Content Marketing, Digital Advertising, Strategy

Establishing agile and efficient systems for the Brampton Board of Trade

2020's Covid-19 lockdowns showed Stryve and the Brampton Board of Trade—along with countless other organizations across the country—the importance of agility. While teams can plan and project based on yesterday’s trends and data, they need to be prepared and equipped to respond to the changes of tomorrow.

The Brampton Board of Trade is a membership organization made up of over 2,300 Brampton-based business leaders and representatives. Early in 2020, they partnered with Stryve for support in developing digital tactics and workflows to efficiently generate new members while engaging and retaining the existing ones.

Together, we devised a targeted online campaign strategy tied to membership benefits. But when lockdowns shifted the priorities of business owners over night, we would need to pivot fast to adapt our campaign to the market’s changing needs.

Through this case study, you'll learn about:

  • Our original two-tiered persona-based campaign strategy to drive membership leads
  • How we updated processes and workflows to improve efficiency and member retention
  • How we responded to the global pandemic by pivoting to campaign 2.0

Driving Membership Leads for the Brampton Board of Trade

We began by developing personas based on the Brampton Board of Trade’s membership packages. Cutting through the surface benefits of offerings like event tickets and directory listings, we were able to define the core values being provided by the BBOT. For example, rather than promote a complimentary booth at the Business Excellence Awards, we would instead promote the concept of increased visibility, a way to raise your business platform and legitimize your brand ̶ presenting the BBOT as a way for businesses to gain trust and raise their status – it’s so much more than an event booth.

Once we established these value themes, we built two new membership pages on the BBOT website to call them out directly. If there was any question before about what businesses stood to gain by joining the Board of Trade, our new pages provided clear answers while offering a streamlined path to becoming a member.

Beyond individual offerings, it was important to project the legitimacy and scale of the BBOT to frame non-members as the minority. We took every opportunity to show member logos, headshots, event photos, and testimonials across the website, providing a level of social proof while again demonstrating how the BBOT is a conduit for next-level success.

Member images also played a role in projecting the culture of the BBOT. To combat the old, corporate, male-dominant image that typically comes to mind when you hear, “Board of Trade”, we sourced images showcasing members of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. We chose event photography from lively events over images of board meetings. With that, the BBOT is more than handshakes and suits – it’s access to a success-driven community offering a range of diverse value-adding experiences.

Apart from the website, we took these ideas and applied them to email templates and digital ads. Using LinkedIn and Twitter to target follower look-alikes, job titles, and key non-member businesses, our creative aims to say, “We’re just like you and we’ve found success with the Brampton Board of Trade. Thousands of others have, too. Click to find out what you’re missing.”

Automation, Retargeting, and Systems of Efficiency

Those who opened or clicked our initial email would be automatically added to a separate contact list based on their engagement. Users who visited the site through our social ads would be added to a retargeting audience and kept within reach until they converted on a website form. If and when they did, they, too, would be added to a follow-up list based on their engagement.

For each list, we built six customizable email templates based on the values defined in our personas. Keeping member retention in mind, we created an additional seven templates for both membership renewals and upgrades.

By using Constant Contact’s list automation in conjunction with retargeting ads and situational email templates, we established a system for the BBOT team to be more efficient in keeping up with leads and retaining members.

However, with the impact of Covid-19, we were forced to chart a new course.

Responding to a changing landscape

We quickly recognized how nationwide lockdowns would change the mindset of business owners. As a result, the values we’d placed at the forefront of our campaign were no longer the priorities of our personas. With things like networking opportunities taking a back seat to PPE and other health protocols, we pivoted our campaign towards promoting the BBOT as a community hub and navigational resource.

The result was Open Door Discussions, a weekly open-invite digital meetup where members and non-members could come together to share their thoughts, concerns, issues, and more. While it provided a space for members and prospective members to build relationships in a new way, it also provided the BBOT with the opportunity to demonstrate its value in terms of guidance and solutions. Whether business owners attended sessions or not, exposure to the campaign would show members and prospective members that the BBOT was there as a support system if needed – their “door was always open”.

To launch Open Door Discussions on the fly, we quickly spun up a landing page and produced a video ad explaining the new initiative. To establish social buy-in and present the BBOT community as banding together, we employed the help of BBOT members to take part in the video. We provided a script and leaned into the raw webcam aesthetic to actually show what an ODD session would be like. Through this approach, we could promote an informal “come as you are” environment to reduce any reluctance to join on camera.

We referred to business survey results to source common questions and concerns held by BBOT members and used them to build static digital ads to run alongside the video. Recycling the LinkedIn and Twitter targeting from our initial campaign strategy, we were able to go to market and avoid doing rework.

Results & Takeaways

To introduce and raise awareness for the new initiative, we ran our ads for four months. Since the end of the campaign, the Brampton Board of Trade has continued to promote Open Door Discussions organically through its social channels and bi-weekly newsletter.

Here are the results of our efforts:

  • The website has seen an 11% increase in traffic since launching the campaign.
  • The campaign brought an average of 664 users to the website each month.
  • The question-based ads generated a 1.2% CTR on Twitter and a .73% CTR on LinkedIn.
  • The video ad generated an 18% CTR on Twitter and a .48% CTR on LinkedIn.
  • Comparing recent ODD attendance to the first month, we’ve seen a 208% increase in registrations.

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