Some time ago, our VP, Christine Shah, got an interesting proposal: help a community opera organization, Opera York, revamp their website and have a stronger digital presence overall – including social and content strategy.
If you haven’t had the pleasure, Opera York is a professional opera company based in Richmond Hill that aims to make opera accessible to everyone. However, their website had become a bit dated. It looked great when it was first created years ago, but for 2023 they really wanted a modern fresh look. Moreover, it was an old school all HTML build. It was difficult to update and maintain, it didn’t have anything like WordPress to manage its content, non-secure, no mention of social pages and it wasn’t mobile friendly.
(Before images of the desktop and mobile view)
However, Opera York did have something truly excellent on hand: a beautiful annual magazine they self-publish. Very quickly, the goal became to make the new website as wonderful as their magazine and build out a blog for them to upload monthly engaging content.
Enter Ryan Payne. Ryan is the CEO of Lush Concepts and our long-time collaborative partner. Christine and Ryan quickly put together a simple content inventory library, decided what should stay and what should go, and then with that built a mobile-friendly site. Of course, it’s helpful that Opera York had so much great content to begin with. As Ryan puts it,
“I think this project is a good example of how we can take existing material and make it work better for clients. In this case, they had the magazine and a lot of nice photos. None of these elements were being showcased very well and the magazine was never published online before. A website refresh doesn’t need to be a huge, painstaking undertaking, sometimes all it takes is setting some time aside and organizing existing content and media with the right people.”
After that, it was a simple matter of revamping Opera York’s Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn pages/profiles, creating the blog section on their new website and working with the client on a long term blog content strategy. Christine coached the team at Opera York through social media posting and all the good stuff that goes along with a fulsome web presence.
A lot of people, companies, and organizations get the idea that a website refresh could be a huge undertaking, but as Ryan mentioned, it doesn’t have to be. Things change rapidly in an online world, and a modern website needs to be easy to maintain, showcase the best possible content, and be mobile friendly. As Opera York is no doubt seeing, a website refurbishment is worth it. Now they can dabble in running some small ad campaigns and give the users a much more engaging experience to land on and explore all of their talent, creativity and art!
A social ad campaign was launched shortly after the launch of the site and this boosted ticket sales immensely. They are very happy to start off 2023 with a boom and get back to what they love – performing!
Oh, and that wonderful magazine they publish? You can read them online or download them as a PDF on the new site.
The main homepage Opera York
The new website and ad campaign was possible via their grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. A big thank you to the wonderful organization for helping the Opera York fund their new digital initiatives.
Christine has offered to volunteer and be their social community manager for non-paid media related items such as blog management and social community posting.