Blogging – The Opportunity For People To Get To Know Your Community
One of the biggest complaints from elected officials is that their community is the world’s best-kept secret. Paradoxically though they are reluctant to allocate sufficient budget for hiring professionals to develop an effective awareness campaign. Instead, they expect their economic development organization to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat.
There is no question a website is now a mandatory marketing mix element for communities. In my judgment the profession is still figuring out how to use the Internet as an effective communication channel to get their story out. I say that in part because I see more poorly designed community websites then good ones. But, it is also clear the economic development profession is learning and I do see fragments light at the end of the tunnel.
Another tool communities should consider adding to their marketing mix is a blog. There are a number of important reasons you should consider blogging. Here is a couple for you to consider.
Drive traffic to your website. Blogging will help your community website get discovered through social media. In part it is because the content is consistently changing, and it provides an opportunity for people to share your posts with their social media networks.
Create the opportunity for a dialogue. People can ask questions about the content you author and answering them provides you an opportunity to clarify any misperceptions about your community.
Generate follow-up leads. In each blog post you can include a call-to-action and offer things that help tell your community story like free ebooks, free whitepapers, free fact sheets, free PowerPoint slides, free webinars with executives … basically, any content asset for which someone would be willing to exchange their information.
How To Create A Blog
How to start is typically the biggest challenge. Many Economic Development Organizations never take the first step because the budget doesn’t allow for hiring an Agency. But, creating and supporting a blog doesn’t need to be either a complicated or expensive process.
Recently I got an email from Robert Mening. Rob is a web developer and designer. He focuses on helping small businesses and start-ups. He understands the unique challenges working with limited budgets presents. Rob visited my website and decided to share a new post he wrote about starting your own blog. After reading his advice, I felt it worth paying forward by sharing with you. Note, all the information on Rob’s website is provided at no charge. So, I encourage you to not only read his post about starting a blog, but explore his website for additional information you can use.
I can honestly say I learned some useful new things from Rob’s website that I plan to reapply to make your experience on my website even more meaningful.
If you have been thinking about creating a blog for your community, now is the time to take that first step. Rob’s advice makes it easy to start. If you have additional questions, share them as a comment. If I can’t answer them, I’ll see if Rob would be willing to share his insight.
Start telling your community story through a blog. Don’t let another day go by with your community sitting on the sidelines.