How To Market Your Quality of Place, Local Events, and Community Brand
5 Sep 2022
News, Quality of Life, Marketing
Marketing your quality of place, local events, and community brand are crucial to an economic development strategy because they can help with workforce and business recruitment. Forbes reported in 2017 that "Millennials want a better everything." Years later, that remains true, and other generations are joining them. People demand better working conditions, better living environments, and communities that meet their lifestyle needs. In response, businesses are also searching for locations that meet their needs and the needs of their employees, making it more critical than ever to market your community's quality of place.
Ways To Market Your Quality of Place, Local Events, and Community Brand
Once your community has an established brand and clear quality of place, it is time to create engaging messaging and start promoting your marketing message. Here are some of the ways you can do so.
Build a Social Media Presence
Social media is no longer a luxury for economic development organizations – it's a necessity. Not only does it help you show up in more organic search results, but it also helps you reach more people, form meaningful connections, and build community. More and more often, people are relying on the Internet. Millennials and Gen Z are especially looking for social presences online, and if they don't find you, you're essentially non-existent to them.
When creating your social media profiles, you must fill out every field - we can't stress this enough. Necessary fields include your profile and cover photos, 'About' information (use keywords you want to rank for here), website URL, physical address, phone number, and links to your other social profiles.
Come up with a consistent posting schedule. Daily posts are ideal, but if you only have time to post once a week, commit to that and stay consistent with your weekly posting. Do not go longer than one week without posting. Create various posts using pictures, videos, links, and text-only to get more engagement. Asking questions, telling people to tag others in the comments, and posting content your followers want to share on their pages will lead to more engagement.
Posting your community's unique features will get the most attention and engagement. Consider these questions to get started:
- Do you have recreational parks people like to visit?
- Are there any large festivals held each year?
- Do you have affordable housing compared to other cities in your region?
- What kind of secure jobs do you have?
- Are there any remote worker incentives?
- Do you have fast-speed broadband access?
In addition, most social platforms will allow you to create events. Not only will you get more eyeballs on your upcoming events, but if someone clicks your event and marks themselves as either "Interested" or "Going," they will receive notifications leading up to the event and the day of the event. Social media users can also invite their network friends to your events – see the positive spiral effect here?
Run Digital Ads
Digital ads are a great way to reach people on a large scale. For economic developers, we recommend using Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and LinkedIn Ads, depending on the audience you want to reach. If you're targeting site selectors, focus on LinkedIn because that's the platform where professionals are looking to advance themselves and their companies. If you want to promote your upcoming community event, use Facebook because that audience focuses more on entertainment and activities in their local region.
Targeting is one of the most critical parts of your digital ads. You can choose specific locations, ages, and even interests to a certain extent. If you're promoting an event to locals, select your region as the target audience. If you'd like to attract people outside of your region to move to or visit your community, target those out-of-state or choose the states/regions you'd like to target most.
Keywords are also an essential part of digital ads. We recommend choosing 5-10 keywords per campaign to stay on topic without getting too broad. When considering keywords, think about the words users are typing into their search engines and which searches you'd like to appear on.
Create a Series of VR Videos
Virtual reality videos are becoming more and more popular in the dawn of the metaverse. If your economic development, tourism, or chamber organization is not in the metaverse, you will fall behind.
The possibilities are endless regarding the types of VR videos you want to create. The most popular are Familiarization Tours for business attraction, workforce attraction, and tourism. Imagine someone putting on their VR headset, "stepping into your community," and being transported to whitewater rapids, an outdoor concert, a manufacturing floor, or a Friday night football game. With VR, people can experience what your community has to offer in a truly memorable way.
Get Support From an Agency That Understands Economic Development
Golden Shovel Agency works exclusively with economic developers and understands the complex goals and challenges of the industry. Our solutions are proven effective and will equip you with the tools you need to market your community and thrive. Learn more about our unique services, or contact us for a quote.
If funding is an issue, we recommend working with Convergent Nonprofit Solutions. Contact them to inquire about running a multi-year campaign.
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About the Author
Director of Marketing & Communications
Connect with Audrey on LinkedIn
Audrey Anderson is the Director of Marketing & Communications for Golden Shovel Agency. Audrey is responsible for the company's marketing efforts, including managing the social media profiles, sending the bi-weekly newsletter "Economic Developer's EDGE," writing press releases, managing digital ads, and publishing content in line with a marketing strategy.