October 25, 2013

How to promote your location with 'job seekers' videos?

Internet users not really like to read novels - short, focused videos tell more about your location and support your marketing efforts.

Source: Social Media Examiner

If YouTube was a search engine, it would be the 2nd largest one in the world. People (and your prospects) search on Youtube for useful and interesting information about your location - so create and share such a content and your prospects will find it.

In corporate world, videos are popular, because companies can share useful data, customer stories, tutorials etc. In location marketing, I recommend the following type of videos:

#1 HR-related embedded videos on your website

When it's about site selection, human resources are key factors, in some cases deciding factors. Site selectors are interested their future staff - and now ask yourself: does your website provide any HR information about the future staff beyond dry statistics? Do you introduce people and personal stories? Because people remember stories, not statistics. Naturally, behind stories there should be data, do not forget the data-driven storitelling.

Anyway, create an honest, no-hyping short (max. 2-minute) video about your location's HR situation. You can produce a labor market overview, involving some (not pushing) testimonials. Or a short interview with some successful employees. And even more: an interview with a local job seeker. You could say: job seekers are not the PR faces of your location - but, in fact, the honest stories of these people tell more than any marketing speech about your hard-working nation:

#2 Background videos of investment destination blogs

If you blog about your investment destination, your blog post can be dramatically improved by some background videos. These videos are normally produced not by you, but by local TV channels or other professional organizations.
Videos provide some additional information to your blog post and make your blog 'stickier': prospects spend more time on your blog. And the top of all that: Google loves embedded YouTube videos, your  blog post's Google page rank will increase.

I applied the following McKinsey & Co.'s video to provide background to blog post "Low-cost Chinese manufacturing is dead. Long live near-shoring!"

#3 Image films

Most of investment promotion agencies, city branding teams, economic development organizations produce image films: a short introduction of location. Maybe answers to the question "Why invest in...?"
These short videos are the 'trailers of your location', so don't be shy to follow some Hollywood rules: a) make it shortly, b) Know the end, the theme and feeling you want to leave the viewer with, c) writing a copy is tough, don't try to be too smart, d) music is also a big tool, e) the final image is important.

The Ireland-movie by IDA Ireland has a quite good trailer:

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October 11, 2013

How to sell talking about the weaknesses of your location?

All marketers focus on location's strengths when it's about investment promotion. Talk about the weaknesses on the right way and you will stand out the crowd.

A long time ago, when I was the regional director of the Hungarian investment promotion agency, I organized a meeting for a potential investor with the mayor of a city in my region. The mayor presented about the city's 21th century visions, about state of the art business environment, large-scale development projects etc - like every mayors on the planet. The site selection team (corporate professionals from Europe and the U.S) were listening politely.

The surprise came at the end of the presentation. "Now, let's talk about our weaknesses" said the mayor. What?!? We didn't liaise about it, what the hell are you doing, man? - I thought. And my surprise was even more bigger, because he did it on a very professional way and the WOW-effect arrived, the corporate guys were impressed.

The mayor talked about every weaknesses of our offer: we have no international school, and we have very limited air flights from the city to the large European hubs. He didn't hide any details, didn't hype, he was very honest. And when he described a problem, he also described some options how to solve the problem and get around the weakness. Described some ideas and projects about the improvement, with timing and responsibilities.

The result was really impressive. First of all, his credibility increased to the sky, site selectors also would believe him if he said he is the Santa Clause. All the strengths he had talked about earlier was validated, because he is a so honest man. And secondly, our scores for these weak factors became probably not so low - the local leader knew the answer to these challenges.

Never think your prospects are dummies and cannot realize your weaknesses, they can. It's much better if you talk about it and about your improvement ideas (and don't let them to think about weaknesses without solutions). It's easy, but somehow nobody does it.

The end of the story: the company selected another competing location. The city's strengths were not strong enough, also strengths should be improved - but it's another story...

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