Five tips that economic development offices should use to attract tech businesses

When you imagine the “home of the Internet,” do you picture aisles of blinking web servers living right underneath a vibrant farming community? In the same county that has the most horses in Virginia? Well, this is the reality of Loudoun County, VA. Located roughly 25 miles outside of the nation’s capital, Loudoun County is known as “DC’s Wine Country.” It’s home to vineyards, breweries, horse farms, and of course, a massive tech hotspot.

provokebetter’s Whitney Hahn spoke with Brian Tinsman, the Digital Properties Manager for Loudoun County Economic Development. It’s his job to harmonize the marketing messages for the county to attract new tech business owners to the area. Brian has found content marketing most effective in his efforts. 

1. Video is where it’s at

This shouldn’t be a surprise, but if it is, jump on the train before it leaves without you! As a videographer and editor, Brian knows that video is big and has been big for a while. The key is creating consistent, frequent videos and targeting the right audience with the right video in the right place.

In the case of video for tech businesses, wow-factor, and cinematography are certainly important, but strategy and precisely targeted promotion are what really affect the results. 

2. People are drawn to numbers and statistics

Words are important, but data is impressive. People are attracted to numbers as measurable proof that what you’re telling them is true. Try throwing impressive, fun, and/or unusual statistics into your content marketing mix. Be sure to make them clear, concise, and shareable so you don’t confuse anyone with complicated metrics or statistics.

3. Be bold

Ben Savage, Chief Marketing Officer of Flying Dog Brewery, says that if his marketing team isn’t failing occasionally, then they’re not risking enough or trying new things. Brian has the same philosophy, claiming that being bold, taking risks, failing, and trying new approaches is the key to good tech marketing. It will help you find out what works and what doesn’t work. What doesn’t work is playing it safe.

4. Figure out who your target audience is and spend money

Brian stresses that the most important part of content marketing is knowing who your audience is before you start creating. If you don’t know who you’re talking to, you won’t know how to write or create something your target audience will thank you for.

The Loudoun County EconDev team gathers a lot of their tech business leads through programmatic ad buys and boosted ads on social media sites. Spending money on the ads and platforms that work for you for the demographics you’re trying to reach will go a long way, rather than solely trying to reach people organically.

5. Keep your analytics goals in mind, but don’t lose sight of what’s most important

Reaching more people is almost always a positive thing. However, Brian says the most satisfying part of his job is when his marketing messages make an impact on someone so he and the rest of the team can help them grow their tech business or relocate to Loudoun County.

Tracking the numbers and analytics is important to make sure you’re meeting your goals. The end goal is to make an impact on someone’s life and their business. Create your content with this end goal in mind.

About the guest: Brian Tinsman is the Digital Properties Manager for Loudoun County Economic Development. He oversees the department’s digital assets, with a focus on strategizing content and developing the website and social media platforms.