FOLEY - The HOTspot on 59 (217 North McKenzie Street, Foley) has been in the area since January, and since March has been helping businesses tap into one of the fastest growing markets around: the …
FOLEY - The HOTspot on 59 (217 North McKenzie Street, Foley) has been in the area since January, and since March has been helping businesses tap into one of the fastest growing markets around: the digital market.
“Initially the idea was to have a coworking space because we thought that businesses would need help developing, but we quickly found out that a lot of them already have decently established businesses here,” said owner Gary Campbell. “What we discovered was a lot of people were lacking a digital understanding: they have the business side and the physical side of operations down, but I noticed a lot of people that didn’t even have websites, if they did they were outdated, or they lacked a presence on social media.”
After the realization, the concept of the HOTspot shifted from a coworking space to become a place geared towards digital services. A team has been built throughout the country, with future plans to expand. Resources have been collected across the country as well, and the HOTspot’s tagline says it’s a local service with national resources. The business currently works with 14 companies, focusing on polishing websites, integrating businesses towards social media outlets and educating them on the proper use of digital platforms. Another big concern at the HOTspot is assisting both existing businesses to keep Downtown Foley’s character and new comers to help the area flourish.
“I’m local to the area, but I moved to Foley because I noticed there’s been a lot of change here recently,” Campbell said. “What I saw was two groups: there’s the people that have been here for generations and have businesses established, and there’s the new people who are coming in and shaking things up, moving things around. My end goal is to be able to help blend those two groups, because a lot of times in communities new businesses will come in and either steamroll the core businesses or the core businesses will win out and the new businesses will close. We want to keep the area Foley and make the transition between the groups as smooth as possible.”
Campbell states he knows people can become overwhelmed when they hear digital or online, and after hundreds of hours of research and discussions with professionals, he’s developed a three-phase process to assist his clients with creating a stronger digital footprint. Phase one is centered on a business’ foundation, their websites or central platform, which Campbell refers to as digital real estate. The second phase is social media, or a business’ online personality, and SEO, Search Engine Optimization. SEO refers to bumping a website up in ranking, as research shows the first three websites that pop up during a search are the most frequently clicked on. The HOTspot helps businesses increase website rankings to move closer to the top of web searches. The final phase is multimedia marketing, when the HOTspot helps companies produce videos or create Facebook or Google ads to boost traffic and get businesses’ information out to the community.
“People need to know that it’s important to start thinking about the digital side of things,” Campbell said. “I want to help the old and new businesses transition with the growth seamlessly and not end up in a deadlock with nothing happening downtown. I want people to feel free to be able to come to the HOTspot and talk to me about their business, I want to see downtown grow. The better people do digitally, the better we’ll do downtown. While the physical side of business is important, digital is your image. The 35 and under crowd are going to look up a place online before they visit it, and that’s where the digital image comes into play.”
To learn more about the HOTspot, what they can offer businesses, or to discuss rates, you can visit the website at www.HOTspoton59.com, call Campbell personally at 251-243-2920, or send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.