Federal Marketers Must Go Back to Basics to Engage Government Stakeholders

by Jackie Davis

Navigating today’s world of marketing can be tricky – but marketing to and engaging stakeholders in the federal, state, and local government can prove to be even more difficult. With limited time and the need for factual information at the ready, government leaders respond differently to marketing campaigns than the average person.

Mark Amtower, the host of Amtower Off Center, recently sat down with Aaron Heffron, president of Market Connections, to discuss exactly what grabs the attention of government stakeholders. Market Connections recently released the Content Marketing Review 2019, which covers content marketing trends for both FED and SLED.

The review covers what types of content are most valuable to decision-makers, how they want to consume that content, differences between local and state preferences, and helps marketers define what constitutes valuable content in the eyes of those in government. “It’s important to make sure you are marketing to all these folks,” said Heffron. From civilian and defense agencies to committees and IT specialist, there are more stakeholders than you think.

The report surveyed government leaders throughout federal, state, and local governments and revealed some interesting findings. For instance, research reports and whitepapers ranked among the top three sources of content for those looking at products, services, and emerging technologies, and podcasts ranked in the bottom two for all categories.

“The finding is that in many cases things are very similar,” said Heffron. “What it really does come down to is that you have to have specific bits of information that individuals need and are looking for,” he said. Data research and examples of past performances in content ranked most important throughout the study where visuals and insights from thought leaders were the least important to leaders.

For government stakeholders, content that is concise, information-heavy, and packed with data engages them. As for content placement, 82 percent surveyed said they find their content via search engine followed by news websites and online communities. Only 24 percent reported finding content on Twitter.

Not surprisingly, these decision-makers are short on time. Only 40 percent are willing to spend up to five minutes reading a blog and less than a third will spend an hour on a webinar or eBook. “You’ve got to think about your marketing as far as what you want to get out of it and what you know the market knows about you,” said Heffron.

For those marketing to the government, snappy copy and interesting graphics won’t cut it. To really grab their attention, marketers must go back to basics and utilize data, news outlets, and research reports.

To learn more about the study, listen here.