Digital marketing companies with Federal Government contractor experience can make business development easier.
In government contracting, business development and capture may be separate departments or combined, depending on the size of the company. With the business development team typically identifying opportunities and building relationships with key government decision-makers.
In some cases, the role of marketing is ambiguous or is seen as a support role at best. However, research shows that 82% of Federal decision-makers credit search engine results and corporate websites as their top-rated sources for research. Maybe it’s time to reassess the role of digital marketing.
Below are 6 top tips from an award-winning web design agency to help you support business development and win more bids.
1. Engage Key Decision-Makers and Influencers Online
Without question, the role business development (BD) plays in building strong relationships is instrumental to winning contracts. But what about prospects who are doing research — especially those you don’t already know?
Imagine these scenarios:
- The agency is pre-RFI and is looking for ideas on how to solve their problem.
- The agency is interested in your company (and may even have a sole source opportunity or set aside quotas to meet), but they can’t verify from your website that you provide those services.
- The agency Is ready to make a purchase decision but can’t figure out if you have a suitable contract vehicle for them to use.
And, the list goes on.
Sure, BD can provide all these details, but why make it difficult? Decision makers are expecting to find the information they need easily and online. By using digital marketing, you can engage those people 24/7—at their convenience—and free up the BD team to pursue other higher-value initiatives.
2. Answer Common Questions That You Explain Repeatedly
Content can help save you time (and money) and serve your Federal buyers faster by providing answers to common questions online.
Just like the rest of the world, today’s Federal buyers are researching using Google (and other search engines). Ask yourself, can any of the questions you answer frequently be presented as:
- Blog articles
- Short videos
- Downloadable guides or checklists
If so, you can make it more convenient for your Program Managers and Contracting Officers to find the answers they need. Additionally, once your content is downloaded, the researchers have materials they can share with other decision-makers.
Content offered through digital marketing is serving your clients when they need it while simultaneously reserving your BD time for one-on-one engagements.
3. Leverage Videos To Help Business Development
When you produce videos, there are ways to leverage the content to serve your Federal buyers and to maximize the value of the asset.
- Repurpose the core content with a spin-off into a detailed blog or downloadable thought leadership article.
- Introduce key leaders and team members to build trust and confidence.
- Post the video on key social channels (such as LinkedIn) with a clear call to action to drive traffic to your website.
Well-scripted videos are as easy to digest and can inform or educate viewers in ways that articles cannot. Videos can help guide viewers through a planned “buyers journey” where they make themselves known (by providing their contact information) and transform into an opportunity for further BD engagement.
4. Know When People Are Interested In Your Services
Would you like to know when your prospects look at specific website content? Where they look and what they look at can help you understand exactly where they are in their decision-making process.
Inbound marketing is a concept that allows buyers to self-educate online, but to access some of your valuable information requires that they provide their contact information. Clearly, the content has to have considerable value to them—but since this is your area of expertise, you are well placed to provide it. If you need help writing content, contact us – we can help.
With pre-planning, you can figure out who is engaging with your website. Thought leadership articles can be “gated” (which means you fill out a form to get it), and downloads help you understand both who is interested and that they are interested now. This is ideal information for the BD team.
This is all possible with the right setup of online content, forms, and notifications. Learn more about inbound marketing in this article: How Inbound Marketing Benefits GovCon and B2G.
5. Know Exactly What To Do When Someone Engages With You Online
Successful business development requires impeccable timing. Prompt follow-up is critical for building relationships and winning new business. Being the first to respond can equate to being on the shortlist. But knowing how to follow up can be less clear.
But is a sales call at this stage too aggressive? If you think it might be, then you are probably right.
To make an effective connection, you need to meet your buyer where they are in their journey. You can understand their current interests based on their downloads and subsequent engagement with your website and social media.
With different engagement tools, you can understand your prospect and initiate a relevant conversation without the sales pitch. Learn more about how this works in this article: B2G Marketing Strategies for GovCon Companies.
6. Bridging The Follow-Up Gap
When a client is absolutely ready for a follow-up call, they will ask for it. You want to be top of mind at that moment. To do that, an early sequence of engagement can help.
Here are some examples of follow-up decisions based on prospect activities.
- First, you must set up the process so that you know someone is engaged. They may
- Download content
- Fill out a contact form
- Engage on a social channel
- You also need to understand their engagement history. This requires a customer management program to support your tracking and analysis goals.
- At this point, with quality data, you will want to have several follow-up options (templated) so that your BD team can choose the appropriate response for the circumstance.
While the relationship will ultimately be built person-to-person, the early stages of research and engagement can happen through online marketing tools and marketing automation. Marketing and BD can work seamlessly together—effectively and efficiently—saving hundreds of hours. You can focus on your pipeline of the most qualified and interested leads.
Digital Marketing Tools Can Support Business Development
Help your business development team operate more efficiently with online marketing tools.
Make it easier to build relationships, connect earlier in the process, and reinforce your company’s value to your best Federal prospects.
Ocean 5 Strategies Can Help
As a growth-driven web design agency specializing in government contractors, we can help you understand how your website supports business development. We have experience with government contractors and federal buyers, and we want to help you win bids and grow your business. Get your Free Website Evaluation today.