The government section of your website is the lifeblood of your online marketing presence. It’s the one place on the internet over which you have full control of visuals, messaging, and content which can mitigate the perceived risk of doing business with you, position your firm to see more success in the government marketplace, and demonstrate your capabilities.
Everything else that you do online should drive government decision makers and professionals to this government section on your website.
But that’s just it, there are a lot of other online channels to consider, from various social media platforms to vendor directories to search engines. With all these other marketing channels in the mix, it’s best to plan everything around the government section on your website and to work out from there.
Here are the steps to getting that done:
1. Publish a Government Section That Works
First thing’s first, you need to create an effective government section on your website! I’ve talked before about the must-have website elements for government contractors; it’s all about making sure that the basic elements are in place before moving onto the more advanced elements. The same applies to the government section on your website.
That means creating a government section with a basic overview of your business and how you can help government agencies with their needs. It should have a solution by need message and trust elements. Be mobile-friendly with a smart, simple design that’s informing decision makers of your capabilities. It should have the most up to date contact information, DUNS Number, commodity codes, contract vehicles, past project history, testimonials, government agency or client logos, small business & supplier diversity certifications, licenses, project results, capability statements, media recognition, contract awards and mention other core services
Plus, you’ll want to share this government section content in a variety of forms—tailored capability statements, case studies, white papers, social media posts—that is valuable for your target decision makers and helps establish you as the government contractor that is capable, professional, and successful in your area of expertise.
Once those basic elements of a great government section are in place, you can begin to turn your focus outward to integrating the other online marketing channels into your plan.
2. Create Informative and Accurate Vendor Profiles
Electronic procurement and web-based vendor directories have become an essential part of most professionals in the government space daily online experience. Sites like eVA – Virginia’s eProcurement Portal, Small Business Administration (SBA) and Virginia SBSD Directory Listing are used by these professionals to find, research and provide contract opportunities to government contractors, and so it’s critical that you have a presence on the major sites within your industry.
In establishing profiles on these sites, you want to make sure that your company messaging and any visual elements allowed are aligned with what’s happening on the government section for your website. Logos, commodity codes, certifications, color schemes, licenses and contact information should sync up with what government professionals will find if they end up on the government section on your website. A disconnect in information between digital profiles and the government section on your website can put potential contract opportunities at risk and erode trust in your firm.
3. Build Out Email Marketing
Email marketing is an essential component of an effective government marketing process, but it can sometimes feel disjointed and separate from the government section on your website. Because you’re communicating directly with your target decision makers via email, what’s the government section on your website got to do with it?
There should be a symbiotic relationship between your email list and the government section on your website. A great government section page includes RFP capture forms, so that interested decision makers and professionals can send you a potential RFP they want to award you, and you can in turn gather valuable information about who they are.
Plus, the content in emails sent out to your list should include links back to the important government pages and content on your website. Perhaps you send a monthly campaign, which can link to relevant past performance that demonstrates your firm has been successful at performing some statement of work on your site. Maybe you send emails about new approaches or technology to existing clients, and the link in the email sends readers to a page on your site with specific metrics and qualifications about the solution.
4. Integrate Offline and Online Tactics
While online marketing is essential for modern government contractors, it’s important not to neglect offline marketing and business development tactics as well. There’s often tremendous value in the government marketing and business development space with traditional channels, like (virtual) Government Matchmaking Events, Conferences and Expos.
Even though these tactics are happening offline (virtually online), it’s possible to still drive traffic from offline marketing and business development efforts to government pages on your website. Following up from these traditional events with relevant links to past performance, or specific information that the decision maker wanted is a great way to move offline to online.
An effective government section on your website should be the heart of any government contractor’s marketing efforts. Whether online or offline, all marketing roads should lead back to that government page. This gives you the power to better understand your target decision makers, control your messaging, and build trust along each stage of the buyer journey. But a great government section on your website can’t exist in a vacuum; it does need all of the other marketing efforts around it to be its most effective self.