We love using data to inform content strategy. The 2017 Federal Content Marketing Review data provided interesting insights into where federal decision makers go for content and what they want to see.
We recently spoke with a decision maker inside the government (who requested we not identify him) about his thoughts and perspectives. While this is only one perspective, it does shed some insight into what federal decision makers are looking for in the content.
“If I have a problem, the first thing I will do is an internet search to find information,” he said. This aligns with the study, which showed the most effective delivery channel is search engines (83%).
His second go-to source to learn about innovative solutions is LinkedIn Influencers. He says he automatically trusts content on LinkedIn more than corporate blogs, in part because he knows the authors have deep expertise in the subjects. It’s not about selling the company’s product; it’s about exchanging ideas and best practices.
That said, corporate information is valuable to him (and 82% of study respondents find corporate websites valuable). The content he finds there, whether it is a downloadable document or a microsite, needs to show three things for him to take interest:
- The company has implemented this solution before. He wants to see some sort of proof, either through case studies or testimonials.
- A discussion of the specific problem the company solved for the client. Broad discussions don’t tell him what he wants to know — he is skeptical when a company claims they can do anything.
- The impact. He wants to know how this solution impacted the mission and the difference it makes for the customer.
He agrees with the data that product specifications, case studies, and data and research are important types of content. For him, which type depends on where he is in process and where he is accessing the information. But in general, he likes very short pieces of content — a one page for an article or a short video.
He suggested people selling to the government use the CIO’s Digital Services Playbook as a guideline in how to develop content to reach the government. After all, this is how agencies are approaching their constituents.