Case Study - Content Strategy - IRRA

Giving Local Running Stores a Leg Up

Social Media is the priority

Most local store owners use social media as a key component of their respective marketing strategies. We explored many options that would suit that marketing avenue, and settled on a series of images that would inspire and educate. All images were designed to be easily integrated with Facebook and Instagram.

Why I Run

Transport wanted to inspire runners to get out and run by celebrating the very reasons why people run. We developed a series of inspirational messages that were authentic, poignant, and things that we ourselves would say. We included a hashtag (#whyirun) to get people involved in the discussion, encourage sharing and connecting with the messages and images.

Runners for Boston 2014

Because of the timeliness in the first quarter content distribution, we start with a focus on the Boston Marathon and the training involved. The Boston Marathon is not only the kick-off event of the running season, but in 2014, the marathon was honoring the tragic events of 2013. We wanted to create a simple image that could be used both online and as a small print-piece to be used in each store. The image was to convey a sense of solidarity for everyone, and encourage people to honor those who were impacted by the 2013 event, by getting out and running.

Transport provided a high and low res image file, that could be modified by each store owner to make the image unique and specific for their respective city. The idea was to create a cityscape example that was easy to reproduce for each store owner with limited access to design resources. They can either download a ready-made asset online, or create one for themselves with reasonable ease.

The “Runners For Boston” type lockup was also distributed in several formats to allow store owners to use it as they felt was most appropriate.

The IRRA (Independent Running Retailers Association) is a trade organization that is aimed at furthering the success of local running and walking specialty stores. Each of the stores has marketing objectives that are specific to their region, and each has a limited marketing budget, so they team up, via the IRRA, to pool resources and work together to further their cause.  Our relationship with the IRRA has stayed strong for the last few years and we’ve really enjoyed helping them develop a long-term strategy plan that will benefit the entire organization equally.

Each store is always in need of additional marketing assets. Sometimes it’s a poster, other times they need a video to talk about the benefits of shopping local at a specialty store. At Transport, we are committed to providing useful assets for each of the local stores that will work for them individually, yet were easy to use, deploy and market across all the retailers involved in the IRRA.

Online Content Strategy

Working with the IRRA, we created a multi-channel online and in-store content strategy. We tailored the messaging to respect the various seasons within the running year, as well as providing additional content at could be used throughout a retail location’s internal content plan. Additionally, Transport wanted to make sure that the suite of content could be distinguished as coming from the IRRA, so we established an overall tone for the illustration assets, copy, and photography within a given content channel. The goal was to get people out there, inspire them, keep them safe, and remind them that running is fun!

10 Things New Runners Need

We also created set of images aimed at informing new runners of what equipment they might need to get started: a top-ten list of products all new runners should consider purchasing during their first few years of getting into the sport. We started with “shoes”, and ended with “running buddies”, utilizing both stock imagery and photography created by Transport photographers at one of the local stores here in Portland. The messaging was fun, encouraging and informative. We’re showing viewers that local stores are there to help you be successful, comfortable and healthy.

Worth the price of membership by itself (and then some). My thanks for your efforts.

Bruce Haines - Aardvark

Detailed Content Calendar

Perhaps most empowering to each of the store owners was the detailed content calendar that Transport provided. Nearly every day for two months each quarter, store owners are provided with messaging examples, suggested links, applicable assets and hashtags. Because store owners are so busy running their stores, it’s often very difficult for them to find the time to push to social media on a consistent basis and in a meaningful way. The content calendars gives owners a starting place to think about a scheduled, detailed social media strategy.  Our suggestions were to utilize the suggested copy and hashtag examples as a place to spring off of. We want local owners to make their  customers know that the copy is authentic and local, so it was important for them to feel safe rewriting in their own voice.

Although the process of using the resources has just begun, local store owners have expressed a lot of excitement at having access to a library of marketing assets that they can download and use as they need. Transport is honored to have opportunities to work with the IRRA, as we celebrate their cause in promoting local small businesses and the active lifestyle.

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