Winning Board Support for Strategic Economic Development Investments
20 Nov 2023
News, Strategic Plan, Marketing, Website Development, Video
As an economic developer, you play a critical role in fostering growth and prosperity within your communities. However, to effectively implement their initiatives, you need the support and backing of your Board. Convincing the Board to invest in crucial areas such as your economic development website, marketing strategies, or video can significantly enhance economic development efforts.
Understanding the Board’s Perspective
Recognize the Board’s Goals and Objectives
To gain the support of the Board, economic developers must align their proposals with the goals and objectives of the organization. Boards are often concerned with driving economic growth, attracting businesses, and enhancing the community’s quality of life. Presenting ideas in a manner that clearly demonstrates how they contribute to these overarching goals can make a compelling case.
Communicate the Benefits
Economic developers must effectively communicate the potential benefits of website development, marketing strategies, and video integration. Highlight how these initiatives can attract new businesses, increase tourism, improve the community’s image, and boost economic activity. Quantify the potential return on investment and demonstrate how the proposed projects align with the Board’s vision for economic development.
Building the Case for Website Development
Assessing Your Current Website
Start by conducting a comprehensive assessment of your existing website. Identify its strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. Gather data on website traffic, user engagement, and visitor demographics to provide a factual basis for your proposal.
Highlighting the Importance of a Modern Website
Educate the Board about the importance of a modern, user-friendly website in today’s digital era. Emphasize that a well-designed website is often the first point of contact for businesses, investors, and visitors. Showcase success stories of other communities that have witnessed significant economic growth after revamping their online presence.
Outlining Key Features and Benefits
Present a detailed plan for website development, including essential features such as a responsive design, intuitive navigation, comprehensive business directories, and integration with social media platforms. Emphasize how an updated website will attract businesses, provide resources for entrepreneurs, showcase the community’s assets, and improve overall user experience.
Crafting Effective Marketing Strategies
Defining Target Audiences
Help the Board understand the importance of identifying and targeting specific audiences for economic development efforts. Whether it’s attracting businesses, tourists, or skilled workers, tailored marketing strategies can yield better results. Use data and research to identify the key demographics and interests of the desired target audience.
Leveraging Digital Marketing Channels
Highlight the power of digital marketing in reaching a wider audience cost-effectively. Explain the various channels available, such as social media advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and email campaigns. Provide case studies that demonstrate successful economic development marketing campaigns using these channels.
Creating Compelling Content
Stress the significance of creating engaging and informative content that showcases the community’s unique selling points. Develop a content strategy that includes blogs, videos, infographics, and success stories. Encourage collaboration with local businesses, influencers, and community leaders to amplify the reach of the content.
Harnessing the Power of Video
Capturing Attention Through Video
Explain how video content has become a dominant force in digital marketing, capable of captivating audiences and conveying messages effectively. Showcase examples of economic development videos from other communities to demonstrate the potential impact.
Showcasing the Community
Highlight how videos can effectively showcase the community’s amenities, infrastructure, workforce, and business opportunities. Demonstrate the potential of video to attract investors, talent, and tourists by presenting success stories from similar regions.
Collaboration and Professional Production
Emphasize the importance of collaborating with professional video production companies to ensure high-quality content. Present examples of successful video campaigns and their impact on attracting businesses, talent, and visitors.
Utilizing Different Video Formats
Introduce the Board to various video formats that can be utilized to promote economic development. This may include destination videos, business success stories, virtual tours, testimonials from local business owners, and interviews with community leaders. Explain how each format serves a specific purpose and can effectively engage different target audiences.
Presenting a Comprehensive Plan
Develop a Detailed Proposal
Compile all the research, strategies, and ideas into a comprehensive proposal document. Include an executive summary that highlights the key points, followed by detailed sections addressing each topic you’d like to cover. Present a clear timeline, budget estimates, and potential outcomes for each component.
Engage the Board in the Process
Involve the Board in the decision-making process by seeking their input and feedback throughout the planning stage. Encourage their participation in strategy discussions and provide opportunities for them to ask questions and express their concerns. This collaborative approach will help foster a sense of ownership and increase the likelihood of gaining their support.
Demonstrate a Sustainable Funding Model
Address the Board’s concerns about funding by presenting a sustainable funding model. Explore options such as public-private partnerships, grants, sponsorships, or allocating a portion of the economic development budget towards these initiatives. Show how the potential return on investment justifies the proposed expenditure.