Is Content King in B2G Marketing? (Part 2)

Photo of Allan RubinAs I discussed in my last blog post, new research from Starfleet Media summarizes the importance of content, social media, and sales/marketing collaboration in the business-to-business (B2B) marketing world. What conclusions can business-to-government (B2G) marketers draw from these stats? Do government audiences consume content in the same ways as B2B buyers? What types of content work well in the B2G world, and how can we measure their effectiveness?

I’ll dive much deeper on these topics on November 20 at the Government IT Sales Summit. Until then, consider the following facts.

Market Research firm Market Connections surveyed 3,700 government employees and found that federal employees are more likely to seek out information online, with government decision-makers accessing information in increasingly complex and fragmented ways. In reviewing a summary of their 2014 Federal Media and Marketing Study, these data points jumped out at me:

  • Webinars fall into that “love ‘em or leave ‘em” category of marketing content, with roughly six in 10 government respondents participating in more webinars (up from 33% the previous year). While a third of respondents did not join any webinars last year, an equal amount sat through four or more (the highest percentage of the past four years).
  • A third of government respondents are streaming more audio and video content online (up from 24%).
  • More than three in 10 are seeking free information from vendors (up a bit from 26%).
  • Blog readership ticked up slightly to 40% (compared to 37% in each of the previous two years). Interestingly, govies are buying into the concept of blogs so much so that they’re getting into the publishing game themselves, with one out of five indicating they write for blogs (nearly double the number from 2011).
  • Keeping pace with current technology trends, content consumption continues to move outside the office. Eight out of 10 respondents are using their mobile devices to access information, with social media and video outpacing email access in most cases.
  • LinkedIn usage has quadrupled over the past four years, and increased from 36% last year to 41% in 2014. Social media usage was flat overall, with Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn remaining atop the list of online social sites accessed by government workers.

This last point is certainly no surprise to LinkedIn guru Mark Amtower, whose recent Washington Technology article highlights how active our government prospects and customers are on LinkedIn.

While it’s safe to say that content and social media play an increasingly important role in marketing to the government, measuring their impact can be challenging at best. Getting our counterparts in sales to support our efforts, distribute content, and attribute closed business to these initiatives are among the make-or-break topics I’ll discuss in upcoming posts. You can hear how other government marketing experts (including Mark Amtower and Monica Mayk of Market Connections) are tackling these issues at the Government IT Sales Summit. I hope you can join us!

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