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I don’t like to start with
definition but …
When I say ‘economic development’ I understand: attracting new
businesses to our location. In Europe, we call it normally ‘investment
promotion’ or ‘location marketing’, and economic development has a
On these slides we will study economic development blogging as a
social media marketing strategy for investment destinations.
selection is not a
Every growing company has to find new locations and sites
to do business, but the dedicated members of a site
selection team have no easy job. Why? Site selectors are
corporate professionals, they know nothing about
competing investment destinations and probably do site
selection once and last in their lifetime. Maybe they have
professional site selection consultant, maybe not. Anyway,
they have to collect information about 10-20 locations, have
to analyze and rank them and have to make a final
presentation - and show it to the board of the company.
During this process, they will love any help from you.
Instead of producing expensive, printed place branding
materials, try to support site selectors online. Economic
development blogging means information sharing about
your destination’s business environment, based on your
This short material shows you how to support site selection
process with blogging - and acquire site selection (FDI)
projects at the same time.
OK, but why is it
good for your
Before we go deeper ahead in economic development
blogging, a basic question: what are the benefits for your
community? That's clear: you cannot attract new
companies into your location, based on blogging only. But
there are some pretty strong benefits of economic
development blogging which worth time and effort:
● Highlight yourself - during your site selection
support, you can involve your location strength into
your analysis, and you can highlight yourself. This
kind of strength-based involvement help you to land
on the long list of site selectors - and this is the goal
of economic development blogging.
● SEO, media presence - on the internet, "content is
king", search engines like Google will appreciate
your content writing efforts, and will improve your
search engine ranking. But your overall media
presence will be much better, e.g. one of my
economic development blog posts was cited by the
offline magazine of AmCham Hungary.
● Increase reputation - finally, your team reputation as
a location and a destination expert will be much
higher. I took part on more site selection
negotiations based on my content marketing about
Hungarian locations (and managed the building of
fancy factories in the competing locations - but this
is another story about site selection...)
What about costs?
Maybe this is the best part of economic development
blogging: practically it has no costs. Economic
development bloggers have to be your staff who are
involved in site selection assistance. Your economic
development staff knows much much more about your
location (and about competing locations) than ad-hoc
corporate site selectors, and blogging can be based on
your staff’s experience and location expertise.
Working time ‘cost’ is also minimal: 4 blog post per
month is a good goal, and 1 blog post can be produced
in 1 working day, so if your blogging team involves 4
economic developers, everybody has to ‘invest’ 1 day
per month into blogging.
Since content creation has working time ‘cost’ only, the
IT costs are also minimal or even more zero (see the
slide later about Blogger vs Wordpress). Content
delivery is also free of charge: you have to share blog
posts in the targeted industrial groups of social media
like LinkedIn, and the visibility on Google search result
page is also free of charge.
My 2017 revelations
I realized, I invented the warm water. Economic development blogging
exists since decades: it’s called local economic magazine publishing.
City, county, regional and state governments - first of all in the U.S -
sponsor offline and online periodic content about their locations. These
economic development magazines and business journals try to highlight
the sponsoring locations.
My approach to economic development publishing differs a bit. I say
you should not sponsor but own a business journal. And I guess you
should not produce offline papers, but focus on online content.
But, at the end of the day, you should start your online [your location]
Business Journal, as your new economic development blog.
How to write an
which worth time and
● first of all: your blog is not the place for your self
promotion: your victory reports don’t sell your
location. Remember: site selectors seek useful
location data, not PR stuff.
● industry focus: your economic development blog
should focus on target industries just like your
investment promotion activities. If your location is
strong in IT, global business services industry and
big pharma, your blog also has to talk to these
industries. My economic development blog,
Manufacturing Hungary Blog focuses on food
processing, electronics and automotive industries.
● be honest: write about your location and about your
competing locations honestly. It’s much harder than
to publish your PR bullshit, but site selection teams
will love it.
● and finally: a good economic development blog
consists good blog posts. Let's take a look at it.
You cannot underestimate the importance of a blog post
title. Your title is the advertisement of your content, it
sells the following stuff. Most readers look at your title
only and decide to keep reading or not - so it's a "make
it or break it" element of your blog post.
There are some rules how to write great titles:
● Focus on the benefits provided by your location:
instead describing your location, talk about the
"user's benefits". E.g, if you blog about Jamaica
Logistics Hub, instead using a title like "50 feet
harbor closed to the extended Panama Canal"
write "All cross ocean ships can be hosted in
near-Panama Canal port".
● Make it shortly. People just scan title tags, so
don't write a novel. Use 10 words maximum.
● Involve keywords. You write not just for your
readers (prospects) but also for search engines
like Google. And via Google, people can find
your blog using keywords related to your
destination. Staying by the Jamaica example,
keywords like Panama Canal, logistics etc can
be important for search engine optimization. To
find good keywords and word combos, visit
● Provoke! Honestly said, I tried out many types of
titles, and after the smart, benefit oriented, short,
keyword-involving title tags I realized: provoking
titles works. The direct goal of title is
"click-through", make readers click on it when
read it in LinkedIn groups, google target lists etc.
Provoking title promises something surprising
and new, so don't forget to deliver surprise and
news in your body text.
#1 Provoke with your title
#2 Add some
In your first paragraph/sentence, provide
some explanation to your title. Write about
more "user's benefit", use forther keywords,
or simply keep provoking. The goal of this
first paragraph (we can call it subtitle if you
want) is to reconfirm readers: to read our
blog post was a good decision.
#3 Use a large
related to your title
Images worth 1000 words, the old rule of internet. Try to
find an impressive image which presents what you are
One of my most successful economic development blog
post compared the Chinese labour costs to the Eastern
European labor costs. I created a map for this blog post: I
illustrated the Eastern European regional labour costs in
the percent of Shenzen’s (Mainland China) labor cost (see
on the right). It was so strong (provoking and data-driven),
that my blog post was shared in several times in several
LinkedIn manufacturing groups - and my blog was banned
in China. What a great result.
#4 Body text:
It's easy to be provoking: just share your politically incorrect
opinion about a hot topic. To be factual and the same time
provoking, it's much more difficult. The bad news: nobody,
especially your prospects are not curious about your
opinion and your pushing marketing speech. Your
prospects are interested in exciting and useful data. I
cannot overstress: you have to provoke with rock-solid
numbers. Some extra rules:
● Specific topics. Don't tell everything in a single blog
post, focus on the specific, target industry related
feature of your location. Finding topics is a kind of
art, so follow your instincts.
● Concentric: Start with the bigger picture (e.g
Eastern Europe, the investment destination) and go
ahead to your location (Hungary).
● Short: write a A4 equal text only.
#5 Background video
People prefer to view videos than to read the same
information (somewhere I've seen a nice infographich about
it). On the top of that: Google loves embedded videos
(especially: embedded YouTube videos), and ranks your
post much higher with a video. The background video
provides background information to your blog post, and
makes it a 21th century multi-media channel. Choose a
short, maximum 10 minutes (even more: 5 minutes) video.
What if you simply don't find any related, interesting and
useful material on YouTube? The back-up plan: find and
embed a SlideShare.Net presentation.
At the end of your blog post tell your reader what to do if
he/she liked/ was agree with your statements. Calls to action
● Visit your "sales site" - a website where you are
talking about a logistic park in your location, or your
EDO’s site selector page.
● Subscribe to your blog updates
● Leave a comment after the blog post, or contact you
The goal of call-to-action is reaching a response from reader
- as a blogger you should support site selectors' job, so be
happy to answer prospects' questions.
Would your target audience pay for your content?
A final secret of business blogging: refine your blog post
until you feel, your prospects would pay for it. Naturally, it's
free of charge, but when you treat your blog post as a
product which has to be sold, you will avoid the pushing
OK, you know the fundamentals, but how to start
blogging? First of all: choose a free blog platform. I
prefer Blogger, because of a strange reason: you can
customize your blog’s width in Blogger Template
Designer. It’s critical because you can embed extra
large (600-800 px wide) images into your posts - and
remember, an impressive picture worths 1000 of
words. When you created your blog, buy an own URL
like yourdestination.com (for 10-12 USD per year,
inside your blog platform).
Before you start to blog, try to find blogging partners,
who can help you to create site selection supporting
content. Local labour agencies, business parks,
associations, but also professional content creators
can be a good choice.
My name is Dr. Balazs Csorjan. I’m dealing with investment promotion since
2002, as a colleague of the Hungarian national investment promotion agency
and later as an independent investment promotion specialist, taking part in
350+ site selection projects. On my blog you can learn about
city/regional-level investment promotion, economic development blogging,
slidesharing and YouTube channel practices.
Thnx a lot! It may be a general and
short overview of the topic. Email your
focused question to
csorjan @ businessparkinstitute.com
and I try to answer it.