Five Strategies to Make Your Economic Development Content Marketing Stand Out in 2018

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19 December 2017

The 2017 calendar is running out of days and there is a steady supply of cookies and eggnog in offices all over the country. This time of the year brings people together for conversations and optimism for the coming year. It is a special time of the year. It is also the right time to review successful content marketing strategies to be utilized in 2018.

Before going to the big whiteboard and mapping out the 2018 strategy, consider what has worked in 2017 and what may change in the next year. I recommend starting with an in depth review of the intended audience and how best to gain trust and attention.


Relevant content matters

Misinformation and the practice of creating “fake news” gained attention in 2017 and internet users are taking notice. Numerous studies show people trust information less than one year ago. Therefore, economic developers and content managers should provide relevant information to the audience or risk turning away viewers.

The content presented must be accurate and specific to the intended audience. The number of views a website gains will be less important than the quality of views received.

Take some time and really consider the audience.  If the goal of a marketing campaign is to reach a workforce, don’t sprinkle in irrelevant content thinking it will increase search engine rankings. The days of casting a wide net are over.


Emphasize quality content

Publishing content for the sake of publishing content will not yield results in 2018. Search engine algorithms continue to get better and better at matching content to search queries and people are dismissing content that doesn’t answer their questions. The abundance of content being produced gives people plenty of  choice to only pay attention to relevant material.

Quality content will be read and shared over and over.  Mediocre content will be quickly scanned without much action by the reader. Attracting attention becomes increasingly more difficult in 2018. The good news is that high quality content will stand out and be shared.


Video continues to gain attention

Video streaming services consume over 70% of our internet bandwidth.  And, streaming to mobile devices continues to increase.  Almost every media website now plays videos on the sidebars or right on top of the content. Why?  Because videos catch people’s attention.

The internet has created an insatiable appetite for content and people are bingeing like never before.  Video allows internet users to process information quickly and the imagery creates a lasting impression.

Savvy 2018 content managers will incorporate videos into their websites and social media posts. Meaningful videos will drive search engine rankings and engage your audience who will be compelled to easily share your videos.  Win! Win!


Engage influencers and social media momentum

People trust information shared by colleagues. Engage the influencers in your network on social media and they will share content and drive up viewership.  Rely on people in the industry or in social marketing networks that have become trusted content sharers and give them quality content to view and distribute.

As an economic developer seek out other economic developers who have a following. Offer to build a reciprocal content relationship where content is shared to each other’s networks. But don’t abuse social media circles. When content is shared to new networks or to a colleague’s network, make sure to provide quality content that makes you and the influencer look good.

LinkedIn is the platform of choice for business owners and workers. Learn to harness the power of LinkedIn and the media tools it provides.


Virtual reality is the real deal

Take a look at the popular holiday gifts this year.  Virtual reality goggles are everywhere and the technology is permeating our homes. Almost everyone will come into contact with a virtual reality game, video or set of goggles this holiday season.

In 2018, people will be wearing virtual reality goggles frequently at economic development conferences. We are becoming comfortable wearing virtual reality goggles and experiencing the world differently.

The biggest mistake economic developers can make this holiday season is to take a “Bah! Humbug!” approach to the impact of virtual reality.  Companies are betting big that consumers will continue the virtual reality momentum gained in 2017. Why?  Because virtual reality is a highly effective way to communicate an experience.  We are truly at a tipping point for the virtual reality experience.

Communities trying to gain attention will find  creating a virtual reality experience is an effective way to leave an impression.  A three-minute virtual reality tour is far more effective than reading pages of internet content.

2017 proved to be exciting for content marketing and community efforts to attract businesses and workers. We should consider the lessons learned in 2017 and improve our content marketing efforts in 2018.


I hope 2018 is a fantastic year for you. Happy New Year!



Golden Shovel Agency.

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