Our country attracts immigrants from all over the world, excited to get started on their Canadian dream. In 2019, Canada welcomed 341,180 permanent residents and 642,480 students. Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will welcome 1.2 million immigrants in 2021-2023, to cover slow 2020 immigration due to COVID-19.

Sadly, however, every year immigrants to Canada fall victim to fraudulent consultants. The Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) is the national regulatory body overseeing licensed immigration consultants and international student advisors. During Fraud Prevention Month, ICCRC worked with Maple Diversity Communications to reach out to aspiring immigrants and international students across the world, even as they are planning their move to Canada investing valuable time and money into this process, bringing awareness about only working with registered consultants.

Driving awareness about Immigration fraud across 24 countries in 17 languages

Our campaign objectives included: Increasing awareness for ICCRC. Educating prospective Immigrants and International Students about the risks of working with non-regulated consultants. Developing and executing a global digital and social media plan to drive awareness and position ICCRC as the first destination for prospective immigrants to validate their Immigration Consultant. Driving traffic to the ICCRC website.

The challenge was to first identify the key countries that immigrants come to Canada from. Next, to create messaging with imagery that would resonate across the globe. Finally, to come up with relevant media tactics to reach the right audience, with the right language, within a tight budget and deadlines.

Our data analysis revealed 24 countries contributing to most of the immigration, including China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Algeria, Cameroon, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Brazil, Haiti, Philippines, Jordan, Nigeria. To reach the target globally, cultural nuances, languages, and geo-targeting tactics had to adhered to. Including English and French, the message had to be translated into 17 languages.

Our target relies on the internet, local immigration consultants, and word-of-mouth for information. Our strategy used digital and social media to reach them and intercept their searches on the web. We used targeting filters along with age, languages, countries, and included interests related to studying abroad and immigration.

Key Insight: Immigration fraud causes loss of not just money, but of life dreams

We leveraged insights from global ethnicities, exploring why they chose Canada as their new home country for themselves and their families, making sacrifices to make this dream happen. By working with regulated immigration consultants, immigrants could protect themselves from scams and disappointments of missing out on immigrating to Canada for a better life.

We created a global digital and social media campaign, with simple, powerful key messages that were easily understood in different countries. The use of illustrations ensured that the images resonated globally without isolating any cultural group. The first creative had a beautiful snow globe representing Canada, creatively showcasing their dreams of a great life in this country for themselves, their families, and their future. Cracks appearing, visually depicted how fraud could shatter these dreams.  The second creative had a key chain with hanging charm links representing their Canadian milestones – a graduation cap, ice skates, a laptop, etc. The message drove home how the immigration consultant was key to entering Canada, and fraud could lock them out. The CTA led to the ICCRC Immigration Fraud landing page with a button to verify if their consultant was regulated or not, and to learn more.

ICCRC Fraud Prevention Month – a success in messaging, outreach and recall

The campaigns were translated into 17 languages and deployed worldwide on digital and social media platforms, leveraging channels popularly used in these 24 countries like digital and social media – Facebook, WeChat etc., optimizing on an ongoing basis to ensure best ROI. The media buy on Facebook was for both mobile and desktop devices across different placements including Facebook Newsfeed, Stories, Messenger and Audience Network.

Since the target audience was very niche, and had international spread, we used the Facebook ad manager’s detailed targeting capabilities to identify the right consumer and created custom audiences. We also created lookalike audiences to target similar sets of people. Apart from age, gender, 17 languages and 24 identified countries, we included audiences whose interests matched with relevant categories like Immigration to Canada, Canadian Immigration and Citizenship, permanent residency in Canada, etc., for targeting.

The campaign results were outstanding with an impressive 7 million+ digital media impressions and 300,000+ visits to the campaign landing page during Fraud Prevention Month, contributing to over 40% of the traffic on the ICCRC website in the month of March 2021. The CTRs surpassed the benchmark goal by 16X for digital media and 20X for social media. Facebook paid campaign reach was 7.1 million.

ICCRC was able to reach across the world, inclusively spreading awareness about immigration fraud, making the Fraud Prevention Month campaign a success, in messaging, outreach and recall.