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Posts Tagged ‘Economic Climate’

Virtual Relationships for Investment Attraction

Building relationships is a cornerstone of any process in economic development.  The first rule of Investment Attraction Sales 101 is to stay “top of mind” with your prospects.

The best way to build relationships has always been face-to-face.  Today, however, the costs in terms of both time and money for attending meetings in person are increasingly prohibitive.  Organizations’ resources are seriously constrained.  The recent filing for bankruptcy protection by Jefferson County, Alabama, is a sobering reminder of the difficult economic climate in which EDOs will have to work for the foreseeable future. (more…)

Help Prospective Visitors Find Out About Your Tourism Attractions

Things are not looking good for municipal budgets in the current economy. Cost- cutting pressures make it difficult for municipal destination marketing organizations to achieve their strategic goals. So it is becoming ever more important for DMOs to assess the effectiveness of their websites and maximize the return on their investments.

Search engine work, social media and advertising will attract prospective visitors to your tourism site, but then how do you convert them to tourists?

Many web visitors are spontaneous leisure travelers looking for ideas. They make navigational decisions in the blink of an eye. Your site needs to incorporate techniques to hold their interest and influence them through their decision-making stages before they plan and book their trip.

This reflects the basic shift that has taken place in the retail role of a DMO website, as we noted earlier in this series (“Attracting Tourists to Smaller Communities,” published June 8 ) – instead of merely delivering information and enabling simple transactions, the site must be a tourism enabler, providing visitors with tools for immediate action.

In other words, a DMO website in today’s unstable economic climate must drive results. It must be designed to inspire your consumers, (more…)

Budgeting for Website Promotion

In a difficult economic climate, an economic development organization must invest its money wisely and obtain a return on that investment. When it comes to building or improving a website, your budget should address two factors:

  1. The creation and continuous improvement of the website itself
  2. The promotion of the website, so you get the most out of it.

Sadly, many website owners fall short on point, never building the kind of traffic and the kind of results that lie just within their reach.

We explored the first factor in the article, “Your Economic Development Website Budget,” published December 8, 2009. Today we will look at considerations for what should be included in the budget to promote the website effectively.

Promotion via Traditional Marketing

By now, everyone has been trained to put their website address on everything that is printed, from business cards to brochures to advertisements. That is fundamental but still counts, so keep doing that!

Let’s take it one step further. Many economic development organizations are successfully transitioning communication of information to their website. More and more data, more and more information, more and more pictures, stats, charts, maps are all available (more…)

The New Rules for Press Releases

News releases used to be written for, and sent to, only the media. Usually that meant the print media, and for economic development departments it meant print media concerned with investment attraction.

But the first rule of modern news releases is that they should no longer be targeted to traditional media only. A difficult economic climate and the advent of new technologies have combined to change modern strategies toward news releases for investment-attraction purposes.

Releases need to generate optimum returns on investment, so they should be written to appeal to as broad an audience as possible. Decide beforehand what you want the release to achieve other than simply disseminating information. Do you want to impress site selectors with the dynamism of your community? Do you want local businesses and employees to continue to be confident that they are in the right place? Do you want government agencies to know about the sectors your community is fostering? In the age of the Web, all these audiences and more – potentially millions of people – have access to your release, unfiltered by the media.

You need to write for them. Write directly for your target audiences in addition to the media that you hope will also reach them. In particular, provide information that site selectors and business investors specifically look for. Present your news with accompanying data (more…)