economic development website marketing

By Sandy Sponaugle
Posted on February 20, 2017
Filed under: Blog

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Economic Development Website Marketing

Economic Development website marketing can help shift perceptions throughout the messaging on your website. Have you ever wondered how to change the perceptions potential prospects might have about your community? For example, are there perceptions that your community is too…

  • Rural
  • Congested
  • Expensive
  • Inexpensive
  • Far from the airport
  • Close to 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 about your community.

How? Through the messaging on your website, or also known as economic development website marketing. Here are 5 ways to get started!

5 Economic Development Website Marketing Tips

1.) Focus on the “pluses” of your location that offset that 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 training demographic and readily available workforce.

Or, in a more rural setting, you could be highlighting the low cost of land that is easily accessible from the interstate.

Every single place on the planet will have drawbacks. Your job is to focus on all of the amazing things about your community, and how to highlight those to your target market.

2.) Share success stories.

Share success stories that highlight the benefits of your community for businesses. The power of storytelling is that we are able to see ourselves in other people’s stories, and get real-life examples.

Through giving a behind-the-scenes look at key members of your community, you can create a powerful emotional connection with your prospect.

3.) Give Them Up-to-Date Factual Information.

Is your census data current on your website?

Are you sharing current population and commuting trends?

Does your unemployment rate show from last year or this year? Is it time to update this?

Prospects want to be able to make an informed decision about where to locate — and your website can either help them with this, or make it more challenging.

By keeping the information on your website up to date, prospects will be able to make a truly informed decision about reaching out to you. Otherwise, you could be missing out on key opportunities.

4.) Make Your Economic Development Organization Website a Priority!

If your website is lost within a larger county (or city) government site and people can’t find your “Economic Development” page, they’ll assume Economic Development isn’t a priority in your community.

Additionally, having your “website” as a drop-down menu option on your county government website also says “not a priority.” And that’s the last impression you want to leave with them!

If you haven’t done so yet, make your website a stand alone site, so that prospects take you seriously.

Once you’ve done that, make sure that key information like your contact information is easy to find when a visitor lands on your website. These foundational basics will go a long way in someone’s perception of your community!

5.) Give Them Valuable Content.

Whether your prospects are going directly to your website, googling you, or hanging out on social media, a key way to getting their interest is through creating valuable content

With content, remember: it’s not about the information you want to put out there — it’s about what your prospects want to read! This won’t always be what’s the easiest thing for you to write about. So here are some questions to get you started:

  • What are the key questions that your prospects may have regarding finding a new place to locate their business?
  • What are some misconceptions or perceptions that you want to clarify?
  • What type of like-minded businesses would you like to attract to your community?

You could then share answers to those questions in creative ways, like interviewing local businesses or profiling people from the local workforce.

As you can see, YOU have a lot of power over the perception people get about your community.  Let the messaging within your economic development website marketing help support these perceptions.

If you enjoyed this article, join me for the upcoming FREE masterclass: “How to Shift Perceptions of Your Community: 3 Strategies Every Economic Development Organization Needs to Know.” In this hour-long masterclass, we’ll take you in depth into implementable strategies for your organization. Sign up here: www.platinumpr.com/masterclass

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