The Top 10 Marketing Strategies for Staffing Firms in 2013

This year it’s time to ramp up your marketing strategy and start seeing some real resutls. As a staffing company, it’s more important than ever to ensure your customers and candidates can find you online and that you can reach them in the places they want to be found.

2012 changed the marketing landscape for staffing firms in several ways – new social platforms, further advancements in mobile technology and better tools for measuring marketing success. So what does 2013 have in store for staffing companies? Here are our predictions of 10 winning marketing strategies successful staffing agencies will be using in 2013.

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1. Go Mobile or Go Home. In 2012, more people bought smart phones than computers. Three years ago we developed our first mobile website for a staffing company. Two years ago, just about half of our projects included mobile websites. But in 2012, over 90% of our customers requested a mobile website. Why? It’s all about the data.

When we start a project for a new staffing company we always look at their current site analytics. These days, we’re seeing mobile site traffic for staffing companies range anywhere from 6 – 27%. These non mobile sites are seeing 60 – 80% of these potential candidates “bounce.” Meaning – they are leaving the site (most likely because it isn’t mobile). In terms of numbers, these bounces are resulting in anywhere from 30 – 150 lost potential candidates per month!

Your clients and candidates are mobile. Your website should be to. If you don’t have a mobile strategy (including a mobile website and mobile marketing campaign) in place by the end of 2013, your staffing agency will be behind your competition.

2. Social Media Integration. When staffing companies first start experimenting with social media they typically approach their social strategies as being separate from their other efforts. However, as these same companies get more savvy with social marketing, these strategies will no longer be separate, but instead will become increasingly integrated with all internal technologies and marketing practices.

Sophisticated staffing companies will no longer see social media as novel experiment. Instead, they will embrace it as a crucial and profitable communication medium for all of their marketing efforts.

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3. Customer service is the new marketing. Tony Hsieh from Zappos says his company main focus is delivering exceptional customer service. Tony defines customer service as a marketing investment that must be consistently increased, not an expense that must constantly cut and analyzed. Zappos has an amazing reputation for delivering outstanding customer service and their profits continue to benefit from it.

Staffing companies have begun to focus more on their internal culture and that pays dividends with their customers. Why? Because truly, happy teams make happy customers.

By focusing on a positive work environment and encouraging your employees to provide unparalleled customer service, your staffing business will be rewarded by lasting customer loyalty. If you aren’t doing so already, 2013 is the year to start measuring customer satisfaction and rewarding your employees for delivering it.

4. Social Media > SEO. Social media marketing is proving to be much more effective for driving traffic to your site and improving customer engagement. Effective social media marketing is an ongoing conversation that lets you speak to your audience in a different voice. Good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices are still important. However, SEO is getting further away from onsite optimization and becoming more about a holistic approach to your entire brands presence on the web. Especially when it comes to the social web.

In 2013, driving quality traffic to your website will be less about having the right keywords on your pages and in your meta tags, and more about creating relevant content that is shared and engaging with your customers in the social web.

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5. It’s all about the data. Data isn’t just for the IT team anymore. Understanding your business data and sharing it transparently with your internal team is what smart staffing companies seeing growth are now doing. New tools are making it easier to aggregate relevant business metrics and display them in a simple, digestible way for your team to act on. Doing so takes the guess work out of what’s working and what’s not and helps your staffing company focus on what’s most important.

We’ve helped several staffing companies aggregate their business data from several sources and display it simple, beautiful graphs on publicly displayed monitors. Interested in having us set this up for you? Let us know.

In 2013 successful staffing companies will commit to making data accessible and understandable to every aspect of their business from recruiting, to sales, to management.

6. Dynamic content. As a business in the staffing industry, you face the challenge of marketing to two separate audiences – your clients and your candidates. Making this even more challenging, your clients and candidates aren’t all the same. Therefore, your content shouldn’t be the same for every visitor. Fortunately it doesn’t have to be. Marketing technology these days lets us identify returning visitors and display relevant content to them based on keyword searches, content selections or even specific page visits. That’s what dynamic content is all about.

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We worked with several clients in 2012 to create and display dynamic content on their websites and landing pages. It’s easy to change forms, headings, written page content, images and Calls To Action based on what we know about the visitor. The results have been fantastic.

In 2013, dynamic content will becoming increasing more important to staffing companies trying to get the right message in front of the right person, at the right time.

7. Email still works. Email has been and will continue to be a key component of any marketing strategy. The big difference in 2013 is that successful staffing companies are getting smarter about how to manage their email marketing campaigns. Such campaigns are becoming less about mass message and job blasts and more about segmenting your audience and delivering personalized, and relevant messages. Further, the importance of opt-in email marketing will prove to deliver real, measurable results, while those still buying lists and using the ‘opt-out’ strategy will fall further and further behind.

Successful staffing companies will develop and implement smart email marketing campaigns in 2013, and stop the mass information dump to non-committed readers.

8. Retargeting. Retargeting is the process of showing your ads to people who recently visited your website. You know when you’re checking out that new blouse from White House Black Market and then you keep seeing it in ads on all the websites you go to? That’s retargeting. The benefit of retargeting is that it keeps your brand in front of people who were recently looking at your services. Doing this increases the odd of a conversion. Best of all, it reduces the cost of your Pay Per Click campaigns because you’re specifically targeting your ads to people who have already shown interest in your company.

Staffing companies that focus their PPC campaigns on retargeting will see more conversions and decreased PPC costs in 2013.

9. Why call when you can text? More and more, candidates are proving their preferred form of communication to be via text messaging. If your staffing company is still measuring your teams performance by the number of calls they make and time on the phone you could be missing a huge communication opportunity with your staff. Smartphones now account for over 55% of the mobile market in the U.S. and over 1/3 of adults prefer to be reached via text message more than email or calling.

Staffing companies who learn how to restructure their business to support text message communication with their staff will find much success in 2013.

10. Photo content is better than written content.
As the saying goes – “content is king.” Turns out some kings are better than others. In this case, there is now plenty of data suggesting photo content is better at driving customer engagement than written content. The success of new social sites like Instagram and Pinterest have proven that people are really into photo content.

Successful staffing companies are finding winning marketing strategies with infographics, photo contests, picture boards, video, and other forms of interactive, visual media. In 2013, the number of staffing firms finding success with visual content will certainly increase.

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 *BONUS TIP!!!* Onsite, SEO’d Job Boards. Ok, if you’ve made it this far then you deserve a bonus tip. Our bonus tip is about ensuring your job board is actually helping, and not hurting your marketing efforts. In 2012 we saw an alarming number of staffing websites with poorly designed and implemented job board strategies. It’s critical to understand how your jobs are being displayed on your website. If you’re redirecting traffic to another site, using iFrames or not properly SEOing your jobs you’re actually doing more harm than good when it comes to promoting your jobs to your candidates.

In 2013, the staffing companies that implement a proper job board on their site, taking advantage of APIs and strategically SEOing job data will see big wins this year!

Make this year the year your staffing company stops wasting money on the same tired marketing strategies that don’t produce results. In 2013, commit to implementing a strategy that utilizes modern methods and techniques and produces real results. It’s not too late for your staffing company to implement an effective marketing plan for 2013. If you want some help getting started or simply want to discuss any of these items further, contact us and lets talk!

Here’s to a successful 2013!

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