Last Updated on September 27, 2021
When it comes to marketing, most companies jump right to the tactics and skip the necessary preparation and planning required to realize the best return on investment. While some rush to calculate ad spend budgets or work on billboard designs, the most successful companies understand marketing plans are like building a house. You must build a good foundation and structure before you start decorating the interior.
Marketing your staffing agency isn’t an exception. While your staffing agency’s marketing plan can and should be unique to the industry, some basic marketing concepts still apply.
Identify your business’ superpower
While every staffing agency has a version of the same mission at its core and some services overlap with other agencies, identifying your unique business superpower is critical for standing out among the competition.
Your superpower, or unique value proposition, must set you apart from everyone in your industry and communicate your exclusivity. It is essential to articulate what makes your business unique to compel a potential client to take action through a phone call, lead form, or another form of outreach.
Your UVP must also quickly convey the element of trust, demonstrating that you can deliver their ideal solution. You can offer a unique perspective on the industry yet not appear credible or authentic, so your competitive edge must be relevant and concise.
So what makes a great value proposition?
- It shows why people would be better off using your service than any other option.
- It describes the clear benefits of taking action.
- It avoids using jargon and is relatable, speaking to their specific fears or concerns.
Your unique value proposition must be in place before you implement any marketing campaign. The message you craft will permeate every other aspect of your marketing.
Define and refine your audience
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing. While most of your customers may have a similar problem and be looking for a general solution, the more specific you can get in your messaging, the higher the success rate you’ll have.
This approach requires a keen understanding of exactly who your target audience is. Knowing how your audience perceives you (and using that understanding to evolve your brand) is essential for your success.
For example, two women may both be in the market for a new career, but each of those women will respond differently to your marketing tactics. One might be motivated by money and climbing the corporate ladder quickly, while the other is more concerned with work-life balance and generous paid leave policies.
Suppose all of your marketing materials are focused on clients who want to maximize their earnings. In that case, you’ll potentially isolate a large part of your audience who doesn’t share those same priorities. For every marketing campaign, it’s essential to have two or three variations of your primary message, customized to meet the potential clients where they are.
You can then incorporate those messages into segmented email marketing campaigns, A/B test them through website headlines and social media ads, and incorporate them into printed materials distributed at events.
Build relationships through local and online events
Implementing your marketing strategy within a silo is one of the most common marketing mistakes companies make. Even the most robust plans with clear goals and outcome measurements fail without including relationship marketing as a critical component.
Before jumping on Instagram to recruit the latest influencer to endorse your company, understand that relationship building goes far beyond someone with social capital endorsing your services.
Building genuine relationships involves a level of communication between two parties that acknowledges a mutually beneficial partnership.
For example, your agency might join your local Chamber of Commerce, and in turn, the Chamber will host a special event at your office to promote your new services. This arrangement is a mutually beneficial relationship for both parties who share a common audience and goals – to increase the employment rate in your community.
Or, consider joining an industry-relevant organization or association that opens doors to other opportunities and resources to gain visibility. Where possible, partner with a local nonprofit to sponsor an event. This type of relationship shows your commitment to philanthropy and service and provides positive brand recognition while doing good work in your community.
Make your website the hub
Your website must be the foundation of your marketing strategy. If your marketing attracts the perfect clients but does not have a place to find more information or express their interest in working with you, they’ll quickly move on to the next company.
The best website will serve multiple purposes beyond giving information about who you are, your team, and how to work with you. The websites that stand out for the right reasons also feature well-written content that resonates with a potential client’s fears or concerns and offers a straightforward solution to their problem.
Audit your website and ensure that it accurately reflects your values as a company, articulates your competitive advantages, and is designed in a manner that encourages someone to explore your offer further. When you evaluate your website as a potential client, ask yourself: would I be compelled to learn more and ask for more information if I landed on this page?
Every page of your website should offer a compelling call to action that leads your potential client to take another step forward – to join your email list, call for more information, complete an inquiry, or visit your office.
Incorporate social proof
According to a Nielsen survey, “92% of consumers are more likely to trust non-paid recommendations than any other type of advertising.” This research confirms that a solid marketing strategy must go beyond crafting the perfect social media ad and connect with the audience in a meaningful way.
People overwhelmingly trust personal recommendations over company promises, so it’s crucial to secure favorable feedback from happy clients. Not only does this feedback provide the best content for your marketing efforts, but it also helps establish more long-term relationships with the client, going a long way toward improving client retention.
When you ask for detailed feedback in a way that values the customer’s experience and demonstrates your desire to understand their experience better instead of a simple star rating, you receive more helpful information.
Unfortunately, in today’s competitive environment, five-star ratings mean much less than the glowing endorsement of a business friend or colleague.
When offboarding clients, take time to have meaningful conversations and ask detailed questions. Questions like “what search terms did you use when looking for our service?” and “In what ways did we exceed your expectations?” will provide better insight into how you can find new clients similar to the one you’ve already successfully secured.
Select social media channels intentionally
There’s no more decisive marketing channel than social media. For every expert who tells you to be all the places all the time, there’s another one telling you to build your brand and message on real estate you own, like your website.
However, there’s truth to both approaches, and nuisance is required to navigate both options successfully. The most successful marketers have carefully identified their ideal clients, know where they spend their time online, and built a presence in those limited locations.
For example, if your ideal client is someone currently employed but looking for a new opportunity, building your talent pipeline and connecting with them on LinkedIn has a much higher success rate than sending a Facebook message.
Or, if you’re targeting a younger audience, you might find them more receptive to an ad on TikTok versus inundating them with daily tweets. Understanding their preferred platform is more art than science and requires patience and lots of testing.
No matter which platform you choose, your message will resonate best when you are consistent. Algorithms aside, the brand that shows up with meaningful, relevant content that engages and invites conversation will always win over those who opt for trying to go viral with one big hit.
It’s essential to establish your company as an authority in your field and develop trust with your website visitors, potential clients, other business leaders in your community.
Regularly contributing your own content to your blog and submitting articles or columns to relevant industry publications are some of the fastest ways to build authority.
Creating a business blog gives you an outlet to share your success, feature client success stories, and helps drive more search engine traffic to your website. Your team can then take the most viewed blogs or those generating the most engagement and repurpose them into articles for industry publications.
Consistent, valuable blog content gives people a reason to come back to your website and provides an avenue to repurpose content into social media posts, as well.
It’s important to ask yourself a few questions before you start a blog:
- What would a blog accomplish for us? Would it attract more visitors to our website?
- Who is our ideal blog reader, and what topics are of interest to them?
- What questions do our potential clients have, and can we answer those through a blog post?
- How often can we publish?
- How will we promote our posts?
If you’re starting from the beginning, developing a plan that incorporates each of the concepts is critical. Some may be more relevant than others, and you may need to start small. If you have a plan in place, but it’s not working, revisiting some of the basics can help you refresh the plan and bring new life to old ideas.
Last but not least, incorporate time to track performance, measure your results, and make adjustments. By setting clear and measurable goals, you and your team can work toward specific milestones, make adjustments when necessary, and celebrate when you reach them.
Jim is the General Manager of altLINE by The Southern Bank. altLINE partners with lenders nationwide to provide invoice factoring and accounts receivable financing to their small and medium-sized business customers. altLINE is a direct bank lender and a division of The Southern Bank Company, a community bank originally founded in 1936.