Building Reach in B2G

Rounding out the afternoon at the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit was a session led by Julie Murphy, Partner SVP Public Relations at Sage Communications, entitled “Building Reach and Credibility in the B2G Market in 2016 & Beyond.”

Julie set the stage by sharing the three pillars that drive government media coverage. She started with government technology trends, such as the increase in commercial technology and the move to open standards; and the technology influences, such as cybersecurity, the Internet of Things, Big Data, and the cloud. The third pillar is comprised of the political influences that shape Washington such as the election, law enforcement, ISIS as a new brand of terrorism, ongoing privacy battles, and the changing role of the CIO.

Julie also discussed the changes in today’s newsroom environment — the pressure for reporters to publish stories more often and more quickly, the competition with citizen journalists, and the need for video and image-based media elements for every story.

What does this mean for companies that sell to government? My takeaway was that the government landscape is more complex than ever, but there’s also more opportunity to tie products and services to the issues and trends that matter most to government. The next part of Julie’s presentation provided practical advice for how clients can use the content they have to influence their prospects and customers within the public sector.

Study after study has shown that as much as 70 percent of buying decisions are made before talking to a company or sales rep, and the articles and marketing content that companies publish online are critical to that decision-making process.

According to research conducted by Market Connections, the most trusted types of content in public sector are whitepapers and case studies (41%), webinars (27%) and editorial content (22%).

Julie suggested that companies extend the reach of their content by training their sales team to serve as brand ambassadors, which can result in eight times more reach than when a company alone pushes out branded content. This doesn’t have to be a daunting process. To get started, marketers should develop content calendars, create sample content for sales so that they can easily share content on LinkedIn or Twitter and tailor it for their own prospects. A good rule of thumb is the 3:1 ratio – for every one piece of promotional content, brand ambassadors should post or retweet three educational content pieces. Tools like GaggleAMP can make this process easy.