Type Winnipeg into Google’s search engine and it reveals some interesting questions Internet users have posed. Such as, “Does Winnipeg really exist?”
Our business development team at Economic Development Winnipeg regularly hears the negative stereotypes and misinformation that circulate about our city and encounters these hurdles in their missions to sell our city to potential businesses and investors.
The Marketing and Branding Team at EDW took on this challenge to turn a negative into a positive and change the narrative. We created a light-hearted promotional video to help our business development teams tell the Winnipeg story. Our video promotes and reinforces our local business and tourism opportunities, in a modern, relevant format inspired by the viral WIRED Autocomplete Interviews series.
We rallied industry leaders, including Mayor Brian Bowman and our president & CEO Dayna Spiring, to build a compelling case that Winnipeg is a great city in which to live, work and play.
With a budget under $1,000, our in-house content team produced a cost-effective yet attention-grabbing video. Our quirky pitch piece highlights the best of what Winnipeg has to offer in both of our organizations’ core functions: economic development and tourism.
In under four minutes, we sell Winnipeg as a world-class city with great attractions. We play up our strengths and embrace our weaknesses – sure, it’s cold in the winter, but Winnipeg offers so many fun and innovative wintertime activities!
We debunk the myths that may prevent businesses, investors, site selectors and visitors from choosing Winnipeg. We shine a positive light on the city to boost civic pride, encourage economic growth and attract business, investments, meetings, conferences, events and visits.
The video’s debut at a chamber of commerce luncheon was very well-received and it quickly became the talk of the town, thanks to paid and organic social media posts and word of mouth – undoubtedly aided by our mayor’s unscripted, unprompted humourous soundbite.
We posted the video to YouTube and our newsroom blog and shared it on Economic Development Winnipeg and Tourism Winnipeg’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram accounts. Combined, the video received nearly 140,000 views and the post earned more than 200,000 impressions during the month-long campaign. It drove more than 900 clicks to our blog post and recorded nearly 4,000 engagements. A video and blog post on popular Google searches made perfect sense to optimize our search engine results.
With a broad target audience of local and international business professionals, we promoted the video both in Winnipeg and outside the city through social media ad placement.
Our organization’s efforts to change perceptions of Winnipeg will continue through a multi-layered campaign that includes marketing and promotions, social media and travel media. This video is one sustainable, tangible tool that will live online and be distributed around the world with a low environmental footprint.
We hope our video proves Winnipeg really does exist and is thriving. Perhaps it will even encourage EDAC’s Marketing Canada Awards judges to fly into our sleekly-designed international airport and visit us next winter!