Web 2.

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©2011. Intelegia Group. All rights reserved. The Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index report is prepared from sources and data which Intelegia believes to be reliable and accurate, but we make no representation as to its accuracy or completeness. The report is provided solely for informational purposes and is not to be construed as providing advice, recommendations, representations or warranties of any kind whatsoever. Opinions and information provided are made as of the date of the report’s publication and are subject to change without notice. Intelegia disclaims any liability for errors or omissions therein.

About Intelegia
Intelegia is a boutique consulting firm in Montreal, Canada that understands the need to be innovative and strategic in a business landscape that’s evolving at an incredible pace. The firm delivers social media strategies to efficiently engage with stakeholders in economic development, business to business and business to consumer segments. It assists clients by defining and executing sustainable social web strategies that will allow their brand message to stand out in a competitive environment where target audience engagement is a must. www.intelegia.com

Web 2.0 And Online Marketing For Business Attraction 2011 Canadian Cities Content

5 Preamble 5 Context 6 Key Insights 9 Results 10 Best Practices Social Media Tools - Web 2.0 16 Best Practices Site Selection Tools - Web 1.0 18 What Are Other Agencies Doing? 21 Planning Points 23 Final Thoughts 24 Methodology 25 Frequently Asked Questions 26 About The Authors 27 Bibliography

Preamble
The evolution of social media in context of marketing is constantly in flux. Whether it is a new feature on an existing network or a new and emerging site are using free tools in order to reach established marketing and business objectives. Attaining these objectives requires marketers to take a structured approach to planning and executing a social media strategy in which the following elements should be considered on an ongoing basis:

Context
To put the previously stated preamble into context for economic development professionals preoccupied with promoting their regions for investment attraction, consider the following scenarios: 1. Economic development organizations can learn from each other in terms of how to best market their respective regions in a very competitive environment Social media is a tool that holds promise for economic development agencies if used correctly. By examining if and how competing jurisdictions are using social media, agencies can select the best approach on how tools will utilize to deliver its brand message efficiently and with maximum impact. 2. If your region has a brand, your agency will have an easier time creating and executing a content strategy for social media marketing Regions with a well-defined brand for business and investment attraction will discover that the content needed to keep the social media presence sustainable maybe already available. Ongoing content repurposing activities may be needed. Regions that have not defined themselves in terms of their brand will face challenges when it comes to stating their unique value proposition to potential investors and site selectors when establishing an effective and efficient content strategy.

Branding
Is there a defined and clear brand message that can be used on social media to connect and engage with target audiences?

Content strategy
Is there a content strategy in place to drive the social media strategy? How can the initiative remain sustainable if there is a lack of content to engage the audience for a given period of time?

Level of engagement
What is the current level of engagement on the selected social networks? What can be done to enhance engagement and manage sentiments, be it positive or negative?

Social capital
Are organizations prepared to manage the spinoff effects of individuals’ social capital on social media? With tools such as Klout and PeerIndex that measures social capital, can organizations identify people that will help or hinder your efforts in attaining objectives?

Search engine optimatizaton
Based on research conducted by ForeSee Results, less than 1 percent of website visits, on average come directly from a social media URLs1. This fact reinforces the need for online marketers to enhance their organic search engine optimization strategiews to include publishing unique and timely content. The end result will be having the ability to provide information to individuals who use it to make better purchasing decisions.

3. Influencers on social media play a large role in obtaining feedback and necessary buy-in for economic development projects Discounting an individual’s social capital on social networks is an error. Influencers with large numbers of friends, followers and connections can make or break an initiative. Monitoring and reaching out to specific influencers should be a component not to be overlooked in a social media strategy.

4. An agency’s website must consistently become 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

Key Insights
Intelegia had the opportunity to talk to the majority of the top six finalists in this year’s index to gauge their approaches to social media. Below are some of the key insights from the agency’s marketing representatives regarding the following issues: Each agency has their own set of key success factors that are essential to their sustainable online marketing presence. • Two of the key factors that have led to the Greater Halifax Partnership’s success on social media are: i) a team of committed marketing professionals and ii) executing a content strategy. The marketing team at the agency includes: 1. Internet and Marketing Specialist 2. Marketing Assistant (Co-op) 3. Communications Specialist 4. Director of Communications 5. Research Coordinator 6. Partnership Team Each member of the team plays an essential role in the planning and executing the agency’s overall strategy. The content strategy that is used by the agency takes into account the usability and functionalities of the selected tools and what type of information that site selectors would look for in their approach to evaluating locations. The agency has mapped out their content strategy based on the level of posting frequency on the selected networks. • At the Hamilton Economic Development, the agency 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 increase 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 marketing efforts has led to an increase of followers on Twitter. • The key success factors that drive the Regina Regional Opportunities Commission’s social media program are: i) A dedicated individual that manages the initiative to ensure that the brand message is consistent and on target; ii) Positioning how the agency can be different; iii) Sharing success stories about the region. Each element assists the agency in developing a brand for Regina that in turn gets the attention of potential investors and the different stakeholders of the city. Social media tools aid in overcoming challenges linked to marketing regions for investment attraction and retention. • The Greater Halifax Partnership is able to overcome the challenge of fielding questions from potential investors and migrants to Halifax thanks to its website and Twitter presence. Figure 1 illustrates several inquiries that were tweeted to the agency by an individual who is interested in moving to Halifax. • Social media has enabled the Hamilton Economic Development to be consistent in terms of branding across all digital marketing platforms. This allows the agency to have a uniform look when potential investors visit their various outlets for information.

Fig. 1 : Tweets By (@scotornsby) Requesting Information On Halifax

2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 6

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
Source: My Oil Sands (http://therunningstart.ca/2011/04/20/top-5things-that-you-probably-dont-know-about-edmonton/)

Fig. 3 : Blog Post On The Running Start
Source: The Running Start (http://therunningstart.ca/2011/04/20/ 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

Agencies are constantly seeking to improve their social media 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. • In Edmonton, the agency would like to improve its ability to quantify its efforts and the value of being on social networks in terms of earned media. As a result, the agency will know how to better leverage its use of particular platforms and offline vehicles. • In Halifax, the agency has a preoccupation with improving their ranking on Google. As site selectors and potential investors depend on Google to begin their research process on a region, Greater Halifax Partnership realizes the importance of executing a search engine optimization plan to bolster their web pages to the first page of results. •The Hamilton Economic Development agency aims to increase their numbers in terms of critical mass

Fig. 5 : Tomorrow in London, Canada YouTube clip on Foursquare, on their blog and for their electronic newsletter. All platforms will assist the agency in communicating with their different group of stakeholders. • In Regina, the agency strives to improve on focusing on the audience that they wish to engage with. By defining its audience along the lines of investment and business attraction, the agency will be more efficient in terms of producing relevant content based on the interests of the refined target audience. Similar to other agencies, the Commission hopes to have a firm grasp of understanding the return on investment of their efforts on social media. Gaining such insights will allow the commission to allocate its budget to the right initiatives to attain objectives.

Economic development officers from large cities have experienced challenges with their social media strategies that can serve as “words of wisdom” for smaller agencies executing their respective strategies. • Kadie Ward of the London Economic Development Corporation suggests that smaller agencies can learn a lot from observing other similar organizations and learning from best practices. In addition, she stresses the need to really understand the social media tools before gaining leverage and executing a strategy. • The words of wisdom coming from Krista Hall, Communications Specialist, Marketing and Communications, at the Greater Halifax Partnership is based on having an evangelist to promote the benefits of social media and the need to align the 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.

• Michael Marini and Andy Zimmerman of the Hamilton Economic Development recommends that all agencies that are embarking on a social media initiative should not “get involved if you do not have the people”. • Jennifer Christenson and Crystal McPhee in Edmonton suggest that agencies start small and engage with partners to enlarge their audience on the various platforms. •Jennifer Nelson, Director of Communications at Regina Regional Opportunities Commission advises smaller agencies to understand what they want to accomplish on social media and to define their target audience. Nelson states: “it is not a question of being there but knowing why you are there” in terms of using social media.

2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 8

Results
Figure 6 and Table 1 present the results of the 2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index©.

1 2

Greater Halifax Partnership Hamilton Economic Development Edmonton Economic Development Corp. Ottawa Centre for Regional Innovation (OCRI) Regina Regional Opportunities Commission / London Economic Development Corp.

Top 5 Agencies

3 4

3 5
Fig. 6: Top Agencies, Intelegia, 2011

5 1

4 5 2

90 80 70 60 50 40 30

81 71 69.5 55 54 54

Scores of the Top 20 Agencies
39 38 37 35

28 28 26 24 24

19 9 8 6 6
Yellowknife, NT Whitehorse, YT

Edmonton, AB

Regina, SK

Calgary, AB

Montreal, QC

Winnipeg, MB

St. John’s, NB

Québec, QC

Saskatoon, SK

Victoria, BC

Fredericton, NB

Vancouver, BC

Charlottetown, PEI

Ottawa, ON

London, ON

Table 1: 2011 Scores Of The Top 20 Agencies, Intelegia, 2011.

Hamilton, ON

Toronto, ON

Halifax, NS

2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 9

Nunavut

Best Practices - Social Media Tools - Web 2.0

Although blogs may not have the same bells and whistles as other Web 2.0 applications, they have big role in a social media strategy. The platform permits individuals and organizations to have an outlet to control their respective message and insights unlike other traditional media sources. Adhering to an established content strategy where an editorial calendar dictates what and when content is posted will play a role in the organization’s search engine optimization strategy.

Blogs

Ottawa Centre For Regional Innovation Multiblogger Approach Ottawa Centre for Regional Innovation (OCRI) executes a multiblogger approach for its blog. Since January 2011, readers of the blog were able to access the insights from 11 representatives from OCRI (including Claude Haw, former President & CEO) regarding Ottawa’s key clusters. Figure 7 is a screenshot of the blog page where three posts are listed from the different individuals from the agency. The three representatives that bring their expertise to the 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

Facebook continues to be one of the most popular social networks on the Internet with over 800 million active individuals around the world2. With the various options to engage a target audience, Facebook provides a platform to execute innovative branding and communication strategies that can fit into a larger marketing plan. Having a social media plan that includes Facebook requires a coherent branding message and a critical mass of stakeholders that drives the engagement process and aid in obtaining established objectives.

Facebook

Greater Halifax Partnership – Customized Landing Page The lead economic development agency has taken their presence on Facebook to another level. Visitors to their Facebook Fan Page are automatically directed to the landing page as seen in Figure 8. The page is graphically appealing than the traditional page wall that visitors are pushed to by default and it serves as a gateway to the following sections offered on the agency’s website: Living in Halifax, Our Programs, Economic Data, Investors in Growth, SmartCity Business Show.

Fig. 8: Greater Halifax Partnership Facebook Landing Page

Edmonton Economic Development Corporation – Building An Audience and Engagement The Edmonton Economic Development Corporation has been successful at building an audience on their Facebook Page. In July 2010, the agency only had 268 people “liking” the page, approximately 13 month later, the number of individuals 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 are engaging with the agency by either leaving interesting comments as seen in Figure 9 or giving a thumbs up to their regular and consistent postings on the page’s wall.

Fig. 9: Edmonton Economic Development Corporation Facebook Page

2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 11

According to Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications, Twitter “can be a powerful channel for organisations to take control of their brand. It allows brands to become their own media outlet, to interact with customers cost effectively, broadcast messages to a huge audience and engage with users on a one-to-one basis.”3 Agencies that have found a balance between disseminating and engaging via Twitter will be efficient and successful at opening the doors to potential investors and site selectors.

Twitter

Edmonton Economic Development Corporation – Building A Critical Mass and Tweeting Activities According to the number seen in Figure 10, the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation has really grasp the fundamental 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 Statistics

Calgary Economic Development – Engagement Amongst all the economic development agencies in this index, the Calgary Economic Development agency was found to 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 Regarding Promotional Material To Attract People To Move / Live In Calgary

Fig. 12: The Calgary Economic Development Reply To Inquiry With Shortened URLs To Webpages

In addition, the agency should be highlighted for their use of hashtags to brand the city with economic development 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 #jobs Fig. 14: Hashtag Use Of #yyc

2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 12

YouTube has afforded millions of users with the opportunity and ability to broadcast in the form of videos. In order to have an effective video or a series of videos to sell a product or service, organizations must have a structured core message and the ability to be found amongst the three billions of clips that are viewed per day4. To do so, an organization’s brand has to be “front and center” in each clip in its channel and select the appropriate keywords and tags to describe the content in the clips.

YouTube

Greater Halifax Partnership – Channel Development Via 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, businesses and 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 Channel

London Economic Development Corporation – Retrievable Content with YouTube Search Based on a series of queries with the YouTube search engine, the London Economic Development Corporation content was discovered quite easily. The following queries were submitted: • Name of city + keyword, “invest” +Canada • Name of city + keyword, “economic development” +Canada

Fig. 17: Results for London +“invest” +Canada

Fig. 18: Results for London + “economic development” +Canada

Hamilton Economic Development – Retrievable Content with YouTube Search A video clip from the Hamilton Economic Development agency is easily found on YouTube when the following query was used: • Name of city + keyword, “investment” +Canada It should be noted that the video clip is ranked #1 amongst all non-promoted results for a query that contains the term, “investment” which can lead to a series of irrelevant results. Figure 19 presents a look of the first page of hits.
Fig. 19: Results for Hamilton + “investment” +Canada

2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 13

With more than 120 million business users on LinkedIn6, it is essential that economic development agencies and representatives have a presence on the social network. The notion of “six degrees of separation” on LinkedIn is quite useful when entering business networks of individuals to reach the right person to initiate or close business deals. In order for economic development agencies to benefit from LinkedIn, two components are needed: 1) All representatives 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 be overlooked. 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 of results 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.

LinkedIn

Fig. 20: LinkedIn Profile Headline For Jacques St. Laurent, CEO And President, Montreal International Fig. 21: Google Search Results For “Jacques St. Laurent” +Montreal

Ottawa Centre for Regional Innovation (OCRI) Profile of Lead Executive Figure 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 investment 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 Haw

Montreal International – Easy To Retrieve Using LinkedIn Search The lead investment attraction agency for Montreal, Montreal International has been very successful at breaking through the clutter that comes with having a profile on LinkedIn. On August 3rd, 2011, a simple query using the search terms: “Montreal” + “investment” was performed. The results are provided in Figure 23. Although Montreal International is ranked 6th on the first page, it is a good position considering there are 102 total results for the city’s name and a generic term (i.e., investment) that can be used by numerous companies in their profile description.

Fig. 23: Search Results For: “Montreal” + “investment”

2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 14

The notion of the degree of influence on social networks is playing a key element in some organizations’ marketing approach. In Raymond Morin’s post, “The Meaning of Social Media Influence”7 examples are provided of organizations (i.e., universities and hotel chains) that are using individuals’ level of web influence to select their future students 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.

Klout

Fig. 24: Klout Score Profile For The Regina Regional Opportunities Commission

According to an online survey conducted in the first quarter of 2010 by IDG Global Solutions (IGS), mobile devices are gaining popularity very rapidly worldwide8. In particularly, smartphone usage is on the upswing due to personal and 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 selectors will be able to serve a target audience that is working differently and will filter out options (locations) for investment if information that is not in the proper format for individuals who select to conduct research from a smartphone rather 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.

Mobile Applications

Fig. 25: Mobile Version Of The Hamilton Economic Development Website

2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 15

Best Practices - Site Selection Tools - Web 1.0

The dynamics of how a website should be constructed is changing. Instead of designing a website for the needs of an organization to sell a product or service, organizations will have to build an online presence where all current and relevant information is easily accessible to make the best business decision regarding selecting a specific city to be on the short-list of prospects.

Site Selector Oriented

Hamilton Economic Development – Presentation of Business Parks and Industrial Land Developments Locations To aid in the challenging task of gathering intelligence regarding available real estate and industrial locations, the Hamilton Economic Development provides detail listing of business parks and industrial land developments. Figure 26 is 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

Quebec International – Presentation Of Current And Relevant Information For Site Selectors Within its “Invest in Quebec” section, Quebec International furnishes quick access to current and relevant information for site selectors on a single page. Figure 29 depicts the listing of current publications on the section page that 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 Pierre Quirion’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

What Are Other Agencies Doing?

Social media has provided economic development agencies regardless of size to execute some very innovative campaigns 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 Facebook Entreprise Chaleur, the agency that is responsible for 15 communities in northeastern New Brunswick on the coast of the Chaleur Bay, has been on Facebook for the past three years and has amassed a following of over 2100 individuals to its page. 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 and demonstrates to potential investors that there are individuals in the region that can contribute to the success of potential projects.

Fig. 31: Region Chaleur Engaging On Facebook Page

2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 18

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

Annapolis Digby - Content Strategy The Annapolis Digby Economic Development Agency is the lead organization for attracting business and investment in Annapolis, Nova Scotia. As a part of their YouTube strategy, the agency utilizes a content strategy in which they have a number of testimonials from migrants to promote the quality of life and the entrepreneurial spirit in the region. Figure 34 is a look at one clip that deals with a couple who is in Annapolis due to the quality of life and the opportunity to start a business in the region.

Fig. 34: Annapolis Digby YouTube Channel

Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ) de la Mauricie – Videocasts This agency is responsible for economic development activities in the Mauricie region that is located between Montreal 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 the region. Figure 35 illustrates the videocasts that are available on the Maurice.tv website. The videos on the website are available in French, English and Spanish and deals with the following topics: • Mauricie • Economy • Education • Quality of life

Fig. 35: Videocasts On Mauricie.tv

2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 20

Planning Points

The methodology and process that were used to conduct this benchmark has afforded Intelegia to uncover the best in class uses of social media and web 1.0 applications over a three year period. At the same time, Intelegia has witnessed some aspects of online marketing strategies that must be improved upon to benefit the selected applications. The following observations made by Intelegia may serve as key planning points for an upcoming marketing initiative for investment attraction. Definition Of A City’s Brand More than ever, a clear definition of a brand is needed for a city in terms of investment attraction and retention. With the level of competition for investment dollars increasing, cities must break through the clutter of other nearby cities and let their brand attributes sell their location factors. Cities that select to execute a social media strategy will need a strong brand that will connect with target audiences in order to begin and sustain engagement. Recognize The Need For A Content Strategy After the novelty of being on social media is removed, agencies will have a need to sustain a level of engagement with interesting content. In Intelegia’s blog post, “3 Signs That A Content Strategy Is Needed For Investment Attraction”10, readers were given signs to look for when assessing their social media presence for a content strategy. The three signs are: • You must substantiate your marketing budget for social media; • You are looking for a way to bridge the gap between branding efforts and planned Web 2.0 initiatives; • You are running out of things to say to engage your audience. Building The Content Strategy The process of building the content strategy is the marriage of taking the brand of the agency and curating relevant and timely content to begin and sustain an engagement with the target audience. There are a variety of elements

that contribute to establishing a content strategy however; the key elements that agencies should adhere to are: • Set up an information tracking system to gather information and news demonstrating the region’s brand; • Identify any content that is available internally which can be repurposed and placed on selected social media platforms; • Have agency’s personnel contribute content on a frequent basis; • Editorial calendars where content is scheduled to be posted on a consistent basis. Execute An Engagement Strategy Having a presence on social media and pushing relevant content is no longer sufficient for economic development agencies. Agencies must be proactive in engaging its audiences regarding what the regions have to offer existing and potential stakeholders. Personnel of agencies must select and post content (in different formats i.e., videos, blogs, tweets, photos) that can induce discussions amongst target audience members. In addition, those who are responsible for posting content must be vigilant on the level of engagement that is taking place on chosen platforms and contribute to discussions with the goal of promoting regions. Go Mobile Individuals that play a role in the investment prospection dynamic are not required to be at their desk nor have their laptop open to conduct research. Via smartphones, individuals can surf the web and find information from agencies that have decided to provide a mobile version of their websites. Agencies that do not offer this option should make the nominal investment to make sure that a mobile application is available of the website to appeal to individuals who care to work using their iPhone, Android or Blackberry.

2011 Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© / 21

Enhance The Agency’s LinkedIn Presence There 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 to at least one group and 52 percent said they actively participate in group discussions11. With this mindset, agencies may select to brand their group with their name or use a name that is not associated with the region. Figure 36 is a screen view of the Foreign Direct Investment Professionals group on LinkedIn.

Figure 36: Foreign Direct Investment Professionals LinkedIn Group

This particular group is hosted by Invest Brisbane, the investment attraction promotion agency for Brisbane, Australia. The group 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.

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Final Thoughts

A coherent strategy for investment attraction calls for an integrated marketing approach. With the increasing level of competition for investment dollars, economic development agencies must change the way that they promote their cities / regions as they did over the past decade. Consider the following dynamics that are essential for the investment prospecting process. • Potential investors / site selectors no longer require to be in the office or to have a laptop open to conduct research on a city or a region • Making information mobile is essential • Google remains the number one search engine that individuals utilize • Agencies’ websites are the home of site selection and contact information for preliminary inquiries. • Social networks are rapidly bringing stakeholders together to share information and engage in meaningful conversations • 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

Agencies selecting to enhance their capabilities to correspond to the dynamics at play must make a structured effort to improve the way they communicate with existing and potential stakeholders. Elements of such a structured approach that will take into account prevailing web applications trends should include: • Making relevant and timely information available via mobile versions of site selection websites and microsites • Consistently publishing timely information regarding the city that is indexed by Google • Evaluating the agency’s website to see if the right information is available and easily accessible from a potential investor’s point of view • Seeking out opportunities to frequently engage on Facebook, Twitter and especially, LinkedIn Groups • Providing content that is consistent with the city’s brand that can be used on social networks and in-person for site selection facilitation activities

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Methodology

The methodology used for Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index© 2011 remained consistent with the framework used for the 2010 benchmark study. The identical set of cities was selected based on the Top 20 Canadian Census Metropolitan Statistical Areas (CMSA) as defined by Statistics Canada in 2006. The benchmark considered the following elements for the evaluation of agencies’ social media applications, Web 1.0 features, the availability of relevant information for site selectors and potential investors. The appearance and ability to browse the mobile version of the agency’s website were evaluated. The benchmark considered pages and feeds directly linked to the metro area economic development agency website, as well as social media applications that presented contact information consistent with the agency’s website. (i.e. president, general manager or marketing contact information, mailing address, phone number) The agency’s social media applications were assessed based upon the appearance of: • • • • • • • • • • Blog(s) Facebook Page or Group Twitter LinkedIn YouTube Flickr RSS Feeds Videocasts Podcasts Content Sharing Pluggins (ie, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, StumbleUpon, etc) • Availability of a mobile version of the agency’s website In addition, a set of metrics were used to evaluate how the social networks were used and their frequency. To measure the amount of social capital that an agency possesses, Klout was used along with the agency’s username on Twitter.

The appearance of the following Web 1.0 tools was accounted for: • • • • • Newsletters Newsletters archives News Alerts Forums Event Calendar

To evaluate the effectiveness of an agency’s website in terms of furnishing information for site selection initiatives, the following elements were considered: • Currency of location factors information; • Complete contact information for the individual(s) responsible for investment attraction available on the first page of the section or on the “Contact Us” page; • Not only was the multilingual functionality of the site identified but also the ability to provide specific data in more than two languages (i.e., key location factors, etc.). Assessing how easy it is to find information on a city’s agency courtesy of a search engine was conducted using Google and the following queries: • “investment” + Name of city +Canada • “invest in” + Name of city +Canada • “incentive” + Name of city +Canada In the best practices section of this year’s benchmark, a small collection of economic development agencies and investment attraction organizations that do not fit the criteria (as stated above) were included. These entities deserved to be highlighted by Intelegia based on their innovative use of web applications. The examination of the social networks, Web 1.0 applications and site selection information were conducted between July 14th, 2011 and September 15th, 2011. The searches on Google were executed on August 12th, 2011.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When were the sites and applications reviewed for the benchmark? A: The sites and applications were reviewed during the period of July 14th, 2011 to September 15th, 2011. Q: How did you select the cities to be included in the benchmark study? A: Intelegia selected the provinces’ capitals, and the top 10 Canadian Census Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA) as per Statistics Canada in 2006. Q: How were the agencies selected? A: The agencies were selected based on their mandate to promote their region for investment attraction purposes. Q: What were the 21 used criteria for the benchmark? A: Below are the 21 criteria that were used: • Web 2.0 Applications • Blog • Facebook Page or Group • Twitter • LinkedIn • Klout • YouTube • Flickr • Foursquare • Links to other sharing platforms (i.e., Digg, StumbleUpon, 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

Q: What do you mean by “multilingual content”? A: “Multilingual content” allows users to read site selection and economic data relevant content in more than two languages. Q: What is a podcast? A: By definition, a podcast is a video or audio file that can be downloaded directly from a website and be played via a media player. Video clips available on YouTube or other sharing platforms are not considered to be podcasts. Q: What do you mean by Web 1.0? A: The Web 1.0 is the portion of the web that contains static pages (instead of dynamic user-generated content) and online guestbook. Q: What do you mean by Web 2.0? A: The Web 2.0 is the portion of the web that facilitates interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design and collaboration on the World Wide Web. Q: What do you mean by a mobile application? A: A mobile application functionality allows individuals to access and view the agency’s website and its content on a smartphone.

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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

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The Meaning of Social Media Influence – October 14th, 2011 - http://www.intelegia.com/en/2011/10/14/the-meaning-of-socialmedia-influence/ 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-2011-07-11 ManageFlitter - http://manageflitter.com 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/

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LinkedIn groups extend content marketing reach – August 11th, 2011 - http://www.brafton.com/news/linkedin-groups-extendcontent-marketing-reach

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