Crikey, it hasn’t half been a mixed can of worms in the local press lately…
The landscape around the area at the moment seems to be one of ‘either or’; one of extremes. We’d like to think it’s not just Macclesfield, more of a wider trend facing high streets across the United Kingdom.
Take for instance when we wrote about Macclesfield’s high street in June, when it was reported that Macclesfield has the highest number of empty shops across the whole of the Cheshire East borough.
It made for pretty bleak reading. Recently though, the news seemed to brighten when it was announced that plans were submitted for the £13m Barracks Mill development.
Some love the idea, some hate it; whatever your thoughts though the ‘hundreds of jobs’ it will create can only be good news, surely?
Then, back to the other side of the coin as it was revealed Ask Retail won’t be ploughing ahead with the £19 million Churchill Way project. Bad times…
Which is what we’re going to focus on here, as following on from the report it was revealed that the town council is demanding more investment from Cheshire East, with councillors describing Macclesfield as the county’s ‘forgotten’ town.
Even worse was a publicised freedom of information request showing how, between 2014 and 2020, Crewe will have received a total of £98m, while Macclesfield will have been given capital funding to the tune of just £10 million.
Macclesfield deserves more
We may not fully understand the full reasons why Ask Retail have pulled out of their project, but it’s not the first time we’ve been built up and let down in Macclesfield (remember the Silk Street development collapse after 10 years of planning?)
We think councillor Nick Mannion said it best: “It appears as though the town is not high on [Cheshire East’s] list of priorities. And one of the worst things is that there isn’t any proposed investment, even in the future.
“And with the collapse of the regeneration plan we appear to have got the worst of both worlds; there is no external investment and there is none from Cheshire East.
“I think the town is going to have to sort itself out as it can’t rely on Cheshire East which has failed the town twice over the past 10 years regarding the town centre redevelopment. We have been badly short changed.”
It’s hard to argue with those comments, and is part of the reason why, when writing about the state of the high street, we did so with the desire to provide not just solutions to small businesses with a digital approach, but to do so with the traditional ‘northern grit’ that we’re known for around these parts.
Though it isn’t a solution to every single problem facing businesses and the high street, the right online approach can help to target the right customers, expose your brand locally and potentially boost sales. With the right approach, too, it can also help you to attract investment.
How to attract investors online
Investors can be quite a broad term. For the purposes of this blog, we’re defining investors in the traditional sense, and also people you could work with as a B2B provider (as we’ve already previously covered some of the best ways to use inbound marketing to attract B2C customers).
Typical inbound marketing tactics will still apply here when looking to attract investors to Macclesfield, as you make use of channels including email marketing, social media, content creation and much more besides.
The difference is though that you’ll be spending a lot more time on the strategic side of things, trying to identify the most realistic targets most likely to listen to what you have to say and who are most likely to convert into actual investors.
For example, if you’re looking for more customers on, say, Facebook, it can be worth targeting ads to a broad, local demographic. When looking for investors or profitable B2B partners however, it will be more worth your while focusing on key decision makers and CEOs with specific interests relevant to how you operate.
Here are three tips to target investors more effectively:
1: Engage with people on professional networks
Obviously, LinkedIn is likely your best bet here. While you can identify potential companies and higher-ups on Twitter and Facebook, focusing your B2B and investor strategy on LinkedIn can go a long way simply because of its professional nature.
The more time and effort you put into your LinkedIn presence, the more you will get out of it. That means structuring your page properly, creating content angled with laser-like precision to the people you’d like to interact with most, and approaching the right people in the right ways so they don’t block you and label you as spam.
2: Create content that grabs their attention
Creative content is going to be a key part of attracting the right people to your business, no matter your ambitions. Identify and research the people you want to work with carefully; identify their pain points and create content that revolves around how their lives could be so much easier with you on the books.
Again, precision is key here. Create the content for specific people and deliver it to them in the right ways. Take note of groups on LinkedIn too where the thoughts and ideas you express with your content could also potentially be shared with the right people.
3: Make communication as painless as possible
If you’re creating content on your site as a lead generator in the hope that somebody important visits your site to check you out, make sure the user journey on your site is impeccable and that it’s as painless as possible for the people you want to work with to get in touch with you.
That means sleek forms with few fields to fill out, ‘call now’ buttons so they can instantly phone you and even Facebook chatbots so they can have a direct line to you at a moment’s notice.
There are many other ways to use inbound marketing to attract the right people to your Macclesfield business if you’re ambitious and looking to grow. Contact the Web Presence team today and speak to a representative.
(Lead image: CC BY 2.0 Smith & Brown, Flickr)