All types of companies — from small and medium-sized businesses to large multinationals, whether in the private or public sector — can benefit from implementing an inbound marketing strategy.
Inbound marketing is so universal precisely because it’s so effective. Inbound is proven to achieve higher ROI than outbound, and 3 out of 4 marketers across the globe now prioritise an inbound approach to marketing.
Public sector organisations, such as governmental departments, the NHS, police and state education, all demand the use of inbound marketing tactics to convey information, provide advice and transmit relevant news.
Here are five ways you can maximise your inbound success, whatever your goals.
1. Define your mission
As a public sector organisation, your mission is likely to be related to serving the community in some way, and improving the efficiency of your service. All of your inbound marketing efforts should relate back to what you’re setting out to do.
You might be aiming to persuade people to engage with you online, to compete more robustly with private companies or educate people about certain topics. Whatever your mission and goals, they should form the basis of your marketing strategy.
Use your goals to inform the bulk of the SEO keywords you target, the content you create and the social media posts you publish.
2. Understand your target audience
In contrast to the private sector, the public sector tends to focus on the needs of society (or segments of society) as a whole rather than the needs of more specific target customers. With this in mind, public sector marketing needs to be geared towards a potentially very diverse target audience.
When it comes to inbound marketing for the public sector, it will still be of help to create ‘buyer personas’ who represent people who may be interested in your services. These personas will help you tailor your marketing efforts so that you can be found more easily, and create content that will resonate with these people.
Refer back to your buyer personas when creating your content calendar, social media strategy and entire inbound marketing strategy.
3. Develop an inbound marketing strategy
Every quarter or six months, devote some time to putting together an inbound marketing strategy to give your activity some cohesion and structure. Your strategy should comprise of a content calendar, plans for promotion and campaigns and a method of achieving your goals.
If your goal is to add people to an email subscriber list, or get people to sign up to a service online, you’ll need to strategise how you attract them to your website, and make it easy for them to take the desired action.
Your content calendar can be as varied and diverse as you like in terms of formats and topics; just ensure that you include in your inbound marketing strategy how you’ll promote each piece, whether that’s by email, social media or paid advertising.
4. Craft value-adding content
Content for the public sector could include email newsletters, infographics or stats about your industry (for example on public health, or education), blog posts about projects you’re running, educational ebooks or reports.
There is a wealth of content you could produce; what you decide to put out there depends on your goals and your target audience. If your primary aim is to educate people, how will they come across your content (think SEO and search behaviour)? If you want to recruit new talent, what content might these people find useful?
According to the 2015 Sign-Up.to email benchmark report, open rates and click through rates for emails from public sector organisations are the highest across all industries. Make the most of this traction by incorporating conversion-focused email marketing into your strategy.
When compiling a piece of content, always have in mind who it’s for, what you want to achieve and how it will be found.
5. Measure the impact of your marketing
Public sector organisations, like private sector organisations, should aim to improve their cost efficiency, marketing ROI and profits. As well as having a positive impact on your stakeholders and contributing to social change, it’s important to think of your public sector company as a business.
Be sure to measure the results of your marketing so that you can spend your budget wisely, for maximum effect, and avoid throwing money down the drain. The beauty of inbound marketing is that you should be able to trace every win back to its original source (content, SEO, social media etc.).
Monitor the results of your marketing efforts, tracking your improvement over time as you move through the calendar year.