Trends to Watch in 2018
"The only constant is change"
This quote is attributed to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, and it comes from around 500 B.C. More than two millennia later, it still rings true…especially if you work in marketing or recruiting!
To kick off 2018, we asked our team at Haley Marketing to look at the big trends going on in the marketing world and share a few insights about what they mean for staffing and recruiting companies. Buckle up…and get ready for lots of ideas to contemplate!
Staffing Website Trends
Mobile — more important than ever.
We've been talking about mobile for years. But just last month, our clients' web traffic crossed a big milestone — 51 percent was on mobile. If your website is not fully responsive…and specifically optimized for mobile job seekers, you're losing candidates.
Kill the long application (or at least move it to step two).
In October 2017, one of our clients contacted us about the lack of applications they were receiving from their website. We did some analysis and found they were getting tons of web traffic. The issue was the painful application process their ATS provided. As a solution, we replaced the application form with a simple "submit your resume" form, and in the first month, this company received 8,000 resumes!
A visitor to your website has a 3 to 5 second attention span. Want someone to take action? Write less!
Stronger, more prominent calls-to-action.
Does every page on your website have a strong call to action? Do your CTAs stand out on the page? Banners, buttons, fly-ins, exit pop-ups and inline CTA images should all be part of your strategy to drive response. If possible, include a CTA "above the fold" in the top section of each page.
Is it a job board or a staffing website?
Seventy percent or more of the traffic to a staffing website comes from job seekers. That's why companies like Adecco and CyberCoders feature "search jobs" front and center on their home pages. They recognize that you need to make as easy as possible for visitors (job seekers) to access the information they want most (jobs!).
Forget keywords, focus on relevance.
Okay, this might be a little strong—keywords still matter, but the most successful staffing websites (from an SEO perspective) focus on creating content that is highly relevant to the needs of their clients and candidates. They provide blogs, videos and other long-format content centered around the questions their clients and candidates ask…and the topics they search on Google. And remember, jobs are highly relevant content!
User experience matters.
How fast does your site load? How long do people stay? How many pages do they visit? Websites that are more engaging (i.e., those that get people to stay longer) will out rank those that are not.
Featured snippets and quick answers.
Type a question into Google, what do you see? That Quick Answer box is a Google-featured designed to keep people from leaving Google. From an SEO perspective, that answer box is gold because it puts you on the top of page one results. So how do you get into the box? Offer lists, tables, and graphs in response to commonly asked questions. Also, provide content in a Q&A format. That old FAQ page may become more relevant in 2018.
"Hey Google, find me a job." Well, we're not quite there yet, but voice search and digital search assistants are becoming increasingly important to search results. Does your website offer content that will come up in a voice search?
Inbound links are one of the most important SEO-ranking factors. if you want to dominate Google, you need more links to your website. How? Write guest posts for blogs in your industry, provide articles to trade associations, conduct market research that others can reference. More inbound links = better SEO!
Google wants your website to be more organized! Google looks for structured data markup to analyze and categorize web page content. This is especially critical for job data.
Blatant Sales Pitch!
Haley Marketing was invited to be part of the Google for Jobs beta program…and our Google for Jobs integration goes live for all our Job Board clients in February 2018.
Want to know more about Google for Jobs and how we can help you? Call us at 1.888.696.2900 orClick here to email Us!
Content & Inbound Marketing Trends
Variety is king.
People read the paper and watch the news. Candidates are the same. Some read blogs, some watch a video, and some prefer a quick graphic or tweet. Want your content to reach a wider audience? Offer your ideas in more formats!
Think long form.
While the nightly news may love soundbites and tweets, the best marketing response is coming from longform content. 1,000-plus word blog posts, podcasts, webinars and other long-form content are more effective for addressing tough questions, providing deeper insights, and driving qualified sales leads.
Speaking of content…stop writing crappy job posts.
Recruiting is marketing. And job posts are advertising. To win the talent war, you need to sell your jobs better than the competition sells theirs.
Need help writing better posts?
Read our article:11 Ways to Write Better Job Posts
Historically, the rule of content marketing was to put highly valuable content behind a "gate" or a form that people must complete. In the past year, some of the world's biggest content marketers have gone to ungated content, free to download without providing any personal information. The idea is that gates reduce consumption, and ultimately, it's the content consumption that drives qualified sales leads.
Content overload is real, but content marketing is more essential than ever.
These days everyone is a content marketer, which means getting your blog posts and social shares to stand out is harder than ever. If you want to demonstrate your expertise, prove your competence, and engage clients, prospects and candidates, you need a content strategy to produce and share information that truly resonates with your ideal clients and candidates.
Video is essential.
YouTube and Facebook have proven that video gets more engagement than any other form of content. In the staffing industry, we're seeing more companies use video for job ads, skill marketing, employer branding (for individual branch offices, staffing companies, and their clients), and assignment orientation.
Mobile content consumption.
As noted earlier, more than half of the traffic coming to the 500+ staffing websites we monitor comes from mobile, which means you need content that is easily consumed on smartphones and other mobile devices.
The New News Feed.
Facebook just announced a radical overhaul to their news feed. Posts from friends, pictures and video will be emphasized, news and brand content will be minimized. So what does this mean for you?
- Like and share your own content. No, this isn't some narcissistic idea. Facebook has said it will promote content that has more social engagement, so when you post a story, picture or video to your company page, get everyone on your timeline to like and share it.
- Focus on a people-based sharing strategy. If Facebook is going to emphasize content shared by friends and family, get your sales people and recruiters to become friends with your clients and candidates. By building personal connections, you will build a channel to share your ideas with more people.
- Think paid. For the past few years, the key to a successful Facebook marketing strategy has been to integrate paid promotion with great content. With the change in the news feed, sponsorship of content is going to be more important than ever.
Facebook jumped into the recruitment game in 2017. So far, results have been mixed. Some staffing companies find Facebook jobs to be a great place to source clerical, industrial and healthcare talent. But quality has been mixed and results have been scarce for higher-skilled / higher-level jobs.
In 2018, look for FB Jobs to becoming increasingly important as FB and ZipRecruiter expand their partnership, and as Facebook (hopefully) begins to offer new and better ways for candidates to apply.
Like other content on Facebook, Jobs are most effective when combined with a promotion strategy that targets your jobs to your ideal candidates. But watch out…your targeting has to be non-discriminatory!
7 ways to make Facebook work harder for you.
- Thumb-stopping content. Pictures, video, live video and now live audio are the most effective ways to get people to engage with your content.
- Now Hiring Groups. Facebook Groups are great way to build a talent community. Check out this example.
- Reviews. Be more proactive about asking happy clients and candidates to review you on Facebook. 5 stars = trust!
- Watch. This is a newer feature of Facebook to promote long-format videos and video series. Consider creating a series on job hunting or talent management best practices.
- Live. Broadcast at job fairs, trade shows and other events your clients and candidates would be interested in attending.
- 360 and VR content. Facebook wants to deliver a more engaging customer experience, and they love 360-degree videos and VR. While it might be a little early for staffing firms to share VR experiences, you could use 360 video to show off an event you're attending, your company culture or even feature your clients and their work environments.
- Instant Articles. Another outlet for content sharing.
- Messenger. Facebook is improving the way Messenger can integrate with websites. While it's not a true chatbot (yet), look for improvements in 2018 and a way to use Facebook to create more talent engagement on your site.
Think conversation not just content.
Twitter is no longer as critical to content sharing as it once was, but it can be a powerful tool for building relationships with hard-to-reach clients and candidates. If the people you want to reach are active on Twitter, use the tool to make an introduction (start by liking and retweeting the content of others), then bridge to direct conversations.
Twitter is a great place to build talent communities, user groups, and network with others who share common interests. Rather than just tweeting from your company page, create pages focused on specific target audiences, than share content and start conversations with each audience.
Time to double down…or maybe triple?
LinkedIn has always been a great place to build your staffing company's brand. And a place to connect with clients, prospects, and candidates. But as the volume of content has increased, standing out is tougher. To boost your LinkedIn response:
- Create more content. Repurpose your top-performing blog posts on LinkedIn Pulse.
- Get more people involved. Boost content reach exponentially by getting everyone in your company to share status updates.
- Leverage Groups. Big news! LinkedIn is about to put Group back into the main area of their site, and they're going to make Groups more functional, which means Groups will become an even more important tool for developing highly targeted communities.
- Don't just post, be part of the community. Like, share and comment on content you see people in your network sharing. Use your news feed to build and deepen relationships with prospects and influencers.
LinkedIn loves video.
No surprise, but video is now big on LinkedIn. If you're creating videos for your website or Facebook, be sure to share on LinkedIn as well.
LinkedIn is now integrated with Outlook, Word and other Microsoft products. Take advantage of these integrations to build networks and share content.
Video and Audio
Video killed the blogging star?
In the 1980s, MTV turned the music world upside down with the introduction of music video. While YouTube has been around since 2005, video is killing—or more accurately, enhancing social marketing. Don't have a video strategy for 2018? Get one!
Five ways to integrate video into your 2018 marketing:
- Jobs. Have recruiters create a 30-second pitch for hot jobs.
- Talent. Skill marketing via video? What better way to pitch a candidate!
- Branding. Show off your expertise with how-to and other educational videos.
- Conceptual selling. Explainer videos are a great way to sell higher-margin services.
- Live. Use Facebook Live to broadcast from job fairs or offer real time Q&A.
Time to Podcast?
Sixty-seven million Americans listen to podcasts each month. Time to launch an inciteful show dedicated the niche market you serve?
Target your brand.
Geofilters allow you to target a specific location with a Snapchat "filter" people can use to enhance the content they share. Have a job fair coming up? Sponsoring an event on a college campus? Design a geofilter that is appealing to the end user and also incorporates your brand.
It's story time.
Use a Snapchat story to showcase your office/identity. While Snapchat is a 1-to-1 conversation, your story is visible to everyone that follows you.
Implement daily "takeovers" where different team members run the story for 24 hours and document their day. Having recruiters show off their personal brands will make new candidates more comfortable with your team BEFORE they step foot in your office.
Here are a few specific ways you can use Snapchat Stories:
- Document a job fair. Check out this case study.
- Do more employer and personal branding.
- Showcase top jobs! Add in a link and allow users to "Swipe Up " to apply.
- Add video to your story discussing a blog post or job-search advice. "Swipe Up to Read the full article! "
A picture says a thousand words.
So promote your staffing company with pictures on Instagram. Here are a few ways to use Instagram to build your brand:
- Show off your team members.
- Provide a glimpse into your corporate culture with pictures.
- Show candidates who they'll be working with before they step into your office.
- Record a video from your parking lot to the front desk so applicants know exactly what to expect when they come in for the first time.
- Show off team builders, job fairs, community outreach events, your office/waiting room.
Build a Story!
Just like Snapchat, you can create stories on Instagram. Better yet, your Instagram stories can integrate with your company Facebook page!
Here are a few more story ideas:
- Share top jobs and explain how applicants can apply. Unlike Snapchat, you won't be able to "Swipe Up to Apply until you have 10,000 followers…" for now!
- Build a story around a job fair documenting before, during and after the event.
- Turn the camera on and answer common questions from applicants.
Reputation Management Trends
Customer voice wins.
Job seekers want to work for companies they trust. Employers want to work with staffing companies that are reliable. So, how do you prove you're trustworthy and reliable? With reviews! If you don't have a strategy to PROACTIVELY ask clients and candidates for reviews on Google, Indeed, Glassdoor and Facebook, put one into place…now!
Want people to trust you more? Become more transparent. Use your website, YouTube and social media to provide a behind-the-scenes look at your people, process and culture.