We tend to think of branding as a means of engaging consumers directly or communicating with other businesses. It has become clear that within the federal marketplace, branding is equally as important. It can be easy to view the government as this monolithic entity but in reality it’s just as much of a relationship-based market as business to business or business to consumer transactions. For years, basic tenants of branding in the federal marketplace have been ignored—even such a simple message as having basic but engaging marketing materials.
Defining What Branding is For You
Developing a clear definition of branding can be difficult due to its company-specific nature. It all depends on what your target audience is, what ideas you are trying to convey, and how you wish to present yourself. Simply put, it’s your business image.
When we talk about the distinction between government branding and doing so in the private sector, it all comes down to a matter of attitudes. Private sector branding is usually geared towards making a profit, whereas government branding is more nuanced and is meant to establish trust and reliability. When branding yourself as a government contractor, you want to show off your ability to get the job done properly.
Targeting Your Audience
Anyone involved with marketing and branding knows that reaching your target audience is critical to success. Being able to cater your approach to a buyer’s persona is an essential part of the branding process that is often forgotten about in the world of government contracting. While the government decision-makers tend to focus on some of the same overarching priorities such as efficiency, they also have preferences just like anyone in the private sector may. Consider something as simple as their preferred method of contact and whether or not they prefer contact via phone or email. It may seem like a small piece of a larger puzzle but establishing communication in a way that plays into a potential decision-maker’s preferences can be a deal maker. Some contractors may find success without playing to the human element, but doing so will only increase your chances of success.
Oftentimes experts on branding forget that content creating goes beyond your marketing copy. Content includes anything that is put online, distributed through newsletters, or gets sent to interested parties. From capability statements to infographics, content is the heart of your branding approach. Once you have established your target audience, you can tailor a customized approach towards content creation that hits all the right checkboxes.
While content in the private sector is often used to entertain potential customers or appeal to them emotionally, government branding is more geared towards education. Tell the story of what edges you out and makes you better than your competition. When creating content, consider how you can build awareness and trust.
Choosing Marketing Channels
Content is useless without a platform for it to be put on. Some forms of marketing channels include social media platforms, your website, print, or even in-person presentations or talks. Consider how each of your marketing materials will be viewed and diversify your potential avenues. For example, create PDF versions of your capability statements as well as having hard copies. When we talk about marketing to target audiences, accessibility is key, and diversifying your marketing materials means having more options.
Having a section on your website that caters specifically to government work is essential. Anyone looking into your company needs to have an easy starting point for figuring out who you are, why they should trust your company, and what sets you apart from competitors. It is likely that not all of your work is geared towards government contracting so some websites try to cater to a catch-all methodology, but creating an approach that is tailored towards the government simply by having a section of your website dedicated to the industry can set you apart from competition. Creating such a section should be easy as well because you already have this content, especially if you have a capability statement for the government sector.
As with any marketing tactic, measurable success matters. You should be able to look at what you’re doing and accurately determine whether or not it is making an impact in you being awarded government contracting positions. Even if you don’t see short-term success, measurable analytics like site traffic, increased social media interaction, and more leads coming your way are all important indicators that something you are doing is working. While your content may need to be altered to appeal directly to government agencies you are intending to work with, using hard numbers that are trackable is a fantastic means of establishing whether or not your approach towards branding is successful.
Taking Action With TargetGov
If you want to increase your revenue, fine tune proposals and bids, see results from your business development contact TargetGov today. Our clients have won over $4 billion in contracts—just in the last 6 years alone. If you need expert consulting services and business development products to put your business on the map, look no further than TargetGov, a trusted expert capable of helping you increase your revenues and profits In the government marketplace.