Five Creative Ways to Reach the Federal Government

Brian Chidester_65x85by Brian Chidester, Manager, Strategic Accounts & Content Marketing

One common trend we have expounded upon in length recently is the shrinking number of touchpoints with both C-level and end-user government personnel, due in large part to the reduction in travel to conferences and events. Understanding where these “govies” go for information is one great way to ensure that you are reaching them and that your message is being seen or heard.

BlogPost_MainPageImageFollowing a review of the 2014 Federal Media & Marketing Study, which highlighted key trends for where and how
Federal government employees consume content and information, some interesting information came out of it. For one, statistics from the report noted that print is not dead in the Federal market. While circulations have decreased in the past decade, publications including Government Executive and Federal Times are still being heavily read. In fact, nearly half of all surveyed read both of these publications. Additionally, with 80% of “govies” utilizing their mobile device for information, this can be a unique way to reach them like never before.

Here are five other creative ways to reach the Federal government audience in places they are engaging within.

5. Radio & Television – New to this year’s report was information on local television and radio consumption. One noticeable trend was that niche shows with a narrow focus were not where the government employees were seeking their information. They sought shows that gave a holistic look at government trends and policy. However, broad topic shows on radio and television do offer niche opportunities within their air time for marketers to create unique advertising and custom content experiences.

4. Sporting Events – Sports are near and dear to my heart and apparently that same feeling resonates with the government audience as well. The study found that about one-third of respondents attend live baseball games, more specifically, Washington Nationals games. Division Series - Washington Nationals v St Louis Cardinals - Game OneStadiums are very unique canvases for marketers to paint their messages with electronic billboards, interactive in-game promotions, sponsorships and more.

3. eNewsletters – The sponsorship of eNewsletters is another creative way to push your brand out to targeted audiences. In what I suspect is in direct correlation with the rise in mobile usage, these online newsletters are heavily consumed in the government marketspace and can also be a great way to re-purpose and drive custom content that speaks to the value your solutions can bring to their agency.

2. Social Media – While in the past social media was not necessarily thought to be a place where the government employees virtually congregated, the rise in the ability to use these platforms at work has seen a rise in adoption. While 57% of respondents use Facebook, the largest percentage in the survey, I believe LinkedIn will give marketers the most content agility and bang-for-your-buck in advertising. And with an increasing government user base, your audience will have eyes on your messaging.

1. Virtual Events & Webinars – While travel has decreased significantly, marketers can still reach this audience through virtual events and webinars. However, the key is to customize your content and be customer driven. Government employees receive hundreds of requests to attend webinars that are merely sales demonstrations of their solutions. Be unique and give them information they can leave with and put into place immediately and you will have success in this arena.

Overall, the general trend that came out of the 2014 Federal Media & Marketing Study is that in order to be successful, marketers need a diverse approach, on multiple platforms, to reach their audiences. Horizontal proliferation does not necessarily mean it has to break your budget though. Be smart with your messaging, develop strong content that’s customer driven and you will mitigate your costs and expand your reach in this environment.

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