Municipal marketing encompasses a wide range advertising activities, many of which are now revolving around digital technologies. Here is a breakdown to be on top of your municipal marketing in the digital age.
Social Media Marketing
This is one of the biggest opportunities brands have at the moment. Much of the brand awareness that can be boosted via social media is free, with the exception of Facebook ads and sponsored posts. There are lots of things you can do to create buzz. First, find the most relevant social networks for your location and target audience. For many, the top 3 will be Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Municipal organizations have a huge advantage in this category. Many people are going to be cities and almost everyone is armed with cellphones with cameras. That’s a lot of people who have the ability to share their experiences with your cities and municipal facilities on social media.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization helps potential users find your brand a lot easier when searching. This is important for many reasons. Of course it’s pretty easy to be found when someone Googles your company name. But how often do you come up when they’re searching for related search terms that don’t include your company. Say someone was looking for “great parks Bend Oregon”. The top entries will most likely be publications, as their SEO rating is incredibly high due to the volume of content they produce. That being said, if the municipal organization is focusing enough efforts on SEO, they should place fairly high. The Bend Parks and Recreation Department is the 5th Google listing when searching for “great parks Bend Oregon.”
E-mail marketing is still being touted as one of the most effective digital marketing strategies. It is one of the most effective, yet least difficult things to manage. An intelligently designed email can do wonders for keeping your audience engaged. One thing to be careful about is to email your members too frequently. People get tired of emails pretty quickly. Some great ideas for municipal organizations are monthly or weekly emails focused on “things to do”, events, news, and “pro tips”.
Content marketing is huge because you want to give people a reason to keep coming back to your website. If you only post about your facilities and what goes on, it gives only your community members reason to visit. However, if you are consistently putting up valuable, high-quality content on your blog and social media channels, you will attract many different people to keep visiting your site.