Home News-Free Be Bossier campaign seeing success in reaching locals, out of towners

Be Bossier campaign seeing success in reaching locals, out of towners

Pictured left to right: Plain Dealing Mayor David Smith, Benton Mayor Shelley Horton, Bossier Chamber President Lisa Johnson, Haughton Mayor Jack Hicks, Bossier Parish Police Jury President Glenn Benton, and Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker at the 2018 State of Bossier event. (Courtesy photo)

The Bossier Chamber of Commerce’s Be Bossier campaign is growing, and getting across its message about the positive quality of life in Bossier.

Lisa Johnson, president and CEO of the Bossier Chamber of Commerce, told the Bossier City Council earlier in August that views on Be Bossier blog are seeing an increase in increments of 2,000 per month.

“We’re boosting posts and getting on the first page of the Google search engine,” Johnson revealed.

Jessica Hemingway, director of communications for the Bossier Chamber of Commerce, said the Be Bossier social media presence is growing by the month.

“This success means that people are seeing and engaging with the content and learning about all of the great things going on in Bossier. We know that people are spending an increasing segment of their day online so we have worked to capture attention in this ever-growing outlet,” she explained.

And the Chamber is receiving testimonials from the community about its use and effectiveness.

“Testimonials are huge because you and I can talk about how great we are, but when our residents and entrepreneurs do it, it’s a whole different story,” Johnson said.

Bossier City Farmers Market attendees showcase Be Bossier pride. (Courtesy of the Bossier Chamber)

Hemingway gave examples of how Be Bossier is being noticed in the real world.

“Recently, while at a regional conference, we had a fellow attendee from Atlanta, Texas tell us she has seen the Be Bossier campaign. That is a great testament to the growth of the campaign in such a short time. Additionally, we have had out of area higher education institutions contact us to begin advertising with Be Bossier as they see the potential to reach people in our area.”

Johnson said 2017 and 2018 consisted of “building the cornerstone” of the program. That included filming and marketing an entertaining and informative video series “Tour de Bossier with Pierre Bossier,” handing out branded merchandise, establishing the Annual Manual community overview publication, the online relocation guide for new residents, and establishing social media channels. The latter also featured establishing a series profiling locals called “People of Bossier” and the live question and answer video series with business owners and entrepreneurs, “Like a Boss.”

“It shows you the diversity and that it’s about folks in Bossier City and Bossier Parish telling their story about how great it is to live here and how easy it is to do business in this area,” Johnson said. “The results have been the likes, the comments, the followers, the partnerships, and the blog reach.”

While years one and two were aimed at laying the foundation for the brand of Be Bossier, Hemingway added that the Chamber plans to focus efforts on expanding outside the market.

“We have gained traction, and will continue to do so,” said Hemingway. “Now that we have established a good following, we will begin focusing more on out-of-area marketing for the campaign, while continuing to market in the region as well.”

Johnson said that funding would be needed in the coming year for marketing out of the area, a season two of “Tour de Bossier,” launching a new video series “Why I Love Bossier,” building a Facebook live series focusing on Bossier’s education, and more merchandise. She said that would be about $68,000.

Johnson also said to maintain what they’ve built — hiring of a marketing consultant, social media manager, blog editor, blog contributors, photographer, advertising and promotions, artwork design, and website maintenance — would cost $59,000 per year.

The Chamber is seeking funding from the City of Bossier City, Bossier Parish Police Jury, Bossier Parish School Board and private contributions as well in order to accomplish their goals.

If funding is secured, the Chamber believes they can continue to impact Bossier in a positive way.

“We know that some measures of success are more tangible than others. We can see increased pride in the area and when you meet people, they are happy to be here. Many businesses who have been featured have seen an increase in business as a result,” said Hemingway. “We hope the campaign had something to do with that as we educate people on the great things happening in Bossier.”

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Sean Green is managing editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune.