Government marketers are in a unique position now as they navigate the evolving landscape given the economic downturn, ever-present workforce challenges, and other trends impacting the public sector. Consequently, effective marketing strategies have never been more important to make every dollar go further. That’s why GovExec has assembled a team of experts to share the top five marketing strategies to set you up for success in 2023. In this five part blog series, you will learn about utilizing insights, digital products, content, and events in a holistic B2G marketing strategy.
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Our first strategy of this series comes from Anna Pettyjohn, Senior Vice President of Marketing at GovExec. Pettyjohn works across GovExec’s brands on marketing and content strategy, including custom content, events, and editorial.
Strategy #1: Lead with data-driven content for an always-on marketing strategy.
There’s so much content out there right now, but is it the right content? Instead of guessing, lean into the data. Glean insights to better understand your audience, the challenges they are facing, and where your products, solutions, or services might fit in best for prospects. These are opportunities waiting to be tapped.
Pettyjohn shared how GovExec uses data to drive its own strategy, content, and programs, which you can replicate. Key data points to review are:
- Article traffic and newsletter engagement, like opens and click-throughs.
- Asset or content performance to evaluate lead delivery.
- Event engagement, like registrants, attendance, interaction, and downloaded resources.
Compiling this data is only the first step. Gathering insights to understand this data is crucial. Utilizing SEO tools for keyword research and online ranking data, deploying a survey, prioritizing audience research, or evaluating engagement on social channels can garner meaningful insights to direct a data-driven strategy.
Once you’ve taken the time to dive deep and evaluate your content, you can use that data to build out future content marketing efforts, then scale with data-driven and informed solutions. But it's not a once-and-done project. You need to regularly pull and review analytics to ensure you have a pulse on your contents’ performance and hone in on what your audience is looking for.
“Content needs to be recurring and optimized. I can’t stress that enough.”
-Anna Pettyjohn, Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, GovExec
By regularly pulling and reviewing performance metrics and other data points, you’ll be able to see what formats, topics, and channels work best for a particular audience in order to promote messaging in their desired space. You can also review for any gaps in messaging if you are promoting older content and update with relevant details to ensure it continues to resonate with the audience or to account for market shifts. Finally, by evaluating these areas, look for places to iterate and find out what comes next. This fuels the always-on strategy and will ultimately help you continue to optimize your message, drive better performance, and increase the effectiveness of content marketing.
Have you suffered from creating content just to have it fall flat or perhaps because sales asked for it and never used it? Streamlining your efforts to create effective content will drive a much higher ROI. Especially in this time of economic uncertainty, you need to be cognizant of what’s working and what’s not. It’s natural for brands to react by pulling back spending, and the marketing budget is often the first to go. However, a sustained marketing spend is essential to the survival of a brand. You should:
- Leverage data to prioritize smart spending and invest in marketing efforts that drive efficiency and help reach their intended audience.
- Implement marketing strategies that deliver more relevant and personalized messages to the target audience.
- Focus on awareness to measure success rather than solely sales outcomes.
- Adapt your content/message to better reflect today’s environment.
In terms of topics that Pettyjohn sees resonating across the markets, cybersecurity is huge and has been for a while, especially given the war in Ukraine and its profound impact on the state of warfare. With recent Executive Orders and the influx of federal spending through IJIA, CX and infrastructure are big in the federal and state and local markets.
As far as content formats, digital products associated with live events are coming back with a vengeance, especially with trade shows serving as key content and marketing moments in 2023. Specifically, microsites that host a variety of solution-based content and case studies that dial into a specific target audience perform increasingly well as they provide the context, best practices, and roadmaps prospects are looking for to tackle similar hurdles within their respective agencies. More targeted pieces like agency briefs are also exceeding their mark because you can dig into the data insights to provide apt solutions for those target audiences and deliver personalized messaging. GovExec’s creative content agency, Studio 2G, has seen this targeted messaging play well across all sectors.
No matter what market you serve, understand that content marketing isn’t a switch you can turn on and off; it needs to be recurring and constantly optimized. You need to build data into everything you do and every piece of content you create. Gathering and understanding your data will not only align your sales and marketing messages, but allows you to prioritize smart spending to drive efficiency to reach the intended audience. Well-written, informative, always-on, and data-driven content can help build trust and credibility with your brand, giving you a better chance to turn a lead into a real opportunity.
Can’t wait for the next post in this series?
Our experts broke it all down for you in this free webinar, Top 5 Marketing Strategies for Success in 2023.
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