By Sandy Sponaugle
Posted on May 15, 2018
Filed under: Business Development, Websites

Secret #3: Generating Leads with Online Content

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

We’re diving into the strategies that private sector businesses are already implementing… but most EDOs are still behind on.

The good news for you? If you get started on these strategies now, you’ll thank yourself in the years to come!

Today we are onto Secret #3…

Is the secret to getting more leads with online content about sending out constant tweets, just hoping someone will hunt down the link to your website and send you an email to find out more?

As you might have guessed, we need to be a little more strategic than that. 😉

There are two primary pieces to this puzzle.

The first one is optimizing your website so that people give you their email address when they land there.

When people land on your website, they’re curious and want to learn more. That’s your opportunity to capture their email address so you can follow up with them.

Otherwise, people are likely to click around, not take any action and then be lost from your database forever.

Asking people to sign up for your newsletter is better than nothing… But what’s in it for them?

You need to offer something interesting in exchange for their email address on your website, which is called a “lead magnet.”

Some examples of lead magnets are:

  • a white paper
  • a resource guide on how to do business in this community
  • a list of available free resources that business owners or new entrepreneurs might not know exist
  • a list of the top 10 things to do to start a business in this community
  • an entry into a drawing where they could win an overnight stay in a hotel in your community, a gift packet to a local restaurant or even an annual drawing for a helicopter ride over the entire city. (Now that’s a way to WOW a prospect!)

As an Economic Development professional, you’ve got really valuable information, resources, and knowledge in your head. If you could get some of it down on paper, that would be a great resource that people will opt in to your website to receive.

Once you create the lead magnet, place a call-to-action on your homepage, which invites them to sign up to receive the gift by giving you their name and email address.

You can also create a pop-up box on your website so that whatever page your visitor is on, they will get invited to opt-in for your free incentive.  

By making this effort, you can also create a stellar first impression on your customers!

The second piece of this puzzle? Creating interesting and engaging online content, such as:

  • Sending out newsletters to your email list
  • Blogging
  • Social media
  • Or even following up with personalized emails

Tell your story in your online content in interesting ways. For example:

  • Interview businesses that have recently located or expanded in your community. A Q&A with a new CEO can be beneficial in many ways. The CEO feels important and valued and it serves as a solid testimonial for your community.  
  • Do industry profiles. For example, you could do a one-pager (or more formal white paper type doc) that highlights the biotech industry in your community — sharing statistics, demographics, workforce data, the type of work that’s being done and what businesses are currently there.
  • Highlight your workforce. You can do this by profiling a professor at the local community college, highlighting a recent graduate or showcasing a new internship or apprenticeship program in your area.
  • Share community news that would be beneficial to them, like a new, customized training program at the local community college or high-speed Internet or other infrastructure has just been extended to the business park.

Invite them to local events in the community, like an Economic Outlook Conference or a Chamber of Commerce business event.

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

Yes! Send me the free guide!

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