In marketing, we have a lot of tools in our toolbox to help us reach out to potential customers, and as important as it is that we use the right tools for the job, it's also essential that we understand how they fit into the marketing funnel.
Our most recent blog, The EDO Marketing Funnel, introduces the marketing funnel and its role in getting new and growing businesses into our communities. In this blog post, however, let's take a more comprehensive look at the awareness and interest stages of the marketing funnel – important steps for connecting with potential customers – and review some of the active outreach tactics you can use to move them into the next stages and closer to investing in your community.
At the awareness stage, it's necessary to provide interesting content that will make people aware of what you have to offer. Creative methods such as social media campaigns and email blasts can help get the word out about your services or products. Once an audience is built, you must then focus on sparking interest by offering webinars and videos that provide more detailed information about what you have to offer. With these two strategies in place, your EDO can reach your target audience with engaging messages and turn them into loyal customers.
Let’s start with brand building. This is all about raising awareness of your community in your target market through activities such as creating content like blogs and videos, giving away promotional materials, hosting events, and appearing on podcasts or webinars. It also involves reaching out to influencers who can help spread the word about your community. In our blog, How to Craft a Strong Brand for Your Economic Development Organization, we discuss how you build your brand with a simple Define, Develop, and Promote strategy. A great branding strategy will get the attention of the businesses you want interested in your community.
The next tactic is digital advertising, also known as prospecting. Digital advertising is all about targeting potential customers who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer. You can use techniques like retargeting (showing ads to people who have previously visited your website), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and audience segmentation (targeting people within specific demographics or interests) to get your message in front of the right people at the right time.
Digital advertising is a powerful tool that can allow you to:
Gain more visibility and engagement with potential customers.
Get the word out about your community’s offerings.
Better track and measure the results of your efforts in real-time, making it easier to adjust your strategies as necessary.
By taking advantage of digital marketing tactics like these, you are sure to make an impact on businesses and site selectors.
Email marketing is another great way to reach out directly to prospects who might be interested in learning more about your community. Sending personalized and engaging emails that provide helpful information and contain relevant offers will help move your prospects along their buyer’s journey by sparking interest in what your community has to offer.
By creating an active presence on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can spread your message far and wide quickly and affordably. Social media also allows you to create an online community of people who are interested in what your community has to offer and promotes engagement with key stakeholders. Additionally, it can be used to share news about what’s happening in your area and the local industry, as well as highlight successes from existing businesses in the community. All this adds up to increased visibility for your community and more chances to attract new businesses.
Finally, don’t forget about direct mail! It may seem outdated compared to digital marketing, but done correctly, it can still help you make meaningful connections. Sending personalized postcards or letters can help create a connection with prospects and build trust in your brand before they even visit your website. By sending personalized letters, brochures, postcards, or other mailers directly to them, you are creating a tangible connection with them without relying on costly digital campaigns or on the prospect of finding your organization on their own. Mailing out physical invitations can also increase the chance of businesses attending events or webinars.
As you can see, there are a variety of active outreach tactics you can use during the awareness and interest stages of the marketing funnel. By using the right combination of tools, you can ensure that your message is heard by the right people and get them interested in what you have to offer, and by understanding how each tactic fits into the bigger picture, you’ll be able to create an effective outreach strategy that gets results!