How do we convince people to move to Far North South Australia?
That's right, this case study isn't one of our usual tourism campaigns but finding the 'special sauce' of a place just makes sense for an economic development campaign, doesn't it?
And who better to find the special sauce than tourism marketers?
Our client, Regional Development Australia of Far North South Australia, exists to support the businesses and related organisations that sustain economic growth from Port Augusta north to the Northern Territory border.
Rather than ticket sales or room nights, RDA Far North is concerned with infrastructure, investment and - what brought them to us - attracting a skilled workforce.
Yes, the far north of South Australia had hundreds of jobs to fill and needed some new residents to help it happen.
We needed to raise awareness of the region as a desirable place to live.
So, who could be convinced to move to a regional or even remote part of Australia? What do they need to hear?
Just like when we work with a tourism destination, we dove deep into the area's attributes and their benefits, as well as the downsides, to develop a picture of who would enjoy being there.
This involved consultation with the people who know the area best as we interviewed different business leaders, recruiters, council representatives and longtime locals.
We narrowed down the priority industries for RDA Far North: hospitality, healthcare and pastoral.
This was based on vacancy data, growth projections and a review of which industries were already capably served by existing recruitment systems (for example, mining).
So, for those who were in these fields or looking to enter these fields, why would you choose the Far North?
We found that the southernmost part of the region, around Port Augusta, Quorn and Hawker, offered terrific job opportunities, as well as top schools, sporting facilities, and healthcare, and a tight knit community.
Best of all, unlike in the cities, you could find a very affordable house and a backyard!
Then, north of this cluster of townships, you head into farm and cattle station country where, for the truly adventurous, pastoral jobs at some of Australia's most renowned properties would give you an absolutely epic experience.
We could see that the Far North's economic growth picture meant it was ripe with opportunity for anyone looking for a fresh start: young people starting a career, someone wanting to start a business, or a place for a family to put down roots.
We know that for plenty of people who'd be willing to move, there are still some assumptions and doubts about the appeal of regional life.
So, we figured we'd get real-life locals who started thriving businesses to tell the story of the Far North.
The hospitality superstars of the Flinders Food Co, Louise Lynch and Doogal Hannagan, a nurse-turned-cofounder Adelle Cimarosti, and cattle station manager Lucy Morphett became the faces of the 'Start Here' campaign.
Incidentally, while we sought them out because they are leaders in their respective industries, it just so happens that all are also parents and business owners, offering further proof of the region's liveability.
Watch their videos
Business (Louise and Doogal)
Across social media content and advertising, a three month campaign targeted three audiences: parents of children, young people with an interest in farming and a hospitality/business ownership interest.
Google and YouTube ads were run nationwide, with extra weighting for Adelaide, and we targeted jobseekers and homebuyers.
Several sub-regions also joined the campaign. We made short videos and supporting content focused on their neck of the woods:
Outback Communities Authority
Flinders Ranges Council
Port Augusta Chamber of Business
During the first half of 2022, the campaign ran for roughly 12 weeks during a five month period. In that time, we saw:
All achieved with a modest media budget of $30/day on Google and $15/day on Meta.
Most importantly, the videos attracted the most clicks from people aged 18-34, the group in a life stage that made them best positioned to relocate (such as no mortgage or children settled in schools). The best performing video was the one about raising a family.
By 2023, the efforts of RDA Far North and their partners to grow the profile of their region has started to really kick off - it's now one of Australia's fastest growing areas. Millennials, who will be able to contribute to the local workforce for many years, are now three quarters of the new residents. Property growth is outpacing any other region in the country and Canstar named Port Augusta in their list of regional South Australia's top five best suburbs to invest in.
If you've read this far, it's not too late for you to join our friends in regional SA! Check out the website we built for them, including links to a jobs board and business investment opportunities.
What could you start in Far North South Australia?
How can we help?
We'd love to hear about your marketing challenges and see if we could be the right fit to help you get results like these.