You’ve made it to part 5! This series of posts will help you LEVEL UP your marketing.
Need to catch up? Read the following posts:
Today, I will explain how to use digital marketing, OPS (Other People’s Stages) and referrals to drive sales.
LEVEL UP LEAD GEN
Want more sales leads? Get prospects coming to you!
In an industry as competitive as staffing, it’s hard to make your company stand out. It’s hard to get the attention of staffing decision-makers. And it’s hard to get people to trust what your salespeople say.
So rather than pounding the phones, why not get prospects to contact you? To do that, you need a strong digital marketing system – a process of using tools like SEO, PPC, social media, and content marketing to get your company found, strengthen your positioning, demonstrate your expertise, build trust, and create demand for the solutions you can offer (remember that AIDA model!).
Using digital marketing to sell
Want to drive more sales leads from search engines? Start by understanding what your clients are Googling. Then create keyword-focused content that provides the information they seek.
The more detailed, unbiased content your website offers that provides valuable information to employers (around the keywords they use to search), the more traffic you will attract from search engines. To develop your content strategy, consider:
- The audiences you want to target (type of company, size, location, job titles).
- The hiring, staffing, and related workforce challenges they face.
- Their level of sophistication regarding staffing (experienced buyers will seek answers to more complex questions).
Once you’ve defined the topics, plan to consistently produce content. To win in SEO, you need your webpages to be relevant and authoritative on key topics. Create individual pages and/or blog posts around a single purpose or keyword strategy—the more focused the page content, the better.
In addition, the best SEO content tends to be long-form (1,500+ words), but frequency matters too (more is better!). And last but not least, don’t make your content a sales pitch!
To turn SEO into sales leads, think about how to drive conversions from the pages that get traffic from search engines. You can incorporate text and graphical CTAs, inline, sidebar, and page footer CTAs, response forms, fly-ins, exit pop-ups, and more. (See the section on content marketing for more ideas.)
Want to know more about SEO for staffing companies?
Download our Guide to Staffing SEO
PPC (Pay-Per-Click Advertising)
Want to get your message to the right audience, in the right place, at the right time?
Use paid ads!
If you’re not familiar with PPC, there are many different advertising options. These can include:
- text and display ads;
- ads on Google and other search engines;
- ads on advertising networks owned by Google;
- ads on social media; and
- ads on third-party sites like trade associations or media outlets.
The right kinds of PPC advertising for your business will depend on your goals, the niche you serve, and the audience you want to attract. It will also depend on your budget. While some PPC ads cost less than a buck per click, extremely competitive ads can be very expensive, with a cost per click that can top $100.
In general, the more popular the search term or target audience, the higher the cost. And if a particular ad is too expensive, there are almost always other PPC strategies you can employ to make reaching your target audience more cost-effective.
For driving sales leads with PPC, consider:
- Search ads targeting questions an employer would ask.
- Matched audience ads targeting your prospect list.
- LinkedIn ads based on location, company industry, company size, job title, and more.
- Facebook ads based on location, work industry, job titles, interests, and behaviors.
- Retargeting ads to people who have visited your website.
The most effective PPC lead gen ads address relevant, timely business problems, and they offer something of immediate value. Consider testing ad copy, offers, and platforms to determine which ads will generate the highest quality leads at the lowest cost for your business.
Finally, be sure each of your PPC ads takes people to a specific, relevant landing page on your website. The sole focus of that landing page should be explaining your offer and getting people to take action.
Looking for a deeper dive on PPC for staffing?
Watch our free PPC webinars on-demand.
Want to be seen as an expert? Want to make your company stand out? Want to build instant credibility? Become a content producer!
Blogs, eBooks, videos, podcasts – whatever the format, content marketing is one of the best ways to get your company found (by the right prospects), strengthen your positioning, build trust, and drive inbound sales leads.
With content marketing, the key is delivering value.
What do your clients need to know about staffing and recruiting? What do they need to know about workforce planning and strategic workforce management? What do they need to know about managing, motivating, and retaining talent?
Just like SEO and CRO, content marketing is about knowing your audience, understanding their goals (and challenges), and then consistently creating content that addresses the questions they are asking and problems they are trying to solve.
For content marketing to work for sales lead generation, you first have to get your content found, which can be done via SEO, PPC, social media, email marketing, PR, developing syndication partners, and more.
Once you get your content found, you then need to integrate it with offers that get people to take action. These offers can include:
- Gaiting content (requiring an email address to download).
- Inviting people to register to attend an event.
- Offering an email publication as a subscription.
- Creating sales-focused offers like free consultations or request talent that integrate with your content.
- Developing landing pages that promote content and include response forms on the page.
- Creating post-download thank-you pages that contain offers.
Content marketing is often integrated with marketing automation and lead nurturing to warm leads and get prospects ready to speak with your sales team.
Most staffing companies invest a lot of time and effort into social media. It’s great for brand building and a powerful way to recruit. And when used incorrectly, it can also be a huge waste of time.
To use social media to sell, you need specific strategies:
- On social, content shared by individuals tends to outperform content shared by companies, so consider more personal brand building by your sales team. Encourage them to share content, join relevant groups, and participate in social conversations.
- Social media gets the greatest response when it’s personal, so encourage your team to post about themselves (e.g., events in their professional lives, success stories, things they are learning, and observations about the industry).
- Target content to specific individuals with tagging and use relevant #Hashtags to make your content more visible.
- Take advantage of platform-specific features that encourage interaction (e.g., LinkedIn polls), and ask questions about timely and/or meaningful topics.
- Take advantage of live video and social events where the platforms will help promote your video/event to a wider audience (e.g., LinkedIn events and LinkedIn live).
- Integrate paid ads with organic social content to promote offers and expand the reach of your content.
- Use social sharing automation to provide your team with more content to share and make it easy for them to share (interested in an ultra-low-cost way to automate social sharing? Check out NetSocial!).
Want more ideas for social selling?
Download our 41-page eBook Taping Social Media’s Superpowers
LEVEL UP LEAD GEN (part 2)
Beyond direct selling. Beyond digital marketing. Try OPS and referrals.
Let’s wrap up our discussion of lead generation with two lesser-used but highly powerful lead generation strategies: Other People’s Stages (OPS) and referral partnerships.
Marketing today is incredibly cluttered. Getting the time and attention of your audience is harder than ever. So why go it alone?
The fastest way to get your ideas to an audience is to partner with someone who has already built an audience of the people you want to reach. By leveraging Other People’s Stages, you not only get access to the people you want to reach, but you also put yourself in an immediate position of authority.
So how can you use OPS?
- Become a guest on a podcast.
- Present a webinar for another vendor to your target clients.
- Hold an office in an association
- Teach a workshop at a trade conference.
- Write guests posts for other blogs.
Just like other forms of content marketing, your presentation on someone else’s stage must be educational (no one wants a guest speaker to do a sales pitch). However, you certainly can demonstrate your expertise and teach people concepts that lead to the use of your services. For example, a talk on hiring best practices, compensation trends, or new staffing models can be a great way to both educate employers and demonstrate the value of recruiting and staffing services.
To convert presentations to sales leads, see if you can get a list of attendees for webinars and live presentations—then send out a follow-up email or letter. Ask if you can add promotional content in the bio section of guest blogs, like a link to content on your website. Provide the host of a podcast with a bio that focuses on the services you provide and the value you deliver to your clients – this information will end up in their show notes
Let’s wrap up sales lead generation with one of the most tried and true ways to generate leads – referrals.
While referrals tend to be the most highly qualified source of sales leads, they are also the least reliable – you literally are depending on someone else to see a need for your services and then refer you to their clients and prospects.
Rather than waiting for referrals by chance, formalize the relationship. For example, you might offer to pay for referrals. Better yet, look for ways to integrate your services or any introductory offer into the products or services that others provide.
The best example of this is Microsoft, which built its company by becoming the operating system that IBM included with its personal computers when those computers first rolled out.
A more recent example is when you make a purchase on Amazon. Inside the package, you find coupons for other products that may or may not be related to what you purchased.
In staffing, look to see who is already selling to the people you want to reach. Evaluate the products and services they offer. Then find creative ways to integrate your services with what they do or provide those companies with an incentive to introduce your firm or share an offer as part of their service delivery.
By formalizing the structure of the partnership, you will get more referrals, and the people to whom you are being referred will have more trust in your brand than when you reach out cold.
Up Next: 12 Strategies To Level Up Your Marketing: Part 6 – Building Trust With Your Prospects
Don’t want to wait? Download the entire LEVEL UP eBook here for free!