Shelbyville Illinois now has a website that aims to help bolster the town’s Lake Shelbyville tourism and drive growth with newly launched community website Shelbyvilleillinois.net.
Shelbyville, IL -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/10/2012 -- Brian Tucker, SimplySell was approached by city officials in hopes of creating a website for the Shelbyville and surrounding Lake Shelbyville area, when there truly had not been much of a web presence Shelbyville Illinois previously. The town and Shelbyville Works members hoped for a website, but what they got was a comprehensive marketing tool that helps fulfill the town’s MAPPING goals and will hopefully serve to draw attention and tourism to the community.
“I got in touch with Shelbyville Works and have basically been working on this with them for the past year. We are launching it today. Shelbyvilleillinois.net is designed to serve the needs of the community and also tourists to the Shelbyville IL and the Lake Shelbyville area. Basically what we are doing is promoting Shelbyville and all of her assets. We drafted it around the initial MAPPING goals of promoting tourism, creating business, generating interest in and revitalizing the downtown, enriching our schools, and increasing volunteerism. We have created a specific, targeted marketing tool,” said Tucker, who has spent many hours on the project and feels it is a labor of love for the community he holds so dear.
Tucker recently moved back to the community after an 18 year hiatus. He returned five years ago and is working in marketing and sales process improvement and is the president of SimplySell, a company with offices in Shelbyville and Chicago, providing these services to clients worldwide.
Shelbyville Works had wanted a site up as soon as possible, last summer.
“The problem with that is that you do not need a municipal website here with city data. What you need is a marketing tool. We needed to put considerable effort into the site and put the right amount of time into marketing this. We needed to be strategic,” Tucker said.
Well, strategy ensued and by the fall of last year, it became apparent that it would take a good amount of time to pull together the information that would make this the viable site that would serve to honor the community and bring about the results that the committee desired.
“To spark interest, we created a social media presence. We are now on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. I donated a significant amount of time to record some YouTube videos about the area. What we found out was in the course of 60 days, we had almost 35,000 views of these videos. This showed us there are people looking to learn more about Shelbyville,” Tucker said, adding that he worked with the committee and the City Council over the next several months to formulate a marketing strategy and a website that are primed to attract tourism for the Fourth of July.
Having a website is one thing, but a poorly marketed website with an ill-thought out marketing plan can sink such an endeavor before it even has the chance to float.
A simple Google search of the community’s former tag line, “Illinois Best Kept Secret” brings about a litany of communities that identify themselves by the same moniker. According to Tucker, this is not an ideal method of marketing one’s community.
“It is just not a good idea to call your town a “Best Kept Secret”. We do not want it to be secret. We want to get the word out about Shelbyville. What we wanted to make of this was a method of providing a directory with all of the things that someone arriving in the area would need—their core needs, basically anything they could possibly need,” Tucker said.
With a goal of marketing their community’s assets, most websites simply provide basic information about their community and do not go beyond the superficial. This website takes a more in-depth approach and offers not only a myriad of information, but ways to be interactive and stay abreast of current events in the area.
“The site is mobile compatible, so anyone can access it from their smart phone. We thought this was a great idea because in this current age of technology, people are utilizing their smart phones to stay connected,” Tucker said, adding he hopes that people decide to get on the mailing list when they enter the site.
User’s can be placed on a mailing list, as well as partake in a blog roll with community information. Tucker said it will basically provide the latest information about what is going on in the area. There are also plans to add an in-depth history section about Shelbyville, in the future.
“Our mailing list will be sent out at least once a month and will have important information and coupons. It is just another way to get plugged in for perks and a way for us to compile a list of contacts so we can better communicate what is going on in the community around us,” Tucker said.
Tucker is excited about the possibilities that the new website will hopefully provide.
“Oh, this is a HUGE step in the right direction for Shelbyville. We have never really had something like this to effectively market ourselves. We hope to market the community and make this THE place to find out what is going on in the community. Of course, we have newspapers and such, but what we needed was a community website to help us stay connected,” Tucker said.
Tucker plans on utilizing a hot new technology called search engine optimization (SEO) to make this the first website of choice for those searching for information on the Shelbyville area using Internet search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. Having a website is a positive step, but without priority placement, Tucker feels that the site would fall short of its potential.
“Optimization is just another formula to our success. Basically, we just want to get this website where people can find it. There are a lot of websites out there and what good is having your billboard in the desert? We need to have this information where there is traffic and people can actually find it.”
Marketing a community on the information super highway is not just a positive thing to do—it is an imperative, according to Tucker.
“In today’s society, how can a community not market themselves like this? We needed to establish a brand for Shelbyville. It is what people say about you when you are not in the room. Marketing is about establishing a likeability and trust factor with people that will want to spend money in the community. This will provide a lot of information in an easy-to-use manner. When outsiders come to the site, it will build a solid vision and make them want to find out more. This is critical,” Tucker explained.
The site will also serve to assist the small businesses in the community that do not have a web presence. According to Tucker, mention on the new website will help these businesses and the community at large.
Though Tucker put much time and effort into the new website, he is quick to point out that Mayor Roy Shuff, city council, and the Shelbyville Works committee should receive much of the credit, adding that Shelbyville Works is the actual owner and operator of the new website while his company provides the marketing strategy and site design through a partnership.
“It was their idea; I just helped them realize it. This is a "community" website that is owned and run by Shelbyville Works. Though the City Council has been a great help, it is not a municipal website. I also want to thank the Chamber of Commerce for being so supportive and all of the people that have volunteered their time to make this website possible,” said Tucker.
“This has been a huge effort to get everyone talking and moving in the right direction. Now we can start to leverage and use this tool to serve us and our community. We want to make this THE hub and authority of information for the area.”
About Shelbyville Works
Shelbyville Works is a city council appointed group of community leaders, dedicated to economic development efforts and mapping the future of Shelbyville Illinois.
For more information about business and community marketing strategy and websites, contact Brian Tucker at (217) 407-4600 or visit the company website at www.simplysell.com
For more info on Shelbyville and Lake Shelbyville, visit http://www.shelbyvilleillinois.net