Regina Advantage

Advertising Campaign | Economic Development Regina Inc.
Abstract:

Overview
In the past, research revealed that Regina, Saskatchewan held a poor reputation in terms of business
development. In 2017, Economic Development Regina (EDR), with the support of the City of Regina and private sector investment partners, launched the Regina Advantage Initiative—aiming to change the perception of Regina.
Regina Advantage has created a community-based, collaborative strategy that articulates and celebrates the Greater Regina Area’s (GRA) strengths and assets while creating a powerful and positive identity for the community. EDR has been continuously executing this strategy through a multi-year advertising campaign.

Goal
The long-term goal is to increase the GRA’s profile as an economic and entrepreneurial powerhouse in prominent
economic sectors. It aims to increase awareness of Regina’s quiet truth in 2018—that Regina has become the best place work, live, learn and invest in, in Canada.

Process 
Regina Advantage is a direct result of consultation with, and feedback from, more than 100 stakeholders and community leaders. It is built on the testimonials of real business leaders in the community, featuring 2017 World Entrepreneur of the Year Murad Al-Katib, CEO and Founder of Hillberg & Berk Rachel Mielke, and more.

With concrete messaging in place, EDR created Phase 1 digital ads on several platforms, including LinkedIn, Google Display, and more. Each ad took the user to a curated story that lived on the EDR website about a thriving company
in Regina. Retargeting ads were also created, which directed users to a hub of sector success stories on the EDR website. Each ad was targeted to specific sectors Regina has shown to hold a competitive edge in—including agri-value and manufacturing. Fourteen cities and seniority levels were also targeted in each ad set, which ran for an
eight-week period in Winter 2017. This process was repeated for Phase 2 in Spring 2018. To play on the successes of Phase 1, EDR continued to push agri-value and the Oil and Gas Supply Chain sector.

Results
Phase 1 saw an increase in interest from the Alberta Area. EDR’s website traffic raised by 335%, and the website’s
mobile usage shot up from 16% in 2016 to 48%. With the majority of the web traffic coming from Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba, overall traffic from these provinces increased by 1,500%.
Phase 2 continued to garner high interest from the Alberta Area, as well as Houston and Denver Areas—which showed high interest in the Oil and Gas Supply Chain sector. EDR’s organic traffic went up 25% from Phase
1, while direct traffic increased 193%—an indicator that traffic from paid advertising and other mediums that encourage the user to interact with the website had significantly increased. Due to careful management, the Google
Display performance was largely successful, with an actual CPM at $0.79 compared to the estimate at $5.00—a tripled CTR when compared to the industry average.
This successful Phase 2 saw 67,809 total visits to http:// economicdevelopmentregina.com.

Sustainability
Regina Advantage is a multifaceted project that includes an advertising campaign, community outreach, and
stakeholder engagement—aiming to achieve its goals of increasing the GRA’s profile as an economic and entrepreneurial powerhouse. The Regina Advantage Initiative started with an initial investment from the City of Regina to create the project, and involved three year commitments from their partners in the private sector.

The strong community and business advocates who were willing to be interviewed, provide feedback, and engage with the campaign demonstrated a consistent appetite for EDR to continue, as well as new content for it to use.

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