May 31, 2013

How to promote your site with SlideShare?, the world's leading presentation sharing platform provides unique opportunities to highlight your location and facilities.

The goal of destination content marketing is to provide information for site selectors about your investment destination. One type of it investment destination blogging, another is producing presentations about your destination, included and highlighted your site, and sharing it on SlideShare.

The philosophy. I met more dozen site selection teams, who were responsible to select a new site for their companies. Team members were normally HR specialists, industrial engineers, financial experts, or other colleagues of the company. Sometimes also consultants, but somebody from Deloitte said me: approx. 50% of teams do not employ any site selection/recruiting/real estate consulting agency (I agree with Deloitte). They just try to collect information from the web, make some own request for information, visit the short listed locations, and present the results to the company's board. Team members are corporate professionals, they do generally the first and last site selection in their lifetime - and they have very limited knowledge how to do it. If you support their work, and collect information about your investment destination, make some 'instant presentations', site selection teams will be evaluate your job.

The trick. Nice to do your prospect's job, but how can you promote your site? Simply: highlight your location in your presentation as a place to invest. As one of the most promising site for your client. Avoid pushing sales offers and definitely avoid focusing your site only, but involve and highlight yourself. An example:

This presentation is the #1 hit on slideshare when you search "ssc hungary" (the target industry and  investment destination of my client 'Xanga Office Park'), it has more hundred views and a dozen downloads.

Topics. If you are an economic developer and promote a county in Wisconsin, your investment destination is Wisconsin State, talk about it in your presentation. If you target manufacturing companies, talk about human resources, industrial infrastructure and real estate market of competing locations in Wisconsin - probably you have much deeper knowledge about these topics than your prospects. But be fair: share valid information only, about your county and about competing locations.

The promotion. It's not enough to work well, talk about it. SlideShare also provides free of charge account, so to upload a ppt or pdf presentation is not an issue. The first step in promotion is SlideShare itself: the platform has tremendous traffic from executive level corporate professionals. If you involve some keywords in the title of your presentation, your target group will find your information (continuing the Wisconsin-example, you should use a title like this: "The 8 most promising locations for advanced manufacturing in Wisconsin")
The second step is share your presentation in the proper LinkedIn group. In the previous Wisconsin case, proper groups focus on advanced manufacturing, automotive industry, hightech, pharma etc. And groups focusing on Midwest business are also can be perfect for you.
The 3rd step of site promotion is embedding your SlideShare content into your blog/website. It makes your website 'stickier', website visitors spend more time on your website, they can see around, and it increases the probability to getting a sales lead: a request for information. When you embed content into your blog/website, search engines like Google will highly appreciate it. Google loves embeded contents so your ranking on Google will increase, and you also get visitors from the search engine.

Finally, I cannot overstress: avoid pushing sales presentations. The bad news: your prospects do not care about you. They care about themselves, about their problems. Don't talk about yourself (about your site), talk about your prospect's problems and the solutions provided by your location.

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May 17, 2013

How to compete with China as a manufacturing site?

China is the workshop of the world. Yet. But industrial experts are not sure about the future of China as the #1 manufacturing location: increasing manufacturing costs raise questions. You can build on this trend when promote industrial spaces. 

Last year I published a presentation on SlideShare (see below). It compares China to Eastern Europe as a manufacturing site. The data involved in my presentation can be used in any European/American business park marketing efforts.

Fact 1#: Wages are super low, the wage inflation is super-high in China
source: U.S. Department of Labor
China is a "super low-cost" manufacturing locations (that's the issue). However, wages are increasing in rocket speed, especially in coastal regions, were your competing real estate developers are doing business.

Fact #2: social contribution is on the horizon
This time there are no 'Western-style' governmental pension and health care system in China. But the society is aging, and what do you think, who will pay for these social services? Your prospect, if choose a Shanghai site.

Fact #3: China is a communist country
In our politically correct world, we don't call China a communist country. But it is. Communism means instabile legal framework and corruption for your prospect. Corruption makes prices and costs non-tranparent, advanced manufacturing don't like it.

Fact #4: Market closenes, improved speed-to market
The speed-to market time and fast product customization will be key success factors in future manufacturing. And no way to manage these efforts from a Chinese manufacturing site (e.g. the shipping time between China and Europe is 6 weeks). So, when your prospect selects your site, he/she votes on a stabile business environment with stabile costs and transparency, and also votes on market flexibility.

I don't say these arguments are enough to convince a potential new clients. But could be enough to get some good points for your site and make them unsure about the Chinese option. Are you disagree? I'm listening.

Your prospect faces thousands of competing sites, we teach you how to differ.

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May 3, 2013

How to launch an investment destination blog?

You may say it's not your business to promote your location worldwide. But if you share useful business information about your state/country and support the job of site selection teams, you can achieve magnificant benefits - free of charge.

In the classical marketing there are push and pull directions. When you cold call a prospect and try to lease out a business space, this is a typical push approach. Pull marketing is starting with buyer - it pulls her or him into the deal. Social selling/social media marketing, including business blogging, is a typical pull marketing task.


Use your location expertise. When you blog about your destination, keep in mind: the members of a typical site selection team are leaders of functional fields like HR, finance, manufacturing etc. They know nothing (or almost nothing) about your locations's labour market and education, transportation infrastructure, incentives - or real estate market. Start to write about these topics and the information collecting site selectors will highly appriciate your job, and you become an 'investment destination authority'.
In this role, I was invited for more meetings with prospects, who were interested in our destination. I also talked about our competing real estate developers (without tricks, focusing on advantages), but somehow, at the end, our business park was presented as a Business Heaven.

Broadcast yourself. A business park I worked for launched a destination blog about Eastern European electronics manufacturing and logistic locations. One of our blog post called "The best electronic logistic hubs in Eastern Europe" It listed 3 'matured' and 3 'emerging' locations in the destination. Honestly said I'm not sure our buisness park would be listed if someone else write this post... When you talk about your investment destination, you can present your properties in blog post - but be careful and avoid pushing sales offers.

Find blogging partners. To promote your location is the business of your local government or local economic development organization. Try to involve them in investment destination blogging, they will be keen, I promise. This kind of promotion has limited or even more zero costs, and also they can use their location expertise.

In the future we will analyse more details of investment destination blogging, it's maybe enough as a start. You need a think-outside-the-box approach, and the business blogging has no immediate results, so be patient.

Would you like to talk about your distress regarding destination blogging? You are lying on the right coach, just speak.

Your prospect faces thousands of competing sites, we teach you how to differ.

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