Last year, through feedback and consultation with producers, ABP took on the challenge of revamping how we communicate and engage with producers. Over the past 12 months, the ABP communications portfolio has taken on a progressive transformation, alongside the onboarding of some new team members to ensure the new platforms’ success.
The strength of ABP, as an organization, lies within the brands we’ve built. The producer brand, the consumer facing brand, and most recently, the ABP brand held for abpdaily.com and ABP magazine. This foundation is where we’ve built our magazine and digital channels, introduced the new podcast, and refreshed our presence at events and the consumer campaign. All of these channels support the work done by the team to encourage producer and consumer engagement with the industry.
Last year was a benchmarking year. With the introduction of new assets, it allowed us to see what did and didn’t work.
The initial intent behind the magazine was to re-engage with our producer audience. In discontinuing other communication initiatives that had run their course, the magazine was able to grab attention and drive interest in the digital platforms as they were introduced. We’ve seen significant traffic to abpdaily.com, averaging over 4,000 weekly visitors. Impressive initial download numbers on the first four episodes of The Bovine podcast – over 700 to-date. There’s even been an uptick in subscribers to our refreshed monthly e-mail newsletter, with a 27 per cent increase in audience size.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in April 2022. Some numbers have since changed. For example: our podcast, The Bovine, has reached over 1600 downloads.
The feedback we’ve received on the magazine and podcast has shown us that we are reaching producers in a meaningful way, with information they want to consume. Armed with that data and feedback, we’ll be able to make informed decisions that will guide our strategy for the next year.
Going forward, the goal is to continue to push the envelope when it comes to cross-platform content and content extension opportunities. What you read in the magazine, might also be available in video form on abpdaily.com and you can listen in on an interview with a subject matter expert on our podcast. This cross-platform collaboration allows us to communicate with producers when and where they want to receive information, while encouraging increased engagement.
One of the major investments in 2021 was the development of the ABP Daily app. While early adoption of the app lags our original goals, differentiating the app from the mobile form of the website is a priority for early 2022. App updates include account creation and the ability to save, share and favourite articles and categories – creating a personalized news experience on your mobile devices.
Implementing a seamless digital experience for the magazine will be another priority. While the majority of feedback on the magazine has been positive, we have listened to a share of producers who believe the platform is antiquated and out of touch. While we have proven the need for a hard copy medium that delivers stories and discussions producers care about, to remain progressive we plan to further integrate the channels by offering a digital magazine. This will enable producers to have a choice in how they receive the magazine.
In addition to high visibility media placements online, through television and static billboards, we have harnessed the power of social media influencers to create content that speaks to our target consumer demographic. In 2020, ABP launched a new website and “Flavour of Alberta” brand campaign with strong initial results. This foundation was leveraged in 2021 to expand the reach of ABP’s consumer messaging. These influencer partnerships continue to generate positive awareness and provide an opportunity to drive consumer connection with producers in Alberta.
Social media is a mainstay in our communications efforts, and while ever-changing algorithms cause some engagement challenges, we have had success creating meaningful connection with both producers and consumers. Twitter remains our top-performing platform at a 28-average of almost 60,000 impressions. Our Facebook post reach averages close to 14,000 and we’re seeing strong growth in our LinkedIn impressions. With the launch of a new Instagram account (@loveABbeef), our numbers will continue to trend upwards as we regain the following that was lost when our last account was closed. As an organization, we’ve had an interesting year. And as a refreshed communications team, we’ve had a year of re-building and growth. While these successes came at the cost of other programs overseen by ABP, we knew this was needed to revitalize producer engagement with the organization, and consumer engagement with Alberta’s beef industry.
This article was first published in Volume 2 Issue 2 of ABP Magazine (April 2022). It was written by Lindsay Roberts, Marketing and Communications Manager, ABP and Katelyn Laverdure, Lead, Stakeholder Communications, ABP. Watch for more digital content from the magazine on ABP Daily.