Brand Recognition for Government Contractors
To project the right brand image, government contractor websites must appeal to the target personas. Government buyers and decision-makers are looking for the best solutions at the lowest risk and your website should reinforce that you are reliable, relevant, and reflect the high standards required to win bids.
One goal of a successful digital marketing program for government contractors is to be on your federal buyer’s shortlist, even before an RFP or purchase order is issued. To do this buyers need to know your name, trust you and your work, and understand that your solutions can satisfy their needs.
A strong brand can lay the groundwork, earning you a place top of mind, before a buyer contacts your business development team.
With a focus on branding you can:
- Cultivate brand recognition and establish your reputation.
- Build trust through consistent use of your brand across all sales and marketing tools.
- Educate your prospects as they prepare their project plans and specifications for bids.
With government decision-makers citing contractor websites as their number one resource for information, building a trustworthy brand online must be a high priority.
Branding is More Than a Logo
Often a “brand” is thought of as a logo. While the logo is part of a brand, it is not the whole story. Your brand is any and every representation of your company, online and offline.
Online brand elements include:
- Imagery, fonts, and colors
- Website user experience, for example, ease of navigation, solutions to known problems, and relevant information that federal buyers expect to find.
Here are some website design company tips to make the most of your brand within the website experience.
These online brand elements should also align with offline experience, for example, person-to-person communications, such as answering the phone or returning emails.
Strive for absolute consistency across all of your online assets, including your website, social platforms, and any other listings. This should also extend to offline assets, for example, business development collateral, trade show, and conference materials.
Online always consider:
- Using a consistent version of your logo. Certain logo shapes fit better within the context of a website design and social media platforms have different dimensions that are accepted — make sure you consider these variations.
- Listing your name, address, and phone number (NAP) in the same exact format every time. NAP is also an underlying requirement for effective local search optimization.
- Crafting your messaging, such as tag lines, product descriptions, and about us, to reinforce your brand.
- Enhancing your brand value for quality and performance — through language and visuals — with client commendations and case studies to demonstrate past performance.
The more established your brand is within an agency, the more likely you will be on the federal buyer’s radar early in the process. When a decision-maker is looking for the solutions you provide, you want to be out front and visible as the leader in your field of expertise.
The Role of Metadata in Branding
Metadata refers to the information on your website that is not visible on the page. Meta descriptions, for example, appear on a search engine results page as a short summary of the page and should encourage the visitor to click through your website.
On a government contractor website, your brand is going to be the sum of the visible elements listed above plus the metadata included in your website such as H tags, meta descriptions, and alt text for images.
Branding and Search Engine Optimization
Besides your prospects, the search engines (i.e. Google) are also paying attention. Search engine algorithms are complex, however their objective is simple — present the best websites for the inquiry typed into the search bar.
Many elements in branding can also positively impact your position on search engine results pages, for example:
- Product and service descriptions that align with actual search terms.
- Ease of navigation, with site maps and structure that are easily understood by the search engines.
- Brand consistency across online listings, and specifically NAP (name, address, phone number).
- Inclusion of metadata.
Your brand also gets reflected in the tone of communications — formal or informal, concise or descriptive, technical or common. All of these elements need to work together to represent who you are as a company.
This collection becomes your brand and how you’re recognized or known. When a brand isn’t well planned or tended, the inconsistencies alone can create confusion and result in a multitude of missed opportunities and even distrust. When done well, the brand as a whole becomes recognizable at a glance. Over time, this is your chance for prominent brand recognition.
To help you brand your government contractor website to best serve your federal buyers, consider using a web design agency that truly understands how to grow government contractor businesses.
Start with the checklist at the link below to see how your website is working for you now. When you need it, we’re here to help.
Use Branding to Build Trust
One key factor in building a trusting relationship between your company and your federal buyer is a clear understanding of who you are. What can the government buyer expect, and rely on? Trust cultivates loyalty and strong relationships.
Through your branding, you can convey these three things:
- Who you are — mission, vision, values, and leadership.
- What you provide — products, services, and solutions to their problems.
- Your high standards — from your own brand promise as well as from past performance and happy client testimonials, reports, and feedback.
Whenever your name or your logo appears, are the same colors, style, fonts, and white space used? Does your brand voice sound authentic and relatable for your buyer?
You want to resonate with your prospects and let them know you are committed to working within the government buying processes and are here to serve. Authenticity and approachability create openings for a connection.
Branding Across the Buyer’s Journey
All buyers go through a journey before making a purchase decision or accepting a bid. The journey varies from case to case but broadly includes:
- Research and discovery.
- Defining the problem.
- Selecting an appropriate solution (preparing a scope of work).
- Identifying a list of acceptable vendors.
- Engaging with business development.
- Issuing an RFP or using one of the many other procurement processes available including sole source and single source.
The key here is that there are multiple touchpoints with your brand and in many cases stages 1 through 4 happen before any in-person contact.
The more consistent you can be across your government contractor website, your digital marketing programs, and business development, the more likely your buyer will trust you.
Educate and Engage Federal Buyers Through Your Branding
Build your brand by becoming a go-to resource early in the buying process with educational content. Help build the RFI and RFP and other specifications that shape bid requirements.
When your company’s name is the first one to come up, you have an advantage that can directly lead to winning bids. You can help to structure what is being requested in a bid process by:
- Providing specs, industry codes, case studies, and use cases.
- Explaining your technology and its features, benefits, and impact.
- Aligning your products and services with known problems in the agency.
In other words, your brand can become a resource for federal decision-makers as they complete their research prior to seeking proposals. Examples include:
- Showcase the most innovative aspects of your brand.
- Show your results, including past performance and what is possible using data from research or testing.
- Provide instructions and videos that demonstrate your product or service.
- Include testimonials to support your claims and also demonstrate the features and benefits of your product or service.
Any chance you have to share your knowledge will support an early and ongoing relationship with your prospects.
Brand Your Website to Win Buyers and Contracts
Your government contractor website is a cornerstone of your digital marketing program to help you engage buyers, program managers, and other decision-makers. Engagement needs to be useful and as early in the buyer’s journey as possible.
Your brand will gain traction through a website that combines imagery, information, and ease of use and will help and grow the relationship over time. How you approach branding on your website can either support your growth goals or stymie them. Strengthen your online brand to build relationships and your bottom line.
Website Design Companies Can Help
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Ocean 5 is deeply engaged with the government contracting community in and around Washington D.C. and serves government contractors across the USA and beyond. We want to help you win bids and grow your business. Contact us today and learn how we can help.