CONTENT MARKETING BIG IDEA:
Meet your audience where they are.
Your team spends countless hours crafting the perfect job posts and writing blogs, but what happens if no one sees your content? Or what if people do see, and your content fails to make an impact?
Whether you're recruiting—or selling staffing services, the surest route to success is to meet your audience where they are. And this includes both physical and mental location!
You may be thinking, "Isn't this content marketing 101?"
It sure is! But go to Indeed and read the job posts. Or check out the blogs of your competitors. How often do you see content that is "me, me, me" all about the goals and interest of the staffing company rather than focusing on the needs and wants of the audience?
One of the most fundamental tenets of content marketing is to create valuable, relevant, and consistent content…content that puts the needs and wants of your audience before your own objectives.
Content marketing today isn't just about what you say; it's also about where you say it. With people consuming content in so many different ways and so many different places, you also need a strategy that ensures your content is found by your ideal clients and candidates wherever they go.
Embrace a multimedia approach.
Thanks to our relatively newfound "remote first world," we are all living our lives online. In fact, a study by Nielsen showed that screen time in the U.S. increased by 215% between March 2019 and March 2020.
You probably won't be shocked to read that in response to our changing digital consumption habits, marketing departments everywhere cranked up their content engines. More blogs. More videos. More LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and let's not forget, TikTok!
As you might guess, all this digital noise has intensified competition for visibility and attention—which, of course, makes getting your staffing company's content found more challenging than ever.
So, how do you stand out?
- Think of how you will distribute your content BEFORE you create it, not after.
- Think multimedia. Plan to distribute your content in at least three of the following formats: copy on your website (blogs & jobs); video (recorded & live); social graphics; print; audio; and/or email.
- Think beyond digital. If you want your content to stand out, transition some of your content from the inbox to the mailbox. While electronic distribution of your content is a must, sending physical content (letters, postcards, printed guides and branded magazines) will differentiate your content from 99% of your competitors.
- Look for opportunities to connect physical content to the digital world. The contactless menus that emerged in 2020 and native QR code integration with our smartphones have opened up a world of opportunity that did not exist before.
Answer the questions people really want to know.
In the book, They Ask, You Answer, author Marcus Sheridan outlines an incredibly simple, yet unbelievably powerful content marketing strategy: Answer the questions your customers are asking!
Sounds easy, right?
It's not. And it takes guts—real guts—to implement.
Think about the things your clients and candidates really want to know:
- How much do you charge? (pricing)
- What are the biggest problems with your services?
- What staffing company is the best?
- How does your company compare to (fill in your biggest competitor's name)?
- What do your current customers say? (reviews)
Oh, and your customers want 100% unbiased, fully transparent answers to these questions. Still think answering your customer's questions is easy?
If you have the guts, this content strategy will help you to stand out, radically improve your SEO, and drive significantly more traffic to your website. It will also help you to build credibility, differentiate your company, and build trust with employers and job seekers.
- While you might not want to jump right into pricing questions, a painless way to start with this kind of a content strategy is to have your team list the most commonly asked questions by candidates, employees, clients, and prospects. Once you have you the list, come up with a plan to answer each one using the multimedia approach referenced above.
Build your authority.
Companies want to do business with organizations they trust. People want to work for companies they respect. So how do you become more trusted and respected?
Focus on building authority—being seen as an expert on topics that matter to your audience.
Now, being an authority doesn't mean you have to be a thought leader (which has become a ridiculously overused term). Unless you are doing deep research and advancing a field of study, you are not going to be a thought leader.
However you can be an authority on just about any subject. An authority is an individual or organization that is seen as having expertise about a topic. You can become an authority by creating original content or simply sharing curated content that shows that you pay close attention to a particular topic.
As a staffing company, you can be an authority on recruiting for specific skill disciplines, knowledge of a local talent market, industry expertise, knowledge of how to solve specific kinds of problems (and not just hiring and staffing problems), or just about any other topic related to workforce management.
We've seen industrial staffing firms that are authorities on lean manufacturing. IT staffing companies that are authorities on agile software development and complex ERP project management. Clerical staffing companies that are authorities on improving business efficiency. And healthcare staffing companies that are authorities on hiring for particular skill disciplines like oncology.
We've also seen staffing companies that are authorities on employers in their local markets and what it takes to be a best place to work. By becoming an authority, and defining your specific expertise, you carve out a position in the market where you will have few (if any) direct competitors who can match your knowledge.
And when you combine your authority with transparent answers to your audience's questions, you create a content (and branding) strategy that is hard to beat.
Create personalized content for all stages of the buying process.
When it comes to meeting your audience where they are, be sure to consider where they are in the buying process. When job seekers are looking for work and hiring managers are seeking a staffing partner, they go through a six stage buying process.
- Problem Recognition
- Information Search
- Evaluation of Alternatives
- Purchase Decision
- Post Purchase Evaluation
In a perfect world, every candidate would call you the moment they start their search. And every employer would have a well-defined workforce strategy and reach out the minute they identify a future talent need. However, this is rarely the case.
Most of the time, people will connect with you at stage two or three. Your challenge is to offer information that matches their needs at the time they discover your company. This is where intelligence-driven marketing and marketing automation software come into play.
Marketing automation enables you to structure content sharing (and sales outreach) based on a specific person's stage in the buying process. For example, if a prospect clicks on your article about Recruitment in the Manufacturing Industry, they are likely in stage two of the process. Intelligence-driven marketing may steer them to a landing page to download an eBook that dives deeper into overcoming staffing challenges specific to their industry. Downloading the eBook can increase their lead score and automate the sharing of additional content to help them with the next step – Evaluation of Alternatives.
Where to start?
Meeting your audience where they are will elevate your close ratios for both recruiting and new business development. However, knowing where to start is the biggest content marketing challenge most staffing companies will face. The simplest solution is to step back and look at what you already have.
- What kinds of content do you already have? Where do you deliver it? In what forms?
- Do you have a process for regularly creating new content?
- Do you have a content strategy?
- Have you identified areas where you want to be seen as an authority? And are you building or curating content around those subjects?
- Do you have a content sharing strategy to maximize the probability of your content getting to your ideal clients and candidates?
- Are you creating content to support employers and job seekers in all phases of the buying process?
- Do you have automation to identify visitors to your website, personalize their buyer's journey with relevant content, and outreach from your team?
Feeling a little overwhelmed?
Take a deep breath.
You don't have to do everything on this list. But you do need to think about the best places to meet your clients and candidates. Think about the questions they are asking. And how you want to be seen. And from that, you can build a content strategy that will truly differentiate your company, elevate your sales and recruiting, and improve the profitability of your organization.
And if you need help anywhere along the way, we have content (and advice) for you!
Contact us at 1.888.696.2900 or visit haleymarketing.com