Business-to-government (B2G) marketing comes with an array of challenges. In an ever changing political and global economy, it can be difficult to promote your company, attract the right audience, and showcase your achievements. Government contractors have traditionally lagged behind their B2B counterparts when it comes to changing times.
The good news is there are a number of ways a government contractor can improve their marketing and website to build a brand that will take advantage of the large amount of federal spending. The availability of marketing tools and resources for government contractors has increased exponentially. Here are 9 Essential Marketing & Website Strategies that make worthwhile investments for your communication efforts.
1. An Exceptional Website
It’s 2020 and websites that look outdated and those that are built on a template with that ‘web guy’ ten years ago are missing the big picture. A bad B2G website is a signal to the visitor that your organization isn’t prioritizing it’s image or doesn’t have the financial resources or interest in growth.
There’s a reason that many of your competitors have put a significant amount of money into their websites — websites are a better investment over the long term. A government contractor website design company can help you match your brand with your specific needs so that you can attract the right visitors, talent, and potential partners to your website. And while it may be tempting to use something template-based, you’ll be missing out on tools and functionality that can help you reach your goals.
2. Dynamic Marketing Dashboards
Having a great website presence doesn’t mean much if you don’t know what is and isn’t happening on your website. Today’s marketing dashboards make it easier than ever to access and understand where to focus additional engagement and marketing efforts. While Google Analytics still plays a role, it doesn’t provide a full picture of the business activity especially with the various Martech tools that are being used in conjunction with websites these days.
A dashboard gives a marketing team, such as a VP or CMO, one central area to quickly and effectively assess KPIs from various marketing activities. High-level dashboards give government contractors more marketing data and insight into how your strategies are working.
A marketing dashboard for a government contractor provides a consistent and automated reporting on the performance of your digital activities.
3. Focus on Content Marketing
One of the main areas a government contracting website can tap into is creating a more powerful content marketing strategy. Content marketing allows for a high level of control, ensuring your business maintains professional regulations and standards in your digital campaigns. “Content marketing enables you to demonstrate your company’s expertise and knowledge in an area that’s important to the customer.” (Pulse)
By creating engaging content that interests different buyer personas you are looking to market towards, you have the ability to build an important component of the buying process — trust. “Content assets give your sales team something to talk about up front while establishing trust and rapport and facilitating deeper conversations.” (Pulse) Your content should be structured around educating government and defense professionals on topics such as industry news, the latest innovations, upcoming industry events, and product recommendations.
Content can be integrated into your B2G website as a blog or news section. By providing a wealth of knowledge to professionals, you can begin to establish your business as a trusted resource for information (which can help lead to more sales later on). Content marketing also helps improve search rankings, helping your business gain more attention and visibility online.
4. Email Marketing Still Works
Today’s inboxes are more crowded than ever to the point that most email providers are now offering users a specific spam folder to filter incoming emails. The reality is that email marketing hasn’t slowed down according to Validity’s State of Email Marketing report.
Yet, many government contractors have only dabbled in email marketing without really leveraging its full potential to test messaging or engage your audience with thoughtful content.
Email marketing shouldn’t be painful, it should be thoughtful with relevant content. With the COVID-19 pandemic making remote work even more regular, marketers are relying on their online campaigns to deliver critical news and updates more-than-ever.
5. Enhance Your Careers Section
Another area of focus for your government contracting website and marketing is your careers section. Finding qualified employees is just as important as generating revenue. Oftentimes the career section of a B2G website just consists of a listing of job postings and not much else. Instead, give visitors a glimpse into your workplace environment and why they may want to work with you. By working with a developer to enhance this area of your website, you can increase the number of qualified applicants interested in working with your company, thereby increasing the productivity of your workforce.
Many template websites use stock photos that are very easy to identify, even to an untrained eye, and can detract from the brand experience. Consider incorporating professional corporate headshot services to help humanize your pages.
You will also want to give individuals insight into any unique benefits you offer that your competition may not. For example, benefits such as paid sick leave or a 401k are pretty standard at most companies. But options such as flexible work hours, a team-focused environment, monthly company outings, and work-from-home opportunities are benefits that might set your business apart.
6. Target Local Customers With Geofencing
Geofencing is a cost-effective advertising solution for government contractors that allows them to attract a specific audience based on location. Geofencing pinpoints a specific location using mapping technology and delivers advertising messaging only to that area. Since government professionals tend to be located more in larger cities, this is an effective way to reach the right individuals with your messages, products, and services.
7. Get Noticed Through Search Engine Strategy
To increase qualified leads to your website, your B2G organization needs to place some of your marketing emphasis on search. If your government contracting website does not rank well on search engines — and we don’t mean for your company name — then you risk losing leads to competitors. Whether that’s a prime contractor trying to find other government contractors to sub out work or potential new hires looking for jobs, if your organization is invisible to search, then qualified traffic will go elsewhere. One of the first aspects of search engine marketing is to first make sure your B2G website is in the most optimal ranking position. Onsite search engine ranking factors include:
Performance (preferably 2 seconds or under)
Installing a sitemap
Meta description tags
Content (newer content ranks better)
Oftentimes this means partnering with a government marketing company and SEO strategists that can help attract the right type of government professionals to your website. SEO strategists can help analyze your current competition and their SEO strategy to develop a search campaign for you that generates a good return on investment.
8. Build Your Network Through Social Strategy
Social media marketing is a great place for B2G companies to build their network. LinkedIn can be an effective way to get your business in front of the right government professionals who are making project and purchasing decisions.
Social media is also a great space to enhance your content marketing strategy. As you write new business blog posts or news articles, social media allows you to share this information to a targeted audience, increasing the level of engagement with your posts.
Social media also provides an additional outlet of communication directly with government professionals, in a more informal and less intimidating space. You may want to consider linking your social pages directly to your website, as it gives visitors a quick glimpse at the latest news and industry topics.
9. Create a Better Online Product Experience
To engage government professionals and stand out among competitors, your B2G company needs to present its product in the best possible way. New technology and development now allows for virtual reality and 3D interactive design to be incorporated into a website, allowing visitors a more in-depth experience when learning more about your product. Using visual media can explain the features and benefits of your product in a more entertaining and engaging way. These types of integrations not only allow for an immersive global experience, but are also more memorable than traditional one pagers and often wordy technical documents.
Onsite enhancements that will help deliver a better product experience:
Custom product photography
Overall, business-to-government marketing may have some limitations, but with the right digital strategy your B2G business can engage more professionals that may have an interest in your solutions. Whether it’s a sophisticated government marketing website or relying on great marketing campaigns, there is plenty of opportunity to propel your company forward.
We recommend a combination of content marketing, social media, search engine strategy, and new onsite visual or media elements.
Alliance Interactive is a full service digital agency providing B2G Government Contractor Web Design services. See how we can help your organization, contact us here.