The Women’s Business Center at Canisius College (WBC) was created to empower entrepreneurs to succeed through education, connections and community.
In 2020, the WBC was awarded CARES Act funding through the Small Business Administration to provide education and business advising to women-owned small businesses that experienced challenges as a result of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Business Recovery Program was available for one year – making it a priority that a campaign was launched to raise awareness to WNY women-owned businesses or women seeking to launch a new business in response to the pandemic.
Many small businesses experienced supply chain disruptions, staffing challenges, a decrease in gross receipts or customers, or temporary closures as a result of COVID-19.
As a result, J. Fitzgerald Group (JFG) needed to position the WBC as the “home of women entrepreneurship in WNY” – increasing awareness and participation in the programming, as well as raising awareness of the existing WBC programs.
JFG started with a series of strategic brainstorming sessions, working with the WBC to develop a strong tagline and brand theme to utilize through different marketing channels. We eventually landed on, “ReConnect. ReStart. Regrow.”
JFG then launched an external multi-media campaign, focusing on a strong digital strategy to engage potential clients and uplift women-owned businesses. Paid search, social media ads, and landing pages were utilized, with enhanced conversion tracking that targeted WNY women for terms such as “start a business” or “women in business,” etc.
The landing page offered a call-to-action on how to ignite your business, access the business counseling series, and register for upcoming events. Our social media strategy highlighted current program participants, testimonials, task force members, success stories, and more. Monthly boosts helped extend reach and increase interest and a PPC campaign helped increase clicks, impressions, reach and leads. We also produced a series of blog stories highlighting women and their success stories.