10 Successful Marketing Tactics to Include in an Economic Development Strategic Plan

10 Successful Marketing Tactics to Include in an Economic Development Strategic Plan Main Photo

22 Nov 2021

News, Blog, Strategic Planning

Economic development strategic plans tend to look great at a glance, but on closer inspection, they’re only a framework. When two strategies are equal, the difference in the degree of their success usually lies in the tactics.

Marketing Tactics to Include in an Economic Development Strategic Plan

If possible, all of your tactics should enhance both perception and relationship development. Likewise, every statement you make about your community should portray its distinct potential and attributes in ways that will continue to improve its image, both inside and out. The list below includes ten essentials in no particular order:

#1 Offer a Steady Stream of Key Messages and Inspiring Stories

These stories should be deployed by way of press releases, blog posts, and other website content. Planning an editorial calendar will ensure that your stories are well-timed, finely honed, and include some unexpected elements or best-kept secrets that will win hearts and minds. In addition to making your content relevant, and interesting, be sure it’s SEO-friendly so that you’re showing up in search results.

#2 Make the Most of Social Media

In addition, posting regularly on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, create a network of other posters who have a vested interest in your economic development goals, as well as something interesting and compelling to say.

#3 Engage Stakeholders by Way of Virtual Reality

Whether you want to conduct a Familiarization Tour, a Site Tour, or a virtual meeting, transporting prospects to your location instantly provides an unforgettable immersive experience. If you haven’t considered VR lately, now’s the time. The technology just keeps getting better.

#4 Make Judicious Investments in Paid Advertising

Even if your economic development organization is making the most of free publicity by way of social media and press, it’s important to invest in some paid advertising. Not only do paid ads elevate your image, but they also give you more control when it comes to targeting your audiences and monitoring their responses.

#5 Invest in Great Collateral for your Economic Development Strategic Plan

It goes without saying that every economic development organization needs an outstanding website. In addition, your brochures, information packets, sell sheets, and promotional items should be cohesive, up-to-the-minute, on-brand, useful, and consistent with your overarching message. Even if your budget for marketing collateral is small, you can offer a lot of value in the form of online downloads and e-newsletters.

#6 Create and Curate an Events Calendar

From trade shows to town halls, to community traditions old and new, events offer unparalleled opportunities for publicity, networking, and photo-ops. If you’re looking for a terrific addition to your events calendar, consider adding an awards program that recognizes outstanding contributions to your community. The internal side of your calendar should include some time for post-mortem analysis and follow-ups.

#7 Utilize the Full Potential of Higher Education Outreach

More than ever before, local economies are talent-driven. While you are strengthening relationships with colleges, universities, and trade schools for workforce development, don’t forget to consider the added potential of Alumni Marketing.

#8 Implement a Comprehensive Business Recruitment Program

Identify the best potential stakeholders and reach out to them directly. Develop the kind of relationship that allows you to understand their current and anticipated needs. Promote every local asset that might meet those needs including incentives, tax advantages, workforce availability, shovel-ready land, infrastructure, quality of life, and more.

#9 Form and Nurture Strategic Real Estate Alliances

Developing solid relationships with preferred developers and commercial real estate brokers can improve the entire business climate of your community. Make sure your communication with them is two-way, and take the time to keep that long-term conversation going.

#10 Prioritize a Broad-Based Small Business Retention and Development Program

The more success stories your community can tell, the better your brand. Investing some attention on the unique needs of small businesses and entrepreneurs will keep Main Street vibrant, encourage innovation, and strengthen local ties.

Put simply, marketing tactics to Include in an economic development strategic plan boil down to well-honed messages, delivered to the right audience, at the time when they’re most receptive.

Get Help with Your Strategic Plan

Are your marketing tactics getting you the best ROI possible? If you have any doubt, contact Golden Shovel Agency today. Economic development marketing is what we do. It’s all we do. We’ve been doing it for years.

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