For any economic development region, your website is your business storefront, capable of attracting investors and inviting businesses when you aren’t around to do it face to face. But there is one important element often left out of the planning, writing, and presentation of an economic development region’s website: the target audience or persona. This oversight is the number one reason economic development websites fail.
Your target audience is the group of potential clients that share a similar set of demographics: the ones who are best suited to using your products or services. If your target audience is a real group of people then your buyer persona is a fictional representation of a person within your target market. (You can create a buyer persona by defining the different types of buyers you have and identifying why they come to you, then creating a story about their lifestyle and buying decision making process. Learn to craft a buyer persona here.) Used together in an inbound marketing campaign, your target audience and buyer personas attract more customers.
When you’re creating a website targeted at bringing investors, businesses, and jobs to your economic region it can be easy to fall into the trap of talking about what your region needs. But this would be a mistake because it cuts out an important member of the potential relationship – the investor.
Instead of creating a website that focuses on what you need, create a website that focuses on what you can offer the target audience.
You might not feel like a salesperson, but when you are trying to convince investors to see the opportunity in your region, you are selling. And your website needs to be an extension of that sale.
Your target audience is the key to your region’s economic development. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience when you plan, write, and present an economic development website. Not only will you create a website that creates new opportunities and builds relationships, it will save you money when you don’t have to redo your website content in a year’s time.
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