How local governments can use content marketing
Many industries are turning more and more to content marketing as a way to build brand awareness and ultimately drive conversions. Local governments can leverage these same principals of content marketing to help drive more awareness of City programs and services, as well as citizen engagement.
Municipal government websites hold valuable information for the local residents. However, it can be a challenge to relay the information in an easy to navigate manner. Most visitors go to the city or county page while looking up a particular piece of information, not to dig deeper into the programs and services that the government provides.
Press releases have long been the way to let the community know about events and news within the community. By leveraging the strategies of the private sector, local governments can increase website visits, social interactions, and community engagement. With content marketing, the goal is to attract visitors by creating and distributing valuable, relevant information to a targeted audience.
Here are some easy ways to get started with content marketing:
Whether it’s recycling or the parks programs, knowing what citizens are looking for while searching on the city website, will help drive the content calendar. It may also help visitors find the information they are searching for in an easy to understand manner.
Package similar content together
Many different departments may offer similar programs, but are listed under individual departments. Instead of searching through each page on the website, package these items together in one place, such as I did with our summer programs. This is along the “you may also” like features that many giant e-commerce retailers take advantage of using.
Not every site visitor knows where to look for information or even what type of information the website contains. An easy way to gain new audience exposure is to repackage information in an easy-to-read and easy-to-access manner. By putting together an article on volunteering, I was able to leverage existing information to a new audience.
Headlines grab attention and bring people to the story. Lists and How-To articles are always an eye-catching for a fun read. They also make it easy to share and engage. Follow up a list with a question to get reader comments, such as what did we leave off?
Have a plan to distribute the content. Utilising social media and email lists are a great way to get eyes on the content. Don’t be afraid to share across multiple platforms at different times or even to share old content. News outlets often publish the same information on twitter several times in one day.
Gina Florence, is a rising star in the government communication sector. Gina serves as the Marketing and Communications Supervisor for the City of Bryan, Texas.