June 14, 2013

Websites are Dead. Long live digital presence!

Many business parks and economic development agencies think about internet marketing just like building a website. What a 20th century approach.

Recently I read a whitepaper about digital presence, it summarizes well what I think about internet marketing.  Many marketers in site selection industry think about online promotion as an optional plus, and the mainstream marketing activities are offline. However, site selectors often collect information from the Web, and a single website is not enough to engage them. Establishing a strong digital presence means: you share information on several platforms about you and your destination, so prospects can find you much easier.

The concept of content marketing or social media marketing is based on the sighting: people don't like advertisments. Don't read it in newspapaers, don't watch it on TV (do you?). And also your pushing sales offers on your website can activate people's "advertisment filters".
Instead, people like valuable, interesting information about topics which solve their problems or provide gains. The following short video is also a good summary of content marketing:

Content marketing in site selection

OK, after a general introduction, see how and why should you provide content for your prospects. Content marketing means you should start some (not too many) "information channels" to support site selectors' job. The members of site selection teams are not "site selection experts", they are corporate professionals from  fields like HR, finance, engineering etc. They do their site selection work probably once and last in their lifetime. Support their work, collect and analyze information about your investment destination - and they will appreciate your work, will trust you, when you highlight your location/facility inside your investment destination.

Investment destination blog. An investment destination blog can be a good start. Provide information on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, about your destination's competing sites, about labour market and wage ranges, facility options and rates, legal background, incentive programs etc. E.g when you promote your logistics facilities in Jamaica, than Jamaica is your investment destination, and you probably know much better the local market than your prospects from the U.S.

SlideShare. SlideShare.net is a boosting platform for delivering your location-related content to the world. Recycle your older blog content and try to create a ppt slideshow about your destination.

White papers. When you search the term, for example "Doing business in Oklahoma", you will find legal advices only. However, selecting a new site is not just about law. Write comprehensive guides about your destination, and make it downloadable on your websites and other content sharing sites (also on SlideShare).

Google Maps. I like maps because maps can illustrate sites and business environment: transportation infrastructure, locations of leading companies, major cities and labour markets etc. Create Google maps about your destination, share it online and also embed it into your web pages and blog posts.

LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the leading global B2B social media and information sharing platform. Share your blog posts, SlideShare presentations, white papers and maps in target groups and your prospects will find your content, will know you and your site.

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