EDOs harness the new digital mindset

By Lauren Farrall

Marketing your location has become more challenging. Prior to COVID-19 there were numerous ways to communicate with your investors and target companies through tradeshows, roadshows, investor meetings etc. But due to the limitations on travel and the effects of global lockdown we have been launched into a new digital era where events have now been turned into webinars and the attendance levels of these have spiked due to the accessibility factor. This digital mindset is still not shared by everyone, but this is the time to get on board or be left behind.

Here are 3 main digital marketing tools you can ensure you are using correctly today

Social Media – Social Media is the global language of communication. Often, it’s the first thing you check in the morning and the last thing you check at night. Understanding the power of social media as a digital marketing tool is a necessity due to its cost advantages and lead generation potential. It's free to set up accounts on the major social media platforms: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Millions of companies share company news updates and expansion plans via these channels and understanding your target investor is key to marketing your location to them.

Top Tips:

  • Do you have social media channels you don’t use? Delete them! It’s better not to have them, than to have an outdated account.
  • Make sure all your social media channels have consistency e.g. they carry a consistent brand for brand building.
  • Be proactive in keeping it up to date and relevant by ensuring to post at least once a week.
  • Don’t overshare / spam your followers with irrelevant information, keep the information clear and precise, and redirect your followers to your website and other fulfilment platforms.

Website – Your website is your master company profile page, its where all investors will go to check out every piece of information about your location. Making this information easy to read and easy to find is the key to having an effective website. When optimizing your website, ensure to take on the mindset of the user as user-friendly websites should offer a top-level navigation that gives the user the ability to find exactly what they are looking for in 15 seconds or 1-2 clicks. Any longer than that and your potential lead could lose patience and “drop off”. This would be considered a ‘strike out’ in digital marketing terms so ensure if your user cannot find what they need that the call-to-action contact button is positioned very clearly at the top of your homepage so they may request it from you.

Top Tips:

  • Is your website easily updated? If not, try to change this so it can be, take control over your own digital marketing strategy and how often you can share information without the need to involve external resources.
  • Do you have a strong digital footprint? Make sure your organic SEO is strong and all your social media accounts and website are easily found from a quick google search.
  • Add your website to your google location – this is one of the first places an investor will check for your website.

Webinars & Podcasts – A great way to explain why webinars and podcasts work so well in this time of crisis is the digital shift in marketing material. Across all social media platforms, video is proving to have a higher engagement rate, this is because everyone would much rather have the information explained to them than to read it themselves. Through the combination of video and interactive features, webinars and podcasts enable an engaging environment where value-added content can be used to deliver useful information to your current or potential investors. Testimonials of current investors and an easy step by step guide to setting up is also valuable content. Investor FAQs combined with sector highlights or unique factors that make your location ‘stand out than the rest’, are great to showcase.

Top Tips:

  • For successful webinars and live podcasts preparation is key. Technical difficulties or agenda mishaps will distract audience members and detract from the content.
  • The presenter should always speak slowly and clearly.
  • If the presenter is rushing sections of the webinar, it means that the presentation was too long and should always be shortened where necessary.
  • Make it interactive! Zoom offers polling and Q&A throughout.
  • Topics – ask your investors / potential investors what topics they would like to receive information on.

Social media, website and webinars/podcasts are all digital marketing tools that come with in-depth analytics behind them to set targets and goals against to effectively improve your digital marketing strategy.

Looking at the future, will we return to traditional marketing methods after COVID-19? It may not be a wholesale replacement however it is worth noting the success of digital events do indicate a long term shift from physical events to online webinars as a viable alternative. Previously physical events now turned-digital, are seeing a digital boom in attendance. And arguably, participants are more focussed and captive in these forums than their physical counterparts. Organisations are seeing cost savings but also effective lead generation. They are able to specifically target their markets and gather detailed analytics on their expenditure and ROI on each webinar and marketing campaign. Not everyone likes change, but the power of digital harnessed through this lockdown period has created a paradigm shift in digital adoption.

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