While bordering cities may view each other as good neighbors, there is certainly a growing competitive spirit as they compete for new businesses, tourists, and home buyers.

Across the nation, cities – of all sizes – are battling for their economic survival with incentives, events, and even face-painting artists at street festivals.

Here are a few examples:

  • The city of Bethlehem, Pa., has partnered with Lehigh University. The two are working to stimulate growth on the city’s South Side, which has suffered in recent years due to the closing of Bethlehem Steel Corp. The Lehigh Student Senate Bethlehem Outreach Committee works with city officials to stimulate growth through street festivals featuring face painters, performances by the a cappella group, and other activities.
  • Many cities provide lucrative tax incentives to attract businesses to settle in their areas.
  • Others are installing user-friendly access to downtowns such as improved transportation systems, wider turn lanes, and improved lighting.
  • Perhaps the most innovative is that Vermont will pay people up to $10,000 to move there and work remotely.

While these efforts may seem extreme, they are becoming more and more common and go hand-in-hand with improved schools, new parks, and trendy downtowns.

It’s a matter of survival. So, it’s no surprise that these cities are also turning to the new world of digital marketing, and frequently this starts with a mobile-friendly website, SEO campaigns, and Facebook and Instagram initiatives.

Frequently, videos are at the center of these activities. Along with blogs and press coverage, videos have been added to the marketing mix as an effective way to attract audiences to websites with hopes of getting more information.

Deerfield Beach, a small city in northern Broward County, Florida is turning up the heat as it competes with trendier neighboring cities such as Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. It has quite a bit to offer and is promoting these advantages with a 3-minute video titled “More Than Just A Pretty Beach’.

This video appeals to a variety of folks – business owners, families, tourists, and homebuyers. These groups are represented in the video that will be used at trade shows, on the city website, and on Facebook and Instagram. It’s also appropriate for use at trade shows, chamber events, and service club meetings.

It will showcase the following:

  • Distribution center
  • Surfers and volleyball players at the beach
  • Aerials of beachfront hotels
  • Splash pool at Sullivan Park
  • Families diningThe message is that Deerfield Beach is a destination where residents and business can thrive. “Cities are becoming more and more aware of how to use videos and other marketing tools to compete online and on more traditional marketing platforms,” said Todd Paton, president of Paton Marketing which is producing this video. “Municipalities are entering a new era of marketing that has been used by businesses for quite some time. “It’s all about promoting benefits and services. And today, this starts online.”

The message is that Deerfield Beach is a destination where residents and business can thrive.

“Cities are becoming more and more aware of how to use videos and other marketing tools to compete online and on more traditional marketing platforms,” said Todd Paton, president of Paton Marketing which is producing this video. “Municipalities are entering a new era of marketing that has been used by businesses for quite some time.

“It’s all about promoting benefits and services. And today, this starts online.”

Todd Paton is President and founder of Paton Marketing (www.patonmarketing.com) , a Pompano Beach-based digital marketing firm that builds websites and directs SEO and social media campaigns. The firm also focuses on creating promotional videos for municipalities nationwide.