Why You Still Need a Content Marketing Strategy for B2G
How much of $462 billion do you need to be successful?
For any company, even a small percent of that is a windfall, and many make a concerted effort to secure contracts from the federal government and capture some of this pie. While winning companies have mastered the processes and nuances of government contracting, the barrier to entry has begun to shift, requiring contractors to do more than they have in the past. It requires content marketing with a business-to-government (B2G) focus.
Federal agencies comprise the largest consumer of goods and services in the economy. Like any consumer, they want a good value for their money. And the contracting officers want to be in a strong position when scrutinized by their bosses (Congress and others with oversight or influence). So, on the flip side of the program success coin is the idea of mitigating risk: they want contractors with a good reputation and high visibility for doing similar work.
If your firm makes tanks and airplanes, sure, there are only a few places for the feds to go and procure them. But in general, contractors can’t just rely on past performance, or the summaries and boilerplate language in their bid packages to win the award. The explosion of information online has raised the bar for how contractors approach their market by making sure their capabilities are evident in the marketplace with thought leadership and related content. That’s what makes them the “safe” choice.
Nail Down The Overall B2G Strategy
Newcomers and longtime contractors alike need to devote a strong effort to planning on an ongoing basis. Know the target agencies and their missions, where money will be spent, and the potential primes and subcontractors. Many contracts get awarded to teams that meet disadvantaged and other criteria, so understand the capabilities of possible teaming partners. Also know what contract vehicles you can use, the certifications to highlight, and what else makes you different. All these elements will be important to weave into a content marketing program because it helps you position yourself appropriately. And, you are setting yourself up so that others can find you and include your firm on their teams.
B2G Content Marketing Strategy
Building up that reputation and visibility takes time, but with a very focused program the benefits will accrue. Get a sense of the market by joining the LinkedIn Groups for Government Market Master, The Federal Contractor Network, and reading FedBizOpps. What are the key issues and topics? How well do they match up to your experience?
Settle on an overall theme, conduct some keyword research, then start to build out an editorial calendar of content that you can write on the topics. Aim to repurpose your content so that a series of blog posts on a particular topic can be combined into a premium content piece such as a guide, for example. Promote it in social media, and ask your audiences via your website or a regular email to download the Guide in exchange for an email address. Then continue nurturing them with other content.
You may have noticed at this point that I am continuing a theme I’ve used in B2B content marketing: be specific in targeting your audiences, understanding their needs, and providing educational content to help them do their jobs better. They will come back for more and there will be a multiplier effect: your reputation and visibility will precede your call to the prime or sub you want to team with. Or, the contracting officer at an agency will know of you before Google-ing you and before the bid lands on the desk.
Content marketing principles transcend industries and enable you to be the hub of information in your niche. Followers will know how you think and get a sense of what it would be like to work with you – two critical steps in the hiring process.
For more on B2G content marketing, consider attending the B2G Content Bootcamp. Set for October in Columbia, Maryland, the event will feature myself presenting more detail on building out a program, along with:
- Mark Amtower, author of several books, host of Federal News Radio show and advisor to hundreds of small, mid-sized and large contractors on marketing to the government
- Tom Temin, the Morning Drive co-host on Federal News Radio and former Government Computer News editor.
Download the Content Marketing Guide below for to learn more about developing and implementing a content marketing strategy.
- Business Development Strategy: A High-Growth Approach
- A 10 Step Brand Development Strategy for Your Professional Services Firm
- Strategic Marketing for Professional Services
- Digital Branding for Professional Services
- 10 Essential B2B Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Professional Services Firm
- Digital Marketing Strategy for Professional Services
- Rebranding Strategies: A Step-By-Step Approach for Professional Services
- Elements of a Successful Brand 1: Brand Positioning
- The Top 5 Business Challenges for Accounting & Financial Services Firms
- Find Your Differentiator: 21 Ways to Gain a Competitive Advantage for Your Firm
- Elements of a Successful Brand 4: Brand Promise
- What Is the Cost of Video Production for the Web?