Write content that buyers will love
There are lots of guides out there for writing good, clear, and engaging content - but here we cover the ‘what’ of your content, ensuring it appeals to potential government customers.
One of the best ways of getting yourself noticed by public sector buyers is to produce useful content that will help them see how your product helps them tackle the challenges they are facing.
Show you understand the problem
Firstly, any buyer of technology in the public sector will be facing a whole bunch of issues that need sorting. Getting the attention of a buyer is all about showing you really understand the problems they are facing – not that you just want to sell them your thing no matter what. This takes time though, to do your research and really get under the skin of what can be highly complex issues and then demonstrating your understanding by presenting it back in a clear and insightful way. However it’s well worth all that effort to build trust with your public sector audiences.
Suppliers or potential suppliers can be a great source of inspiration to folk who work in government. It’s not the case that every public servant is tied to their desks, but many in leadership positions have so much to deal within the office it’s hard to get out and about and see what the latest innovations are coming through the pipeline. Once you have a good understanding of the problems your potential government customers face, you can pitch how your products and services offer a genuinely new response to those challenges. Weaving a narrative from problem to solution that showcases why your solution works better than the competition is key to catching people’s eyes.
Use the right language
To get government folk to really take in what you are saying and pay you attention, you need to ensure you’re using the right language/ This can be quite tricky, as it isn’t always agreed across government was certain terms even mean – ‘digital’ being a classic example. But when you want to grab the attention of a public sector audience it’s important to show that you understand their context and that means using language in a way that makes sense to them. If your products are used in multiple sectors, that can add real confusion, so take the time to understand the right language tor a public sector buyer.
Make it specific
Make sure it’s clear from your content what you actually do. So much marketing material aimed at government is vague, hoping to attract potential buyers almost through confusion. It’s much better to provide real clarity on what your product or service does – what capabilities it offers, and what outcomes can realistically be expected to be achieved from using it. A classic example of this is the description of a product as a ‘digital platform’ – this can mean almost anything and makes taking a decision on what options to explore really difficult. Use simple language to outline exactly what people get from you and it will save everyone a lot of time and hassle.
Nail those examples
It’s fair to say that public sector buyers do love a case study. It always provides them with a bit of comfort that this product or service has worked elsewhere. They have learned over time though to spot the flimsier efforts, especially those that seem to have been written at the point of a purchase order being raised rather than anything transformational actually happening. Government folk really appreciate rich stories about how implementing new technology can help solve problems and improve things for their service users. So make sure you get plenty of stories from existing customers describing in their own words how they achieved successful outcomes by using your products and services. And don’t be afraid to paint a realistic picture – sometimes hearing about what goes wrong and how to avoid it is refreshing and really helpful too!
Use the right medium
There are lots of ways you can be delivering your message to government buyers, and access to media like video and audio is much better than it was previously. Therefore you’ve got the chance to think really creatively about how you present your story. Short videos on social media can give a fantastic impression of your company and your products, particularly if they can show off exactly how they look when being used, and aren’t being hidden away from potential users. Likewise increasing numbers of public servants are tuning into podcasts on their commute or as they exercise, and providing audio can be a great way of grabbing some available attention. Key to getting this right is ensuring the story you have to tell fits the medium you have chosen – if you have really engaging speakers then a video could well be a great option, or if a deeper dive into a narrative suits your messaging then a podcast might just be perfect.
Publish where people go
Whatever you produce, it’s really important to get as many eyeballs on it as possible. It’s tempting to put all your content exclusively on your own website to pull people towards it, but sometimes that’s not the best way to go. Increasingly large publishing platforms such as LinkedIn and Medium are attracting large public sector audiences and with the network effects of sharing across them, they can quickly gain you brand awareness amongst potential new customers.
Selling to government is a lot easier than it used to be thanks to the new frameworks such as the Digital Marketplace – but to make them most of the opportunity, you have to be found! Great marketing content can get you noticed, and we hope this short guide gives you a kick start.