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Guide To Building A Government Marketing Strategy To Engage Constituents 

By Stephen Brandofino

Local governments have many responsibilities and tasks they have to complete everyday, but one thing they often neglect is maintaining a robust marketing strategy. Most ask, “Why do governments need a marketing strategy?” 

The answer on why governments need a marketing strategy is simple; the marketing tactics that will be outlined throughout this article make engaging constituents and keeping everyone in the community informed a very simple task. Further, ensuring your local government keeps a reliable and robust online presence through marketing keeps constituents connected to their local government, often encouraging them to engage in local democracy. 

But how can local government officials improve their current marketing and build a strategy from the ground up? 

Read on to learn more about the key ways your government can increase constituent engagement and even voter turnout, and build an impactful marketing strategy.

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What Is Digital Marketing? 

Digital marketing is the strategic use of digital channels, platforms, and technologies to promote something specific to targeted audiences who may be interested. Digital marketing encompasses a wide range of activities such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, advertising, and more. 

The primary goal of digital marketing for local governments is to connect with citizens and residents of your area in the online space, engaging them with relevant information or opportunities. Ultimately, it is vital that digital marketing drives citizens towards your government website to learn all the relevant updates, news, and services available to them at a given time. This form of marketing allows for precise targeting of constituents in one residential area, and can even extend out to tourists of your area looking for information of their own.

Learn everything about Creating Content For Your Local Government Website here. 

Why Is Marketing Strategy Vital For Local Governments? 

Keeping residents informed is of the utmost importance to ensure they are involved in local politics, their voices are being heard, and they have a say (or at least understanding) for the local happenings. Marketing about local events and opportunities online is the best way to make sure that the information is getting right in front of your residents, because obviously most constituents are spending hours on their phones and social media daily. Digital marketing takes the hassle out of connecting with constituents, and improves constituent engagement and even turnout for local elections!

Where To Start With Online Marketing For Governments 

It can be confusing to know how to begin online marketing when you haven’t ever tried before. Follow these guidelines to learn how: 

  • Define Objectives and Marketing Goals

A huge part of starting off your own local government marketing strategy right is to determine your goals for online marketing, whether it's increasing public awareness of government programs, promoting community events, or improving citizen engagement. Making it clear to every worker who contributes to these goals what the overall shared vision is helps to solidify marketing plans moving forward. Define marketing objectives to reach KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and form marketing strategies to achieve your goals. 

Learn all about Government KPIs and Setting Measurable Goals in the Public Sector

  • Ensure Your Website Is Comprehensive

Ensure that your local government website is well-designed, mobile-friendly, and accessible to all users. It is very important to include clear navigation features that are user-friendly and accessible so that all citizens are able to access the key information you upload. Make sure that articles about local news and other relevant content you upload is organized into categories that are clear and easy to understand on any device. This will draw more viewers on to your website because it will have so much key information for them, simplifying everyday life. 

Learn how to implement Disability Inclusion Planning in Government here. 

  • Utilize Social Media Platforms

Social media is already being used daily by almost all of your constituents. Residents of all ages and demographics utilize technology in some way every day, making it the perfect way for you to get your messaging in front of them. Online, it is imperative to establish a presence on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn so you can upload news about local events, or useful informational guides. 

Learn about Digital Transformations and Modernizing with GovPilot here. 

  • Implement Email Marketing Campaigns

An effective way to bring awareness to your local government agencies online is to collect email addresses through your local government website, social media channels, and in-person events. Once you have emails of interested constituents, you will be able to send out newsletters, updates, and event invitations to keep your citizens informed and engaged with your local government. You can even automate emails to ensure they are sent in your desired cadence, with follow ups and reminders attached! 

Learn how to Keep Data Secure & Prevent Ransomware Attacks here!

  • Dedicate Time To Content Marketing

Developing valuable and informative content to educate and engage your citizens takes time and often professional help. Hire a team, or delegate responsibilities to volunteers and government workers to create blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, and other multimedia content for your local government website. You can also hire interns who will often work for experience or school credits rather than a salary or freelancing professionals who can create content for your municipality. 

Learn about Public Sector Recruiting and How to Hire Talented Government Workers in our guide.

  • Engage with Online Communities

Participate in online communities and forums relevant to your government's area of focus by answering questions and sharing official information for citizens. Don’t overlook the importance of online communities to inspire e-democracy, encourage higher voter turnout and foster discussions about local politics through digital platforms. Get with the times and be sure to engage your community on social media and an interactive website. 

Learn about the 13 Benefits of Digital Transformation for Local Government here. 

  • Monitor and Analyze Performance

Online tools and modern government software can help your local government marketing team to monitor website traffic, social media engagement and other key metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. KPIs or Key Performance Indicators are valuable to help you achieve quantified, specific goals that will help judge the performance of your online marketing campaigns. 

How To Target Constituents With Your Marketing Strategy 

Follow these steps to ensure your local government marketing strategy will reach your target audiences:

1. Create Intriguing Content 

The number one rule of creating content for your local government and fostering community engagement is to publish information constituents are interested in. Even when using social media, if the content your government is providing viewers is not interesting, they are less likely to click it and look deeper into your local government website. Make sure your content speaks to local current events, happenings, and information that your constituents will want to learn more about. 

Using visuals, graphics, videos and polls is a great way to engage even more online and take advantage of all that modern digitization allows us. 

Follow the ADA Website Compliance Checklist with the help of our guide.

2. Answer Commonly Asked Questions 

Some of the most common searches that will bring your local government website to constituents screens are answers to common questions residents have. Get ahead of the questions and add a page to your local government website of frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers. Also posting snippets of these answers on social media will encourage constituents to save and share your posts, bringing more traffic to your site!

Learn all about They Key To Improving Transparency In Local Government here. 

3. Share Information About Upcoming Events 

Upcoming events are a great topic to post about because they are widely-shared and encourage constituents to attend. Planning and advertising events that constituents will want to attend is vital to increasing community engagement and revenue for your locality.

Learn all about How to Manage & Improve Local Public Meetings & Events here.

4. Encourage Constituents To Share Government Content On Social Media 

Make it enticing to share posts about local government information on social media through polls, and interactive options. Enable sharing features on your local government public posts, press releases, and news articles so that they can circulate your municipality and bring awareness about your local government to all citizens on social media platforms.

Start Digital Marketing For Your Local Government Now- It’s Easy! 

In the digital age, not harnessing your effort on digital marketing for your municipality would be silly. Digital marketing strategies for local government ensure that constituents are able to access information, important dates, and even e-democracy with ease, taking some of the burden off of your local government officials. Focus local government efforts on marketing for your local government now and build a local government marketing strategy. Book a consultation with GovPilot to learn more about how government management software can help improve important processes in your locality!

Local Government Marketing FAQs

  • Who should be in charge of marketing for the local government? 

Hire a team of interested individuals with professional experience and a willingness to learn about digital marketing to manage online marketing campaigns for your municipal government. Often these professionals know more about how to bring awareness and traffic to your website than volunteers will, although interns may be very valuable in this process as well. 

  • Why is social media marketing helpful?

Social media marketing is a great way to capitalize on the internet platforms that citizens already look at everyday. Your local government information will circulate faster and more effectively than it could without the sharable features of social media. 

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Tags: Constituent Engagement, Government Efficiency, Constituent Experience, Digital Transformation, GovTech