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Invest Puerto Rico

At a Glance
In the summer of 2020, ExpandTheRoom was hired by economic development organization Invest Puerto Rico to relaunch their website as a focal point for the group’s global marketing, communications, and lead-generation activities. On a parallel path, InvestPR was undergoing a full rebranding initiative. Notably, our timeframe found us kicking off just as the COVID-19 pandemic was emerging, complicating the project from several angles – but also providing more opportunity as companies around the world began pioneering new ways of working through fast-paced digital transformation.
+167%
Users from Organic Search
+13.4%
Average Session Duration
22%
Average Page Load Time Reduction
  • “By integrating a spectrum of market relevant features with a streamlined UX, strategic design, visual imagery and improved overall functionality, the website has become a key component to enabling our organization’s mission.”

    Nicole Vilalte, CMO, Invest Puerto Rico
Collage photo of Puerto Rico

The Challenge

Invest Puerto Rico is a public-private partnership created in 2019 to elevate Puerto Rico as a world-class business destination. While it’s been a challenging few years for the island, it is also clear that with challenge comes resilience. Puerto Rico is home to exceptional research universities, a talented bilingual workforce, robust government incentives, a vibrant culture, a fantastic quality of life, and the benefits of U.S. law and copyright protection. With the establishment of Invest Puerto Rico, there is an opportunity to bring this message to the world and create the next great turnaround story.

Desktop view of page design for Invest Puerto Rico

It was clear from our interviews with organization stakeholders that this new economic development site needed to be as inspirational as it was informative. As Invest Puerto Rico CMO Nicole Vilalte says, “Invest Puerto Rico’s website needed to incorporate not just facts and data points, but offer a valuable tool to support the efforts of our business development team as well as facilitate engagement with stakeholders, helping them make informed decisions about Puerto Rico as an investment destination.”

Screen shots of the new InvestPR site

The site’s primary audience is global companies interested in moving operations to the island. Secondary audiences include investors, workers wanting to relocate to the territory, and the organization’s many stakeholders across government, the private sector, NGOs, non-profits, and professional organizations. The new website would need to exceed the expectations of CEOs and site selectors looking for information on the business climate and legal frameworks, on-island resources and infrastructure, workforce recruitment potential, and real estate options. And it had to showcase the exceptional and undeniable quality of life offered by the island. It couldn’t feel like a tourism site, but it needed to clearly communicate what is special about Puerto Rico and its culture. Because the pandemic had limited in-person networking (in an industry historically based on face-to-face interaction), there was even more of an imperative to make the site the centerpiece of InvestPR’s communication and information efforts. It had to excite and engage users with powerful storytelling. And importantly, the site needed to make it easy for prospects to get in touch with the right team members at InvestPR and to capture qualified leads.   

There was a lot at stake. Getting it right could help bring hundreds of millions of dollars in capital commitment to the island, and set the stage for a brighter future for business owners, shareholders, and residents alike.   

Our Head of Technology, Ryan Ogden, doing some boots-on-the-ground research in Puerto Rico.
Our Head of Technology, Ryan Ogden, doing some boots-on-the-ground research in Puerto Rico.

Approach and Solution

ETR’s engagement began with a competitive analysis of the economic development digital landscape. Our strategists examined who’s competing for investment and the attention of these companies that are looking to make a move, and how are they leveraging their websites to drive awareness and capture leads. We interviewed all of InvestPR’s primary stakeholders and analyzed the existing data to determine what was working, what needed fixing, and where focus was needed to help drive the organization’s goals. We recommended a re-platform of the existing Webflow site to WordPress to take advantage of a highly customizable system with strong third-party integration capability (these integrations would include Salesforce, live chat functionality, and comprehensive analytics). Because InvestPR is seeking investment from a global audience, we also internationalized the site so that it will be available in English, Spanish, German, and Mandarin – with the potential to expand to more languages.

Screenshots from ETR's discovery readout

We settled on a bright and open creative direction that employed unique elements such as a subtle waveform to set off sections of pages and lots of white space to accentuate InvestPR’s exceptional photography. Because statistics matter to the intended audience, we employed a bold visual treatment to key stats and figures. Our goal was to create an impression of vitality and energy that would match the power of the information the site would be serving up. Other creative elements included an interactive map of universities and pharmaceutical headquarters, a video loop for the homepage hero area, and accordion components that make it easy to expand page sections to see the wealth of information without burdening the initial visit. The site’s modular design, built on WordPress Gutenberg blocks, allows for InvestPR’s marketing team to quickly generate campaign landing pages for new initiatives.

Building on InvestPR's new brand work, ETR developed a style guide for the website for everything from data treatments to photography to copy usage.
Building on InvestPR’s new brand work, ETR developed a style guide for the website for everything from data treatments to photography to copy usage.
To showcase the breadth of Puerto Rico's academic and scientific centers, we developed an interactive map to display locations with a simple filtering mechanism.
To showcase the breadth of Puerto Rico’s academic and scientific centers, we developed an interactive map to display locations with a simple filtering mechanism.

A key piece to the puzzle was the website’s content. The good news was that there was a tremendous amount of written information available. The flip side of that coin was that the sheer volume of information was threatening to weigh down the pages and clutter the user experience, making the site difficult to navigate and digest. ExpandTheRoom’s content strategy and copywriting team worked with InvestPR to streamline and embolden the copy, reducing it by nearly half while retaining crucial information in a way that would conform to the new modular page designs. Most importantly, each page had to tell a concise and powerful story – seamlessly linked to its images and relevant data points – to motivate outreach to InvestPR’s business development team.

Revised InvestPR design

With the strategy set, technology stack defined, design system established, and site content created, it was just a matter of executing to perfection. ETR and InvestPR’s production teams swung into action and brought the new website to life, launching the new destination in November of 2021 as a complement a massive marketing blitz that included full-page advertisements in the Sunday New York Times, Boston Globe, Fast Company, Forbes, Business Week, Bloomberg, and USA Today, as well as cross-platform social media exposure, out-of-home, and PR.

Results

With the new website in the market and a seasoned team at the helm, it was immediately clear that InvestPR was ready to change the game. Looking just at organic traffic, sessions are up 108% over the prior Webflow site and bounce rate was down 6.5%, and the site has performed flawlessly (ultra-fast loading pages and zero down time to date on a WordPress Engine hosting solution). More importantly, the leads have been pouring in.

“This is an exciting moment for Puerto Rico as we find ourselves in the unique position of propelling our future,” says Vilalte. “The island’s ecosystem of startup incubators, incentives, shared workspaces, and tropical lifestyle has made it a rising hub for worldwide companies looking for a new, innovative destination to call home. Moreover, millions of dollars in federal investment to build infrastructure, a capable bilingual workforce, smart incentives, and more are shining a bright light on the island. Our goal at InvestPR is to demonstrate via our channels the wealth of opportunities available for those who want to build businesses and make their dreams a reality.”

From economic development to e-commerce (from banking to brewhouses), if you’re looking for a partner to guide and work with you on your next project, we would love to hear from you.

Reach out to ExpandTheRoom