URL to video series: https://investbarrie.ca/supportlocal
The purpose of the Downtown Barrie Video Series was two-fold. First was to create a set of videos that would encourage both visits to the downtown, and second was to help attract new businesses to the downtown. As an extension of Invest Barrie’s Support Local Campaign, the video series was intended to promote downtown Barrie and offset the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the small, independent businesses located there.
With six separate interviews featuring new businesses and old favourites, the video series also showcased the recently redesigned streetscape, an attraction not only to visitors but also to potential new businesses. Each interview featured businesses owners not just speaking to their business’s unique offerings, but also what Barrie offers them and why they chose to invest here. Invest Barrie provided each featured business the platform to not only attract visitors and potential customers, but also encourage other businesses to invest in downtown Barrie.
The messaging was consistent with what Invest Barrie had been including in our Support Local Campaign, but hearing it from the businesses themselves resonates on an even deeper level and has the power to reach an even wider audience. Each video of the Downtown Barrie Video Series is housed on the Invest Barrie YouTube channel and are promoted through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Across our social media channels, the videos have earned a total of 42,888 impressions (total times the content was displayed), 724 engagements (total reactions, comments, shares and clicks) and 7920 views (total times the videos were played/watched).
Some notable comments include:
“Great video showcasing the downtown. The people element is definitely key to achieving success.”
“I love this video SO much!! Well done and I can’t wait to check out these local spots 🔥💖🤩😎”
The videos will continue to be featured in upcoming campaigns as the impact they have on local businesses and the downtown as a whole has been nothing but positive.
The changing Provincial restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic proved to be the greatest challenge of the Downtown Barrie Video Series campaign. Footage was shot in the summer and fall of 2021 while businesses were open with the intention to be used shortly thereafter. Provincial restrictions forced businesses to close their doors again in winter causing the launch of the campaign to be delayed. The Invest Barrie team has agreed that planning for future campaigns will include filming in the spring to ensure that the footage is available for use during the summer and fall.
The target audience for the Downtown Barrie Video Series was multi-layered. Internally, the Invest Barrie team referred to the audience as “Investors.” First, the videos were intended to draw residents to the downtown to invest their money in local businesses, their local economy. Second was to draw nearby residents within Simcoe County who had not yet explored their own downtown community and are looking to explore and invest locally. Third was non-residents, or tourism, to invest their money in overnight stays within the city while encouraging visits to the downtown. Finally, the videos were also intended to showcase downtown Barrie to business owners and entrepreneurs who may consider moving their business to or starting up a business (investing) in downtown Barrie. Messaging for each video was catered to each platform’s audience. For instance, Invest Barrie’s Twitter account has a large business following, while the audience on the City of Barrie’s Facebook account is primarily Barrie residents.