Online Life in Indy Campaign Boosts Attraction and Retention for Central Indiana

By Aspire Economic Development + Chamber Alliance | | 4.8.24

Life In Indy, a project initiated in October 2020 with support from the Lilly Endowment, has blossomed into a crucial attraction and retention resource for the Indianapolis region.

Joe Pellman, Executive Director of Regional Image Marketing at the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, spoke on the project's inception and impact.

"The idea was simple: develop a livability blog that features content on neighborhoods across the nine-county Indianapolis region, things to do, and career opportunities," said Pellman.

“Something that replaces the moving trucks and storage facilities from top Google searches for those considering a move to the Indy market.”

The platform,, launched in March 2021, backed by a network of local influencers called "Indyfluencers" who contribute content and engage with potential residents directly.

Pellman emphasized the economic significance of attracting new residents to the region. "Based on research from the IU Public Policy Institute, a new resident has an annual economic impact of roughly $71,250 when averaging urban and suburban dwellers," he said.

"Based on this datapoint, Life In Indy can account for at least $4.7 million in economic impact to date from individuals attracted or retained in the Indy region that interacted with Life In Indy tools and resources based on our own tracking."

However, Pellman noted that quantifying the platform's full impact is challenging.

Pellman and the Indy Chamber have opened the Life in Indy campaign up to general community engagement.

"Step #1 is browsing," added Pellman. "If someone sees a gap in content they feel could be beneficial for newcomers to Central Indiana, or topics they wish they would have known when they chose to build their life here, we want to know about it.”

Pellman recommended for those who are passionate about their municipality and want to share that enthusiasm with potential residents to join their Indyfluencer network.

The Indyfluencer network is a program of volunteer residents and local social media influencers who work with the Life In Indy campaign to connect with and welcome prospective new residents.

Reflecting on Life In Indy's progress, Pellman described it as "narrative infrastructure," boasting over 40 neighborhood articles, hundreds of stories, and a strong social media presence. However, he stressed the importance of scaling efforts through increased awareness and adoption by local employers.

To expand their outreach, Life in Indy is collaborating with organizations like Aspire Johnson County. Life in Indy’s website features the neighborhoods and assets of Johnson County and Indianapolis’s southside to potential future residents.

"I couldn’t be more excited to work with Aspire to focus a portion of our national advertising campaigns on the specific workforce needs of Johnson County,” said Pellman.

Pellman expressed enthusiasm for future collaborations and the opportunity to further promote the region's appeal.

"The Aspire team has always been willing to test new ideas and partner in mutually beneficial ways”