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Too many economic development websites are visually dead. Is yours one of them?

Economic development has always been, and should always be, about people and relationships; from the work you put in to win investment by establishing trust with site selectors and companies, to the interaction and care you show to current business owners to promote retention in your community. Though the showcased impact of an economic development win is measured in the capital that’s invested, the underlying heart is always the lives and families who benefit from the quality jobs a company can contribute to your city.

If you visit 10 different economic development websites during a random Google search, the unfortunate reality is that at least 8 of those won’t feature even one photo on the home page with people in it. And although drone shots look amazing, the tiny, ant-sized people on the street don't really count for much.

Does that really matter? Absolutely. Cityscapes and unique buildings are nice and needed. But your city and it’s story is ultimately about people, told to people. Every city has data, every city has location benefits, most even have decent education opportunities within reach. But what is it like to live there? What are the other business owners like that you will most likely be connecting with?

The story of your city must reach beyond the nuts and bolts of your demographic numbers and major employers to communicate below-the-surface aspects of what makes it such a wonderful place to do business. Photography and videography that tell the stories of the people in your city can instantly transport a viewer into your community from thousands of miles away. Want to tell your story better? Start there. Don’t leave your viewers visually stranded with a stock photo or a bland entry sign at the edge of your city. You should be welcoming your audience into your site and your city with what truly sets it apart; the people.

Take a look at your site and your marketing with fresh eyes. What story are you telling about your city and its people through your visual marketing?

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