Once USAGov launched beta.USA.gov and beta.USA.gov en Español, the outreach team had to market the new websites to the public. After years of connecting people to government information through social media, email marketing, featured content, and events, we used that expertise to get more eyes and action on the beta sites and encourage users to share their feedback.
But what was different about the beta outreach campaign? Here are the three main ways the team changed their approach for this new and exciting opportunity:
1. The campaign is driven entirely by an internal product.
We primarily distribute information from across government agencies and provide a variety of source material for the public. The concept is driven by giving our followers and subscribers information as directly as possible, creating a “one click experience” to the service they need from a relevant agency website. During the beta campaign, we had to market our own product and give special consideration to branding, storytelling, and referring people directly to beta.USA.gov. It took an active shift to self promotion, showing the audience what they can expect from a USAGov product. This included:
- Establishing authority for the beta sites
- Appropriately adjusting and applying beta.USA.gov design elements
- Shifting to first-person language (“we, us, our”), rather than the standard outside-looking in, second-person narrative (“you, your”)
2. It involves every part of USAGov.
After months of coordination and work from every USAGov team, the beta sites launched. With the beta sites receiving daily tests and updates, we included various expert perspectives to build and sustain the beta campaign. For example, before posting about any topic page or interactive tool, we coordinated with:
- The content team to ensure the specific content was finalized before promotion
- The UX team to drive any specific testing or feedback goals
- The analytics team to monitor traffic, clicks, and other metrics
- The development team to flag any technical issues or code pushes that might impact the promotion
3. We have a flexible, iterative timeline.
Many outreach campaigns are organized around an event that inherently provides a specific timeline. The beta campaign is an ongoing campaign. It’s dynamic and changing constantly, just like the sites themselves. This poses creative challenges and opportunities to sustain the outreach campaign and keep it engaging for our audiences. To manage the evolving timeline, we created a phased, goal-oriented approach that became more efficient as we learned from it. Our phases included:
- Raising awareness – measured in reach and impressions
- Gathering feedback – collecting survey comments and page-level feedback
- Taking action – traffic and interactions on beta pages; clicks through to official government resources through beta.USA.gov and beta.USA.gov/es