The 2016 Government Contractor Study showed that 75 percent of contractors find thought leadership materials an effective tool to influence their audience. We agree. However, to realize the benefits of thought leadership content, these pieces need to reach the right audience. How can you know where your audience is?
To answer that question for you, market research looks at buyer behaviors that tell you where your prospects go for education and information, or even where you can reach them to build awareness of your brand. The Market Connections Federal Media and Marketing Study (FMMS) is one such dataset. The study collects data on:
- Job Function and Purchase Responsibility (25-plus occupations and areas of purchase, by product and service)
- Purchase by Dollar Volume
- Media Usage(50-plus publications, 70-plus websites and mobile sites; 15-plus social sites; differences inside the Beltway vs. outside)
- Mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, e-readers for access to email, news websites, social media and video)
- Social Media sites
When you have this information about your buyers, deciding when, where and how to push out your thought leadership content is easy. If your audience uses LinkedIn to learn about industry trends but doesn’t use Twitter, then it makes sense to develop a LinkedIn strategy. If your clients tend to read one publication over others, then that is a publication to target.
For example, we recently used the FMMS study to determine where one of our clients could best research specific customers (based on job description). The client didn’t want to reach all government buyers, just those in a specific roll. The client had two goals, one of which was to demonstrate subject matter expertise in a new market — a goal that aligns well with developing thought leadership materials.
Based on the FMMS data, we knew the audience segment the client wanted to reach turns to Government Executive above other publications to learn about industry trends. Therefore, pitching bylined articles (based on industry research and client case studies) was an important piece of its content strategy. The client was able to move forward with confidence that its message would reach the right audience.
Unlike some data sources, the FMMS data runs are available to anyone who purchases the dynamic web-based reporting tool. The tool allows you to cross-tabulate survey results to create your own customized data views, such as job title and product purchases; or job title and web site visits or publication readership. It is by drilling down in the data that you find the best methods of reaching your buyers.
The 2016 FMMS is fielding now, and the results will be available in time to use the tool to help develop a 2017 content marketing plan. Stay tuned for details on the release date.
Federal Employees: Make your voice heard! What publications do you trust? How do you consume media? We want to know. Take the survey today.