Funding approved for web site, social media

Effort is joint project with city, county and leadership of WCABI

— Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Anne Blankenship The City Council of Webster City approved full funding for a second year for a new web site designed to help draw people to Hamilton County and Webster City.

A new web site intended to help draw people to Hamilton County and Webster City will receive full funding for its second year.

The Webster City City Council voted unanimously to contribute $6,000 to continue operating the web site hamiltoncountyiowawelcomehome.com and related social media marketing.

”Maybe we’re not overly impressed with the results we’ve got so far, but it’s a snowball,” said Councilman Logan Welch. ”Social media is a snowball.”

He said his own Facebook page started with just one friend and snowballed from there.

The Hamilton County Board of Supervisors and the leadership of the Wesbter City Association of Business and Industry have already approved their $6,000 contributions to the effort.

City Manager Daniel Ortiz-Hernandez had recommended that the City Council contribute just $3,000.

”What are we getting for our investment in this venture?” he asked.

He noted that including contributions from the city, county, local companies and the Association of Business and Industry, $65,200 has either been spent or will be spent on a web site that went live on Jan. 31.

One of his specific concerns is the domain name, which he considers to be long.

Councilman Brian Miller said that Webster City Custom Meats and Seneca Foundry are paying $5,000 each for the web site. He asked what their money is being used for.

Hamilton County Supervisor Doug Bailey said $4,500 from each business helps to pay for the marketing effort while $500 pays for a video specifically about each company.

Bailey said some other businesses, such as Abens Realty, pay $2,500 for a small ad on the web site that links to their own web sites.

”To me, it could be sustaining on its own if they sell enough ads,” Miller said.

Bailey said the web site received about 5,000 views in February and March. But he said he thinks it’s ”pretty early” to analyze any data on the web site’s use or impact.

The web site and social media marketing efforts are managed by OHP Marketing Services of Webster City.

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