The City of Adelaide: Designed for Life and Driven by Community

Results with Stackla-powered user-generated content (UGC):

  • 120 UGC galleries across the local government website
  • 55,000+ UGC images sourced in 3 months

The Australian City of Adelaide was designed for life—literally. A smaller, charming counterpart to larger Australian cities like Sydney or Melbourne, Adelaide provides residents with an escape from the hustle and bustle of larger capital city life while offering them the benefits of world-leading business opportunities and a lifestyle that has their wellbeing at its core.

Visitors and residents alike come to Adelaide to enjoy the myriad fantastic offerings the city provides, like the year-round festival calendar filled with world-class major events, an internationally acclaimed food and wine scene, the pristine parklands and close proximity to beautiful beaches, great wineries, rolling hills and attractions. The City of Adelaide is the local government entity responsible for the city, a multi-faceted organization that manages the brand of Adelaide as a tourist destination, controls the city’s municipal functions and is also responsible for attracting new businesses, new investment and new residents to the city.

Adelaide, designed in the 1830s by Surveyor-General Colonel William Light, was established as a free settler city. Unlike other Australian cities that doubled as British penal colonies, Adelaide was designed for free settlers to come and thrive, and its layout and urban architecture reflects that mission. The city itself is a square mile of perpendicular streets, making it quick and easy to get to where you need to go. Around the perimeter of the city is a ring of parklands — a built-in play area for people in the city mile and sometimes called the ‘lungs of the city’. Outside of the parklands are the suburbs of Adelaide, and altogether, the city functions as an oasis for city dwellers with a penchant for the peace of the outdoors.

Redesigning the website with 120 UGC galleries—and more to come

To ensure the City of Adelaide’s brand was reflective of the open nature of the city itself, the team set out to redesign the website from the ground up — and user-generated content was at the foundation of the new look. “We launched the new brand, #DesignedforLife, in June of this year,” said Clayton Wehner, Manager of Marketing Innovation and Commercial Businesses at the City of Adelaide. “We’re using that platform to really promote our city to people outside of the city.”

Prior to the new #DesignedforLife look, the website was due for a refresh. “We built the new site from scratch with the intent of it being a vehicle for #DesignedforLife. It was a complete rebuild with a new content management system (Craft CMS), information architecture and a rewrite of all our content,” said Wehner. And, the team wanted to ensure they were using user-generated content at every step throughout the new web experience.

“For the first time, we’re publishing photography from the citizens of and visitors to Adelaide,” said Wehner. “When they interact with our attractions and parklands, they’re capturing those moments—and we’re publishing them on our website.” Now, after only a few months, the City of Adelaide has over 120 galleries of authentic content across the site. “Wherever you go on the site, there’s a good chance there will be a Stackla gallery there giving authentic context.”

With all of these galleries of social proof across the site, there’s no shortage of content. In fact, the team has already aggregated over 59,000 UGC images since June of 2019—and they’re mostly high-quality photographs. They’ve published over 3,400 of these UGC images, and the top posts are reaching over 2,200 impressions each. “We’re doing pretty nicely,” said Wehner. “Some of the photography is absolutely beautiful.”

Having this content at their fingertips is saving the team heaps of time; in fact, the team is now curating content every day, rather than having to focus on creating it all from scratch. “We have a person who looks after our entire website, and one of her responsibilities is now user-generated content,” said Wehner. “She’s finding Stackla really easy and efficient to use – she’s actively going in and curating that content every day, so those widgets are refreshed every 24 hours.” That means the City of Adelaide is constantly serving the freshest, most relevant and engaging content every day—without increasing their budget or spending extra time creating branded imagery.

UGC curation provides insight into what the community is most excited about

In addition, focusing on user-generated content has taught the team what the community enjoys the most in the city.

“It’s a source of intelligence,” said Wehner. “We can better understand what people like photographing and what’s happening out in our public realm.”

The team is also looking to expand its usage of UGC in other marketing efforts, including digital-out-of-home displays, social media and campaigns. “We have every intention of broadening our use of Stackla. We have plans to use UGC in fixed displays in various places around the city, featuring social feeds in highly-trafficked pedestrian precincts. We’re also planning a #DesignedforLife hashtag competition for the second half of this year and we’ll use Stackla to aggregate all of that content and to display the entries online.”

Expanding their usage of user-generated content is a natural next step for the City of Adelaide. “When you adopt a platform like Stackla, you could use it simply for a gallery or two on your homepage but we want to produce as many as possible. We want UGC published as deeply as possible throughout the website.” With authentic content woven into the entire online experience, the value of UGC continually compounds—and the City of Adelaide is reaping the benefits.

We’re really trying to have a community-driven content approach. We’re focusing on ensuring it’s not just us preaching about what we do and our city—we’re letting our community do the talking for us.”

“If you’re a government organization, content can often be viewed as inauthentic since it’s coming from an official entity,” said Wehner. “Having visitors produce content on our behalf resonates so much more with prospective customers. We’re really trying to have a community-driven content approach. We’re focusing on ensuring it’s not just us preaching about what we do and our city—we’re letting our community do the talking for us.” And we’re excited to be a part of this journey with the City of Adelaide team.