County board approves allocation of ARPA funds to targeted digital marketing services

By Jalen Maki

Tomahawk Leader Editor

LINCOLN COUNTY – Lincoln County will allocate American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to targeted digital marketing services.

During its meeting at the Lincoln County Service Center in Merrill on Tuesday, March 19, the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors gave the thumbs up to a resolution approving the use of $120,000.00 in ARPA funds for marketing services offered by Midwest Communications, a Wausau-based multimedia company.

Cameo Almli of Midwest Communications provided the board with a presentation on the company’s offerings.

Almli explained that through digital marketing, the company can promote the county’s natural resources and recreation opportunities. The company is able to use data from cell phones, computers and other digital means to identify individuals who are interested in activities offered in Lincoln County and distribute advertisements to those individuals based on their expressed interests.

As an example, Almli said a person in Chicago who is looking into canoeing may see an ad highlighting such opportunities in Lincoln County.

Almli said the company is able to conduct targeted advertising via “non-traditional cable services,” such as Charter Communications, Roku and Hulu, as well as social media, utilizing 15-second videos.

The company also has the ability to conduct targeted advertising in specific areas for designated amounts of time. Almli explained that if there was a canoeing event in another community, Midwest Communications could promote Lincoln County canoeing opportunities to individuals in that area for 30 days.

Midwest Communications can provide reporting and analytics data showing the effectiveness of the advertisements.

Almli noted that Midwest Communications is a local company and that she is a resident of the area, which gives her and her team of roughly 80 people an advantage in understanding what the county is looking for in terms of promotion.

Midwest Communications currently works with the City of Merrill.

“It’s just unbelievable what we can do,” Almli stated. “It’s pretty cool because of the fact that we can get so narrowed, and we can target exactly who you’d want. The sky’s the limit to what we can do.”

After brief discussion, the board approved the resolution.

The board originally gave its stamp of approval to use ARPA dollars for county promotion last year. In April 2023, the board gave the green light to a vision statement and branding with the goal of boosting tourism. The following month, the board voted to earmark $500,000.00 in ARPA funds to be used for marketing the county.

ARPA dollars have also been used for improving campgrounds, parks and county roads.

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