Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Content Program Attracts & Educates Niche Audience
To attract the right audience, you have to speak their language. And who better to demonstrate the value of Wisconsin’s start-up community than the entrepreneurs who have tread this ground before? Wisconsin’s lead economic development agency needed a better way to attract and cultivate the entrepreneur and start-up community in the state. Knowing that this sophisticated and tech-savvy audience was hungry for information and education, we implemented a multi-faceted content marketing program designed to create an emotional connection. Utilizing video interviews with actual entrepreneurs as the foundation of a broad distribution strategy and tapping into state partners for content syndication, the program exceeded expectations by every metric.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the state’s lead economic development agency, was seeking a better way to communicate about the resources available to its audience in the entrepreneur and start-up community. In discovery, we learned that this sophisticated and tech-savvy audience sought and consumed information through a number of different channels. We also knew, through content marketing experience and credible third-parties, that video is one of the most highly-consumed and shared forms of content.
Based on these findings, we set out to design a multi-faceted content marketing program around a formative piece of content – in this case a video – that compellingly communicated the details of the agency’s various programs and funding sources. Based on interviews with entrepreneurs who had previously received assistance from WEDC, we developed key takeaways and insights to highlight in the video that would provide an emotional connection with the target audience. The video would serve as the foundation of a broad content publishing strategy.
We traveled to the headquarters of 10 centers of innovation around the state to capture the stories of young companies who successfully partnered with WEDC. We also developed a content distribution strategy and timeline to publish across multiple channels in phases designed to maximize impact and reach the widest audience. The video was used to launch a new Entrepreneurs & Innovators (E&I) website, where the video was also featured on the E&I blog, as well as YouTube and Vimeo, LinkedIn and Twitter, in media pitches, in the newsletter and as part of a content syndication program with WEDC’s state partners. A 30-second clip was also used as pre-roll in digital advertising efforts, including banner ads and on partner websites.
The campaign generated an increase in visits to the website, as well as an increase in time spent and overall engagement on the website. On social media we saw an increase in followers and re-posting of content; many statewide partners also shared the content on their owned and social media channels. The video was showcased at the Wisconsin Innovation Awards ceremony in Madison, Wis., where there were more than 300 entrepreneurs in attendance, and received more than 4,000 total impressions.