By Sandy Sponaugle
Posted on May 9, 2018
Filed under: Business Development, Communications

Secret #2: Developing Your Community Message

Welcome back to the 4-Part Series where we’re unlocking the 4 Marketing Secrets of the Future!

Private sector businesses are already implementing these secrets… and have been for years.

Many EDOs are behind the times and not implementing these secrets yet. But in the future, we’re going to see more and more EDOs implement these strategies too.

What’s that mean for you? Now is your opportunity to get ahead of the EDO crowd!

Today, you’ll find out Secret #2, which answers the question: How do I shift perceptions about my community?

Have you ever wondered how to change perceptions about your community?

For example, are there perceptions that your community is too rural, congested, expensive, inexpensive, too close or too far from the airport?

This is one of the biggest concerns I hear from new clients.

Whether your community is large or small, you may be concerned that new prospects will see the “negative” aspects of your town, and choose not to locate there.

The good news is, YOU have a lot of power over the perceptions of your community.

How? Through the story you’re telling about your community.

Here are questions to help you clarify what story you want to tell.

  • What makes your community unique, and stand out from other areas in the region?
  • What is rich in the culture, history, opportunities or commerce that is unique to your community?
  • What are the biggest benefits to your ideal customer to locating in your community? Why would they want to live and work there?

Then, tell your story in interesting ways. Here are five ways to do that.

  1. Tell your story in a variety of mediums such as with text, photos, videos, and infographics.
  2. Share testimonials from business owners who can sing the praises of working and living in your town. Their success stories can go a long way in creating a powerful perception of your community.
  3. Include a variety of images of your community — both inside businesses of people working, and scenery and landscapes showing the town is a beautiful place to live with a high quality of life.
  4. Focus on the “pluses” of your location that offset the perceived “minuses.” For example, if people are concerned that your community is too rural, you can highlight the available workforce that is currently commuting to a nearby metropolitan area. In a metropolitan area that might be perceived as “expensive” or “congested,” you should be highlighting a highly trained demographic and readily available workforce.Every single place on the planet will have drawbacks. Your job is to focus on all of the amazing things about your community, and to highlight those to your target market.
  5. Tell a story with your data. Prospects want to be able to make an informed decision about where to locate and it’s important you share updated factual information. But it’s also your job to interpret the factual information for them through the stories you tell with your data.

For example, you can handle local, federal, and state challenges through telling the story of your business community as an advocate and resource. Got available land and vacant buildings? Tell stories of people eager to work — and places they can call “home”!

As you can see, YOU have a lot of power over the perceptions people get about your community through your story and message.

Want all four marketing secrets for EDOs in a convenient guide?

Yes! Send me the free guide!

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