The on-demand recording of the Spring 2023 M4PS Content Marketing Review is available for purchase now.
This study gets to the ”why” and the “what” of your B2G marketing strategy to help you make choices that align with your company’s broader goals and budget needs. We are a partner in helping you achieve maximum results.
This on-demand workshop will give you the insights and information you need to go into FY24 primed for success. You will have access to:
- Four panel discussions among industry peers sharing their experiences and perspectives on marketing the buyer’s journey, creating impactful contents, hosting events (in person and online), and how to do all of that on a budget.
- The full report containing all of the data: content preferences, types of information the audience wants… and when, must-dos for events, and more.
- A one-page graphic with the data highlights to keep top of mind as you implement your plans.
B2G marketers: this article is part 3 of a 4-part series recapping the June 2023 Content Marketing Review.
Public Sector events are traditionally a high-value tactic. Is that still true? Travis Wolfe, Director of Event Operations and Business Development at GovExec and Stephen Ellis, Director of Public Sector Marketing at Palo Alto Networks spoke about events and webinars. Travis coordinates GovExec events and has been a part of the resurrection of in-person events. Stephen has vast experience running and investing in different types of events.
- Are we going to get the ROI on these events?
- Are people actually going to show up?
- Does making an event hybrid impact in-person attendance?
Travis noted many of us are in a weird gray zone from pre-COVID to post-COVID and are trying to decide where to go from here. This is what the research says…
In-Person Public Sector Events
The data shows that in-person events are coming back. Travis has personally witnessed this from the number of sponsors and vendors asking him to host live events.
However, only about 30-45% that register for your event will actually show up; therefore, finding creative ways to showcase your content is important to secure your audience. You want to make sure you are initially sharing engaging content, whether it be featured speakers or big conversational topics, to pique your audience’s interest. You also want to ensure that there are interactions with experts. The expert one-on-ones and hands-on moments with products and technology are what motivates people to get out of their homes and to your events. Although we are seeing an increase in the amount of live events being held, there are still barriers to getting attendees to your events. A lot of employees are still working hybrid or remotely so you want to make sure that you are making it worthwhile for them to leave their homes, commute, and incur traveling/event ticket costs to attend your event.
Public Sector Webinars
Webinars continue to be popular: approximately 75% of respondents attended four or more in the last year. Webinar attendees are typically interested in more technical information, fireside chats, and flashy presentations that don’t necessarily work at an in-person event. Using compelling visuals can really make your webinar stand out amongst the sea of others.
Webinars eliminate many of the issues we’re seeing with in-person events, particularly travel costs. There are often registration costs associated with webinars, but the biggest takeaway is that attendees like the fact they do not need to leave the office to attend an event.
Final Thoughts: Public Sector Events are Back
Both in-person events and webinars have their own set of challenges. Preparing, creating innovative processes, and maintaining creativity throughout the entire process is key. You initially need to know:
- What is the ultimate goal?
- Who is your intended audience?
- What type of content would you like to resonate with your audience?
Once you know the basics, then you can choose the type of event that best aligns with your vision and begin targeting your audience. The most common channels through which to share event marketing details are social media and email blasts.
We have seen an uptick in the amount of people who are registering for events, not showing up, and then requesting the content that was shared at the event. It is important to keep in mind that if you share every detail that was discussed at an in-person event, people will never attend your event. You can share key takeaways and highlights but do not provide them with every piece of information unless you put it on demand and charge an extra fee.
At the end of the day, you want to increase the number of attendees, so being strategic in your approach of sharing information post event is vital.
Watch the replay
Want more? The Content Marketing Review is now available on demand. Click this link to learn more.
B2G content marketers: this article is part 2 of a 4-part series recapping the June 2023 Content Marketing Review.
Content is King. But it’s only an effective ruler if it resonates with the audience. B2G content marketing experts Susan Rose, Senior Director of Insights and Content, GovExec and Camille Tuutti, CEO and Founder of Tuutti Frutti Strategies discussed what that looks like when marketing to the public sector.
The Exploring Phase of the Buyer’s Journey
When the public sector is in the exploring phase, they are most interested in hearing from government sources. Specifically, they want to know how the government is innovating, what’s working, and what successes have they seen.
That said, they are also interested in the industry perspective. The main content sources that resonate during this phase are research reports, white papers, and case studies because they are generally unbiased. At this stage, they are not ready for the sales pitch or product specifications. They prefer to find the content and educate themselves before they talk to you about what you can offer. They don’t want any unsubstantiated claims: They want data and research that supports what you’re saying. Therefore, it’s important that you include data and research within white papers, research reports, etc.
That means keeping your B2G content honest and truthful to ensure it resonates and passes that first “sniff test.” As you are creating your content, utilize storytelling. Camille made a great point about how success stories always sell, but you’re not selling. You’re not in their faces saying “Oh we are the leading provider and this is why you should buy our product.” When creating content, it is also important to know your audience’s pain points. By understanding their pain points, you can create relevant content and compelling messages. Relatable content and messages will attract people and ultimately result in a conversion of leads.
Repurposing B2G Content
Creating impactful B2G content is an investment in time, but once done it can have a long shelf life. Invest in a great cornerstone piece of content that’s targeted to a specific person, and then repurpose the piece for other audiences. You don’t necessarily have to start from scratch, but you can adjust the original piece and turn it into different kinds of content depending on what the person is interested in. There are a plethora of ways that you can repurpose prior work and/or content. Say you had an interesting podcast where a lot of data insights were disclosed, you could use those stats and incorporate them into a blog post or share them on social media or create an infographic. The most important thing to know is where your audience finds their information and then pick a channel from there.
ChatGPT had not yet exploded when this survey was fielded, but that didn’t stop Susan and Camille from touching on it. They agree that ChatGPT is a good starting point when creating content, but do not rely on it 100%. There are many ways to use ChatGPT so the content resonates with your audience.
- Translate Technical Language – Say you had a call with an SME who explained technicalities in a very dry language. You could use the tool to translate or explain what was said in a conversational tone.
- Editor – If you do not have a good editor on your team, ChatGPT can fill that void by checking for errors, filler words, repeated words, etc.
- Ideas – When creating content for multiple people at the same time, writer’s block can set in. ChatGPT can assist with unblocking your mind by giving you a bunch of ideas, examples, and material to start with. The AI tool can be used to flush out some of your ideas or give you new ones.
Watch the replay
Want more? The Content Marketing Review is now available on demand. Click here to learn more.
B2G marketers: this article is part 1 of a 4-part series recapping the June 2023 Content Marketing Review.
At the Content Marketing Review, B2G marketing experts Anna Pettyjohn, Senior Vice President of Marketing, GovExec and Lisa Sherwin Wulf, Founder and Marketing Consultant, LSW Marketing spoke about marketing the funnel and delivering the right content at the right time. Their conversation centered on their experiences and knowledge when it comes to B2G content marketing and emphasized the importance of needing time, a larger budget, and resources to aid in successfully executing on all strategies.
For the full study results and key takeaways, see the On-Demand presentation.
The Challenges We all Face
B2G marketers have two challenges in common, and Lisa and Anna shared how they handle them:
- Budget, Resources, and Time: You have to be realistic. You have to take a look at what resources you possess. What’s your budget? Do you have SMEs? Do you have enough people to create the content? What kind of traffic do you already have? How can you execute? Do you have customers that are willing to speak? It always comes down to your budget, resources, and time.
- Getting Everyone On The Same Page: Another big challenge is your sales team. You want your pitch to resonate with your customers, and that means giving them the information they want and need. Creating a tangible roadmap for milestones so everyone is on the same page can be an effective way to ensure initial priorities are still being met.
In a Perfect B2G Marketing World…
Lisa said that in a dream world, once you have your budget, resources, partners, and vendors established, you would next want to know the foundational concepts. For example:
- What are your business goals?
- Do you have documented messaging that’s adjusted for the public sector as needed?
- Do you have campaign themes defined?
- Do you have SMEs?
Having the time and budget allows for creativity within the foundational process. After you’ve understood the overall foundation, then you want to get an idea of the inventory of existing assets. Even with an unlimited budget and time, you still want to look at what you are trying to convey.
- What are your customers going to learn?
- How do they want to learn?
- What are your themes?
You may get lucky and things may already exist that you could reuse. Last but not least, in this perfect world, you’d have an SEO team, designers, a video team, and intent data and email nurturing to help share relevant content.
Making sure your content finds the audience
The biggest takeaway from this panel is that whether someone is working from home, working in the office, or traveling, providing content throughout all stages of the funnel is critical.
Webinars, research, white papers, and search engines resonate across the different stages of the funnel, but the specific focus and information will change.
If you do not have an SEO team, it is essential to look at how your audience can discover your content and ask the following questions.
- How are you promoting on social media?
- Do you have the budget for paid search?
- Is it all organic?
- What keywords?
- What can you rank on?
For example, a blog post can be a great way to get a white paper discovered in an organic search. Knowing all of this is super important. You want to make it easy for people to access and leverage your content. Leveraging content is going to be different with every company and every set of offerings. Look at your data and ask:
- What are people searching for?
- What are your salespeople and your sales engineers hearing?
- Knowing all of the answers to those questions will aid you in developing different formats.
Some people want to read, some people hate reading and want a webinar or a video, or they only want to read press coverage. You can get creative and produce a webinar that can be repurposed into a white paper which then could get repurposed into a blog post and then into a graphic. Just remember to have a consistent message because if what you put out in the market is inconsistent and doesn’t tell a connected story, that’s going to impact whether or not your audience wants to talk to you and buy from you.
For more B2G marketing insights, read the other blogs in this review of the Marketing for the Public Sector Content Marketing Review. And don’t forget to purchase your results report: a must have resource for GovCon marketing!
Related B2G Marketing Posts
Date & Time: Thursday June 29th, 8:00AM-11:00AM
Location: The Archer Hotel, Tysons VA
Cost: $250. (Early bird tickets $200 - available until 6/12)
Join Market Connections and GovExec as we present the findings from the spring iteration of our Marketing 4 the Public Sector (M4PS) study (formerly brought to you as the Content Marketing Review study)
Whether you are interested in a broad awareness campaign or a more focused agency-based marketing effort, you can expect to leave this information session with pertinent, actionable information to inform your marketing plans and strategies. Including:
- content marketing tactics
- current outlook regarding participation in in-person/virtual events
- media/content format preferences
- education & informing in the buying process
- content shelf life
- The spring survey results are included for registrants
- Attendees will receive a copy of the survey results within a week post-event
8:00–8:30 a.m. Check-in, breakfast and networking
8:30– 8:45 a.m. Welcome, Opening remarks:
Aaron Heffron, President of Insights and Research, GovExec
8:45 – 9:10 a.m. Section 1: Marketing the Funnel: Delivering the right content at the right time.
Lisa Sherwin Wulf, Founder and Marketing Consultant, LSW Marketing
9:10 – 9:35 a.m. Section 2: Content Creation: Creating impactful content that resonates.
Susan Rose, Senior Director, Insights and Research, GovExec
Camille Tuutti, Writer, Strategist and CEO of Tuutti Frutti Strategies
9:35– 10:00 a.m. Section 3: Events and Webinars: Creating successful events.
Travis Wolfe, Director, Event Ops and Business Development, GovExec
Stephen Ellis, Director, Public Sector Marketing, Palo Alto Networks
10:00 – 10:25 a.m. Section 4: FED, SLED and Marketing on a Budget
Susan Rose, Senior Director, Insights and Research, GovExec
10:25– 11:00 a.m. Closing remarks and networking.
Aaron Heffron, President of Insights and Research, GovExec
Space is limited, so register early!
Early bird pricing (ends June 12): $200
When it comes to reaching public sector audiences there are a number of things to try, a number of avenues to venture down, and a number of platforms to spread your message on. If you’re reading this, you’re already aware of that.
Yet, with the plethora of information sources at our fingertips, it can be hard to narrow down the specific data needed to begin formulating marketing plans and strategies. That is why the Market Connections research team created a study specifically for the individuals and teams Marketing for the Public Sector (M4PS).
Part one of the study launched in October 2022 and provides insight into media engagement habits. Part two, slated to launch in June 2023, will get more specific, diving into the procurement and buying processes, current outlook regarding participation in in-person/virtual events, as well as media/content format preferences.
We surveyed more than 1,000 people working in the federal and state/local government about their media engagement habits. We asked them about:
- Top concerns for the next year
- How much trust do they have in the information they get from certain sources
- How much time is spent on an average workday accessing certain media
- Top digital sites for getting news/information
- Confidence in news sources
- Social media usage
- Top sites for streaming
- Data/information on podcast listenership
Included are key insights, observations and takeaways from analysts – as well as specific data on the DMV market (D.C. Maryland, and Virginia region.) Whether you are interested in a broad awareness campaign, or a more focused agency-based marketing effort, our aim with part one of the M4PS report is to provide you with trusted data, ultimately serving as launching point for your future planning endeavors.
What is important to your audience
Figuring out what’s important to your audiences is key. It allows you to make decisions with a wider lens or narrow down and go niche if necessary.
By arming yourself with both parts of this report you will be able to further strategically position yourself exactly where you want to be in the public sector market. Since all goals are different and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to planning, we started here by anticipating your needs, so you can in turn begin to anticipate the needs of your audiences.
The media engagement report is available now.
And keep an eye and ear out for M4PS part two, coming in June 2023.
Have questions? Want more information? Please reach out to email@example.com.
Full report available Friday December 9th, 2022
ABOUT THE STUDY
The Marketing for the Public Sector report represents the views of thousands of federal and state/local employees in a variety of positions.
Focusing on engagement within the digital landscape, this study is meant to empower marketers with the knowledge they need to perfect their marketing plans, campaigns, and content.
Created in an easily digestible and navigable format, the report presents pertinent information about audiences’ media engagement habits across broadcast, social, and digital sources.
Whether you are interested in a broad awareness campaign or a more focused agency-based marketing effort, we want to give you the valuable, trusted data and insights on the media and engagement habits of those tough-to-reach federal and state/local audiences.
WHAT TO EXPECT
- Full Report – Contains data and insights on both federal and state/local customers
- Topics Covered – Demographics, job functions, trust in media sources/social media websites, confidence in news (among others)
- Publications & Digital Sites – Government media, business and news media, technology & industry, social media & lifestyle
- Key Insight – Top concerns for next year, time spent listening to news/radio, accessing social/news media on an average workday, most trusted social media sites
STAY CONSISTENT TO REACH TARGET AUDIENCES
In the last few years the way we seek and receive news has been changing and evolving faster than ever. Between the COVID-19 pandemic more or less forcing many companies to adapt to work from home trends, team collaboration needs, and an industry wide push toward cloud, things are getting more digital by the day.
While many people still start mornings off with a newspaper, listening to the radio on the commute to work, or gathering around the TV for the evening news, they don’t confine news consumption to those times. Increasingly, most likely due to the ubiquity of remote work and the convenience of cell phones and apps, people are engaging with news outlets and seeking out important updates from various digital sources throughout the day, a trend public sector marketers can (and should) take advantage of.
LEARN MORE MEDIA TRENDS
Part 1 of the 2-part 2022 Marketing for the Public Sector (M4PS) study looks at media engagement among both federal and state/local audiences.
Brought to you in a neatly packaged two part study, M4PS, called “maps” for short, focuses on the digital world around us. A first look at highlights from the M4PS study were presented to attendees at Government Marketing University’s GAIN conference, and part one of the full report will be available to purchase in November.
STAY UP ON TRENDS AND BE WILLING TO ADJUST ACCORDINGLY
Market Connections will continue to look at trends and impacts on federal and state and local employees’ media usage and preferences. Learning where your potential customers go for news and information can be fabulously useful in building a marketing plan. A better understanding of demographics, “go-to” news sources and most trusted social media channels can help you consistently put your message where their mind is.
Federal and state/local customers, just like the rest of us, are affected by outside factors. Marketers can’t always rely on by-the-book and tried-and-true methods of the past. A willingness to stay on top of current trends and adjusting current strategies based on new information is a must.
Need data to help make informed purchasing decisions? Our M4PS study provides the information you need.
Need more custom research to learn about your customer’s needs, challenges, perceptions and preferences? Reach out today. We’d love to help!