Tips for Better Staffing and Recruiting Content Marketing
It’s everywhere you look:
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Company websites. YouTube. Email. Direct mail. It’s content marketing – and you’ll find it anywhere business communication is happening.
What is content marketing?
If you’re not familiar with this marketing technique, it’s about using ideas to capture attention, and then getting people to take an action. In staffing, content marketing is intended to get more candidates to apply to jobs and more employers to contact you about your staffing services. The idea is to create information (content) that your target audience finds interesting, useful, timely and/or entertaining, and then get it in front of the right people.
Why should staffing companies care about content marketing?
For most staffing companies, the biggest sales opportunities come from direct marketing – targeting the companies with whom you want to do business and then developing a plan to specifically market (and sell) to those organizations.
But does that mean content marketing doesn’t matter to your firm?
Content marketing has three critical roles in the staffing industry:
Making direct selling easier. Content (or sharing ideas) is an ideal way to open a door with prospects. When used in advance of your sales call, it can increase the odds of getting an appointment by 100% or more. When used during a sales call, content marketing can illustrate the value services offer, warm a skeptical buyer, and create opportunities to sell higher margin staffing solutions. And when used after a sales call, as a leave behind or in follow up, content marketing creates a compelling reason to make follow up calls; it gives your sales team something to talk about to keep the lines of communication open until that prospect has a staffing need and/or is ready to evaluate new staffing vendors.
Bringing inbound leads to you. While direct selling is the marketing method of choice for pursuing your “A” prospects, content marketing is the perfect way to attract the “B” and “C” prospects to your firm.
Typically, these are smaller companies with a lower volume of staffing needs, but there are MANY MORE of them to pursue. Best of all, these companies are not being aggressively sold to by other staffing firms. For our top clients, 30% to 40% of their new sales leads come inbound as the result of content marketing. These are sales opportunities that would never have occurred if these staffing firms had only relied on direct selling.
Recruiting. Need talent? Who doesn’t! Content marketing is an essential part of recruiting today. Every job you post is a piece of content. It has to be optimized for SEO (and mobile consumption), shared in the places your ideal candidates are most likely to find it (which can include job boards, email, and social media), and it has to drive people to somewhere they can apply.
Content marketing is also about building your employment brand. Candidates can work for just about any staffing firm they choose, so why should they choose you? Content can be used to position your company as a “Best Place to Work.” It’s can convey your culture, illustrate all you do to provide a great candidate experience and differentiate your company from the dozens (or even hundreds) of competitors in your market.
So, how can staffing companies do content better?
My snarky answer is to write “call Haley Marketing” (well, it’s actually not so snarky, and is a good idea for anyone who doesn’t have the time or desire to constantly create and share content). But my more practical answer is, follow these tips:
- Make content creation a habit. Get everyone in the company involved in creating and sharing content. Dedicate a portion of each person’s day, every day, to content marketing (and social sharing).
- Train your people to write. This includes how to write more compelling job descriptions, how to create engaging content for your website, and how to write for social media.
- Think beyond writing. Great content isn’t just blog posts. It’s photos, videos, podcasts, infographics, webinars and more. They key to an awesome content marketing campaign is to produce awesome content in the format your audience wants to consume it.
- Integrate content into sales and recruiting. Develop a structured process for using content before and after your sales calls to enhance the effectiveness of your selling. Integrate content into your recruiting plans to make your firm more attractive (and visible) to candidates.
- Be original. Forget the same old tired “how to interview” kinds of content. Instead, focus on real insights you can offer your clients and candidates. This might include market data, analysis of industry trends, or cutting-edge advice on staffing, recruiting and talent management.
- Be provocative. Strive to share ideas that are thought-provoking. Challenge the status quo. You don’t have to be controversial (although that can be very effective), but you do want to get people thinking—and in the process, position your firm as a thought-leader.
- It doesn’t have to be original. No, I am not contradicting myself. While you want to share content on original topics (i.e., stuff that’s different than what everyone else is doing), you do not need to create all the content yourself. Find thought leaders in HR, recruiting, technology or any other topics that matter to your target audience, and then share their innovative ideas along with your own commentary about the impact of these ideas for your clients and candidates.
- Turn every job and every candidate into great content. Your website needs to have a job board that optimizes your content for SEO, and consider a tool like our Talent Showcase to turn your top talent into compelling content (it helps you place people faster and shows candidates you do more to help them get placed!).
- Share your content EVERY DAY. On LinkedIn. On Facebook. On Twitter. In an email-based publication. Via pay-per-click advertising on Google and Facebook. And even in sales calls.
Content marketing is a lot of work. But 100% worth the effort!
How much would more profit to your company make if you could increase sales leads by 30% to 40%? How many more placements would you make (and how much less would you spend on job boards) if you had a steady stream of candidates coming to you looking for work? That’s the power…and value of content marketing.
It’s not easy. And it’s something you must do consistently. But executed correctly, a sound content marketing strategy will dramatically enhance your reputation, help you attract higher quality talent and boost your bottom line.
Photo courtesy of ccPixs.com.