The last year has been full of ups and downs, with cities across the world scrambling to regain some semblance of normalcy. One of the biggest challenges that cities of all sizes is facing is the ability to attract new residents while still engaging current community members. With the housing market hotter than Phoenix asphalt, families are taking the opportunity to find their dream home even if that means uprooting their family.
Cities that are able to effectively market to potential residents have the most to gain in the sellers’ market. Sadly, that is where many will fall short. Having a clear understanding of what your city can offer new residents, and how priorities might have shifted over the last few months, will set you up for success.
Are you unsure of where to start? Or perhaps your team is already stretched to thin? The Your Business Marketer team has the experience and understanding to help you set your city apart. Whether you are a small town looking to attract people to a simpler life, or an urban center hoping to inject new life into the community, we are ready to jump in and assist your team.
5 Areas Critical To Marketing Your City
Every city is different, but there are strings of commonality that can be found. These points help you craft a digital marketing strategy to attract potential residents. Coming to terms with what your city is, and more importantly is not, will go a long way to building trust with those that are considering joining your community.
Here are five areas to emphasize in your city’s overall marketing strategy.
Market Community Strengths
This might be stating the obvious, but you must closely examine the strengths and weaknesses of your city. Many people have reset their priorities through the COVID-19 pandemic, and what was once a weakness (rural, spread out) may be a major selling point. A perfect example of this is a retreat from major urban centers.
Even as lockdowns lift, people who want to flee to the ‘burbs are doing so en masse. Championing the slower lifestyle and less restrictive nature of your small town could be a huge selling point to potential homeowners.
Take stock of these strengths and deploy them with precision using modern marketing tools. Facebook and Google Analytics are your friends in sending your message to the right people.
Promote Educational Opportunities
“Come to learn, stay to thrive.” Whatever version of “education opportunities” your city has, shout about it from the rooftops. Great schools sell your city to parents. Great colleges sell your city to college students. Great higher education models, teaching universities and teaching hospitals are a major draw for lettered professionals. All of these magnetize your city for people who have the money to buy homes and spend in your local economy. Don’t be afraid to lead with these selling points.
If it walks like a goose and sounds like a goose, it is a goose. And a top-flight school system can easily be your golden goose. Outside of the typical ratings, parents and professionals are interested in knowing how schools responded to the pandemic, what technology was made available, and what procedures are in place in the event of another crisis.
Leverage social media to celebrate the effort that your community’s educators made over the last year and put a stamp on how that is different from other communities in your area. Not only will this generate interest from families looking to relocate, but also goodwill with your current residents.
Flexible Housing is a Must
Have you tried to buy a home in the current market, or know someone going through the process? There are more hoops to jump through than at an American Kennel Club talent show. Competition is stiff, making flexible housing options a must have. Cities that have an abundance of housing options are in a much better position coming off of the heels of the pandemic.
As 2020 came to a close, evictions were estimated to rise to unprecedented levels. With so many Americans looking to get back on their feet, cities with great rentals or reasonable housing prices will be a likely landing place. Find creative ways to advertise the value and affordability of housing in your city.
Mobility might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it can certainly be a selling point. Over the last year, humans across the globe have been reconnecting with nature. What started as a way to get out of the house and avoid cabin fever, has left an impression on many and is likely something they will seek post-COVID.
Cities with ample greenspace, or that provide easy access to rural tourism, will be highly sought after moving forward. Working with your city’s parks department to renovate and promote outdoor recreation in your area should be high on your list of priorities.
Celebrate Community Engagement
Do you remember the television show Cheers? Everytime Norm walked into the bar, he was welcomed by everyone that knew his name. That sense of community is something that is coming back into fashion, but something not every city can provide. Cities across the country have become much more engaged with residents over the past 10-15 years. You can expect the trend to continue, but it should be taken a step further.
New residents are often looking for ways to engage with the community, create new relationships, and put down roots. Communities that make this process easier are more likely to retain residents long term.
Your city’s website is a great place to promote activities and opportunities for new residents. Chances are, they will be on site for utilities and other services, so make it easy for them to get connected and feel like they are part of the community from the start. Talk about how your city supports local businesses, and the benefit residents gain from the “we’re all in this together” culture.
Finding A Digital Marketing Partner For Your City
Our nation is on the doorstep of returning to normal, but there have been fundamental changes to personal priorities. Be vocal about what sets your city apart. Most of your visibility is earned in digital spaces. We understand that not every community is equipped with the resources to pull off a well thought-out digital marketing strategy.
Should you find yourself in need of marketing services, skip the Google search, and work with the team that cities across the midwest have come to know and trust. The Your Business Marketer team is ready to jump into the fray and help you capitalize on those that are looking to relocate. Learn more about the YBM team and schedule a consultation.