With the need for social distancing, telework, and quarantine due to COVID-19, how can a GovCon business still influence target government decision-makers and develop trust?

Of all the business development assets that a business-to-government company can leverage, one of the most important and useful tools is far too often overlooked—the company website.

Your website is the place where decision-makers go to evaluate whether you are a serious contender to provide what they are looking for. Visitors to a B2G website could be evaluating new service providers, partnering/teaming opportunities, or places of employment for top talent.

Visitors to your website will be making instant decisions about your company. Does your website have what it takes to attract, educate and capture the attention of the decision-makers you are trying to influence? If not, you may be losing to your competition. Also keep in mind, in order to use your website to evaluate your business, they also have to be able to find your website and you need to create targeted content.

82% of Federal decision-makers rated search engine results and corporate websites as their top-rated sources for research according to studies by Market Connections.

The Critical 5 Components

To attract the attention of your audience and convince them that your company is the right choice, your website must be designed and built with these five core components in mind:

  1. Responsive design
  2. Clear messaging and impactful imagery
  3. Educational content
  4. Engagement tools
  5. Search engine optimization (SEO)

A website that follows these criteria becomes a central hub of all your sales and marketing activities and an investment in your core brand. It can also be your company’s number one salesperson, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to nurture, educate and guide your prospects through their decision-making journey towards a win.

Responsive Design

Engagement with your website is all about user experience, and responsive technology gives us the opportunity to create a website that automatically modifies (or responds) to the device being used.

According to Google, In the USA, 94% of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones. Interestingly, 77% of mobile searches occur at home or at work, places where desktop computers are likely to be present.

Even decision-makers in the federal government use mobile devices to access information. According to Market Connections’ 2019 Federal Media & Marketing Study, over 75% of federal workers use their mobile devices in the workplace on a regular basis.

As of July 1, 2019, Google moved to a mobile-first policy meaning that Google predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. If your website is not responsive, you may be disappearing from search results.

If your website is responsive and competitors are lagging behind, soon you’ll be reaping the benefits. On the other hand, if your competition already has a responsive website and you do not, the gap is widening every day.

Clear Messaging and Impactful Imagery

Valuable visitors to your B2G website may be ruling you out because they can’t understand how you can help them. Client-centric, concise, and effective messaging should immediately answer three questions:

  1. What do you do?
  2. Who do you do it for?
  3. Why should buyers choose you?

Imagery—the other half of clear messaging—offers visual clues about the quality of your brand. Consider compelling, high-quality images and graphics that clearly illustrate your products and services and who you serve in order to help your firm stand out from the sea of sameness.

Be specific about measurable accomplishments and results and past performance. Don’t be another “provider of solutions that helps their clients achieve their mission.” When a government decision-maker is looking for your products or services, they need to see exactly what they are looking for as quickly as possible. Websites are the best way for COs and Program Officials to gain an understanding of what is available to solve their current requirements. Will they find it on your website… or your competitor’s?

Educational Content

Much like the B2B world, according to Market Connections, “When creating marketing content for a government buyer of products, services or emerging technologies, federal and state and local decision-makers want to be educated and not sold to,” based on their 2019 Content Marketing Review: Federal & Beyond. They also state that “Content should help them make informed decisions and have minimal sales messages.”

Most of the B2G websites we assess focus primarily—if not entirely—on the final decision phase of the buying journey.

In order to begin influencing your audience early in the process, you need to develop a demand generation strategy and implementation for all stages of the buyer’s journey:

  1. Awareness—Prospect is experiencing a problem, but has not defined or named it and is researching to better understand and name their problem.
  2. Evaluation—Prospect has clearly defined and given a name to their problem and continues to do research to investigate all the options/methods available to solve it.
  3. Decision/Conversion—Prospect has now decided on which solution they will use to solve their problem and is compiling a list of potential vendors and products in their solution strategy in order to make a final purchase decision.

Remember, your website can be your company’s number one salesperson, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to nurture, educate and guide your prospects through their decision-making journey towards a new teaming partner, federal contract or top talent.

Prospect Engagement and Conversion Tools

High-performance websites utilize engagement and conversion tools. Engagement tools—otherwise known as calls-to-action and offers—in combination with conversion tools such as gated content, landing pages, and forms help take visitors to the next level and closer to a closed contract.

Different content and engagement strategies are used for the different stages of the decision-making process mentioned above.

Let’s take a look at some examples of engagement and conversion tools for the various phases.

Awareness

At this phase, we want to increase our database of prospects, establish subject matter expertise, build brand recognition and start building the relationship. Depending on your strategy, (and you should always begin with a strategy) you might choose to use some of the following.

Tools you might use:

  • Blogs
  • LinkedIn posts
  • SEO program
  • Social media
  • Video

How you would measure:

  • Database size
  • Website and blog traffic

Evaluation

At this phase, we want to stay top of mind as well as educate prospects and nurture contacts in our database. Depending on your strategy, (we are really passionate about the strategy) you might choose to use some of the following tactics.

Tools you might use:

  • Case studies
  • Whitepapers
  • Email campaigns
  • Downloadable content (some gated, some not)
  • Webinars

How you would measure:

  • Database size
  • Downloads
  • Offer conversions
  • Email opens and clickthrough rates

Decision/Conversion

This is the phase to focus on converting decision-making prospects into meetings and contract wins. Yes, back to your strategy…

Tools you might use:

  • Product demos
  • Phone calls
  • Video conferences
  • Meetings

How you would measure:

  • Meetings
  • Contracts won
  • Revenue

Summary

With the need for social distancing, telework, and quarantine due to COVID-19, your B2G website is more important than ever and more than likely one you have been overlooking or putting off improving.

When government buyers and decision-makers are looking for solutions, you want them to find your website and not your competitors’. Important visitors for a GavCon company could mean service providers, partnering/teaming opportunities, or places of employment for top talent.

Visitors to your website will be making instant decisions about your company. You need to have a high-performance website and digital strategy that attracts, engages and converts visitors through the decision-making stages of awareness, evaluation, decision, and re-engagement.

Remember, 82% of Federal decision-makers rated search engine results and corporate websites as their top-rated sources for research according to studies by Market Connections.

To attract the attention of your audience and convince them that your company is the right choice, your website must be designed and built with these five core components in mind:

  1. Responsive design
  2. Clear messaging and impactful imagery
  3. Educational content
  4. Engagement tools
  5. Search engine optimization (SEO)

With the proper strategy, implementation and measurements in place, your B2G website can become your 24-hour, 7-days-a-week salesperson that is working and available wherever, and whenever your decision-makers are looking for you.

Here are a few resources to learn more:

4 Contract-Winning Tactics for Website Design (article)

The Biggest Reason Federal Buyers Can’t Find You …And How To Fix It! (Quick Guide)

Website Checklist for Government Contractors (downloadable checklist)

How To Lead Your Federal Buyer To Your Door So They’ll Buy From You (recorded webinar)

How to Choose a Website Company (in-depth guide)

Need Some Advice—Request a Free Website Assessment

Ocean 5 Builds Outstanding Websites for GovCon

Do you need some help regarding Strategy With Implementation and Measurement—we call it SWIM®

Ocean 5 creates websites that are fully custom, technically advanced, responsive (mobile-friendly), professionally designed, and provide an outstanding user experience. We use Growth Driven Design to build a digital platform for accelerated lead generation.