Is your B2G marketing delivering the ROI you expect? Right now, there's a considerable gap between the content B2G marketers are offering to government buyers, and the content that those buyers actually use to make decisions. According to the Federal Marketing Review 2015 from Market Connections, the top three types of content favored by government buyers are research reports, webinars, and case studies, all checking in with a rating of 65 percent or higher. The content most favored by B2G marketers? Brochures and sales sheets, at 69 percent.
Updating your B2G marketing plan won't require a complete overhaul. You just need to change your focus to better align with what government agencies are looking for from marketing content. When a government buyer is hoping for a research report but receives a brochure instead, you can understand why that brochure isn't likely to make much of an impact. Let's look at a few ways you can update your marketing plan to better reflect the needs of today's government buyer.
Recycle and Repurpose Your Existing Resources
The good news is that you should already have plenty of valuable marketing materials on hand, even if those materials aren't formatted in the style government buyers are seeking. You can turn a brochure into a blog post, and you can turn a series of blog posts into a white paper, ebook, or webinar. So go through your existing resources, and identify items that still offer real value. Stay on top of the latest trends for B2G marketing, and repurpose your content accordingly.
Long-form content like white papers and ebooks serve two important purposes. First, they provide your target buyers with the data they need, in the format that's most comfortable for them. They're also great for moving customers through your inbound marketing funnel. When a prospect is intrigued by something you share on your blog or through social media, long-form is the perfect next-level tool to further increase engagement.
Start Blogging, and Be Consistent
Some of the most popular, high-traffic websites online started out as little more than humble blogs. Popular blogs don't get that way by accident. Successful blogging depends on perseverance more than anything else. Your blog won't likely generate huge readership numbers in the beginning, no matter how well you write and how much valuable insight you share. It takes time for Google to index your blog, and for readers to catch on to its value.
Fortunately, you're not trying to turn your blog into an online behemoth. You're targeting a specific group of readers, and offering an industry-specific brand of information. So don't be afraid to engage your audience, speak their language, and use industry terms when appropriate. You don't want your blog to read like a textbook, but being informative is more important than being innovative with blogging. Make the effort to promote your blog and engage with readers to ensure that your reach grows over time.
Use Outbound Tactics to Promote Your Content
Most would agree that inbound is the superior marketing option, but that doesn't mean outbound tactics are dead. In fact, you can use outbound marketing to promote some of the most important elements of your inbound marketing plan. When you create print marketing or other outbound advertising, be sure to feature your blog or website prominently. Building a reader base happens much more quickly when you advertise your content in the right places.
You should also be promoting your content through your other inbound marketing channels. Share your blog posts through your social media pages, and encourage conversation. Use SEO to boost your site's visibility, and draw readers to your valuable content. With inbound marketing, everything is connected. The machine works best when each element is running at maximum efficiency.
Throughout the process, it's important to remember your target audience. The latest trends in B2B marketing won't necessarily apply when you're selling to government agencies. You can improve your marketing significantly simply by making sure you follow the right data. As this year's Market Connections data shows, there's a wide gulf between what B2G marketing professionals are offering, and what government buyers want to see. Close that gap, and watch your bottom line benefit accordingly.