I am constantly reaching out to Organizations that have expertise I believe may be helpful to the economic development profession understanding of place branding. Not surprising, many do respond and offer tools and advice that can help you improve the ROI of your marketing investment.
Recently, I reached out to Impact Branding & Design LLC for some insight. Impact Branding & Design provides their clients with inbound marketing services. They offer expertise in strategic planning, campaign development, driving traffic, converting leads, growing sales and analyzing markets.
What attracted me to the Company was their relentless focus on ensuring investment in inbound media delivers a measurable ROI. This is exactly what your Board of Directors is expecting from your inbound investment. Consequently, when Stephanie Hughes (Social Media Marketing Manager) replied to my inquiry I was excited to share the Strengthening Brand America Project with her and pick her brain on how the economic development profession could get the biggest bang for their buck invested in inbound media.
As a follow-up to our conference call, Stephanie spoke with Bob Rufflo (Founder & CEO) who recommended sharing an eBook he authored entitled “Advanced Tactics for mastering Attract, Convert, Close & Delight” as a starting point. After reading the eBook, I couldn’t agree more with Bob. It is full of practical advice that you can almost immediately apply to get even better results for your inbound marketing efforts.
I thought it might be helpful to highlight some of the key points and offer my advice on translating the principles into the world of economic development. These by no means represent a comprehensive list, so you are going to want to read the complimentary eBook.
- Buyer personas can be a critical aid to understanding your defined WHO target segments. Buyer personas help describe who you are trying to communicate with and the reasons why that person will be interested in (investing in or moving to) your community. Think in terms of a persona for elected officials, CEOs of a specific target industry, Site Selection Consultants, Reporters, etc.. Basically, anybody you would elect to invest money in communicating with. The eBook offers a template you can use to make authoring these personas easier.
- You should be leveraging your evangelists to tell your community’s story. The eBook offers some tactical advice on how to dos so. But, if you are not harnessing the enthusiasm of your evangelists you are
- missing out on a powerful (and low cost) way to amplify your message delivery.
- Tools like videos, infographics and blog posts can be extremely engaging if created with your target’s needs in mind. The eBook has several hotlinks to articles that provide additional depth on how to best use these tactics to create interaction with your community’s information. Think in terms of virtual site visits, testimonials, executive interviews, an infographic of the key data site selectors look for, etc..
- Don’t forget co-marketing. Can you collaborate with other communities in your Region to create a greater impact at a lower cost? Are there state efforts that you can leverage, or can you co-market to business executives with your local Convention & Visitors Bureau?
- Are you making the best use of calls to action? Are you ensuring that it is easy for a visitor to your website to contact you? Are you providing value-add material that will encourage visitors to learn even more about your community as a place to live and work?
- Do you have a robust measurement initiative in place? Are you doing A/B testing to learn how to improve results? Are you measuring activity or results? Can you connect the dots between your inbound tactics and the number of RFPs that you received which were impacted in some way by your inbound investment? Are you measuring the right things to get the results you want?
Click on this book image to read.
I encourage you to read the eBook. I really think you will find it well worth your time. I also encourage you to check out Impact Branding & Design LLC. There is a wealth of information you will find valuable on their website, including some inbound marketing case studies to illustrate some of their learning.
For more on the effective use of social media, you might consider reading my past posts on the subject.
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