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Content marketing for government contractors

Content marketing is about capturing contracts and not just about bringing people to your website

The entire Federal acquisition process runs on content. Either you're influencing it or responding to it. At. Every. Single. Step.

Long before there is an RFP, the customer has to get motivated to initiate a procurement. Content can explain the vision.

When the customer is ready to initiate a procurement, they’ll have to justify it. They need content to complete it.

Once they decide they’d like to move forward they’ll need:

  • To know how to specify what to procure. Content can help them decide amongst alternatives, how to make trade-off decisions, how to articulate specifications, and so much more.
  • To estimate and budget what it will cost. In your area of specialization, you probably know more about this than the customer does. By explaining what drives the cost, you can help them avoid writing specifications for things they can’t afford, set the right expectations for what they should get, and make decisions regarding what to include and exclude. You can publish the guidance they need to get it right.
  • An acquisition strategy. If don’t want to be surprised by their selection of contract type and vehicle, then you need to explain the issues to them so they can make a better decision. Content marketing can help with that.
  • To write an RFP, starting with a statement of work. In addition to being a huge pain, it is difficult to write an RFP that results in getting what you really want. It’s even more difficult when it deals with a subject where you are not an expert. Keep in mind, that it involves more than just specifications, it involves how to make trade-offs, balance risks, and more. Content can help the customer with both writing the specifications and with understanding the issues.

Goals for content marketing by government contractors

At every step on the way to issuing an RFP, you can publish content that will:

  • Help the customer by anticipating the information they need and decisions they need to make.
  • Influence the procurement by making it easy for the customer to know what to write in their RFP.
  • Accelerate the process by assisting their research, writing, and decisions.
  • Strengthen your relationship by providing reasons to interact and frame constructive discussions that demonstrate what you’re like to work with.
  • Increase your chances of winning by influencing the RFP, earning good will and demonstrating your expertise and capability.

Help yourself by helping your customer

In a world where most of your interactions with customers are by email and in writing, you need to learn how to help the customer in writing. If all you ever do is send your customers a capabilities statement, all you're doing is helping them to fill their recycling bins. 

Government contractors don't usually rely on inbound sales and often overlook the value of content marketing. Content marketing does more to help a government contractor capture a pursuit than it does to bring them leads through their websites. Contractors that incorporate content marketing into their capture processes have a higher win rate than those who don't. A small difference in win rate is worth a large amount of effort.

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More information about "Carl Dickson"

Carl Dickson

Carl is the Founder and President of CapturePlanning.com and PropLIBRARY

Carl is an expert at winning in writing, with more than 30 year's experience. He's written multiple books and published over a thousand articles that have helped millions of people develop business and write better proposals. Carl is also a frequent speaker, trainer, and consultant and can be reached at carl.dickson@captureplanning.com. To find out more about him, you can also connect with Carl on LinkedIn.

Click here to learn how to engage Carl as a consultant.

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