Navigating public sector procurement can be intricate, but utilising the right affiliates can streamline prime leads through your sales funnel. By partnering with respected figures and organisations in your niche who've already captivated your target audience, you enhance the probability of public sector decision-makers taking notice. This is your roadmap to not only building trust and boosting brand awareness but also to achieving unparalleled success in the public sector. Dive in, and let affiliation elevate your strategy.
Route 1: Engage with chartered bodies, membership organisations, and trade unions
Kickstart your affiliate partnerships by zeroing in on your audience! Join forces with Chartered Bodies, Membership Organisations, and Trade Unions to showcase your offerings right where the action and decision-makers are. While these three types of organisation use the same channels, their audiences and intentions are subtly different - be sure to pick the right one for you.
Examples like the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) are goldmines for reaching decision-makers at the pinnacle of their fields across the public sector. These bodies bridge both the public and private sectors by bringing together ‘chartered’ or qualified individuals across a profession or sector as a whole; you’ll will need to work with the organisation to ensure your involvement is hitting public sector members but, when you do, expect great results.
From magazines to social media, they offer avenues for both paid and free visibility. Foster relationships with editors and content managers, and you might even get spotlighted without spending a penny! Plus, consider nominating your products or services at their annual awards – it’s a fab way to earn trust and boost brand awareness across memberships.
CIPS is a great example of a chartered body which does all of these things and has members working across the public sector as a whole, but others to consider across specific public-sector industries are Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals; Institute of Health and Social Care Management; Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management; Chartered Institute of Environmental Health; Institution of Engineering and Technology; and most of the UK’s health and medicine ‘Royal Colleges’.
While membership organisations are very similar to Chartered Bodies, they’re more expansive in membership because qualifications aren’t mandatory. This means a broader audience for your marketing!
These organisations often have corporate membership packages which offer opportunities to exhibit at their conferences, network at events and sometimes even a seat at their meetings with key influencers and public sector decision-makers.
Some examples of non-chartered professional organisations are: College of Paramedics; College of Paramedics; United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy; Society and College of Radiographers; Security Institute; Institute of Food Science and Technology; Institute of Transport Administration; and Institute of Science and Technology.
Trade unions are the voice of the grassroots workforce. They champion the causes of their members and have expansive membership across the public sector, making them ideal partners if your products or services enhance the day-to-day experience of union membership bases. From HR solutions to products that bolster safety or job satisfaction, if you resonate with their mission, there’s space for collaboration. Big names to explore include the National Education Union (NEU); Unison; Unite; The FDA; Public and Commercial Services Union; and the British Medical Association (BMA).
Jump in, build those relationships, and let your brand shine where it matters!
Route 2: Harnessing mass media affiliates
Want to make big waves in the public sector? Let's chat about affiliating with the UK's media titans like The Times, The Telegraph and The Financial Times.
Having your brand showcased by these heavyweights isn’t just about name-drops, it's an enormous credibility booster! If these media moguls give you a nod, the public sector's bound to follow suit.
Remember, mass media is impartial by nature and publications are bound by editorial lines. While you won’t have much influence over what’s published about your business, you can be assured that your business will benefit from quality content presented to a devoted readership.
Now, when it comes to paid affiliations, the game's simple: you sponsor a brand feature about your products or services, and in return, publications direct leads your way using trackable links or affiliate codes. Actions from these links, be they purchases or sign-ups, benefit both parties as the publication will be compensated with a percentage of the deal value. While most of these articles wear a 'paid promotion' badge, the massive readership exposure is undeniably golden and goes a long way to build the trust needed to win public sector deals.
For a behind-the-scenes look at what this looks like in practice, The Guardian’s affiliate policy offers a glimpse.
Route 3: Stand in niche content spotlights
Anyone who has dipped their toes into PR will know that promotion through media is all about relationships and building strong relationships with ‘niche’ or expert publications within your industry can be your golden ticket to winning favour public sector buyers.
These niche gems have direct channels to your desired industries and the people who work across them – think newsletters, social platforms, content hubs, events, and more.
Their audience? Primarily dominated by the public sector industries they write about. Sure, getting your foot in the door might involve some paid features initially, but the investment can pave the way for fruitful collaborations down the line.
A tip from the pros: regularly send out press releases, especially when you make a splash in the public sector. Got data or measurable results? Share them! Journalists love diving into impactful stories which highlight how your solutions are creating waves. If your data brings fresh insights or breaking news to the table, you're in for a win! Keep feeding them stories, and who knows? They might keep coming back for more.
Route 4: Unlock the power of affiliate programmes
Affiliate programmes are the most ‘official’ route for affiliate marketing and partnering your way into public sector favour. They're like your VIP pass, especially for those in the tech world. By joining these programmes, usually with an annual fee, you can unlock a treasure trove of opportunities to get closer to that coveted public sector market.
Take Amazon Web Services (AWS) for instance. With the public sector agenda to only adopt cloud-based technologies, AWS offer numerous acceleration and booster programmes for businesses that build upon their services. Their ‘AWS Public Sector Partner Programme’, which promises to align your business with AWS public sector sales, marketing, funding, and proposal teams in addition to promoting and referring businesses to the public sector, is just one example of what enrolling on an affiliate can do for your business.
With AWS, you're not just gaining access, you're donning that gold standard badge recognised by public sector bigwigs like the NHS.
Route 5: Power up with influencers and KOLs
If you’ve never considered tapping into the magic of individual influencers and key opinion leaders (KOLs), you should! These gems often have a stronger grip on public sector audiences than many businesses out there. Picture this: social media prowess, features in top publications, podcast appearances, and even conference talks - all potentially talking about YOU!
Most KOLs come with a rich history in the public sector, making them pros at understanding industry shifts and trends.
Success with influencers is all about fostering genuine relationships with them. They're known for their candid takes and no-nonsense analysis of the market. So, while they might not always cheer you on, if you're making real, positive changes in the public sector, they could well become your biggest fans, mentioning you in their talks, sharing your content, or even joining your panels.