Reaching federal decision-makers has always been a challenge. Traditionally, this was due to the restrictions placed on the content they’re allowed to view during work hours; but now with a shift towards telework policies, it’s more about finding them where they are, both physically and digitally.
Advances in technology combined with the increase in remote work has allowed these decision-makers to use multiple devices to access content for work. This means marketers have to fight even harder to hold onto their audience’s attention, stand out from the rest, and overcome skepticism.
3 Tips for Engaging Federal Decision-Makers
With so many variables to consider and places where a decision-maker can be engaged, federal marketers should renew focus on informational, thought leadership content that can be tailored by channel and audience. Against this backdrop, we will detail key ways to connect with the federal decision-makers through said content and tactics that reach the right person, at the right time, in the right way no matter where they work.
1. Build a Mobile-first Design for the Mobile Worker
For years, the biggest challenge for reaching federal decision-makers has been that many websites are blocked on government-issued devices or equipment because of privacy or security concerns. It’s easy to see why a barrier like this ends up limiting the types of content that can be seen during work hours. In fact, a study on the most influential and valuable content to government decision-makers revealed that 67 percent of federal employees routinely turn to their own phones or tablets to access some content.
Which is why you should make sure your company’s website has a mobile-first design that optimizes content for small screens. That way, it takes little effort for federal employees to use their personal devices to peruse your content, such as blog posts and videos. In turn, this can establish a trusting relationship with federal decision-makers and position your company for success down the road.
2. Leverage the Rise of Telework with e-Newsletters
Telework has become widely accepted across government agencies over the past year due to the recent pandemic and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. According to Market Connections’ Federal Media & Marketing Study 2020, 73 percent of survey respondents believe they will continue to telework in the future. This is important to note, as employees who work remote face fewer barriers accessing online news. It was reported in a survey on federal marketing trends that government workers spend more time reading through e-newsletters while teleworking, a key opportunity for reaching them.
While purchasing e-newsletter ads is an option, review what content is typically included in a newsletter to see if contributing a byline or feature article could be a fit for your organization. A thought leadership article could reach federal workers and position your organization as a trusted resource.
3. Connect with Your Audience After Work Hours
The key is to reach your audience where they are instead of waiting for them to come to you. So if you’re trying to connect with the federal workforce, you might consider finding new ways to engage agency employees outside of normal business hours, as detailed in our blog 3 Myths About Reaching Federal Decision-Makers.
For instance, 70 percent of federal decision-makers said they are still accessing content even after work. This is likely even more prevalent as a result of the increase in telework, allowing contractors to keep influencing the federal government long after the usual 5 p.m. closing time.
There are multiple ways you can approach this, one being mobile-exclusive advertising options. Whether these workers are catching up on some work, researching, or simply reading the news, a targeted mobile ad can easily reach them wherever they happen to be browsing.
Another way you can reach this audience is through social media. After a long day of work, just about everyone is bound to check out what’s happening on their favorite apps. In fact, usage of platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram increased between 4-7 percent among federal workers over the last year. So by using these channels, you can publish educational, timely, and relevant content that will catch their eye as they scroll through their feeds. Take it a step further by putting paid dollars behind your posts, so you can target your audience by serving them content at peak usage times.
Bridge the Gap Through Content
Our research shows why government decision-makers are turning to their personal devices and the best ways to connect with them through content. When trying to market to federal agencies, the more we understand the barriers that they face when using government-issued equipment, the outlets that they read, and the ways they prefer to get content delivered, the more effective we can be in tailoring our approach and leveraging the best channels to reach them.
Looking for more information on how to reach federal decision-makers? Learn about Merritt Group’s dedicated Government Practice or reach out at email@example.com to chat in more detail.
This blog was updated February 4, 2021 to reflect new market data and insights.