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Content marketing for the Calgary Regional Partnership

We are in the process of creating a content marketing and brand journalism program for our organization. We thought this class would help us further our content strategy. We will be posting our answers as we go through the lessons. Fee free to comment and make suggestions on our project. 

Our Brand: 

The Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP) is a voluntary non-profit organization made up of fourteen municipalities in the Calgary Region (not legislated like other regional governments).

Our Partnership protects the natural environment and watershed, fosters economic growth, develops a regional transportation network and plans growth for future generations.  The Calgary Region is home to approximately 1.2 million people and makes up 10,000 square kilometers of land and watershed.

The Partnership is preparing the Region for the more than 1.8 million people expected to arrive over the next 60 years.  We want to answer the following questions as a result of that growth:

•          Where will they live?

•          How will they move around?

•          Will there be enough water?

•          What type of jobs will they have?

 

11 Questions.

 

What is marketing for?

By telling the story of our brand and our regional plan (Calgary Metropolitan Plan) in a way our potential audience would be interested in and take them on a journey to discover how they will benefit, make their lives better and powerful enough to share with their network.

What are we allowed to touch?

For the Calgary Regional Partnership, marketing is allowed to touch all aspects of our organization because telling our story is important to create awareness, understanding and advocacy.

 

What can we measure?

As we are  developing our brand journalism program from ground-up we wanted to link some KPI’s that will help determine with we are moving in the right direction with regards to our goal. Included measurements are:

Awareness:

Google impressions

Reach (via referrals in other content or links to)

External discussions (other forums

 

Consumption :

Views and visits,

Unique visitors,

Multiple content views per visit

 

Engagement:

likes, shares, +1s, comments

 

Actions:

blog sign up and follows

 

SEO Impact:

increased organic site traffic and activity, increased organic backlinks, increased engagement on specific content pieces

 

What can we change?

We want to change people’s perception of our organization and our regional growth plan (Calgary Metropolitan Plan). We want people to change their understanding of the plan and show why our organization and the plan is important to the future of the Calgary Region. In changing perceptions, we want to create advocates for our organization to promote to others in the Region as well.

 

What promise am I going to make?

To our audience

We promise to our current and future audience that we will provide quality content that is useful, entertaining, and shareable to you. We promise that the content will be provided regularly. We promise that our content strategy will be agile to adapt to unforeseen circumstances and to your feedback. We promise we will always be open to feedback and input from our audience.

We promise that our content will be valuable to our audience through an intersection between what our organization is knowledgeable/experts in and what you want to know or find out.

We promise that we will produce content regularly.

We promise to measure our content production to ensure it meets your needs.

 

To my boss

I promise to ensure you know what content is going to be published through our editorial process. I promise to run articles by you that have an sensitivities or influenced by unforeseen circumstances.

I promise that our content strategy will be measured so you can see its progress

 

To my colleagues

I promise that our content strategy will be fluid and open, meaning your input and suggestions will always be taken into consideration.

  

What’s the hard part?

The hard part of this project will be three-fold:

  • Finding out which content our audience wants more of
  • Creating content that matches what our organization is knowledgeable/experts in and what our audience wants to know 
  • Finding and keep quality content contributors

 

Should my organization be making trends or following trends?

I believe our organization is following trends. Following the trend of turning our organization into a media brand. Following the trend to produce content that our audience wants and finds valuable enough to share vs. producing content that only we find interesting.

 

Where is the risk?

  • The risk is that we our content doesn’t reach our audience or they don’t find it valuable enough to share.
  • The risk of creating content that inadvertently touches on a sensitive topic that  negatively impacts the Calgary Regional Partnership or the Calgary Region.
  • The risk that we don’t create enough content to meet our objectives

 

Who is in charge?

Eventually, the Calgary Regional Partnership’s Executive Director is ultimately accountable for what we publish. I will be the editor to ensure content meets the content strategies standards.

 

Where are you spending the money? What is it for? 

The majority of the money will be spent on freelance journalists and content producers. The remaining funds will be spent on content if we need videos, infographics, etc… made

 

How should you be spending your time? 

My time will be spent

  • Ensuring the content meets the goals and objectives of the content strategy,
  • Managing the content calendar to make sure content is regular
  • Planning content to ensure it meets the needs of our audience

Our P's:

Positioning

We want to fill a niche where if people want information on the Calgary Region. We will be the place to get it.  We endeavor to be the niche for things related to the Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP) and Calgary Metropolitan Plan (CMP)

Jobs, community development, environment, development, transportation,

Promotion

We want to create relationship and eventually trust with our audience though telling stories that they find valuable, entertaining, compelling and shareable.

Through this relationship, we hope to create awareness, understanding and advocacy for the CRP and CMP.

Permission

We want to gain the permission, through building our audience and creating quality content, that allows us to follow up and provide information about the CRP and CMP and how it relates to living in the Calgary Region.

We want to provide our subscribers/audience with reasons to keep coming back for more content that is valuable to them.

Purple

We want to create content that appeals to our “weird” that ones that would have the most interest in what we do. That means looking at the influencers in each municipality and developing stories that would be compelling and valuable to them.

Something that would have their worldview in mind. They would be the most engaged and likely to share.


Public Relations

Through our content we would be telling a story to our defined audiences. Our stories would be the intersection between the areas we are experts in and what our audience would like. This program is for the long-term. We are looking at mostly earned media through our owned assets with some paid media to extend the reach of our content but more importantly focus on growing our audience.

Persistence

For our content marketing to work, we have to be consistent in providing quality, compelling and valuable content to our audience. This will enable to build those long-lasting relationships, build trust, establish our authority and create shareable experiences.

Our time and money will be spent on permission, positioning, purple, public relations and persistence. It will be through developing quality content, measurement and continuously providing value to our audience to meet our goals. 

 

Marketing Point of View

 

How do people find out about you?

We initially will spread our content through employees and distribution lists we have. Through our content we can spread by the people/organizations we develop content on. We will develop relationships with influencers to mine stories and guest post with.

As we build our network and bank of content, we look forward to building our subscriber list. We believe with valuable and compelling content, it will become social objects to be shared and distributed.

 

What is promised to them?

We promise to provide content that is valuable to our audience. Content that is not always about our brand but rather an intersection of what we are experts in and what our audience wants to find out.

 

How many interactions need to happen before they trust you enough to give it a try?

Our brand journalism program will be on-going to build authority and trust. We will strive to keep producing valuable content that people see the value in the content we produce and the value our organizations and the Metropolitan Plan brings to the Calgary Region.

 

What do people tell their friends about you?

That our content speaks to their needs and wants. We provide content that affects their lives. We provide great content that they want to regularly consume and influence how they perceive the CRP and CMP.

 

Are there network effects?

Yes. We strive to produce content that is valuable to our audience that is shareable. We want to create social objects that our audience will want to share.

 

Is there urgency to start? Is there scarcity?

There is a scarcity of information about the touchpoints that CRP is involved with. By touchpoints, I mean projects, stakeholders, programs, people, etc..

There are no stories about them and the good work they do in the Region.

As for urgency, yes there is. With no understanding of the Plan and Partnership there is a vacuum of knowledge. Assumptions leads to misperceptions.

 

What does this marketing story remind the prospect of?

This marketing story (stories) will remind people of the human interest stories that newspapers used to do. Ones that touch on emotions (usually positive).

 

Who is it for? And who is it not for?

This is for an audience in the Calgary Region. For our targeted “weird.” Initially those that understand values and principles related to the Calgary Metropolitan Plan. However, we believe that there are so many people “when getting to know the Plan” will see the benefits.

 

How is it sold?

Our Plan and organization will be sold through the stories and content we produce.

 

Does it cost more than the competition?

There is no competition other than misconceptions and inaccuracies about our Plan and organization. 

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