks GPEC’s 300th company that was located inPhoenix in 2002.Both pins can be very effective and efficient in communicating to potential investors and site selectors that Phoenix has a proven track record in terms ofattracting businesses to invest. fig. 11 fig. 12Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 31 31
  32. 32. BEST PRACTICESGreater PhoenixEconomic Council “The Social CEO” Figure 13 is a screen capture of a post from Greater Phoenix Economic Council’s CEO, Barry Broome Facebook Timeline. In the post, Broome shared a link to a radio interview which he conducted with a local station on the subject of the city’s growth compared to Las Vegas. The posted link led to 5 comments from the CEO’s friends and Broome himself making a statement about how cities brand themselves. Considering that there are few economic development officers that are on and utilising Facebook for professional purposes, Broome can be highlighted as a “Social CEO” for investment attraction. fig. 13Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 32 32
  33. 33. BEST PRACTICESSOCIAL MEDIATOOLS //WEB 2.0TWITTER The simple design of Twitter allows users to push information to followers. The microblogging platform acts as an efficient one-way broadcasting tool for some economic development agencies; however, some have yet to discover the possibilities of engaging regional’s stakeholdersand how tweets can contribute the reinforcement of branding initiatives. Moving forward, agencies should consider executing business-to-business Twitterengagement strategies to prompt a more dynamic use of the social media application. 3Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 33 33
  34. 34. BEST PRACTICESLondon EconomicDevelopment Corporation Engagement with Stakeholders Figure 14 is a discussion on Twitter that took place on July 31st, 2012 between the London Economic Development Corporation and Hudson Boat Works. The engagement seen in the screencapture highlights how London Economic Development Corporation is a great supporter of investors in the region via retweeting an article regarding Hudson Boat Works. The exchange was rather timely since the investor, Hudson Boat Works’ product (i.e. ribless racing boats) was being used in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England. Constant engagement with economic stakeholders on Twitter illustrates an agency’s commitment to actively play a role in the growth of existing businesses and potential investors in the region. fig. 14Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 34 34
  35. 35. BEST PRACTICESNew York City EconomicDevelopment Corporation Use of HashtagsWith consistent use of hashtags, a city or region can either build or reinforce To show how viral a hashtag can get on Twitter, Figure 16 is a screen capturetheir brand or a specific economic development initiative. Figure 15 illustrates of a Twitter search query for “#nytech” conducted on September 13th, 2012.three tweets from New York City Economic Development Corporation’s(NYCEDC) Twitter feed with three hashtags to focus on. Agencies must allow themselves to create hashtags for initiatives that will be easy to remember and properly brand their region.1) #LatAm2NYC - LatAm to NYC, the inaugural Latin American-focused program of NYCEDC’s World to NYC initiative, promotes trade and investment between New York City and Latin America2) #Bronx – NYCEDC is attempting to position and brand the Bronx as a location for business incubators3) #nytech – Branding for the New York City tech industry. fig. 15 fig. 16Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 35 35
  36. 36. BEST PRACTICES To understand the role of place branding, it is important to understand what a brand is and is not. In my experience, too many communities believe a brand is simply a logo and tagline. In reality, a brand is a promise. It sets an expectation of the experience an investor or resident will have if they choose to become part of your community. To be effective, the promise must be relevant, competitive and authentic. Branding is ensuring that promise is kept across as many touch points as possible and over time. Edward Burghard CEO, The Burghard GroupCall: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 36 36
  37. 37. BEST PRACTICESSOCIAL MEDIATOOLS //WEB 2.0YOUTUBE The video sharing platform is one of the most dynamic tools that marketers can use to promote a product or a service. Agenciesthat choose to utilize YouTube to sell their region for business and investment retention and attraction purposes must abide by the following key elementsto ensure a solid presence on the platform. • The ability to be found via the search function • The ability to provide current content • A solid channel that contains a variety of videos that profiles a regionCall: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 37 37
  38. 38. BEST PRACTICESThe Beacon Council Search Engine Optimization The Beacon Council, the Miami-Dade County’s official economic development partnership dedicated to “bringing new, job-generating investments to the community” has been pretty effective in appearing on the first page of results of YouTube. For the following queries, the organization’s videos were easily found (as of August 30th, 2012): • Name of city + keyword, “invest” + United States • Name of city + keyword, “economic development” + United States • Name of city + keyword, “investment” + United States Figure 17 provides a screenshot of the results for Miami + keyword, “economic development” + United States To avoid being behind a set of cluttered results, agencies should attempt to be consistent with keywords when uploading content to the video sharing platform. fig. 17Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 38 38
  39. 39. BEST PRACTICESLondon EconomicDevelopment Corporation Brand Reinforcement Figure 18 is a screenshot of London Economic Development Corporation’s “Today Tonight in London Canada” video on YouTube. Released in June 2012, the clip is able to reinforce the city’s brand identify as being a diverse location when it comes to working in different sectors during the day and by night, a pretty cool place to live with a dynamic night life. From an investment and talent attraction perspective, this video is quite powerful in terms of conveying reasons to select London, Ontario to “invest, work and play”. With a solid branding and content strategy, agencies can create powerful YouTube clips that can vividly illustrate the key benefits of a region for investment and talent attraction. fig. 18Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 39 39
  40. 40. BEST PRACTICESSOCIAL MEDIATOOLS //WEB 2.0LINKEDIN Via the business social network, agencies are supplied with a variety of marketing avenues that can play key role in a city’sinvestment attraction framework. From a complete professional profile to customized tabs from an agency’s company profile, activity on LinkedIn will aidin engaging decision makers when it comes to considering possible regions to invest in. Agencies that fail to have a solid presence on LinkedIn will make itdifficult to execute an integrated digital media strategy for any economic development initiatives.Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 40 40
  41. 41. BEST PRACTICESSan Diego Regional EconomicDevelopment Corporation Company Updates Figure 19 is a portion of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation LinkedIn Company profile where the agency’s updates are stored. These updates are automatically sent out to appear in the follower’s news feed. As a result, the agency’s push marketing strategy to site selectors and potential investors is supported with the efforts on LinkedIn using the company update feature. fig. 19Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 41 41
  42. 42. BEST PRACTICESGreater Halifax Partnership //Montreal International Use of “Service” TabAlong with the default company profile that economic development ii) Montreal Internationalagencies have selected to post on LinkedIn, two benchmarked agencies To reach out to a bilingual audience, Montreal International has provided descriptionshave supplemented their profiles with additional promotional with adding a of services in French and English. Figure 21 is the agency’s page on LinkedIncustomized “Services” tab. promoting its “Sélection de site (Données et conseil) / Site Selection (Data and consulting)” service.i) Greater Halifax PartnershipFigure 20 presents the content that is available underneath the “Services” Agencies that fail to recognize the LinkedIn’s features to post content ontab. By browsing through the list of services, clients can learn more about their corporate profile on a systematic basis are missing the opportunitieshow the agency can facilitate the investment attraction process and read to reach and engage with their targeted audience as a part of their digitalexisting recommendations. marketing strategy. fig. 20 fig. 21Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 42 42
  43. 43. BEST PRACTICESSOCIAL MEDIATOOLS //WEB 2.0SLIDESHARE Known as the YouTube for presentations and other documents, Slideshare can be used to publish and share informationregarding a region for economic development initiatives. In addition, having a presence on Slideshare can reinforce an agency’s search engine optimizationstrategy for Google.Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 43 43
  44. 44. BEST PRACTICESGreater Halifax Partnership Offering Strategic Intelligence Via Greater Halifax Partnership’s Slideshare account, economic development stakeholders can access a great amount of strategic intelligence. By reading the information that is stored in the presentations placed on the platform, site selectors and potential investors can align their objectives with the strategic goals of the agency. Figure 22 is a screen capture of the presentations on the Greater Halifax Partnership’s Slideshare account page. fig. 22Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 44 44
  45. 45. BEST PRACTICESSherbrooke Innopole Sharing After Events Based on the number of files that are uploaded to the Sherbrooke Innopole account, the agency is doing a great job of posting presentations after industry events. Figure 23 is a screen capture of the agency’s account with 53 presentations. As a component of a content marketing strategy, agencies should be proactive in sharing updated information on other platforms beside their website. Sharing platforms such as Slideshare maybe an outlet where site selectors will continue their search for decision making data. Slideshare provides a pretty powerful dashboard with analytics with data that can be used to target individuals who are reading the agency’s documents. fig. 23Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 45 45
  46. 46. BEST PRACTICESMOBILEAPPLICATIONS //Gartner, the leading information technology research and advisory company, expects that companies will shift their marketing budgets to mobile channelsand experiment with cutting-edge apps to capture marketing and sales opportunities. 4 While economic development agencies do not have the big budgetsas large brands do, it is important for agencies to understand that the shift is happening. The shift of placing content on platforms where decision-makerscan access it via smartphones and tablets should lead agencies to think about what tools and functionalities they can offer in a mobile environment. It maynot be sufficient enough to place all existing content on the agency’s website onto a platform that just formats data for smartphones. 5Call: 1.514.443.2148 | Email: | Visit: Call: 1.514.904.0872 | Email: | Visit: 46 46