To be honest, I’ve had enough of 2020.
Coronavirus. Lockdowns. Record unemployment. A global recession. Fires. Floods. Oh yeah, and it’s an election year.
But we’re here now. While we can’t change reality, we can absolutely change how we see things and how we deal with challenge.
This series is all about creating certainty – in sales, recruiting, and cash flow.
You need to build a sales and recruiting engine that powers your company, enables your salespeople and recruiters to achieve greater results (without incessant cold calling), and strengthens your business so that you thrive in the months and years to come.
Not sure where to start? You’re in the right place – but if you missed the beginning of this series, start there!
Related Posts in This Series:
How to build your sales and recruiting engine
Step 3: Build your visibility and authority
It’s time to start putting marketing theory into action. Steps one and two are all about understanding your business – who you are and how you want to be seen. This step is about getting the word out.
You’ve probably heard about content marketing and/or inbound marketing. These are strategies to generate inbound sales leads by sharing content that your audience will find to be interesting, relevant, useful, timely, educational and/or entertaining.
With visibility and authority, we’re doing the same thing, but with a slightly different spin.
First, let’s start with authority.
Authority is about positioning your company as an expert in something (ideally, tied to your positioning and branding). The mistake companies make is thinking they need to be a “thought leader.” While that’s great, if you really can be one, you don’t need to be on the leading edge of thought in your industry to be an authority.
Authorities are people who know a lot and are very interested in specific subjects. The trick is to really understand your ideal customers (on both the employer and job seeker sides), so you can become an authority on topics that MATTER TO THEM!
Unfortunately, staffing and recruiting is probably not at the top of the list of topics they care about. So when you think about becoming an authority, start by making a list of several things:
- What problems are my ideal customers experiencing?
- What common challenges do they face?
- What obstacles must they overcome to be successful in their job / in their career?
- What concerns do they have about using the services our company offers?
- What common questions do they ask your salespeople and recruiters?
- What objections do they raise?
In building authority, you simply answer the questions others are asking. The questions above are a great place to start. These are the kinds of questions that address the most important issues your target audience is facing. These questions (and your answers) will pull prospects into your sales funnel.
There’s also a second set of questions that are important to answer – questions employers and job seekers when they are in the process of evaluating your services. The first list of questions above are “top of the funnel” questions. This second set are the mid-funnel questions that drive people to applying for a job or placing a job order with your company.
I just finished reading a book called “They Ask, You Answer” by Marcus Sheridan. Marcus was a guy who sold fiberglass pools. Back in 2009, he was in a commodity business and on the brink of failure. Then he discovered inbound marketing, and by applying those principles, he turned his company into one of the world’s leading authorities in fiberglass pools…and in the process sold A LOT of pools.
In the book, Marcus shows people how to become the most trusted authority in their industry by becoming a source for unbiased answers to five key (middle of the funnel) questions:
- What is the cost of what you sell?
- What are the problems that could go wrong with your services?
- How does your product (or service) compare with competitors?
- What do customers think about your work?
- Who (which companies) are the best in class in your industry?
Okay, let’s move on to visibility.
Authority was about defining topics and creating content. Visibility is about getting that content found.
So how do you get found?
Search engine optimization today is about understanding search intent and then providing relevant information to that intent. In simple English, it’s about answering the questions people are asking. If you want to CRUSH SEO, produce content that answers questions.
Your content can be in the form of blog posts, eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, videos, podcasts, webinars or any other way you want to tell your story online. The key for SEO is to ensure that you have content that answers questions (and lots of it) on your website.
Want to know more about SEO best practices? Download our eBook!
Since March 2020, people have increased their social content consumption by 200%. Therefore, the obvious solution is to share more of your content on social. But just sharing is not enough.
Sadly, all the major social platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), are showing less and less of the content companies share to people who follow those companies. To maximize your social reach, you need two strategies:
- Paid social – sponsoring content to get your authority building information to the people you want to reach.
- Team-based social sharing (or employee advocacy) – content your team members share will reach a greater percentage of their connections, so you want to have your team get connected to more people and share your company content regularly.
Want more ideas on social marketing? Download our eBook: Tapping Social Media’s Superpowers
Shameless Plug! Need help with Team-Based Social Sharing? Check out our latest product – NetSocial
Despite our overflowing inboxes, email remains the fastest, least expensive way to share content with people. Whether it’s an email newsletter or a quick email note linking to your content, email is the communication vehicle that most of your clients and candidates prefer.
Paid advertising on Google and social media is an ideal way to promote your business, share content and build your authority. With PPC, you can accurately target your ideal clients and candidates based on searches they are doing, websites they have visited, demographic characteristics and even past behaviors. You can also stay top-of-mind with people who visited your website and re-engage client and candidates in your ATS (something called matched-audience advertising).
Want to learn more about PPC? Watch our Lunch with Haley Webinar: Google & Social PPC for Staffing
Speak and write for others.
Visibility doesn’t have to come just from your own digital marketing efforts. Often, it’s faster and easier to leverage platforms (and networks) that others have created. And part of becoming an authority is sharing content with others.
- Look for opportunities to write guest blog posts for others in your industry. Offer to present a webinar or speak on a podcast. And as we get back to real-world, in-person events, try to become a speaker at conferences.
- When you create that top-of-the-funnel content that answers questions around the challenges people are having, you are creating perfect topics for presentations!
Up Next: Optimizing Conversion Paths
Okay, it’s time to get geeky: odds are, your website’s not doing its job. My next post will explain how to get more of your website visitors to take action – but if you can’t wait until then, check out the full article here!